With the recruiting process getting started earlier and earlier every year, it is becoming rare for players to emerge from seemingly out of nowhere during their senior seasons. However, it is not unheard of.
Trey Carter has seen interest pick up following his move from Louisiana to Texas.
Big 12 teams have long been some of the earliest in the country to fill up with Texas and head coach Mack Brown sort of beginning the trend of almost finishing a class in the spring. Though most of the conference teams again have quite a few commitments at this stage, they are also saving room for players who make late decision and others who suddenly show up on the radar.
Two players in the Lone Star State fit the latter mold and are being pursued by almost the entire Big 12.
Dallas Pinkston defensive lineman Trey Carter moved from Louisiana prior to this season and the 6-foot-4, 255-pound defender has seen a ton of interest come his way since then.
Carter has received offers from all over but it is three Big 12 teams that currently top his list. The three-star prospect has the trio of Oklahoma, TCU and Texas as favorites. The Sooners and Horned Frogs have offered and, if he does well on the SAT, the Longhorns will as well.
Oklahoma has been looking all over for defensive linemen this year. The Sooners found a sleeper in Brandon Glenn and hope to get another in Carter.
TCU has long looked for these type of athletes so this is not unusual for head coach Gary Patterson and company.
Another late-blooming prospect to have gained the attention of the Big 12 is Houston Westside wide receiver Frank Iheanacho.
DeSoto WR Chris Lacy has performed at a high level this season as a Cowboy commit.
The 6-foot-7, 220-pound senior did not play football a year ago as he decided his future was in basketball. Though he received several offers from smaller schools on the hardwood, Iheanacho missed football. After returning this fall, his film was sent out after a handful of games and he received double-digit offers within two weeks.
TCU has offered Iheancho, who is ranked as the No. 71 overall prospect in the country, and both Texas and Texas Tech have shown quite a bit of interest. Unlike Carter, though, it could be tough to keep him in the Big 12. Texas A&M is a school he has a lot of ties to and he plans to visit LSU later this month. Oregon is also showing a lot of interest and could be a player should the Ducks offer.
Cowboys doing their homework
Oklahoma State has long recruited the city of Houston very well, landing both highly-ranked prospects as well as hidden gems. However, the Cowboys are now doing a good job around the entire state.
Despite playing for a Top Five nationally-ranked team, DeSoto wide receiver Chris Lacy did not receive a ton of attention prior to committing to Oklahoma State in early August.
The 6-foot-3, 191-pound prospect was used somewhat sparingly as a junior but showed flashes of promise in the spring. The Cowboys took a flyer on him and it appears to have paid off. Lacy has become the go-to weapon for DeSoto this year and is averaging close to 20 yards per catch.
Another prospect who was receiving even less attention when he committed to Oklahoma State is San Antonio Brackenridge athlete Ramon Richards. A high school quarterback, the 6-foot, 180-pounder will play defensive back in Stillwater. The San Antonio area has long been under-recruited and Brackenridge is not a traditional talent-producing school so the Cowboy coaches had to do their homework to find Richards. Since his pledge, other schools have started to come into the picture. Texas is one school taking a close look at him.
Pearland linebacker Justin Phillips makes plays all over the field for the Oilers but a lot of schools were nervous about his lack of ideal size. That did not stop the Cowboys from offering him as a sophomore and continuing to recruit him heavily until he committed in March. He has been outstanding this fall.
The jury is still out on a couple of small-school players on the Oklahoma State commit list in wide receiver James Washington of Stamford and defensive end Cole Walterscheid of Muenster but the Cowboys’ track record in Texas says those two have a chance to make an impact at the next level.
Change of strategy for Snyder?
During head coach Bill Snyder’s two tenures in Manhattan, Kansas State has relied very extensively on junior college transfers.
Though it usually paid off on the field, it forced the Wildcats to pretty much always be in a rebuilding mode.
However, Kansas State has slowed down a bit more in recruiting the junior college ranks each of the past few seasons and that has allowed the team to build a bit more depth and start to be able to not have to focus so extensively on junior college transfers.
This year, the Wildcats have 16 commitments and all but two are from high school prospects.
They went into Missouri and landed four-star running back Dalvin Warmack and high three-star defensive end/outside linebacker Elijah Lee. They have also picked up solid players from the likes of Colorado and Texas in offensive lineman Dalton Risner and quarterback Aaron Sharp, respectively.
Kansas State’s two junior college commitments, offensive lineman Luke Hayes and linebacker D’Vonta Derricott, are both solid players who should come in and gain immediate playing time. It’s nice for the Wildcats, though, that they no longer need a class full of those types of prospect.