In Monday’s edition of 247Sports.com’s national notes, it’s time for an update on some of the programs that have been on fire of late on the recruiting trail.
Starts got the month of June started for Texas Tech
An impressive run by Texas Tech
The Texas Tech Red Raiders have been on a run of late that started with the commitment of the247 offensive tackle Michael Starts (Waco, Texas/La Vega) June 2 and has continued with a total of nine verbal pledges this month.
While the entire month has been a huge success for Tommy Tuberville and staff, it was the last half of the week that was especially impressive.
On June 16, the Red Raiders picked up commitments from up and coming receiver Marcus Johnson (League City, Texas/Clear Springs) and center prospect Jared Kaster (Altair, Texas/Rice Consolidated). Johnson put on a show at Texas A&M camp June 5 clocking a 4.42-forty yard dash and 4.11-pro agility shuttle and bettered that performance at a Texas Tech satellite camp roughly a week later. Kaster, 6-foot-4, 265-pounds, is a quick and ultra aggressive first team all-district performer on both sides of the ball who had been previously committed to Rice.
Johnson entered the month of May with only a couple of offers before becoming one of the fastest risers in the Houston area earning offers from West Virginia, Arizona, Wake Forest, Kansas, Northwestern and others in a matter of two weeks.
The hot streak continued June 17 with the commitment of the247 receiver Dominique Wheeler (Crockett, Texas). The 6-foot-1, 178-pound explosive playmaker picked the Red Raiders over offers from TCU, Texas A&M and a number of others. TCU was thought to be the favorite for weeks leading up to his commitment to Tuberville and staff. He is the No. 78 prospect in the 2012 class.
Defensive tackle Anthony Smith (Spring, Texas/Westfield) joined Wheeler in committing on Friday. The 6-foot-0, 280-pound Smith played defensive tackle alongside 2011 Texas signee and Under Armour All-America Desmond Jackson in 2010 earning all-district honors.
Texas Tech’s impressive three-day run ended on Saturday with a commitment from outside linebacker Ryan Flannigan (Missouri City, Texas/Marshall). The 6-foot-1, 197-pound speedy defender picked the Red Raiders over Baylor, where he was once committed.
All told, Texas Tech has 15 commitments in the 2012 class and trails only Texas and Texas A&M in the Big 12’s early class 2013 rankings. The Red Raiders have one top 100 prospect committed in Wheeler, the No. 119 prospect in Starts, a third four-star in athlete Reginald Davis (Tenaha, Texas), and five prospects rated 87 to 89.
Blanks was a big get for Clemson
The Red Raiders 2012 recruiting efforts are coming off the heels of a mad dash on signing day and afterwards in 2011 that ended with a recruiting class ranking in the top 25 in the country.
Clemson getting it done early, again
Clemson continues to be one of the top summer recruiting teams in the country and has seen a flurry of commitments during the month of June.
Head coach Dabo Swinney, who had a national reputation as a recruiter when he was an assistant at Clemson before landing the head coaching job, and his staff continue to work the recruiting trail hard.
Of the top two prospects that committed, one was a surprise and one was pretty much a lock during the weeks leading up to his announcement. Four-star defensive back Travis Blanks (Tallahassee, Fla./North Florida Christian) was thought to be a lean to Auburn, at least early in the process, and Clemson recruiter Jeff Scott stepped in and landed him after he visited. Blanks told 247Sports he wasn’t even expecting to commit, but just woke up and decided Clemson was the place he wanted to be. The Tigers are expected to play him at cornerback (other schools wanted him as a safety) and Blanks joins DeAndre McDaniel (Class of 2006) as a player Clemson swipes from the Tallahassee area that had a national offer list.
As for Scott, he continues to show he’s one of the nation’s top recruiters by building solid relationships with prospects and their families. The second pick-up came as no surprise as four-star quarterback Chad Kelly (Buffalo, N.Y./St. Joseph School) was thought to be heading to Upstate South Carolina for college for several weeks heading up to his announcement. In fact, Paul Strelow from Clemson247 speculated correctly in HYPERLINK "http://clemson.247sports.com/Article/Kelly-dominoes-fall-in-CUs-favor-27368"http://clemson.247sports.com/Article/Kelly-dominoes-fall-in-CUs-favor-27368 this article that the nation’s No. 79 overall prospect was likely heading to Clemson three weeks ago. Kelly is a good fit for new offensive coordinator Chad Morris’ offense because of his live arm and good footwork.
