We already know that the Class of 2014 is loaded in the state of Texas at defensive back. What we don’t know is how many more will emerge. On of those to pop on the radar recently is Arlington High’s (Arlington, Tex.) Jacob Nwangwa, but not for long it sounds like. The 6-foot, 177-pound safety’s recruitment is heating up, with the latest interest coming from Oklahoma State and LSU.
Jacob Nwangwa is the latest Class of 2014 defensive back to emerge in the state of Texas.
“I’ve been hearing from both of them a lot,” Nwangwa said. “Lately they’ve been sending me a ton of letters. Last Monday they also contacted my school counselor and wanted my transcript. Both of them told me that they are thinking about offering, but are still evaluating me right now. Oklahoma State has been talking about offering the most though.”
One thing both programs want to see is if Nwangwa is fully recovered from an ankle injury he sustained over the summer.
“I was out around four or five weeks,” he said. “It’s getting better now, but it still hurts a little bit. So far though, I’ve played in both of our games, so I’m doing good.”
Nwangwa says that an offer from either program would be special.
“It would mean a lot to get either one,” Nwangwa said. “I’ve always been an Oklahoma State fan, me and my brother both. As far as LSU, I’ve watched them a lot. I feel like I could really fit in with their defensive style. I like their strategies and the way their DBs play.”
Besides LSU and Oklahoma, the three-star Arlington product has heard from Washington State, Nebraska, Missouri, SMU, Iowa State, Texas A&M and Memphis.
Another 2014 defensive back that has garnered some attention, but still continues to fly under the radar compared to other DBs in the state is Wylie, Tex. safety T’Kevian Rockwell. The electrifying prospect, who turned in a laser timed 10.47 100-meter time, already holds a few offers, but says that recruiting has basically come to a standstill.
“There’s nothing really going on right now,” Rockwell said. “There hasn’t been contact from any programs or anything recently. It’s ok though, I’m not too worried about it.”
While it remains a mystery why programs aren’t jumping on the speedster quite yet, four programs have already thrown their hat in the ring.
“I have my four offers right now,” Rockwell explained. “Michigan, Baylor, Nebraska and Texas Tech are the only ones I have.”
Rockwell continues to be recruited in track, however, from schools such as Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia.
North Forney (Forney, Tex. ) athlete Armani Watts’ recruitment is picking up steam and for good reason. He’s been putting up excellent numbers on offense, no matter which position he plays, and it has caught the eye of many different programs.
“A lot of schools have contacted me,” Watts said. “Recently I’ve been hearing a lot from Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, LSU, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Arizona State, Iowa, Texas Tech, TCU and SMU.”
Watts was planning on attending A&M’s SEC opener against Florida, but couldn’t make it due to unforeseen circumstances. He has rescheduled that visit and also has others lined up.
“I plan to watch some games at Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Texas Tech so far,” said Watts. “I haven’t gone anywhere yet, but will be seeing those three and maybe more soon.”
As for right now, Watts says he has no favorites. Instead, he’s just enjoying the recruiting process.
“I’m open to everyone,” he said.
While many coaches are still focusing on their 2013 and 2014 recruiting classes, a few schools have already taken notice of 2015 Hebron (Carrollton, Tex.) offensive lineman Zach Rogers. The 6-foot-3, 270-pounder already holds a pair of offers and more may be on the way.
"Right now I just have my two offers," Rogers said. "But I understand that it's early and I'm still young. Those two offers are from Arkansas and Texas Tech."
After performing well at camps this summer, and through the first three games, other schools are beginning to give him a closer look.
"I've been hearing from more coaches recently," Rogers said. "TCU, Oklahoma and SMU have been in contact with me, which has been great. I know that it will continue to pick up for me and I'm really looking forward to that. It's just a good feeling to hear from these schools so early on."
He says that the Arkansas offer has definitely been a big deal to him.
"I've actually already been up to Arkansas," Rogers said. "I have a former teammate from last year, Deatrich Wise, who plays up there now. I've talked to him a couple of times and he says he loves it. So it's nice knowing that you would know someone up there and someone who's been there and knows the day-to-day schedule. It’s pretty exciting that they’ve offered."
However, he says the interest from Oklahoma has also caught his attention.
"I've always liked Oklahoma," Rogers said. "My parents are from there, so I've always grown up rooting for them and hoping they do good. They are definitely a school that I'll be looking at very closely, especially if they decide to offer me down the line."
Rogers will see both of those teams in action, along with Texas Tech over the course of the next couple of months.
"I'm planning on going on a couple of visits soon," Rogers explained. "I'll be heading up to Arkansas for a return visit and then I'll be watching Texas Tech play Oklahoma. I'm looking forward to them all. They should be a lot of fun."
Although with three years left before he has to make a decision, don’t expect him to have any favorites at the moment.
"I'm just open to everyone right now," he said. "Any interest is good interest."
Hebron’s (Carrollton, Tex.) Jamal Adams, the nation’s No. 92 overall prospect, is beginning to become a very hot commodity in the recruiting world. With more and more programs offering, Adams says that he’s just trying to take it all in.
