Winners and Losers of May on the 2015 College Football Recruiting Trail

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IMay 29, 2014

Winners and Losers of May on the 2015 College Football Recruiting Trail

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    The weather is getting hotter this spring, which means June is right around the corner. However, it wouldn't be smart to look ahead to next month without reflecting on what happened on the college football recruiting trail in May.

    The SEC had another eventful month, as a Big Ten coach found a way to get under the conference's skin. However, several other SEC programs scored huge commitments in May as well.

    A Big 12 school was left out of the final group for a 5-star linebacker, while a Pac-12 school lost out on two prospects.

Winner: Auburn

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    The defending SEC champs had another solid month of recruiting, as the Tigers secured pledges from two big recruiting targets.

    Darrell Williams, a talented 4-star linebacker, committed to Auburn on May 7. On May 15 head coach Gus Malzahn got word that 5-star JUCO running back Jovon Robinson will be returning to run on The Plains next season.

    Auburn currently has 14 commitments, and its class is ranked No. 3 in the 247Sports recruiting rankings.

Loser: Oklahoma

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    Oklahoma is led by head coach Bob Stoops, who is one of the better defensive minds in the country. He knows a good defender when he sees one, which why he was all over 5-star linebacker Justin Hilliard.

    The Cincinnati native visited Norman earlier this year, and based on a report by Josh McCuistion of SoonerScoop.com (subscription required), things seemed to go well.

    However, Hilliard recently revealed a group of five finalists to Josh Helmholdt of Rivals.com (subscription required), which did not include the Sooners. 

Winner: USC

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    USC had a big month of May on the recruiting trail. Head coach Steve Sarkisian and his staff earned three 4-star commitments from in-state targets.

    The fun started on May 6 when offensive lineman Roy Hemsley promised to play in Troy. Defensive tackle Jacob Daniel followed suit on May 13, eight days before linebacker Cameron Smith announced he was a Trojan.

    USC has eight commitments and is No. 1 in the Pac-12, per 247Sports

Loser: Florida State

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    May brought Florida State commitments from 3-star receiver Nyqwan Murray and 3-star safety A.J. Westbrook.

    However, the Seminoles are still likely feeling they could have fared better. The defending national champions lost out to conference rival Clemson for 4-star pass-catching tight end Garrett Williams.

    Plus, head coach Jimbo Fisher and his staff are trailing Georgia for 5-star defensive tackle Trent Thompson, per a report by Woody Wommack of Rivals.com

Winner: Alabama

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    Alabama has the No. 1 class in the 247Sports recruiting rankings. This has been another excellent recruiting cycle so far for the Crimson Tide, with another big commitment coming in May.

    Hale Hentges, a 4-star tight end from Missouri, committed to play in Tuscaloosa on the 25th day of the month. At 6'6" and 230 pounds, he can also play outside linebacker in Alabama's 3-4 defense.

    He's another big coup for head coach Nick Saban

Loser: Michigan

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    Michigan got commitments from 4-star linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. and 3-star quarterback Alex Malzone in May, but Big Blue enters June on a down note.

    Shaun Crawford, a high-end 4-star cornerback, decommitted from the Wolverines on May 23. Not only does the decommitment sting for head coach Brady Hoke, but the Ohio native is set to visit archrival Ohio State on May 31, according to 247Sports.

Winner: Penn State

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    Even though former Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin is now at Penn State, he's still going to be a thorn in the side of SEC coaches on the recruiting trail.

    He and his staff will be guest coaches at Georgia State's football camp on June 10 and at Stetson University on June 11, per an ESPN report. Franklin essentially found a recruiting loophole, and the camps will serve as Penn State satellite camps to help recruiting in SEC territory.

    It's a crafty move by Franklin, who also secured commitments from 4-star offensive tackle Sterling Jenkins, 4-star quarterback Brandon Wimbush, 3-star safety Ayron Monroe and 3-star defensive end Jonathan Holland in May.

    Penn State has 16 commitments and is No. 2 in the 247Sports recruiting rankings

Loser: UCLA

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    There wasn't a lot of recruiting noise made in Westwood in May, as UCLA lost out on two top targets. The Bruins failed to land 4-star linebacker Cameron Smith, who committed to nemesis USC.

    To make matters worse, UCLA lost the commitment of 4-star athlete Jaason Lewis. Look for the Bruins to attempt to come on strong in June.

Winner: Texas A&M

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    Texas A&M is celebrating big commitments from 3-star JUCO safety Justin Evans and 3-star linebacker Riley Garner. Both players should provide great depth to the Aggies defense.

    However, head coach Kevin Sumlin also landed 5-star dual-threat quarterback Kyler Murray and 4-star receiver Kemah Siverand in May.

    Murray is an accurate and athletic passer who will do great things in College Station down the line, while Siverand's hands are outstanding. 

    Siverand told the following to Taylor Hamm of Gigem247 on May 29:

    Honestly, Kyler’s decision did affect mine. Kyler Murray made his decision at 2:45 yesterday. That’s when I made mine...I talked [Kyler Murray] earlier this week. We clicked as soon as we talked and that was a great sign. When he told me he made his decision, I told him I’m hopping on too.

     

    All recruiting ratings and rankings are from 247Sports' Composite Rankings. Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals and 247Sports.

    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.