NCAA Football

Isaiah Prince to Ohio State: Twitter Reacts to 4-Star OT's Choosing Buckeyes

Ohio State was the king of college football in 2014. On Wednesday, it added a Prince to its ranks.

Isaiah Prince, that is. The 4-star offensive tackle, according to 247Sports, chose to sign with Ohio State on national signing day.

Michael Bohlin of 247Sports recorded the moment Prince made his choice:

Prince had an interesting quote about his decision to flip his commitment to Alabama and join the Buckeyes instead, via AllMetSports:

In The Washington Post article linked in the tweet, Prince explained that he didn't want to officially commit anywhere sooner because it wouldn't have allowed him to take other official visits to school, including Ohio State. The Buckeyes are certainly glad he decided to wait to get married.

As Mike Farrell or Rivals.com noted, this was a recruiting coup for the Buckeyes:

Austin Ward of ESPN thinks bringing Prince aboard to bolster an already strong recruiting class is reminiscent of what Urban Meyer pulled off in 2013:

That 2013 class, of course, played a gigantic role in this year's national championship triumph. And Ari Wasserman of Cleveland.com agreed with Ward, at least in terms of Meyer working his magic once again:

According to 247Sports, Prince is the No. 105 recruit in the nation, the No. 7 offensive tackle and the top prospect from the state of Maryland. He was selected to participate in the 2015 U.S. Army All-American Bowl and joins a strong class of offensive linemen recruited by Meyer. 

The rich get richer, in other words.

Prince will be expected to join a group of young Buckeyes to help Ohio State maintain its crown atop the college football world in the coming years. And given his immense potential, it isn't hard to imagine Prince soon becoming a vital member of the Ohio State program.


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Texas A&M National Signing Day 2015: 5 Takeaways from Aggies' Class

The Texas A&M football coaches signed one of the best recruiting classes in the country on national signing day. Kevin Sumlin and his staff did an outstanding job of addressing the Aggies' needs in this class. 

The Aggies need to improve their defense in order to compete for conference and national titles. Texas A&M has had one of the better offenses in the country since Kevin Sumlin took over the program in 2012. They had the best offense in the SEC in 2012 and 2013, and they averaged 455.4 yards and 35.2 points in 2014. 

The issues with Sumlin's teams have been that the defense has struggled to stop anyone. The offense had to outscore teams because the defense could not get off the field. With four recruiting classes in the fold and new defensive coordinator John Chavis in place, the Aggies are ready make a serious run at the SEC title in 2015. 

In order to compete in the SEC you need to have depth across the board. The 2015 recruiting class will add some depth at a few need positions on defense and offense.

While this was a very good class, there were some misses by the Aggies coaches. The Texas A&M football team could use some more help at cornerback.

This is a look at what Aggies fans should take away from the 2015 Texas A&M signing class.  

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National Signing Day 2015: Early Commitments, Highlights from Top Recruits

Oh, national signing day. It's like Christmas morning for some but can end up being hell for others. Early on Wednesday, several teams improved their 2015 class with some of the top talent in the country.

Some of the best recruits that announced their decisions were Byron Cowart, Soso Jamabo and Martez Ivey. All three players chose different schools, but all have equally promising futures ahead of them.

Several huge decisions are still ahead on national signing day, but the crops for quite a few teams have already improved. Before the evening commits get underway, here's a look at the announcements already made and highlights from the morning.

 

Byron Cowart Commits to Auburn

Coming into the day, Auburn had several players it was hoping to add to an already strong class. Cowart, however, was at the top of said list. The 5-star defensive end is ranked No. 1 at his position and can immediately make an impact for the Tigers.

While his commitment sent Auburn into a frenzy, new defensive coordinator Will Muschamp didn't appear too shocked. Brandon Marcello of the Birmingham News shared a Vine of the former Florida coach's reaction:

Cowart is a big-time athlete who adds to an already talented class that includes Jovon Robinson and Kerryon Johnson. At 6'4" and 250 pounds, the physically imposing defensive end will be a difference-maker for Auburn.

Bringing in Cowart also means they inherit his personality. Some of that shined through on Wednesday when he held a Chuckie doll during his announcement, via Mike Dyce of FanSided:

Serving as the gem of the 2015 class for Auburn so far, Cowart and Chuckie will be more than welcomed by Tigers fans.

 

UCLA Gets Huge Commitment From Soso Jamabo

No team had a better day on Wednesday than the UCLA Bruins. Among the early players that improved the class, Jamabo adds another 5-star player to the backfield for the Bruins.

The running back from Plano, Texas, made the commitment official on ESPNU:

He also made the decision on Twitter by quoting lyrics from Childish Gambino to share his interests in the Bruins:

National signing day never fails to impress, folks. Jamabo not only has one of the best names in the 2015 class, but he will also provide some fun for the UCLA football team.

The aforementioned star-studded backfield for the Bruins includes Josh Rosen, a pro-style quarterback who is already enrolled. Losing Brett Hundley to the NFL draft will create a tough hole to fill, but the talent coming in should help carry the load for head coach Jim Mora.