“I’m open to everyone,” Adams said. “Whoever comes next, or whoever offers next, I’m just going to wait and see. It’s going to be a long process and I’m ready for it. I’m trying not to rush anything.”
Adams will take a visit to Texas on Oct. 6, when the Horns host West Virginia. Other than that, however, he doesn’t have any visits planned.
“This time I want to get an up-close look at the facilities,” Adams said, “get to know the coaches more in depth, watch them practice, watch them play and just see a little more in detail with those type of things.”
The Hebron product says he also has been hearing from a few other schools quite a bit as well, including Alabama, Texas A&M and Oklahoma.
“A lot of the Alabama coaches hit me up on Facebook,” Adams said. “They just talk to me and tell me to keep working hard. They say everything will fall into place as long as I work hard and keep on doing what I’m doing. They’re definitely in the mix for me.”
Adams gave his thoughts on Texas A&M as well.
“Texas A&M is a good school for sure,” Adams said. “They’re in the SEC and play a lot of good people. Actually, a lot of my boys are trying to get me to go there honestly. I’m interested in Texas A&M for sure.”
Along with Oklahoma too.
“I’m really high on them and have interest in them.” he explained. “They’re up there with Texas and Alabama and, of course, all the rest of the schools. I wouldn’t mind checking them out some more.”
All Saints (Fort Worth, Tex.) is becoming quite the football recruiting ground with players such as Texas running back commit Daniel Gresham, the nation’s No. 46 overall player Demetrius Knox, quarterback Foster Sawyer and plenty of others.
One new name from All Saints to keep an eye on is 2014 athlete Chris Lane. The versatile, 5-foot-10, 185-pound athlete with 4.48 speed has been hearing from a plethora of schools recently.
“Georgia Tech, Arkansas and Nevada are showing the most interest right now,” Lane said. “I’ve visited Arkansas so far out of those three, along with Oklahoma, UCLA, Texas Tech, SDSU and Miami.”
The latest school to get involved is the in-state Texas Longhorns.
“I’ve actually already visited UT before,” Lane said. “But, Coach (Major) Applewhite told Daniel (Gresham) that they want me to come back down. So I’m heading down there for the West Virginia game with him in a couple of weeks and am looking forward to it.”
And while it’s still early for the under-the-radar prospect, he has no problem letting his favorite schools be known.
“I really like Arkansas, Texas, Miami and San Diego State,” Lane said. “I’ve seen them all and they are the ones I’ve liked the most.”
The thing that makes coaches like Lane is the fact that he possesses a very versatile skill set and could project at a number of positions.
“Running back, free safety, strong safety, cornerback and wide receiver,” Lane said, “I feel comfortable at any of those positions, so I’m willing to play whatever is needed.”
Booker T. Washington (Miami, Fla.) was in Dallas recently to play one of the state’s top 5A programs in Cedar Hill. The Miami school is absolutely loaded with talent, most notably 2013 linebacker Matthew Thomas, ranked No. 10 overall by 247Sports, and four-star offensive tackle Denver Kirkland. Both prospects have received their fair share of attention from top programs, but neither seems close to a decision quite yet.
As for Thomas, the blue chip defensive playmaker has it narrowed down to three schools, but still plans to take his time.
“Right now he’s sitting with Miami, Alabama and Florida State as his top three,” said Booker T. Washington assistant coach Pierre Senatus. “He’s already visited Miami and Florida State, but wants to see Alabama. He hasn’t been there yet.”
Senatus says Thomas was impressed with his first two visits to two of Florida’s top universities.
“His first one was Florida State,” explained Senatus. “He had a great time there and really enjoyed the campus. Matthew had nothing but good things to say. Then he went to Miami and really liked it a lot. I think one of the main reasons is that he hit it off with the coaching staff there. He felt very comfortable with Coach (Al) Golden. They made him feel like family. Once again, he had plenty of great things to say about that visit. He loved it.”
Senatus believes that once Thomas takes a trip to Tuscaloosa, the choice might get even harder.
“He’s already seen what Alabama can do on the field,” he said. “I told him to not be surprised if he really enjoys his time down there with Nick Saban. He knows that Saban’s defense is a great one and that he gets guys ready. I don’t know which school he’ll pick, but I think it won’t get any easier for him after visiting, that’s for sure.”
As for Kirkland, who is ranked the No. 18 offensive tackle by 247Sports and No. 166 overall in the 247Composite, it appears he’s yet to narrow it down like Thomas has.
“He’s really just kind of enjoying it all,” Senatus said. “He has a lot of options on the table. Schools like Miami, Florida State, South Florida, Ole Miss, UCLA, USC, Louisville and West Virginia have all offered him, so, like I said, he has plenty to choose from.”
So when could coaches and fans expect a decision from Kirkland?
“It will definitely be awhile,” explained Senatus. “He’s a kid who wasn’t discovered until recently, so he’s not like some of the kids that we have who have been recruited for two years or more and have seen a lot of schools and been on plenty of visits. Both he and Thomas were jumped on sort of late. Honestly, he might have like a top five or something, but he seems to be listening to anyone who’s talking. We’ll have to see how it plays out.”
Kirkland has camped or taken visits to Miami, Florida State, Florida and South Florida, with plans to take others in the future to various schools.