July AAC Football Recruiting Roundup

Patrick breaks down the state of AAC football recruiting in his July roundup!

July is usually one of the slower months in recruiting, but this July was extremely busy on the trail. 32 members of the Scout 300 made their college choice and 37 players committed to American Athletic Conference schools in July. Here’s all the action that happened around the AAC in July and a closer look at each class.

1. SMU: 21 commits

Top-rated commit: Three-star Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton quarterback David Moore, Scout’s 42nd-ranked QB and third-ranked in Georgia.

Commits by position: QB (1) RB (0) WR (2) TE (1) OL (4) DL (3) LB (4) DB (5) ATH (1) specialists (0)

Recent activity: SMU had the largest class in the nation at one point with 22 commits, but lost that honor when Mansfield (Texas) Timberview linebacker Craig JimLawson decommitted (Michigan, Kentucky, Texas Tech and Iowa now lead with 22 commits). SMU added five new commits in July, led by Waco (Texas) La Vega three-star wide receiver Brandon Benson. Benson chose SMU over finalists Wisconsin, Purdue, Illinois and Kansas. Katy (Texas) Cincy Ranch tight end Corey Rau committed the same day as Benson, picking the Mustangs over Houston, Texas Tech, Purdue, Washington, Iowa State, Minnesota, Fresno State and Central Florida, among others. SMU also landed former Kansas commit and Cedar Hill (Texas) safety Michael Clark, three-star Marble Falls athlete Ryan Becker and two-star Saplula (Okla.) running back Dae Williams, who will switch to linebacker.

Commit of the month: Ryan Becker (above). The Marble Falls (Texas) product had a top three of SMU, Texas Tech and UTSA, but also had offers from Nebraska, Northwestern, Houston, Oregon State, Rice, plus a couple others. He was recruited at three positions: offensive line, defensive line and tight end. SMU will bring him in as a tight end but the end goal is to bulk him up and make him an offensive tackle. He’s 6-5 and 230 pounds now.

2. Tulane: 17 commits

Top-rated commit: New Orleans St. Augustine inside linebacker Giovanni LaFrance (above), Scout’s 49th-ranked ILB and second-ranked in Louisiana.

Commits by position: QB (1) RB (1) WR (1) TE (0) OL (3) DL (4) LB (4) DB (3) ATH (0) specialists (0)

Recent activity: The Green Wave followed up a six-commit June by adding four players in July. Lake Charles (La.) LaGrange safety Alvinsoki LaFleur started off the four-commits-in-four-day run. Tulsa (Okla.) Edison Prep offensive guard Alex Criddle, Atlanta Carver defensive end Jacoby Hill and Crowley (La.) wide receiver Jacqco Price followed. LaFleur, Carver and Price’s only FBS offers came from Tulane. Price was just the sixth offensive commit of the 17. All four are two-star prospects.

Commit of the month: Alex Criddle. The hometown program (and Tulane’s conference foe) or any in-state team did not offer the Tulsa native. A two-way player, he picked the Green Wave in a bit of a surprise; Vanderbilt was thought to be his leader. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Criddle also held offers from Hawaii, Army and Navy.

3. Houston: 16 commits

Top-rated commit: Five-star Houston Westfield defensive tackle Ed Oliver, the 13th overall player in the 2016 Scout 300.

Commits by position: QB (1) RB (0) WR (2) TE (0) OL (2) DL (6) LB (0) DB (5) ATH (0) specialists (0)

Recent activity: Houston brought in a net of four players, five commits and one decommit. All five committed in a five-day span in late July. Three-star Beaumont (Texas) West Brook wide receiver Keith Corbin and three-star Northwood (La.) receiver Marquez Stevenson both picked the Cougars over a handful of Power Five offers. Tom Herman’s squad also added beef to an already strong DL class, landing two-star La Marque (Texas) defensive tackle Aymiel Fleming and three-star Tyler (Texas) John Tyler defensive tackle Braylon Jones. The final piece to Houston’s July haul was Crosby (Texas) center Keenan Murphy (above), Scout’s fifth-ranked center nationally. Murphy chose Houston over 12 other offers, including Missouri, Colorado, BYU and East Carolina. The one loss was two-star Hightower (Texas) offensive lineman Darta Lee, who had picked Houston over 17 other offers in late May.

Commit of the month: Marquez Stevenson, Scout’s 185th-ranked wide receiver and 10th-ranked in Louisiana. This was hard to pick. The Cougars landed five good players. Stevenson is small (5-foot-9, 160 pounds) but is a speedster who held 15 offers, but picked Houston over finalists Notre Dame, Arizona State, Mississippi State, Nebraska and Louisiana Tech. Miami (Fla.), TCU, Baylor and Oklahoma State were among the notable teams left out of his final six.

4. Cincinnati: 13 commits

Top-rated commit: Three-star Cincinnati La Salle running back Jeremy Larkin, Scout’s 38th-ranked RB and second-ranked in Ohio.