 

Martez Ivey Improves Florida's Glaring Need

Florida may have missed out on a few recruiting battles, but it got the one it needed the most. Ivey fills a massive hole on the offensive line that the Gators needed to address heading into next season.

New head coach Jim McElwain happily welcomed the lineman to Gainesville:

He'll still have to prove he can take over a starting spot, but the future looks bright for the top offensive tackle for 247Sports. Standing at 6'5.5" and weighing in at 275 pounds, Ivey has the athleticism and frame to make a huge difference for the struggling program.

Coming in with some doubt surrounding his decision, Ivey made the process quick and simple on ESPNU. Landon Watnick of Rivals provides a look at his entire announcement in less than six seconds:

No need to drag it out for a strong but silent player who can change the face of the offensive line. McElwain still has a lot of work to do to turn around the program, but Ivey is a great start for the Gators.

 

All recruiting rankings and information courtesy of 247Sports.

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Tyreek Hill Won't Return to Oklahoma State After Arrest, Dismissal

Tyreek Hill was kicked off of the Oklahoma State football and track teams in December after he was arrested and charged with domestic assault and battery by strangulation after allegedly attacking his pregnant girlfriend. On Wednesday, Oklahoma State confirmed that the running back would not be given a second chance at the school.

Adam Rittenberg of ESPN passes along the comments from head coach Mike Gundy:

The news hardly comes as a surprise, as Oklahoma State swiftly dismissed him from their sporting programs after the incident and Hill could be facing up to three years in prison for his alleged transgressions.

The incident seems likely to derail what might have been a very promising football career. Hill rushed for 534 yards and a touchdown this season while also catching 31 passes for 281 yards and another score. He also returned two kicks for touchdowns and provided the highlight of Oklahoma State's season when his 92-yard punt return in the fourth quarter against Oklahoma forced overtime and sparked a Cowboys win.

If Hill is able to avoid jail time, he'll likely enter the NFL draft. The question for NFL teams will be whether they are willing to take a chance on an incredibly talented player who has a history of domestic abuse after a season in which the Ray Rice incident made domestic abuse the defining issue of the league.

Somebody will likely give Hill a second chance at some point. But it won't be Oklahoma State, and it's hard to know if it will be a team in the NFL.


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Kanya Bell to San Jose State: Spartans Land 4-Star WR Prospect

San Jose State has received a significant boost to its 2015 class with the commitment of 4-star wide receiver Kanya Bell. 

Jimmy Durkin of the San Jose Mercury News shared news of the commitment and comments from head coach Ron Caragher:

Bell, who transferred from Diamond Bar to Long Beach Poly High School in advance of his senior season, is rated as the No. 28 wide receiver and No. 32 player from the state of California in the 2015 class, per 247Sports' composite rankings

More than anything else, he brings speed to table. He has the wheels to threaten secondaries over the top, but he's also quick and elusive, capable of creating separation then making defenders miss in space. 

Size will be a factor. At 6'0" and only 160 pounds, Bell looks like a light breeze could knock him off his route. His quickness and change-of-direction skills will help him quell that problem, but he will still have to add some bulk to his frame before making an impact at the collegiate level, whether he plays wide receiver or cornerback. 

Still, even if he doesn't make much noise as a freshman, Bell's skill set points to a very high upside. He is an exciting playmaker with a bright future. 

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Daylon Mack to Texas A&M: Aggies Land 5-Star DT Prospect

Coveted defensive tackle prospect Daylon Mack has decided to play collegiate football at Texas A&M after previously decommitting from the school. The high-upside interior lineman should provide an immediate boost to the Aggies defense.    

Dan Wolken of USA Today passed along word of the choice:

ESPN's Sam Khan Jr. shared these images of Mack prior to announcing his decision and after:


Mack is one of the best players in the Class of 2015. It sent shock waves throughout the recruiting community when he opted to reconsider his options after originally choosing the Aggies. Not to mention being a major loss for the top program.

He made the announcement himself on social media:

The Gladewater High School (Texas) standout is a 5-star prospect who rates No. 14 overall among incoming freshmen, according to 247Sports' composite rankings. He also ranks fourth among players at his position and second overall for recruits coming out of the football-rich state.

What immediately stands out about Mack is his combination of size and athleticism. He's shown terrific short-area quickness and no shortage of explosiveness at the snap despite being listed at 330 pounds. It's a rare combination.

Given his frame and strength on the inside, he's predictably strong against the run. But those other skills give him a golden opportunity to become a more complete lineman with the ability to become a pass-rushing threat from the middle.

Scout raved about Mack in its prospect report:

Big and strong. He moves extremely well on his first step and can penetrate in to the backfield at times with cat-like quickness, which is quite an attribute for a player easily over 300 pounds. He runs well and is good in pursuit. He plays high at times, but is a difference maker when staying low. Makes the 'wow' play at times. He can get in the gap and blow plays up. Still extremely raw with a ton of upside for development. Strong tackler.

Now the question is how quickly he can turn that immense raw talent into production. Most likely he'll play a rotation role out of the gate, playing in certain defensive looks, before carving out a larger role for himself over time. Depending on his progress, the timetable could hasten.

