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Jeffery Holland to Auburn: Tigers Land 4-Star LB Prospect

Jeffery Holland, the star linebacker recruit from Trinity Christian Academy in Florida, will be attending Auburn.  

Holland announced his decision on signing day, via Keith Niebuhr of 247Sports.com:

One of the best defensive players in the 2015 recruiting class, Holland ranks as a 4-star prospect and No. 8 outside linebacker, according to 247Sports.com

Holland had his choice of top programs, with Auburn, Florida and UCLA as the leading contenders. 

Auburn was considered the favorite to land Holland, holding a slight edge over Florida in 247Sports' crystal ball predictions. The linebacker said the week of the Under Armour All-American Game, via Chris Hays of The Orlando Sentinel, that the Tigers' surge involved a decision Will Muschamp being hired by Auburn after being fired from Florida:

"I think Auburn is the leader right now," Holland said. "I'm familiar with the coaches there and I feel at home there. I like Florida and UCLA and I'm going to take my official to UCLA [Jan. 16]."

Hays also wrote that Muschamp began recruiting Holland "early in his high school career" and the defensive star has "grown fond of the former Gators coach."

Whatever led to Holland's decision, he's undoubtedly given it a lot of thought and consideration. He's already physically developed at 6'2" and 230 pounds, so it wouldn't be a shock to see him on the field as a true freshman. 

Holland brings speed and athleticism to a defense, as well as an intimidation factor because he moves all over the field and makes hard hits. He's a special talent who can transform the edge of any defense in 2015. 


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Ryan Newsome to Texas: 4-Star WR Flips from UCLA to Longhorns

Coveted wide receiver recruit Ryan Newsome committed to UCLA a couple of weeks ago but has changed his mind and joined Texas' 2015 class on national signing day.

Ryan Bartow of 247Sports broke the news. Jimmy Burch of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram passed along a statement from the wideout, who explained why he ultimately signed with the Longhorns:

First and foremost I would like to honor and thank coach Jim Mora, coach Eric Yarber and the UCLA family for sticking with me through this entire process. That program and those people are as good as it gets and it is truly a special place. However after a lot of prayer and tireless consulting with my family I decided that I will start my collegiate journey at the University of Texas. It has by far been the toughest process of my life especially deciding between these final two schools but I feel that it came down to my family and friends being able to see me play and getting to share these precious moments right along with me. My heart is where my family is and my family is in Texas.

More than anything else, the late flip is a reminder of how difficult these decisions are for high school athletes. Newsome originally thought UCLA was the right choice, but after taking more time to think about it, he felt Texas was the better fit. 

Clearly, family considerations were a major part of the choice. In the end, he decided he'd be more comfortable if he stayed close to home. 

Newsome is a 4-star prospect who ranks as the No. 225 recruit in the class, according to 247Sports' composite rankings. He's also among the top 30 wide receivers, coming in at No. 27. 

He projects as a dynamic weapon at the collegiate level. He lacks size (5'8'', 170 pounds), which could limit his overall impact, but if you get the ball in his hands, he'll make things happen.

The Aledo High School (Texas) product is lightning-quick, can make defenders miss with tremendous agility and has the speed to beat defenses over the top. Texas will best utilize him in limited doses.

His first impact may come on special teams. The skill set mentioned above can help the Longhorns in the return game, while he waits for his role on offense to increase.

It's an unexpected late coup for Texas and provides a nice boost to the 2015 class.

 

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Marcus Lewis to FSU: Seminoles Land 4-Star ATH Prospect

Months after decommitting from the University of Florida, Marcus Lewis has found a new home. Lewis announced on National Signing Day he will be attending Florida State, choosing the Seminoles over Washington State, Kentucky and Miami.

FSU announced the news on Twitter:

A 4-star athlete from Gonzaga High School in Washington, D.C., Lewis initially committed to Florida last April before re-opening his recruitment a few months later. The Gators were still among the schools he was planning on considering, but Kentucky appeared to be taking a lead. Teammate Jabari Greenwood's commitment in Lexington seemed to be holding sway in December.

“It’s definitely important. Jabari is like family, we played high school ball together, he’s like my brother," Lewis told Tyler Thompson of Kentucky Sports Radio. "It’s real important to have a family feel on campus away from home. It’s really important.”

