August AAC Football Recruiting Roundup

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

August brings the start of the season for high school players and college coaches alike. Throw in a quiet period, and you have one of the slower months in the recruiting cycle. This August (and early September), 12 players committed to American Conference schools, and just 10 members of the Scout 300 made their decisions in August. Here’s how the classes have changed in the last month-plus. With the recent activity and some updated player rankings, every AAC team has at least one three-star commit.

1. SMU: 21 commits

Top-rated commit: Three-star Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton quarterback David Moore, Scout’s 47th-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 an extremely busy June and July with 15 commits, but did not get a commit in August. South Grand Prairie (Texas) defensive back Caesar Williams and Irving (Texas) Nimitz linebacker Noah Spears were considering committing, but have pushed back their decisions. SMU remains a strong possibility for both.

2. Tulane: 17 commits

Top-rated commit: New Orleans St. Augustine inside linebacker Giovanni LaFrance, Scout’s 44th-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: Another team that is sitting pretty with 17 commits, but went commit-less in August after 10 commits in June and July. The Green Wave snagged a good one in Edison Prep (Okla.) defensive tackle Alex Criddle in late July, but he’s still getting attention from other schools and picked up an offer from Purdue in early August.

3. Houston: 15 commits

Top-rated commit: Five-star Houston Westfield defensive tackle Ed Oliver, the 9th overall player in the 2016 Scout 300.

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

Recent activity: Houston has seen more activity since the beginning of August, and not all of it is good news. The Cougars landed Austin (Texas) Reagan running back Mulbah Car (above), Scout’s 125th-ranked running back and 20th-ranked in Texas. Carr was the only commit of August for Houston, but he’s a good player. The three-star back chose the Cougars over Colorado State, Iowa State, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon State, Purdue, Texas Tech, UTSA and Utah State. He actually committed to the Cougars just a couple days after visiting both Nebraska and Iowa State. Car can play both sides of the ball and will be a good power back once he adds a little weight to his 5-foot-11, 190-pound frame. However, Houston lost two key members of their class. Three-star Fort Bend (Texas) Hightower defensive end Michael Johnson decommitted in late August, about a month after his teammate, offensive lineman Darta Lee backed out of his pledge to Houston. In an essentially expected move, four-star Houston Westside defensive tackle Jordan Elliott decommitted in early September. The silver lining for the Cougars is that Oliver was bumped from 13th overall to 9th, giving them their first-ever top-10 commit since rankings came out.

4. Cincinnati: 14 commits

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

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

Recent activity: The Bearcats have an offense-heavy class so far, but added a defensive piece in the trenches when Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stevenson defensive end Michael Pitts committed on August 10. The two-star Peach State native stands at 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds entering his senior year and possesses solid burst off the line of scrimmage. A two-star, Pitts held offers from California and Old Dominion.

5. East Carolina: 12 commits

Top-rated commit: Three-star Raleigh (N.C.) Millbrook quarterback Reid Herring, Scout’s 95th-ranked QB and fifth-ranked in North Carolina.

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

Recent activity: East Carolina brings in two new faces: Winterville (N.C.) South Central defensive end Kendall Futrell (above) and Locust Grove (Ga.) tight end/outside linebacker Aubry Payne, who both actually committed in early September. The Pirates offered Futrell in July, and he committed two months later. He’s a lengthy 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds. He’s unrated by Scout and his only FBS offer came from ECU (same with Payne). North Carolina State, Clemson, North Carolina and Purdue showed interest but never offered.

6. Temple: 11 commits

Top-rated commit: Three-star Norfolk (Va.) Lake Taylor safety Keyvone Burton, Scout’s 56th-ranked safety nationally and second-ranked in Virginia.

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

Recent activity: The Owls’ big win over Penn State on Sept. 5 caught some recruits’ eyes, and for one, it pushed him to commit. Burton took in Temple’s Sept. 5 victory and committed four days later. The Owls also added two-star North Huntingdon (Pa.) Norwin tight end Steve Petrick in early August.

