National Outlook

Texas, Ole Miss, and Kansas State are three programs that have gotten off to fast starts this recruiting season. This past week, that trend continued, as each school added names to their commitment lists.

Texas has had the hottest start of all and when offensive lineman Tray Allen of Grand Prairie, TX chose the Longhorns on April 13th, it caught no one by surprise. He has been a regular visitor to the Austin campus and is friendly with several Texas players and recruits. Allen is rated as the No. 1 player in Texas and a four-star prospect by LSU, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma were some of the other schools involved with 6-5, 290-pound Allen, but when he announced that he would make his decision before visiting any of these schools, his choice became very clear. Allen becomes the Longhorns' 19 th commitment.

Ed Orgeron picked up his 12th commitment of the young season when defensive tackle Ted Laurent selected Ole Miss over Mississippi State, Auburn, and Georgia Tech. The Powder Springs, GA native was impressed with Orgeron's ability to groom NFL defensive lineman like Warren Sapp, Cortez Kennedy, and Kenechi Udeze while at coaching Miami and USC. Laurent was named both all-county and all-state this past season.

Everyone acknowledges that Orgeron has pumped life into the Rebel program. New Kansas State head coach Ron Prince is doing the same, according to recent Wildcat commit Clyde Aufner of Peculiar, MO. The energy of the Kansas State coaching staff was one of the main reasons the 6-7, 245-pound offensive lineman chose the Wildcats. Aufner is a project and will need to gain a lot of weight. But at 6-7, he has the frame necessary to add the pounds.

Kansas State also received a commitment from Texas running back J.J. Mullins. Mullins played this past season for La Marque High School, but he just recently transferred to Clear Creek High in an effort to better prepare himself academically for the rigors of college. He ran for 856 yards as a sophomore and 479 yards last season for La Marque, mostly as a single back in a spread offense.

Kansas State did lose out on one recruit, however, when Jake Bequette of Little Rock chose Arkansas. K-State was facing an uphill battle in getting Bequette since his father, grandfather, and uncle all played for the Razorbacks. At 6-5, 255-pounds, Bequette has played both tight end and defensive end in high school. While he says that the Razorbacks want to look at him on offense, the 2006 signing of Springdale star tight end Ben Cleveland and the February commitment of Grant Freeman may push Bequette over to the defensive side of the ball.

Good Friday was very good for Georgia. That was the day that 6-5, 281-pound Trinton Sturdivant announced that he would become a Bulldog. Sturdivant is rated as a four-star offensive line prospect by He had over thirty offers and had narrowed his choices to Georgia, Clemson, and Florida. Because Sturdivant will graduate in December and enroll at Georgia in January, he wanted to make his decision early. His high school team, Anson High in Wadesboro, NC, rarely throws the ball, so his pass blocking skills are what he needs to improve most. But anyone that his seen his film is fully aware of his potential.

The University of Miami does not have to leave Dade County to find quality athletes. So when they get a commitment from a recruit in Mobile, AL, you know he must be special. Phelon Jones is. Jones was a game-breaker on offense playing both quarterback and wide receiver at McGill-Toolen High School. The Hurricanes, though, recruited him as a cornerback. The thing that stands out about Jones is his speed. As in 4.38 forty-yard-dash speed. And at 6-0, 190-pounds, he has ideal size for the corner position. Jones had more than twenty offers from schools such as Alabama, Texas, Auburn, and Ohio State, to name a few.

The past four years, UCLA fans have watched cross-town rival USC grab most of the attention in Los Angeles. This past season, the Bruins made some noise of their own and have parlayed that success on the field into some high profile early commitments. When they nabbed San Diego St. Augustine quarterback Chris Forcier two weeks ago, it helped their cause with San Diego Mira Mesa tight end Nate Chandler. This past week, Chandler chose to join his friend at UCLA. Like Forcier, Chandler did not have an offer from USC, but decided that UCLA was the place for him regardless of a Southern California tender. Chandler's other offers were from Colorado, San Diego State, and Boise State.

Brigham Young received commitments from three recruits last weekend at their spring game. The best of the group is probably offensive lineman Manaaki Vaitai from Trinity High School in Euless, TX. Vaitai is a Mormon and was concerned that other schools would frown upon him going on a mission for his church. He knew at BYU, that would not be a problem. The 6-3, 295-pound Vaitai could play either guard or tackle and received scholarship offers from Houston, Colorado State, and Baylor along with the offer from BYU. Top Stories