All told, there are no guarantees in the world of recruiting. Mack sure has the look of a special talent, though. By the time he's an upperclassman he should be one of the most impactful defensive tackles in the country.  



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4-Star Recruit Chris Warren Uses Coin Flip to Choose Texas over Washington

Deciding where to spend four years of your life is a bit too big of a decision to let the flip of a coin decide, right?

Not if you're Chris Warren.

The 4-star running back recruit, per 247 Sports, had a hard time choosing between the University of Texas and the University of Washington.

It was such a tough decision that he needed some help, so he let a coin make the call.

The coin flip resulted in Warren committing to play football for the Longhorns. Had the coin landed the other way, he would have been playing for the Huskies:

Don't believe it?

Even if you still don't believe the coin flip was real, you have to admit Warren did a great job of selling it.

[YouTube, Twitter; h/t Dr. Saturday]

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Daylon Mack to Texas A&M: 5-Star DT Brings Much-Needed Help to Aggies Defense

Daylon Mack, a 5-star defensive tackle, per 247Sports' composite rankings, has committed to Texas A&M. Mack will make a great impact for the Aggies in the future.

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder breaks down the impact this incoming freshman can have at Texas A&M.

What is the ceiling for Mack? Check out the video and let us know!

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DaMarkus Lodge to Ole Miss: Rebels Land 4-Star WR Prospect

Ole Miss received a major boost to its 2015 recruiting class on national signing day, securing the commitment of 4-star wide receiver DaMarkus Lodge.

Ben Garrett of Mississippi.Scout.com announced Lodge's decision and captured a pre-decision image of Lodge from the scene of the announcement:

Lodge, who decommitted from Texas A&M in September, had offers from around the nation, and it's not really difficult to see why.

Rated by 247 Sports' composite rankings as the sixth-best WR and No. 9 overall prospect out of the state of Texas, the Cedar Hill superstar features a tantalizing blend of size (6'2", 190 lbs and long arms) and route-running ability.

Although he doesn't boast breakaway speed or ankle-breaking elusiveness, Lodge is skilled at creating separation and attacking the ball in the air, where he uses his strong hands to come down with anything within a wide radius.

Exhibits A, B and C:

Freshmen wide receivers aren't always able to make immediate impacts at the collegiate level, but Lodge is quite polished. This isn't just a player who used his physical gifts to dominate lesser competition; he is a talented wide receiver and clearly knows how to play the position.

ESPN's scouting report goes into more detail regarding his immense talent:

Is a savvy, precise route runner for a younger player. Comes off the line with purpose and has a plan. Covers a lot of ground quickly with his stride. Can explode out of cuts and his burst step is a long one. Couple that with his size and wingspan and he creates a wide catch radius even versus tight coverage. Works stutter steps and double moves nicely to set up defenders and is very adept at getting vertical by attacking alignment and eating up cushion. He has a very nice feel for coverage and locating voids vs. zone coverage when employed in the slot.

If Lodge gets onto campus and adds a bit of bulk, there's a very good chance he'll be able to contribute for head coach Hugh Freeze right away in 2015.

Even if he doesn't, the Rebels have themselves a game-changing playmaker with an undoubtedly bright future.


Recruit star rating via 247Sports.com.

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Leo Lewis to Mississippi State: Bulldogs Land 4-Star LB Prospect

Mississippi State has picked up one of the top linebackers in the class of 2015 with the addition of Leo Lewis. It adds to a successful signing day for the Bulldogs.

Brookhaven High School Sports confirmed the defender's college choice:

Robby Donoho of WCBI highlighted the latest high-profile commit for the Bulldogs:

Lewis is a 4-star prospect who ranks just outside the top 60 nationally, based on 247Sports' composite rankings. He's also rated as the best inside linebacker in the class and the No. 3 recruit from the state of Mississippi.

All signs point to him developing into a destroyer in the middle. He sports ideal size and power, isn't afraid to take on multiple blockers and has illustrated good short-area quickness. All of the raw tools coaching staffs look for at the position are there.

The one area in which he'll need to improve is coverage. His technique needs work so that when he's asked to guard a tight end or a running back coming out of the backfield in a pass route, he can do a better job of making plays in space.

Otherwise, the outlook is extremely positive. He should be able to make an impact for Mississippi State sooner than later. By the time he's an upperclassman, it wouldn't be a surprise if he's one of the best linebackers in the country.

His development must continue at a steady pace to make that happen. The talent is there, though.

 

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4-Star Recruit Roquan Smith Lists 'Michigan University' as Finalist

Roquan Smith did not make many fans in Ann Arbor on Wednesday.

The 4-star linebacker recruit, per 247 Sports, held a news conference at his high school to announce where he would be playing college football.

His finalists: the UCLA Bruins, the Michigan University Wolverines and the University of Georgia Bulldogs.

Wait, "Michigan University"?

The folks at the University of Michigan probably knew their chances of landing Smith were slim at that point.

Smith committed to UCLA, so at least he knew the name of the school he was choosing.

[Twitter] 

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