Commit of the month: Keyvone Burton. Temple had 10 players in its class, but most were sleepers with little other FBS interest. All Temple needed to do was show that last season’s 6-6 record was no fluke, and some big names would seriously consider coming to Philadelphia. Burton certainly is a big name; he’s the East’s 8th-ranked safety and a stocky 5-fooot-11, 197 pounds. He runs a verified sub-4.6 second 40-yard dash and chose Temple over Duke, Massachusetts, Navy, Old Dominion, Purdue, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech. If the Owls keep winning, he won’t be the last player of his caliber to jump on board.

7. USF: 10 commits

Top-rated commit: Three-star Tampa (Fla.) Sickles quarterback Chris Oladokun (above), Scout’s 89th-ranked QB and 11th-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 have assembled some good talent, but have had just one commit since July: Lake Walls (Fla.) cornerback Josh Dunn, who committed on August 1 and was profiled in the July recap. Dunn is Scout’s 111th-ranked cornerback in the class.

8. Navy: 10 commits

Top-rated commit: Alexandria (Va.) Episcopal defensive tackle Joe Goff, Scout’s 67th-ranked DT and third-ranked in Virginia.

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

Recent activity: Navy landed a big prize in Temecula (Calif.) Great Oak outside linebacker Jake Schwarzer on August 24. Scout’s 93rd-ranked outside linebacker (12th in California) picked the Midshipmen over finalists San Jose State and Columbia. He’s rated a three-star prospect and is 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds and runs a verified 4.6 second 40-yard dash.

9. Tulsa: 10 commits

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

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

Recent activity: On July 1, Tulsa had just one commit, but burst onto the scene with seven in July alone. The Golden Hurricane landed two more in early August: Waco La Vega offensive tackle Waahid Muhammad (mentioned in the last recap) and Broken Arrow (Okla.) offensive tackle Rowdy Frederick, who would win the name of the class award if fellow offensive lineman Tiller Bucktrot was not also committed. Frederick is the better prospect, however. He’s a three-star and Scout’s 85th-ranked offensive tackle (second-ranked in Oklahoma) and held offers from Houston, North Texas and Texas Tech. He’s a college-ready 6-foot-5 and 310 pounds.

10. Memphis: eight commits

Top-rated commit: Three-star Laurel (Miss.) quarterback Keon Howard (above), Scout’s 22nd-ranked quarterback and first-ranked in Mississippi.

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

Recent activity: Memphis had an even slower start than Central Florida, but is building momentum now. After landing four players in July, The Tigers got three more in August, and three good ones. Howard committed on August 9 and two-star Olive Branch (Miss.) cornerback Sanchez Blake followed suit a day later. Six days after Blake, Montgomery (Ala.) Park Crossing wide receiver Jahod Booker joined the party. Blake held offers from Arkansas State and Southern Mississippi, while Booker held offers from Georgia State and Nevada.

Commit of the month: Keon Howard. Memphis hadn’t made a recruiting coup following its 10-3 season in 2014, but finally did with Howard. He picked Memphis over finalists Louisville, Minnesota and Mississippi State. He also had offer from Southern Mississippi. The 6-foot, 215-pound Howard is one of the better commits in the conference and makes plays with his arm (38 touchdowns in 2014) but also his legs (12 rushing touchdowns). Howard and Blake’s commitments give the Tigers four players from Mississippi in the class.

11. Connecticut: seven commits

Top-rated commit: three-star Woodbridge (Va.) C.D. Hyton quarterback Donovan Williams, Scout’s 62nd-ranked QB and first-ranked in Virginia.

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

Recent activity: The Huskies did not get a commit in August, but added South Hamilton (Mass.) Pingree guard Nino Leone. The massive 6-foot-5, 330-pounder’s only FBS offer came from Connecticut, but he’s a powerful blocker who would be a steal if he slims down and become a little more mobile.

12. UCF: five commits

Top-rated commit: three-star Miami Gulliver Prep cornerback Dontay Mayfield (above), Scout’s 124th-ranked CB and 17th-ranked in Florida (he will play wide receiver in college).

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: Central Florida is still waiting on things to pick up. The slow start wasn’t a huge deal before, but it looks a little worse after the Knights fell to Florida International at home on opening night. They did not get a commitment in August.

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