247Sports' Crystal Ball projections pegged nonetheless pegged Michigan as the favorites. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh comes with a professional pedigree that would make anyone reconsider his commitment. Having Harbaugh around instead of the constantly embattled Brady Hoke was also a reason to consider the Wolverines a darkhorse. 

Ultimately, Lewis felt FSU offered him the best opportunity to success at the college level.

Viewed by most as being a better long-term fit at defensive back, Lewis brings a tantalizing all-around game, including a 40 time of 4.38 seconds, per his 247Sports profile. He has excellent hands and uses his knowledge on both sides of the ball to his advantage. He has an innate feel for jumping in front of routes defensively and has a few subtleties in his route-running that stand out after watching him for a while.

The flip side to that is Lewis sometimes has an over-confidence in his skills. Jumping routes makes you look like a genius when you're right. It can break an entire defensive play when you're incorrect. Too often Lewis, even at his considerable skill advantage over competition, can get himself into trouble with fits of aggression.

Figuring out his ultimate position will be the first job for Jimbo Fisher. While he'll probably wind up at cornerback or safety, his somewhat slight frame (6'1", 187 pounds) makes him look like a receiver. He'd have to bulk up to be a consistent help against SEC rushing attacks if he winds up at safety. Cornerback would probably be his ideal position in the interim.

Even without a position, Lewis is considered among the best prep players in the nation. He's ranked No. 139 by 247Sports' composite national rankings, placing eighth among athletes. He's also another coup for Fisher, who now has his program ranking 3rd in the nation.

 

Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter

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Drew Richmond to Tennessee: Volunteers Land 4-Star OT Prospect

Drew Richmond appeared set become an Ole Miss Runnin' Rebel next season. But at the last moment he decided to de-commit to the school and choose Tennessee instead.  

"Top-100 offensive tackle Drew Richmond of Memphis (Tenn.) University School has decommitted from Ole Miss, sources told 247Sports' Ryan Bartow and David Johnson on Monday night," Ryan Callahan of 247Sports reported.

Not long after, he was a Tennessee man. Josh Ward of WMNL shared the news:

Richmond, a 6'5" and 310-pound offensive tackle, is considered a 4-star prospect by 247Sports' composite system. The ranking site lists him as the No. 54 player in the country, the No. 3 offensive tackle and the No. 2 player from the state of Tennessee.

The highly regarded tackle was invited to "The Opening," the Nike all-star camp for standout high-school prospects. He was also an Under Armour All-American selection.

Richmond is a mauler in the running game, and his length and build should help him continue to evolve as a pass-blocker as well. You can see him in action below:

This is obviously a huge get for Tennessee and a huge loss for Ole Miss, as Hugh Freeze and company are probably extremely disappointed to lose out on Richmond at the last moment. The No. 3 tackle in this class has the potential to develop into a very special player at the tackle position and could compete for a starting spot almost immediately. 

In the dog eat dog world of college recruiting, last-minute commitment changes are par for the course. For Ole Miss, however, that doesn't make Richmond's decision sting any less.

 

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5-Star RB Recruit Soso Jamabo Uses Childish Gambino Lyrics to Commit to UCLA

If his national signing day commitment message is any indication, Soso Jamabo will have news outlets leasing additional server space just to stockpile the memorable quotes he’ll be dropping over the next few years.

Jamabo, a 5-star running back recruit out of West Plano High School (Texas), tweeted his intent to join the UCLA football program on Wednesday morning.

Yep. Jamabo committed to UCLA with lyrics from Childish Gambino's "You See Me." 

Warning: Video features NSFW language.

After all of the lengthy speeches, handwritten notes and tours of million-dollar facilities, sometimes it comes down to personnel for high school players. Does your school have the right people in place for recruits to feel comfortable and flourish? 

Jamabo obviously knows what he likes, and my spider senses insist this won’t be the last time he’ll drop quote-worthy material on a national audience.

And even though Texas was reportedly a contender along with UCLA, it seems Jamabo narrowed down his choices even further. SB Nation's James Dator posted a Vine of the running back's commitment ceremony, where he had to choose between a UCLA hat and another UCLA hat.

It was a close call, but he eventually went with the blue hat.

Excellent choice, Jamabo. Blue is the king of colors.

