February's Winners and Losers from the 2015 College Football Recruiting Trail

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IMarch 2, 2014

February's Winners and Losers from the 2015 College Football Recruiting Trail

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    Some would argue that the 2015 recruiting cycle started whenever coaches began evaluating prospects in that particular class. Others would say it started in February, once the 2014 cycle finished.

    Anyway you look at it, things are off and running for the class of 2015 in college football recruiting. Top recruits are being identified, offers are being extended, visits are being taken, and commitments are being made. February was a good month to kick things off, as a lot happened.

    A pair of Big Ten schools picked up multiple commitments, while an SEC juggernaut and ACC powerhouse both picked up pledges from elite offensive linemen. Also, a Big 12 school lost two key recruits.

    All recruiting ratings and rankings are from 247Sports.

    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals and 247Sports.

Winner: Nebraska

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    Nebraska is making sure it gets off on the right foot in 2015 recruiting. The Cornhuskers secured four commitments in February, including three 4-star prospects.

    Eric Lee, a 4-star cornerback from Colorado, committed to Big Red on Feb. 1. Fellow 4-star Colorado native Avery Anderson, who is listed as an athlete, pledged to Nebraska the next day.

    The day after Anderson's commitment, 4-star offensive tackle Christian Gaylord announced he would leave his native state of Kansas to suit up for Nebraska in 2015. 

Loser: Michigan

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    Michigan isn't in this slot because it failed to land a commitment in February but because of the recent developments with 5-star running back Damien Harris.

    Harris, who hails from Kentucky, decommitted from the Wolverines in January. Michigan still is a prime suitor for him, per 247Sports, but archrival Ohio State used the month of February to get in position to land the talented running back.

    In fact, the 247Sports crystal ball now has the Buckeyes edging out Big Blue for Harris.

Winner: LSU

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    LSU nabbed four commitments in February, so it was a good month for the Tigers. However, one pledge in particular stands out: 5-star offensive tackle Maea Teuhema.

    From Texas, he is nearly 6'5" and 350 pounds. Yet the elite blocker is more than just a big body. He has light feet and solid agility and flashes good quickness in the trenches.

    Teuhema also is strong on his feet, evidenced by his ability to play big and powerful at the point of attack. The former Texas commit looks like a rare offensive line prospect who can make an early impact in the SEC.

Loser: Texas

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    Many eyes will be on Texas recruiting this year, as people are anxious and intrigued to see just how well can new head coach Charlie Strong and his staff recruit in Austin.

    Although the Longhorns didn't come out of February empty handed, they did see two significant recruits choose to go elsewhere. Maea Teuhema, a 5-star offensive tackle, flipped to LSU near the beginning of the month.

    Then, 4-star offensive tackle Connor Lanfear flipped to Texas A&M on Feb. 28. 

    Taylor Hamm of 247Sports wrote: "Lanfear gave new Texas head coach Charlie Strong and the Longhorn staff a fair shot to keep him committed."

Winner: Clemson

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    Clemson picked up two prospects in February, with the first being solid 3-star dual-threat quarterback Tucker Israel.

    However, the big news was the pledge from 5-star offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt. From Georgia, he is a 6'5.5", 271-pound left tackle with a great combination of athleticism and proper technique.

    Head coach Dabo Swinney found the future anchor of his offensive line in February.

Winner: Penn State

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    Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

    New Penn State head coach James Franklin is a tireless recruiter who has what it takes to turn the program back into a recruiting juggernaut.

    Based on what he did in February, all signs point to that becoming true. He collected seven commitments last month, including two 4-star prospects.

    Out of the seven new Nittany Lions, five are in-state recruits (including both 4-star recruits), so that shows he has already started building a fence around his state. 

    Penn State will likely sign one of the better classes in the country in 2015, with the foundation of the group having been assembled this past February.

     

    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.