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February 23, 2012
Southwest Region analyst Brian Perroni goes around his region.
Here are a few players who are starting to blow up on the scene as we approach the May Evaluation Period.
DE Torrodney Prevot: It is somewhat of a down year for defensive ends in the state of Texas and the Alief Taylor defender is taking full advantage of it. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Prevot attended the Army combine last month but his skillset does not lend itself well to that setting.
LSU was the first to offer just a few weeks ago and now he seemingly adds at least one new one every day. The cat-quick edge rusher is attending a Texas junior day this weekend and it appears LSU, Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M are the major players for his services.
RB Ezekiel Elliott: The St. Louis running back does not play incredibly tough competition but it is hard to ignore what you see on tape. At 6-foot and 200 pounds, Elliott is a powerful runner between the tackles but he also has surprising speed around the edge. What's most impressive, though, is how well he catches passes out of the backfield. He is effective on a simple swing pass but is also a downfield threat. Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Ohio State are just a few of the schools to have offered in the past few weeks.
LB Duke Riley: The River Ridge (La.) John Curtis prospect is one of the most active defenders in the class. He records double-digit tackles in almost every game he plays and was one of the top performers all weekend at December's Louisiana State Championships. Riley is a bit undersized at 6-foot-1, 200 pounds but colleges don't seem too concerned. He has been offered by Colorado, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, TCU and Tulane all in the last few weeks.
CB Maurice Smith: Like Prevot, Smith was another prospect who didn't necessarily stand out at the U.S. Army National Combine last month but the Sugar Land (Texas) Dulles defender has some very impressive film. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound junior is a track standout and his speed is obvious when watching him play. Texas A&M was the first to offer about two weeks ago and since then he has landed more from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Notre Dame. Smith could pick up a Texas offer at the junior day this weekend as well.
TE Durham Smythe: As the main big-name flex tight end prospect in the state of Texas this year, the 6-foot-6, 230-pound junior has seen his offer total take off over the past three weeks. Smythe attended junior days at both Texas and Texas A&M and both schools offered. He has also been offered by Florida, Nebraska and Michigan. A lot of the schools that have offered Smythe are waiting to see what he does before moving on to their next targets at the position.
It does not get any bigger than the only five-star prospect in the region, dual-threat quarterback Tyrone Swoopes. On Friday, the nation's No. 11 prospect decided to end the recruiting process and commit to Texas. Though he is very raw right now, many people see him having the same upside as former Longhorn quarterback Vince Young. Texas also received a commitment on Wednesday from the region's No. 2 prospect, wide receiver Ricky Seals-Jones.
Texas and Texas A&M: It is hard to ignore what both programs have done in the past few weeks. Texas has six commitments, all from four- or five-star prospects. In fact, five of the six Longhorn pledges are in the Rivals100. Texas could see some more dominoes fall this weekend at its second junior day as well.
The Aggies have been cleaning up in their own right though, having already picked up 13 commits. Rivals250 offensive lineman Ishmael Wilson was a surprise commit at the junior day over the weekend and head coach Kevin Sumlin has already secured five four-star recruits, led by Rivals100 prospects Derrick Griffin and Isaiah Golden.
Keep an eye on
OT Maurice Porter: The Missouri City (Texas) Fort Bend Marshall offensive lineman moved to the Houston area from Gary, Ind., less than a year ago so he is still somewhat of an unknown to schools. However, the 6-foot-5, 285-pound junior was recently offered by Baylor and his film has caught the eye of several schools. Oklahoma seems as if it could be close to being the next to extend an offer.
News & notes
With Texas having secured the top two players in the Lone Star State, a lot of eyes will be on offensive tackle Kent Perkins this weekend at the Longhorn junior day. The nation's No. 25 overall prospect is also high on both Oklahoma and Texas A&M but Texas hopes to lock him up this weekend. The Aggies have made a strong impression on him, though, and would sit in very good position if he leaves Austin uncommitted.
It should be interesting to see what Arkansas does at quarterback this year. Oklahoma passer Brayden Scott was a very early offer and has been a Razorback lean for some time now but his recruiter, Garrick McGhee, has since been named the head coach at UAB. Arkansas also threw its hat into the ring for Rivals250 quarterback Cody Thomas last summer, long before any other school did. The Razorbacks have also offered local standout Austin Allen. Allen's father, Bobby Allen, coaches defensive backs for the Razorbacks and his brother, Brandon Allen, is a redshirt freshman quarterback in Fayetteville.
Texas Tech is not known for the fast starts to recruiting as most of the other in-state schools. With the commitment of Will Barrow on Tuesday, it marks the first time in recent memory the Red Raiders have had more than two pledges by the end of February. Barrow joins Rivals250 wide receiver Devin Lauderdale and cornerback Tavares Garner on the commitment list.