On a somewhat related note, this is Jamabo's Twitter bio.

Yes, Jamabo also appears to be a fan of O.T. Genasis' "CoCo."

Welp, I think I just fell in love with the Soso. This kid is hilarious. Please continue being you, Soso.

 

Dan commits to Twitter, where all the angry Internet people reside.

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Auburn DC Will Muschamp Stays Cool After 5-Star Recruit Commits to Tigers

When a coaching staff lands one of the top recruits in the country, it has a right to celebrate.

Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp must have missed that memo.

On Wednesday, Byron Cowart—whom 247Sports lists as a 5-star recruit—committed to Auburn. However, Muschamp didn't provide much of a reaction when he found out he was getting a 6'4", 250-pound defensive end to work with in the fall.

The Armwood High School (Seffner, Florida) product was the No. 1 recruit at his position, so it's OK to give high-fives after landing him. Or at least smile.

Cowart committed to the Tigers with the help of Chucky from Child's Play, per The Independent Florida Alligator's Graham Hall:

The Chucky doll was a clear sign of loyalty to Muschamp, who had a history with the doll at the University of Florida.

[Vine]

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Daylon Charlot to Alabama: Crimson Tide Land 4-Star WR Prospect

Alabama added another big piece to its already impressive class of 2015 haul on national signing day as the Crimson Tide received a commitment from wide receiver Daylon Charlot.

Charlie Potter of 247Sports first reported the major coup by head coach Nick Saban:

According to 247Sports, the Patterson, Louisiana native is a four-star prospect who ranks as the No. 9 wideout and No. 90 player overall recruit.

Bama securing Charlot is significant due to his immense potential, but also because the Tide outflanked rival LSU and blocked the Tigers from keeping the talented pass-catcher in state, per John Zenor of The Associated Press:

It may take a bit of time before Charlot becomes a significant part of Lane Kiffin's offense at Alabama, but he gives the Tide some much-needed depth at wide receiver in the wake of Amari Cooper making the jump to the NFL.

Bama didn't get much production out of the receiver position outside of Cooper in 2014, so perhaps Charlot saw an opportunity to make an instant impact.

Whatever the case, he has an extremely bright future with the Crimson Tide, and they may have found their next great pass-catcher as well.

 

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter

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Ryan Davis to Auburn: Tigers Land 4-Star WR Prospect

After a handful of schools made their final pitches to him over the last month or so, Ryan Davis revealed where he'll be playing in 2015. 

The 4-star wide receiver officially committed to Auburn, courtesy of Rodney Page of the Tampa Bay Times, who also provided an image of Davis from the scene:

Prior to Davis' announcement, ESPN's Jeremy Crabtree felt Davis might pick Auburn to join top recruit Byron Cowart, who committed to Auburn earlier in the morning:

By now, the vast majority of wideouts had already made their decisions. That left the race for Davis' signature all the more heated. According to 247Sports' composite rankings, he is the 24th-best wide receiver and 188th-best player overall in the 2015 recruiting class.

Davis racked up his frequent-flier miles as he zeroed in on a school.

Early in January, he spoke about getting a first-hand look at the Auburn campus and how he might fit in with the team.

"It's a great place. I love it here," Davis said, per Wesley Sinor of AL.com. "The weather's not cold like I thought it was. I love every bit of it. It's a family here and somewhere I know I can be well-grounded."

Davis then spent the weekend visiting the Alabama Crimson Tide.

He traveled to Gainesville, Florida, back on Jan. 25, per Thomas Goldkamp of 247Sports:

A few days later, Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn made sure the Tigers weren't too far from Davis' mind, per Derek Tyson of ESPN.com:

Through it all, Florida remained the favorite to secure Davis' commitment.

"The big one, however, would be four-star receiver Ryan Davis, who could land at any number of schools despite being considered a heavy Florida lean," wrote Rivals' Rob Cassidy. "Any program but the Gators would be a bit of a shock, but Alabama is still a player in his recruitment."

It's not hard to see why Davis created such a heated battle between top schools heading into signing day. However, Page noted Will Muschamp was a factor in Davis ultimately deciding to sign with Auburn.

He could be an explosive weapon in the right offense. Davis isn't a track star in terms of speed, but he accelerates into his top gear in a short amount of time. He's also agile enough to escape sticky situations and get into the open field.

