Recruits on parade
EJ Holland continues his rankings of the current 2013 recruiting classes.
DCTF's EJ Holland is ranking the current 2013 recruiting classes. Click here to see his rankings of 1-6.
The Skinny: After last week’s events, SMU should leap Houston, which came in at No. 6. The Mustangs stole a commitment from the Cougars in Houston Lamar defensive end Zelt Minor and also landed his teammate Cedric Lancaster. But the big get was former Texas running back Traylon Shead.
Best Commit: TE Jeremiah Gaines, Red Oak (6-3, 235)- Gaines is only one of a handful of SMU commits with multiple BCS offers. He is extremely versatile and can play wide receiver, tight end, running back, defensive end and linebacker. But his future is expected to be on the offensive side of the ball so it will be interesting to see how he is used in June Jones’ Run N’ Shoot offense.
Runner Up: RB Traylon Shead, Navarro JC (6-2, 220)- As mentioned above, the former Texas Longhorn tailback committed to SMU last week and will fill an immediate hole at running back with the graduation of Zach Line. As a senior at Cayuga, Shead rushed for over 3,000 yards but just got lost in the shuffle at Texas. He will have two years of eligibility remaining.
Hidden Gem: WR JaBryce Taylor, Lufkin (6-1, 185)- Taylor may not be the fastest wide out, but he’s smooth on the field and is having a senior season to remember with 51 receptions for 834 yards and six touchdowns through eight games. It’s very surprising that he doesn’t hold any other offers.
8. Texas State
The Skinny: The Bobcats have a nice little class building up, as the future looks bright in San Marcos. Texas State is attracting some intriguing Texas prospects including an array of pass catching playmakers. Don’t be surprised if more and more of the state’s top talent starts considering Texas State as National Signing Day approaches.
Best Commit: ATH Demun Mercer, La Marque (6-2, 185)- Mercer did not want to pass up the opportunity to play with his brother and committed to Texas State over SMU and Rice last month. The former Houston Chavez quarterback is now the star signal caller at La Marque and is putting up impressive numbers, but he is expected to play wide receiver at the next level.
Runner Up: WR Brice Gunter, Stephenville (6-3, 185)- If Gunter can fill his frame, he will without a doubt be an explosive receiver on the outside for the Bobcats in the near future. Gunter has the size and speed to create mismatches and he’ll catch anything that comes way.
Hidden Gem: ATH Brandon McDowell, DeSoto (5-9, 170)- After watching him play a couple of weeks ago, programs are really missing out on McDowell. He plays both ways at DeSoto- wide receiver and cornerback- and has tons of potential. With no other offers, Texas State pounced and really found a good one.
The Skinny: Nothing has really changed about Rice’s recruiting class since August. The Owls have the same 12 commits but hope to add a few wide receivers to help quarterback commit Nate German out of Cypress Woods.
Best Commit: TE Cole Hunt, El Campo (6-7, 240)- Regarded as one of the top-100 players in the state by various recruiting services, Hunt is easily one of the top-5 tight ends in the state. He’s a big target with solid hands but must bulk up to contribute a blocker in the run game.
Runner Up: DB Anthony Canady, Mesquite (5-9, 170)- Mesquite is having quite memorable season and a lot of the success can be attributed to the defense, which is anchored by Canady. Although he has no other offers, Canady doesn’t get beat very often and speed to keep up with just about any wide out.
Hidden Gem: TE Robby Wells, Katy Taylor (6-6, 225)- Wells may not have the hype Hunt does, but he could very well develop into a better player than his fellow commit. Like Hunt, Wells is extremely tall and athletic target, but he must improve his speed.
The Skinny: Like Texas State, UTSA is becoming more and more popular with recruits. The fact the Roadrunners are now competing in the WAC coupled with the opportunity to play in San Antonio makes UTSA a very attractive place to play at especially for recruits with just a few offers.
Best Commit: QB Austin Robinson, Bellaire Episcopal (6-4, 210)- With so many great quarterback prospects in Texas, it’s easy to overlook Robinson. But the dynamic, dual-threat quarterback can certainly sling the ball around. As a junior he passed for 1,479 yards and 13 touchdowns and also rushed for 521 yards and 12 scores.
Runner Up: LB Kenneth O’Neal, South Grand Prairie (6-1, 215)- Other Texas teams will be sorry they passed on O’Neal. With offers from Indiana, Tulsa, ULM, O’Neal decided to stay closer to home and committed to UTSA just a couple of weeks ago. Mark my words, he will be a stalwart on this defense for the next four years.
Hidden Gem: Justin Chavez, Irvin MacArthur (5-11, 190)- In a scheme that features five defensive backs, it’s vital for UTSA to add depth at safety. Chavez brings that and more. Don’t let his lack of offers scare you, he has the quickness and speed be an impact safety at the next level.
11. North Texas
The Skinny: Despite getting ready to move to Conference USA, prospects don’t seem to be overly impressed. UNT’s class of 10 is less than stellar to say the least but the Mean Green still have a few to sell their program and the positive direction it’s heading in.
Best Commit: DB John Schilleci, Denton Guyer (6-0, 190)- Schilleci passed up an opportunity to play for Mike Leach at Washington State in favor of staying to play for his hometown team. Schelleci has the skillset to he a leader in the secondary and a true defensive star.
Runner Up: LB Fred Scott, Kennedale (5-11, 225)- Considered to be a bit undersized, Scott packs a punch. He can deliver a big hit defensively but can also pave the way for running backs. At Kennedale, Scott plays both linebacker and fullback and can be successful at either position for the Mean Green.
Hidden Gem: LB Calvin Minor, Lewisville (6-3, 195)- Hendrick Ekpe gets all the headlines on the Lewisville defense, but Minor is a fierce pass rusher with all the intangibles to develop into a complete outside linebacker at UNT.
The Skinny: November is just a few days away, and UTEP has only seven verbal commitments, which is the lowest of any Texas school. With Mike Price on the hot seat, it’s not a surprise that more prospects are looking at trendy schools such as Texas State and UTSA over UTEP.
Best Commit: DB Jaylon Scott, Dallas Carter (5-9, 165)- The Miners must hold onto to Scott until National Signing Day or this class will take a major hit. With multiple BCS offers, Scott spurned bigger programs and committed to UTEP in August. Although he is only 5-foot-9, Scott has 4.4 speed and is an extremely physical corner.
Runner Up: DT Dewan Edmonson, Manvel (6-2, 255)- Solid interior defensive linemen are hard to come by, but UTEP reeled in a dominant force in Edmonson. Last season, he recorded 75 tackles and five sacks as he helped Manvel reach the state title game.
Hidden Gem: DB Quentin Tezeno, West Orange Stark (5-11, 170)- Tezeno is really flying under the radar but could be a nice compliment to Scott as the other cornerback. Tezeno was a first-team All-District selection last season and like Scott, he has impressive speed.
E.J. Holland is a special contributor to Dave Campbell's Texas Football and TexasFootball.com.