Commits by position: QB (1) RB (2-Larkin's highlights below) WR (3) TE (0) OL (3), DL (0) LB (1) DB (3) ATH (0) specialists (0)

Recent activity: Another AAC team that had a commit run in late July: the Bearcats grabbed three players in five days. Three-star Detroit Cass Tech wide receiver Marcel Paul picked Cincinnati on July 17. Three days later, Los Angeles Valley CC cornerback Eric Jenkins (above) committed. He also held a Washington State offer. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound corner is a three-star prospect who has risen up the JUCO ranks. Two-star Highland Springs (Va.) wide receiver/cornerback K’Von Wallace was the final member of the trio.

Commit of the month: Marcel Paul. Paul’s only offer was from Cincinnati, but don’t dismiss him: he ran a 4.43 40-yard dash at the Bearcats’ July camp. The Detroit native slips under the radar playing next to 2017 stud Donovan Peoples-Jones, but he’s a quality addition to Cincinnati’s class. The Bearcats’ top six receivers from last season are all seniors.

5. South Florida: 10 commits

Top-rated commit: Three-star Panama City (Fla.) Bay Senior offensive tackle Christion Gainer (above), Scout’s 78th-ranked OT and second-ranked in Florida.

Commits by position: QB (1) RB (1) WR (0) TE (0) OL (3) DL (1) LB (2) DB (2) ATH (0) specialists (0)

Recent activity: The Bulls did not land a commit in July, but secured an August 1 pledge from Lake Walls (Fla.) cornerback Josh Dunn. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Dunn is Scout’s 94th-ranked cornerback nationally. He had a solid offer list that consisted of Cincinnati, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Georgia, Iowa State, Kentucky, Virginia, Tulane, Wisconsin. He could play corner, safety or even outside linebacker in college for USF.

6. East Carolina: 10 commits

Top-rated commit: Three-star Raleigh (N.C.) Millbrook quarterback Reid Herring, Scout’s 96th-ranked QB and fifth-ranked in North Carolina.

Commits by position: QB (1) RB (1) WR (3) TE (0) OL (2) DL (2) LB (0) DB (1) ATH (0) specialists (0)

Recent activity: The Pirates welcomed three new commits in July. Teachy (N.C.) Wallace-Rose Hill cornerback Keyshawn Canady (highlights below) committed on July 13 over offers from North Carolina, Wake Forest, West Virginia, Georgia Southern, Appalachian State and Charlotte. Canady is a three-star recruit, Scout’s third-ranked corner in North Carolina and 6-foot, 190 pounds. He also plays running back. Canady’s teammate, three-star running back Johnnie Glaspie, chose East Carolina a week later and held a lot of the same offers as his teammate. The Pirates then landed three-star Asheboro (N.C.) wide receiver Emmanuel Jones a few days later. They lost one player, JUCO wide receiver Dre Massey, who was rumored to be wavering on his commitment.

Commit of the month: Emmanuel Jones (above), Scout’s 145th-ranked wide receiver and fifth-ranked in North Carolina. Jones was a big target for the Pirates and for a while West Virginia looked like the leader. But he pulled the trigger on an unofficial visit on July 25. A high school defensive back, Jones was recruiting as a receiver by most schools. He held offers from West Virginia, N.C. State, Purdue and Charlotte.

7. Navy: nine commits

Top-rated commit: Alexandria (Va.) Episcopal defensive tackle Joe Goff (above), Scout’s 64th-ranked DT and third-ranked in Virginia.

Commits by position: QB (1) RB (1) WR (1) TE (0) OL (1) DL (2) LB (2) DB (1) ATH (0) specialists (0)

Recent activity: Navy got three commits in July. The first was two-star Centerville (Ohio) quarterback Jacob Harrison, but he was included in the last recap. Norcross (Ga.) Greater Atlanta Christian School defensive end Ford Higgins and West Chester (Pa.) East wide receiver Jon Jon Roberts are the other new faces. Both are two-stars.

Commit of the month: Jacob Harrison. The Ohio native chose the Midshipmen over offers from Army, Air Force, Akron, and Yale. He had some Power Five interest from Northwestern, Wake Forest, Indiana and Illinois. A starter since his freshman year, Harrison has racked up 72 total touchdowns and over 8,000 total yards (6,074 rushing, 2,076 passing). He has the mobility for Ken Niumatalolo’s triple option and probably a better arm than a lot of past Navy quarterbacks.

8. Temple: nine commits

Top-rated commit: all are two-stars but are not ranked in their respective positions

Commits by position: QB (1) RB (0) WR (1) TE (0) OL (1) DL (2) LB (0) DB (4) ATH (0) specialists (0)

Recent activity: The Owls have loaded up on defense, but still haven’t landed a signature recruit in this class. The grabbed two in July and another on August 2. Upper Merrion (Pa.) safety Isaiah Graham-Mobely and Alletown (Pa.) Parkland wide receiver Kenny Yeboah committed two days apart in late July. Brooklyn (N.Y.) safety Jahsen Wint was the early August addition.