Getting a player of Davis' quality this late into the recruiting process is a major boost for the program. While not viewed as a transformative player in terms of Auburn's future, he should become a key member of the Tigers in a few years.

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Carlton Davis to Auburn: Tigers Land 4-Star CB Prospect

Former Ohio State commit Carlton Davis is bound for Auburn.

Justin Hokanson of AuburnUndercover.com has news of the 4-star cornerback's decision:   

Davis, who revealed in late January he wouldn't be signing with the Buckeyes on National Signing Day, is the No. 33 corner and No. 50-ranked recruit out of Florida in the 2015 class, per 247Sports' composite rankings

Possessing a rare blend of size (6'2", 184 lbs) and athletic ability, the Norland (Miami, Florida) star has the physical tools to match up with big, fast receivers on the outside. He's also a tough, downhill player—ESPN lists him as a safety—who can make tackles in the running game. 

This isn't the biggest loss for the Buckeyes—Urban Meyer's 2015 class already features 4-star cornerbacks Jamel Dean, Eric Glover-Williams and Denzel Ward, as well as 3-star corner Joshua Norwood. 

But that doesn't mean it's not a tremendous pickup for Gus Malzahn and his staff. 

Even if Davis doesn't make a major impact as a true freshman—at the very least, he's a good candidate for special teams—he has all the traits to become a lock-down corner in the future. 

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National Signing Day 2015: Afternoon Announcement Schedule and Predictions

College football fans are falling over themselves trying to keep track of all the moves on national signing day. Some of the top recruits made their intentions known before Wednesday, but several have waited until Wednesday to grab the spotlight. 

Given the importance of this day to the future of every program in the country, it's no wonder fans want to keep up with the big happenings. This is the kind of day when social media sites such as Twitter come in handy. 

For some context about why it's important to succeed on this day, look at this stat from ESPN's Jeremy Crabtree about the last four national champions:

With that in mind, here's a look at the afternoon schedule for announcements and predictions about where the top recruits will go. 

 

Prediction: WR Damarkus Lodge to Ole Miss

The afternoon starts with a bang thanks to Damarkus Lodge, the 43rd-ranked player in this class. The Texas native has kept everyone in his home state in suspense, but the tea leaves seem to indicate he will be leaving the area. 

Christian Byrd of Rebel Sports Radio provided this note on Twitter about where Lodge didn't go last weekend before making his decision Wednesday:

Lodge didn't make the trip to Austin, but that didn't prevent Charlie Strong and his staff from making a last-ditch effort to get the star wideout. Colt Barber of 247Sports wrote on January 26 that seven Longhorns coaches went to Cedar Hill to meet with him. 

Barber also reported on January 27 that the Longhorns had offered Joey McGuire, Lodge's high school coach, a job as the special teams/tight ends coach, but there's a potential hitch in the plan:

His son is a quarterback on the team, and sources indicate he’d like to see him all the way through his senior season. McGuire has already been offered two assistant positions from other programs this offseason, but he turned both down.

Coaches throughout the state feel McGuire would be a great fit on a college staff.

Not taking a trip to Austin suggests Lodge has more or less made up his mind. Ole Miss has been the favorite for a long time, getting 64 percent of the votes on 247Sports' crystal ball predictions, well ahead of Texas A&M (21 percent) and Texas (7 percent). 

Regardless of Texas' late push to get in Lodge's good graces, Ole Miss has the decided advantage and should be happy when he makes his decision.

 

Prediction: DT Daylon Mack to Texas A&M

After catching their breath following Lodge's announcement, fans will be on edge once again as star defensive tackle Daylon Mack, who is ranked 14th overall, makes his decision. 

Like Lodge, there doesn't seem to be much drama with Mack's choice. Per Travis Brown of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the star defender has already made his decision after a long, fickle process:

Consensus five-star defensive tackle Daylon Mack of Gladewater has told TCU that he will be signing with Texas A&M on National Signing Day, a source confirmed Tuesday.

After a rollercoaster month of making and canceling visits to schools, Mack had narrowed his decision to Texas A&M, TCU and Texas.

Texas A&M had Mack’s commitment once before, but Mack decommitted Dec. 19 and tweeted a day later that his top two were LSU and TCU.

