The 2014 recruiting cycle is now behind us (at least for everyone not named Malik McDowell) and it is time to look ahead to 2015. We’ll start with the program that took home recruiting honors last week, the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Not only did Nick Saban’s team finish first in every 2014 recruiting ranking, the Tide also added a couple of 2015 commitments right around signing day. Wide receiver Daylon Charlot is a 6-foot-0, 180-pounder from Patterson, La. This past fall he grabbed 48 passes for 1,055 yards and 16 touchdowns for Patterson High School. Most considered Charlot an LSU lean, but the Tigers had not offered and when the Tide came through with a scholarship at a recent Junior Day, he immediately accepted. Charlot had also received interest from Arizona State, Louisiana Tech, and Mississippi State.
Lester Cotton from nearby Central High School in Tuscaloosa also committed on his Junior Day visit. The 6-foot-5, 310-pounder is projected by most experts as a guard at the next level. Cotton has held a Tide offer for quite some time and the Junior Day visit seemed like the proper time to end the recruiting process. He also had offers from Louisville, Auburn, Mississippi State, and Mississippi.
It’s hard to talk about Alabama without mentioning Auburn and LSU. The Tigers of Auburn currently have three commitments for 2015, including a pair of teammates at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. The Tigers of LSU have six commits and their most recent is a highly coveted offensive lineman from Texas.
Some scouts consider Maea Teuhema a guard while others see him as a tackle. What everyone sees is his size. At 6-foot-5 and somewhere in the 340-pound range, the Keller, Texas product is a very large guy. Though his body will need some re-shaping, he is pretty athletic for someone that size, which is why all of the major services have him listed among their top 40 overall prospects. He had been committed to Texas and had offers from Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and TCU.
But there was more than one Teuhema commitment for LSU. Also flipping to the Tigers from Texas was Maea’s brother, Sione, a 2014 outside linebacker. So assuming everything goes well in Baton Rouge for Sione, it would appear that Maea’s commitment will be rock solid until next signing day.
The Tigers of Clemson added a couple of key commitments for 2015, bringing their early total for next year’s class to eight. Offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt of Suwanee, Ga. will be considered one of the top players in the class of 2015, regardless of position. At 6-foot-5, 275-pounds, he will have to add some size, but he’s got plenty of time to accomplish that goal. What Hyatt has is the footwork and technique necessary to be a standout at left tackle. Hyatt picked Clemson over Georgia, Auburn, and Ohio State.
The Tigers also picked up a quarterback in Lake Nona, Fla. star Tucker Israel. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Israel has over 10,000 yards passing already in his high school career and can make plays running the ball as well. His height may keep his recruiting ratings down but Florida, South Florida, and Central Florida were all pursuing him hard.
Finally, new USC coach Steve Sarkisian got going on the 2015 class soon after taking his new job. Cornerback Taeon Mason of Pasadena, Calif. committed to USC on their February 1st Junior Day. The 6-foot, 170-pound Mason also had an offer from Oregon State.
But the big news was super quarterback prospect Ricky Town (pictured) switching his commitment from Alabama to the Trojans. The Ventura, Calif. signal caller is a true drop back passer and will fit well in Sarkisian’s pro-style offense.
What Town’s commitment means for David Sills, who committed to Lane Kiffin and USC when he was in the seventh grade, no one can really say, though the odds of him going to USC on scholarship decreased drastically when Town made his switch.