The final frenzied stretch toward national signing day 2014 is just underway, but we've already been served with a stunning development in the 2015 recruiting cycle. Elite running back prospect Jordan Scarlett committed to Florida Atlantic on Friday, according to 247Sports reporter Luke Stampini.
The 4-star University School (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) star spurned several marquee BCS programs by pledging to the Owls. He holds offers from Florida, Alabama, Miami, Florida State and Auburn
Scarlett is rated the nation's No. 3 running back and No. 42 overall junior prospect in 247Sports' composite rankings. His decision will be viewed as a major head-scratcher by many, but the recruit has personal ties to the FAU program.
University School head coach Roger Harriott resigned this week, per Dieter Kurtenbach of the Sun Sentinel, accepting the role of running backs coach at FAU. He didn't waste any time making an impact in his new position, pulling a pledge from one of Florida's premier prospects.
Scarlett, a 5'10", 197-pound playmaker, provides a dynamic building block for the Owls' suddenly revitalized recruiting efforts. Former Arkansas assistant Charlie Partridge took over the program in mid-December and continues to piece together his coaching staff.
Although FAU currently holds a verbal commitment from Scarlett, the team must wait 14 months for him to sign a national letter of intent. Don't expect the heavyweight programs to pull off his trail in the aftermath of this unexpected development.
At the very least, it creates recruiting buzz around the Owls that didn't exist before. One of the Sunshine State's most coveted players just told the big boys (Hurricanes, Seminoles, Gators) that he's headed to Conference USA.