The Aggies moved back into the mix after hiring John Chavis away from LSU as their defensive coordinator, based on Mack's comments to Derek Tyson of ESPN.com:

It’s huge. He’s one of the reasons I was considering LSU, but because of that I’m going to change my visit plans around. 

I’m no longer going to visit LSU now. I’ll officially visit Texas on Jan. 17, A&M on the 23rd, and TCU unofficially on the 30th.

One thing that does stand out about Lodge and Mack is the fact that Texas continues to whiff on top in-state recruits. The Longhorns should have no problems getting players to Austin; the campus is gorgeous, and they are the most popular team. 

Unfortunately for Strong and his staff, high school kids don't care about the past when they see other programs around the area—in state or down South—having so much success. 

Texas' loss will be a huge gain for Texas A&M, as Mack will provide a tremendous boost to Kevin Sumlin's recruiting class. 

 

Prediction: DE CeCe Jefferson to Florida

The greatest mystery of the later recruiting announcements rests with star defensive end CeCe Jefferson. The No. 7 player in this class has been running hot and cold with Mississippi and Florida for weeks, with one seemingly taking the lead depending on what day it is. 

At the Under Armour All-American Game in December, Jefferson told Barton Simmons of 247Sports that Ole Miss was his top choice:

Ole Miss, I would say Ole Miss is my top school right now. Ole Miss is great man. Coach (Hugh) Freeze, what he has going is amazing. I took my official when they played Bama and it was like no other. They treated me well. The program's great. The guys are great and I just know if I go there I'll get taken care of and they'll get me prepared for the next level and I'll get a great education. And plus I know Coach Freeze is going to be there for a while, great stability.

However, as time has passed, the Gators have picked up steam. It seemed like the firing of Will Muschamp was going to hinder their efforts, but the possible allure of staying in his home state is the motivation Jefferson needs. 

The Gators have a strong edge in 247Sports' crystal ball rankings over Ole Miss, 66-34, and Derek Tyson of ESPN agreed with that sentiment:

It's been a turbulent time in Gainesville this recruiting season. Changing coaches left the program scrambling to keep the prospects Muschamp was targeting, and it entered Wednesday ranked 42nd in this year's class. Today's events will change that status, with Jefferson moving the program way up the list. 

 

Prediction: CB Iman Marshall to USC

The top prospect making his decision Wednesday afternoon is Iman Marshall, the No. 4 overall player in this year's class. It also seems like there may be some late drama brewing for the star defensive back. 

Marshall has been linked to USC for a long time, and every pre-signing day projection has the Trojans as the overwhelming favorites. 

Per Rick Ballou of 92.5 FM in Jacksonville, citing his own radio interview with Jamie Newberg of Scout.com, it would be a massive upset if Marshall ended up anywhere outside of Southern California:

According to Greg Biggins of Scout.com, via Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports, Michigan has made a late push to get Marshall away from his home state:

USC is the childhood favorite and where everyone has predicted Marshall would end up, but there has been some recent buzz that they may not be the lock everyone (myself included) assumed. Jim Harbaugh came in for a home visit Monday night and the Wolverines have made a very positive impression.

Michigan is one of the wild cards in this class. Jim Harbaugh hasn't had a lot of time to get out on the recruiting trail, but his track record in college and the NFL could resonate with a lot of young players.

The Wolverines won't have a huge class this year, so stealing one or two big stars will go a long way toward building this program the way Harbaugh wants to. It doesn't feel like Michigan is a significant threat to get Marshall, though, so expect the Trojans to be happy. 

 

All recruiting rankings and information courtesy of 247Sports.

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Soso Jamabo to UCLA: Bruins Land 5-Star RB Prospect

The top running back in the nation, Soso Jamabo, has chosen where he will play his college football. And boy, is UCLA glad he chose them. 

ESPN's Adam Rittenberg described Jamabo's announcement:

Jamabo is considered a 5-star prospect by 247Sports' Composite Rankings. He's the No. 32 overall prospect in the country, the No. 2 running back and No. 4 player in the state of Texas.

