Recruiting around the state: Texas

In our latest addition of recruiting around the state of Texas, a national 100 defensive tackle is nearing a decision, a number of top prospects are expected at the Texas-Oklahoma Red River Shootout on Saturday, and several class of 2014 prospects are about to see their stock rise.

Manning staying in state?
It has long been assumed that Dallas Kimball four-star defensive tackle Justin Manning would end up playing for Oklahoma. The nation’s No. 98 overall prospect is the younger brother of former Sooner defensive tackle DeMarcus Granger and made no secret about his affinity for OU early in the recruiting process.

Even though the Sooners offered later than most other schools, it still was a bit surprising that the 6-foot-3, 275-pound U.S. Army All-American did not commit to Oklahoma a while back.

After a recent official visit to Norman, it still seemed like only a matter of time before Manning pulled the trigger, despite other visits to Texas A&M and TCU and one scheduled this coming weekend to LSU.

The tide seems to have changed, though. While the Sooners were once considered the leaders, it now appears that TCU and Texas A&M are the two primary teams battling for his services.

Manning is likely to make an announcement in the next two and, barring a surprise, it will be to either the Horned Frogs or the Aggies. LSU could make a push into the conversation this weekend on his official visit but it is an uphill battle.

Red River Shootout brings out top prospects
As us the case every season, the annual Texas-Oklahoma rivalry game at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas brings out a star-studded list of prospects. The 2012 game will be more of the same with some of the best the states of Texas and Oklahoma have to offer.

In particular, the class of 2014 will be well represented by a number of the nations top prospects.

Class of 2014 visitors
Jamal Adams, S, Lewisville (Texas) Hebron
Otaro Alaka, OLB, Houston (Texas) Cypress Falls
Ty Barrett, OG, Dallas (Texas) Skyline
KD Cannon, WR, Mount Pleasant (Texas)
Deondre Clark, SDE, Oklahoma City (Okl.) Douglass
Cedric Dale, Ath., Keller (Texas) Timber Creek
Derrick Dixon, Ath., Dallas (Texas) Carter
Armanti Foreman, WR, Texas City (Texas) – Oklahoma commitment
D’Onta Foreman, OLB, Texas City (Texas)
Cameron Hampton, LB, Dallas (Texas) Carter
Justice Hansen, QB, Edmond (Okl.) Santa Fe
Nick Harvey, CB/S, Lancaster (Texas)
Demetrius Knox, OT/G, Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints
Koda Martin, OT, Manvel (Texas)
Edward Paris, S/CB, Mansfield (Texas) Timberview)
Brandon Simmons, S, Mansfield (Texas) Timberview
Devon Thomas, RB, Broken Arrow (Okl.)
Solomon Thomas, SDE, Coppell (Texas)
Nick Watkins, CB, Dallas (Texas) Bishop Dunne

Back from a torn ACL, Josh Mabin's stock is expected to skyrocket when his junior video gets out to colleges around the country

Mabin’s stock about to skyrocket
Klein Oak inside linebacker Josh Mabin tore his ACL almost a year ago to the day but the 6-foot-2, 225-pound Top247 prospect is back to full-strength and manning the middle for the Panthers.

Mabin actually picked up his first two offers this spring from Oklahoma and Oklahoma State before he had been cleared to return to action so it is obvious those coaches were not too worried about the injury. Other schools have been slow to re-evaluate him though.

“I really haven’t heard from too many schools lately,” Mabin said on Wednesday evening.

That could change soon, though, as schools will be able to see how he has performed post-injury.

“I’m starting to put together my highlight tape,” he said. “I think it will show them that I can still play and I feel good. I’m worried about the season right now but I should have it done right after that.”

Mabin has not been able to attend any games yet this fall but hopes to make it to both LSU and Oklahoma State before the end of the season.

North Shore 2014 duo will add offers in the near future
Galena Park North Shore junior linebacker Zach Whitley was offered by both Texas and Texas A&M after camp performances this summer, although the Longhorns have yet to make the offer official.

The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Top247 prospect has not paid too much attention to recruiting since the season started but he has added another offer recently from Houston.

Whitley does not have any plans for games at the moment.

His teammate, fellow class of 2014 Top247 prospect Trevon Tate has been to a Houston game already and wants to attend one at LSU as well. While the 6-foot-3, 275-pound offensive guard has yet to pick up his first offer he is hearing from numerous schools. He has an early top three of Houston, LSU and Oklahoma State.

Notes:

- LSU will not only have 2014 five-star cornerback Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen) on campus this weekend, but the Tigers will also be hosting Brown’s sister, Bealoved Brown. Bealoved Brown is a star sprinter in the class of 2013, and where she signs in November will give a program a huge leg up in signing one of the nations best in the 2014 class.

- Texas Tech plays host to West Virginia on Saturday, and is expected a good group of unofficial visitors. Tow of those will be Texas Tech 2014 commitment Jakari Dillard (Princeton, Texas) and G/C prospect Blake Blackmar (Houston, Texas/Clear Lake). Dillard is the son of former Oklahoma standout Stacy Dillard, while Blackmar’s father played at Texas.

National Analyst Gerry Hamilton contributed to this story.

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