Commit of the month: Kenny Yeboah. Most of the Owls class consists of deep sleepers not on many other teams’ radar. Most didn’t have an FBS offer from another team. Yeboah held an Old Dominion (it’s FBS now!) offer and is an imposing 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds.

9. Tulsa: nine commits

Top-rated commit: three-star Houston Reagan inside linebacker Robert Revels (above), Scout’s 12th-ranked ILB and second-ranked in Texas.

Commits by position: QB (0) RB (0) WR (1) TE (0) OL (3) DL (0) LB (3) DB (1) ATH (1) specialists (0)

Recent activity: Tulsa had a very slow start to its 2016 class, but had an excellent July, landing seven players. Two-star Stillwater (Okla.) wide receiver Jordan Brown committed on July 2 (mentioned in the June recap). Brown held Power Five offers from Texas Tech and Vanderbilt. The Golden Hurricane waited nearly three weeks before San Antonio (Texas) Brennan linebacker D.J. Allen, Houston Aldine Davis defensive back Montray Norris, Roland (Okla.) athlete Manuel Bunch, Gatesville (Texas) linebacker Cooper Edmiston, Stroud (Okla.) offensive lineman Tiller Bucktrot and Revels committed. All are two-stars, and Tulsa was the only FBS offer for all of them. The final addition to the class was 6-foot-6, 280-pound offensive tackle Waahid Muhammad, a two-star from Waco (Texas) La Vega with offers form Texas State and Navy.

Commit of the month: Robert Revels. The Golden Hurricane landed a big recruit when Revels committed over Texas Tech, Indiana, Colorado State, Texas State and UTSA. He was a big win for Tulsa considering he once named Texas Tech his leader. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound linebacker is a big hitter and tackling machine who should see early playing time at Tulsa.

10. Connecticut: six commits

Top-rated commit: three-star Woodbridge (Va.) C.D. Hyton quarterback Donovan Williams (above), Scout’s 60th-ranked QB and first-ranked in Virginia.

Commits by position: QB (1) RB (0) WR (1) TE (0) OL (0) DL (0) LB (1) DB (1) ATH (2) specialists (0)

Recent activity: Connecticut also went commit-less in July, but added three-star Charlotte Christian School (N.C.) outside linebacker Ryan Gilmartin (highlights below) on August 2. The 6-foot, 217-pound linebacker’s other FBS offers were Army, Hawaii, Ohio, Toledo and Wake Forest, but it came down to UConn and Army. He ran a verified 4.86 in the 40-yard dash.

11. Central Florida: five commits

Top-rated commit: three-star Miami Gulliver Prep cornerback Dontay Mayfield (above), Scout’s 117th-ranked CB and 17th-ranked in Florida.

Commits by position: QB (1) RB (0) WR (2) TE (0) OL (0) DL (1) LB (0) DB (1) ATH (0) specialists (0)

Recent activity: Things haven’t quite got going for one of AAC’s best programs. The Knights lone July commit came on the 30th in the form of New Orleans Warren Easton defensive tackle Myles Vigne. They also waited until June to land their first commit of the class. But they do have a very good player in Mayfield.

Commit of the Month: Mayfield committed on June 15, but he's worthy of a little more detail. Listed and ranked as a defensive back, Mayfield will play wide receiver at UCF. That’s been his main position since transferring to talent-rich Gulliver Prep. The 6-foot, 188-pounder held offers from Cincinnati, Duke, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, N.C. State, Rutgers, South Florida, Syracuse, Western Michigan and Wisconsin but ultimately chose UCF because of Knights’ receivers coach Sean Beckton’s track record in player development. Mayfield named a top three of Duke, Virginia and Kentucky in late February, but Beckton aggressively recruited him and it paid off.

12. Memphis: five commits

Top-rated commit: Three-star Aberdeen (Miss.) athlete Jerrick Orr, Scout's 57th-ranked athlete and second-ranked in Mississippi.

Commits by position: QB (0) RB (0) WR (2) TE (1) OL (0) DL (0) LB (0) DB (1) ATH (1) specialists (0)

Recent activity: Memphis went the longest of any AAC team without a single commit for 2016 (June 23), but landed four commits in July: Orr, Hinds C.C. (Miss) wide receiver Jahmmir Taylor, Auburn (Ala.) tight end Noah Barnes (above), and Manvel (Texas) wide receiver Sean Dykes (highlights below). Taylor, Barnes and Dykes held two other FBS offers, both from Group of Five schools. Memphis was Orr's only FBS offer, but he had Power Five interest.

Commit of the month: Sean Dykes. Memphis offered the receiver out of Houston-area powerhouse Manvel in the spring. He took an unofficial in mid-July and committed soon after. A 6-foot-1, 210-pound target, Dykes has good size already and can play all over the field. He had some interest from TCU and Arizona State, but neither offered. Arizona State liked him at H-back.

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