Standing at 6'2" and 210 pounds, he has the rare combination of size, speed and agility that the top backs often possess. He's certainly motivated to prove he can be a top player, as he posted on his Twitter account last April:

He certainly has picked up one habit of successful athletes—finding any criticism sent his way and using it as motivation:

His highlight reel certainly helps back up his claim that he's the top back in the nation, however.

In his time at Plano West, Jamabo has rushed for 7,332 yards, 122 rushing touchdowns and caught 67 passes for 1,240 yards and 10 more touchdowns. He was named to the 2014 All-USA First Team by USA Today and was selected for the 2015 Under Armour All-America Game, per 247Sports.

Given his obvious athletic ability and a motivation to be the best, Jamabo is the sort of player that could make an impact the moment he reaches campus. He's a player that NFL teams will be watching very closely and a running back that UCLA will likely be building their offense around soon enough. 

Jamabo proved he was the top running back in his recruiting class heading into college. Now he has a bigger challenge ahead—to prove he can be the best running back in college football before his time is up. 

He certainly seems to be up for the task.

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Toby Weathersby to LSU: Tigers Land 4-Star OT Prospect

LSU added to an already strong recruiting class by landing offensive tackle Toby Weathersby. It's a terrific early addition on national signing day for the Tigers.

The signing was confirmed by LSU Football:

Shea Dixon of 247Sports points out the amount of talent the Tigers have added up front on offense:

Weathersby is a 4-star prospect who ranks just outside the top 100 for the Class of 2015, according to 247Sports' composite rankings. He's also listed as the No. 6 tackle in the class and the outlet noted Arkansas and Oklahoma were among the other interested teams.

He's an imposing presence for an incoming freshman at 6'4.5'' and nearly 300 pounds. Along with the impressive frame, he's showcased solid movement. That helps both in terms of getting to the second level in run blocking and handling speed rushers in pass protection.

The Westfield High School (Texas) product could stand to add a little more power. That will probably be the focus early in his career as he adapts to handling the top edge players at the collegiate level. He's also got some technique issues to work on with the LSU staff.

Otherwise, the outlook is mostly positive. He possesses the skill set necessary to handle the all-important left tackle position. Like many underclassmen, however, he may start on the right side before eventually shifting over.

A very nice pick up to help kick off signing day for the Tigers.

 

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Byron Cowart to Auburn: Tigers Land 5-Star DE Prospect

Byron Cowart, one of the premier defensive end prospects in the class of 2015, has immediately bolstered Auburn's crop of incoming freshmen on Wednesday in announcing his commitment to the Tigers.

ESPN reported Cowart's decision:

Hailing from Armwood High School in Seffner, Florida, Cowart is rated as a 5-star prospect, the No. 1 strong-side defensive end and third-best recruit in the nation, according to 247Sports' composite rankings. That suggests he's ready to make an immediate impact in college, and both his skill set and mature build help his cause.

Cowart is already 6'4", 250 pounds and runs a 4.60-second 40-yard dash, per his 247Sports profile. As a junior, he registered 13 sacks and piled up 72 total tackles. In 2014, he had 21 tackles for loss, 11 sacks and five forced fumbles.

Possessing such an impressive blend of speed and athleticism has allowed Cowart to dominate his formidable high school competition, so he could very well wind up producing similar results in college.

With the ability to play the run well and to stand up on the edge and sink into coverage if needed, the versatility Cowart brings to the gridiron makes him a particularly coveted prospect. Although he's proven he can bull-rush with effectiveness, he'll have to use the other moves in his arsenal to find success against better competition.

Former NFL head coach and current ESPN analyst Herm Edwards coached Cowart before the Under Armour All-America game and gave a glowing review, per BayNews9.com's Ryan Bass:

Defensively, he's a game changer, but he goes about his business. He's a leader and he was our team captain. You could tell by the first day when you've got select captains, I'm going that guy right there is going to be a captain. ...

... He plays when the moment is big, and he gets it. He's a hard-working guy and he has a fantastic motor. He won't live off his talent. He's going to work at it. Whoever gets this guy, I'll tell you what, look out.

ESPN's Derek Tyson was impressed with Cowart's performance in the big game, too:

Cowart has an incredibly quick first step and explodes out of his stance once the ball is snapped. There is a sense of anticipation and a knack for diagnosing plays that's evident on tape, which bodes well for Cowart to crack the starting lineup sooner than later.