The Tigers also landed three in-state prospects -- safety Ronald Geohaghan (Allendale, S.C./Allendale-Fairfax), athlete Cordrea Tankersley (Aiken, S.C./Silver Bluff) and linebacker T.J. Burrell (Goose Creek, S.C.). Geohagan comes from a Clemson pipeline school (current defensive back Bashaud Breeland and former NFL running back Raymond Priester are among the Allendale alums that have gone to CU). Clemson was the first to offer Tankersley and Burrell. Tankersley is one of the most versatile athletes in the state of South Carolina for the 2012 class and Burrell is an athletic linebacker from one of the state’s top talent-producing schools.
Finally, Clemson secured a commitment from one of the top kickers in the Carolinas, Bradley Pinion (Concord, N.C./Northwest Cabarrus). The 6-foot-5, 200-pounder has a big leg (he boomed a 100-yard kickoff during a kicking camp) and picked the Tigers over in-state North Carolina.
Moving forward, it’s very possible Clemson adds another big piece on Sunday when four-star defensive end Martin Aiken (Bamberg, S.C./Bamberg-Erhardt) makes his decision. He is considered to be a lean to the Tigers with South Carolina and Georgia Tech still in the mix. Bamberg-Erhardt sent recent NFL draft picks DaQuan Bowers and Ricky Sapp to Clemson.
Boehm's commitment wrapped up a terrific run for Missouri
Missouri hot too
The Missouri Tigers inked a smaller class of 17 in 2011 not receiving much fan fare and the 2012 class began the same way until recently.
The Tigers started in state on June 8 receiving a commitment from linebacker Donavin Newson (St. Louis, Mo./Parkway). The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder picked Missouri over offers from Tennessee and Nebraska among others.
The following day, Gary Pinkel and staff secured a big commitment from the247 offensive guard Germian Ifedi (Houston, Texas/Westside). The 6-foot-5, 310-pounder with a near 7-foot wing span picked the Tiger over Baylor after almost committing the Bears a few weeks prior.
On June 10, inside linebacker Michael Scherer (St. Louis, Mo./Mary Inst Country Day) gave the Tigers commitments on three straight days. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound versatile defender selected Missouri over offers from Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State, Stanford and a number of others.
Just when Missouri fans thought it couldn’t get any better, June 14 brought two more commitments, including one of the nations best offensive line prospects.
The247 offensive guard Evan Boehm (Lee’s Summit, Mo./West) became the tenth commitment for the Tigers in the 2012 class that day selecting home-state Missouri over Oklahoma, Michigan, Nebraska, Auburn and a host of others.
The 6-foot-3, 290-pound Boehm, the No. 203 prospect in the country, committed the same day as Louisiana defensive back prospect Kentrell Brice (Ruston, La.). The 6-foot-0, 175-pound Brice entertained offers from in-state and the region before making the call to Missouri.
Missouri now has three four-star commitments in Ifedi, Boehm and running back Jonathan Williams (Allen, Texas) along with three other prospects rated 88 to 89.
Poole was one of two members of the247 to commit to Florida in recent days
Several more have stayed hot
Other programs that have continued to stay hot on the recruiting trail are Michigan, Florida State and Florida among others.
Michigan picked up June commitments from the247 defensive end Tom Strobel (Mentor, OH) and offensive tackle Erik Magnuson (Carlsbad, Ca./La Costa Canyon). Strobel is the No. 169 prospect in the247, while Manguson checks in at No. 85 in the top 100.
Florida State picked up recent commitments led by tight end Christo Koutzidis (Orange, Ca./Lutheran). Koutzidis is No. 161 in the247 and the seventh member of the247 to commit to Florida State. The Seminoles added three prospects over the weekend all told.
The Florida Gators also hit big of late with commitments last week from defensive back Brian Poole (Bradenton, Fl./Southeast) and outside linebacker Lorenzo Phillips (Patterson, La.). Poole checks in at No. 143 in the247, while Phillips is No. 111.
National analyst J.C. Shurburtt contributed to this report