Cowart can use his hands effectively to disengage blockers, swim past offensive linemen and gain inside leverage to drive his way into the opposing backfield. It doesn't even look as though he moves fast on the field, yet he still covers a ton of ground in a very short amount of time and usually finishes off the play with a violent collision.

Raw power and strength is important for any lineman to succeed at the highest level of college football.

In addition to possessing those traits, it's evident that Cowart is intent on improving his game and seems to just be realizing his potential, which translates well to his future and long-term outlook. Now that he's added some finesse to his game and will only be coached up with even more intensity, Cowart has a seemingly limitless ceiling as a pass-rusher and a game-changing force that offenses have to game-plan around.

Special teams likely won't be a phase such a special player in Cowart will have to go through. He should crack the defensive line rotation and could even line up inside if he adds more bulk to become a disruptive force who can collapse the pocket from the interior.

Cowart is too polished and capable of producing big plays not to see the field right away in some fashion as a prominent contributor to the defense.


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Chris Clark Commits to UCLA: 4-Star TE Will Be Major Offensive Weapon for Bruins

The long and winding recruitment of Connecticut tight end Chris Clark has led him to Los Angeles, per ESPN College Football : The 4-star prospect announced his intentions ...

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Chris Clark to UCLA: Bruins Land 4-Star TE Prospect

One of the most coveted pass-catchers in the 2015 recruiting class is off the market, as tight end Chris Clark has announced his college decision.  

Clark announced on ESPNU he will be attending UCLA. ESPN CollegeFootball provided an image from Clark's announcement:

Kevin McGuire of NBC Sports' College Football Talk noted it was an important win for Jim Mora:

Clark is ranked as the No. 2 tight end in the class and 85th-best player overall by 247Sports.com. He initially committed to the University of Michigan, but Brady Hoke's firing led to him having a change of heart by posting a note on Twitter:

According to Nick Baumgardner of MLive.com, Clark was one of eight Michigan recruits to decommit from the school due to the disappointing 2014 season and/or Hoke's firing. 

Clark's note did say he remained interested in Michigan and 247Sports' Crystal Ball prediction had the Wolverines listed as the overwhelming favorite for his services at 63 percent. Steve Willfong of 247Sports.com reported that Clark was taking an official visit to the school, as well as UCLA in January. 

The Connecticut native will immediately present matchup problems for the Bruins. Clark is listed at 6'6" and 247 pounds, boasting the size of a defensive end with speed and athleticism to outrun linebackers at the college level. 

There aren't a lot of difference-making tight ends in college football right now. Clark has a chance to be among the best right away, as long as he can adapt to the speed of the game and find the right quarterback to help ease his transition. 

A quarterback's best friend is a good tight end. They serve as a safety net over the middle with the size to run over defenders. Clark is a special athlete who will have a fruitful college career because of his ability to make plays in traffic. 

 

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K.J. Hill to Ohio State: Buckeyes Land 4-Star WR Prospect

Ohio State is already on the board early on national signing day by landing wide receiver K.J. Hill. It's a major addition to the 2015 class for the reigning champion Buckeyes.

Jeremy Birmingham of Eleven Warriors reports Hill made the choice during a press conference at North Little Rock High School. The decision was reportedly made last night:

Since his visit, Hill's recruitment has taken twists and turns but confidence from the Buckeye remained strong even in the face of reports that Alabama had made a late push. According to sources, Hill and his family informed Ohio State last night that he would be signing with the Buckeyes this morning.

Justin Ferguson of the Sporting News notes Ohio State edged Alabama and Arkansas, where Hill originally committed, in the hotly contested recruiting battle:

Hill is a 4-star prospect who ranks just outside the top 150 nationally, according the 247Sports' composite rankings. He also rates as the No. 16 receiver in the class and the top player coming out of Arkansas in 2015.

The most impressive part of his game is making plays in space. What he lacks in size, he more than makes up for with terrific playmaking ability. He can take a quick slant route and beat several defenders to pick up the first down with relative ease.

He'll likely need to add more power to his frame before he becomes a consistent contributor at the next level. It's always a delicate balance, though. He doesn't want to overdo it, causing him to lose the quickness and agility that have made him a coveted prospect.

By adding Hill early, Ohio State puts itself on course for another successful signing day.

 

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