AAC December Recruiting Roundup

With signing day less than a month away and four new coaches in the American Athletic Conference, recruiting picked up quickly in December around the league. But with coaching changes come decommitments, and the four teams with a new head coach (Tulane, Memphis, East Carolina, Central Florida) lost a combined nine commitments in December.

(Note: the classes are ordered by number of known commitments. Some go undetected or unreported and do not get added to Scout’s list right away, mainly commitments to teams without an active Scout site. The total number of commits listed for each team may not match the commitment list on that team’s site if the list is outdated or incomplete). AAC teams added 38 commitments in December, and only 80 of the Scout 300 are still uncommitted. Here is how the classes currently stand.

1. Navy Midshipmen: 28 commits

Top-rated commit: Alexandria (Va.) Episcopal three-star defensive tackle Joe Goff, Scout’s 68th-ranked defensive tackle and second-ranked in Virginia.

Commits by position: QB (1) RB (2) WR (2) TE (0) OL (8) DL (3) LB (9) DB (1) ATH (2) specialists (0)

Commits by ranking: three three-star, 12 two-star, 13 unrated.

December commitments: Charlotte (N.C.) Providence linebacker Tyler Pistorino; Charlotte (N.C) Providence offensive tackle Eric Cal; Kingway (N.J.) running back Sean Samuels ; Duluth (Ga.) Northview offensive lineman Ben Everett; Santa Margarita Catholic (Calif.) three-star linebacker Tanner Matthews; Trophy Club (Texas) Byron Nelson offensive lineman Justin Self; Warminster (Pa.) Archbishop Wood defensive end Mack Schwartz; Austin (Texas) Vandegrift athlete Travis Brannan. (Note: Navy commitments tend to go unreported more than most schools. Eight previous commits went undetected and are now added. The last two months before signing day are even more hectic, so there will likely be more commitments that surface later).

December decommitments: Nashville (Tenn.) East Literature two-star safety DeVarius Cortner.

2. SMU Mustangs: 24 commits

Top-rated commit: Plano (Texas) three-star center Kadarius Smith, Scout’s 15th-ranked center and seventh-ranked in Texas.

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

Commits by ranking: 12 three-star, 12 two-star.

December commitments: None.

December decommitments: None.

3. Houston Cougars: 21 commits

Top-rated commit: Houston Westfield five-star defensive tackle Ed Oliver, the 6th overall player in the 2016 Scout 300.

Commits by position: QB (1) RB (1) WR (4) TE (0) OL (3) DL (4) LB (0) DB (7) ATH (1) specialists (0) 

Commits by ranking: one five-star, three four-star, 10 three-star, seven two-star.

December commitments: Spring (Texas) Westfield four-star wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland, the No. 57 overall player in the class; three-star junior college safety Terrell Williams; three-star Manvel (Texas) athlete D'Eriq King, a former TCU commit. The Cougars continue to build one of the best non-Power Five/BCS conference classes in the history of recruiting rankings. The class currently sits at 35th in the Scout.com rankings. 

December decommitments: None.

Commit spotlight: Tyrie Cleveland. The ninth-ranked receiver in the nation, Cleveland’s offer list included Florida, TCU, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Arizona State, Arkansas, Baylor, LSU and Ole Miss. Cleveland has speed and is a big play threat, but he’s not shutting down recruiting just yet. He will visit TCU the weekend of Jan. 15 and Florida on Jan. 29 and make a "final decision" on signing day.

4. Temple Owls: 17 commits

Top-rated commit: Norfolk (Va.) Lake Taylor three-star safety Keyvone Bruton, Scout’s 72nd-ranked safety nationally and second-ranked in Virginia.

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

Commits by ranking: three three-star, 11 two-star, three unrated.

December commits: Philadelphia St. Joseph’s two-star safety Benny Walls; Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco offensive tackle Matthew Hennessy; Lakewood (N.J.) three-star linebacker Amir Tyler. Tyler’s other FBS offers were from Old Dominion, Pittsburgh and Syracuse.

December decommitments: Brooklyn (N.Y.) Erasmus Hall two-star safety Jahsen Wint (flipped to Ohio State).

5. South Florida Bulls: 15 commits

Top-rated commit: Miami Central four-star running wide receiver, Darnell Salomon, Scout’s 55th-ranked wide receiver and 11th-ranked in Florida.

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

Commits by ranking: one four-star, eight three-star, five two-star, one unrated.

December commitments: Lake City (Fla.) Columbia two-star wide receiver Latrell Williams and two-star junior college safety Mackenro Alexander. Alexander originally signed with Auburn in 2013 and is the twin brother of Clemson cornerback Mackensie Alexander. Alexander and fellow junior college commitments LaDarrius Jackson and Frank Johnson signed on Dec. 16.

December decommitments: Port Charlotte (Fla.) two-star defensive end Kordell Slater (flipped to Louisville).

6. Cincinnati Bearcats: 14 commits

Top-rated commit: Indianapolis Lawrence Central three-star running back Gerrid Doaks, Scout’s 35th-ranked running back and third-ranked in Indiana.

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

Commits by ranking: five three-star, nine two-star.

December commitments: Junior college wide receiver Devin Gray, junior college offensive lineman Kendall Calhoun; Clewiston (Fla.) wide receiver Tyrin Summers; Hoover (Ala.) Spain Park safety Perry Young, a former Arkansas State commit. Summers held offers from Bowling Green, Georgia Southern, Miami (Fla.), Oregon State, South Carolina, Toledo and West Virginia.

December decommitments: Cincinnati La Salle four-star running back Jeremy Larkin (flipped to Northwestern); Park Ridge (Ill.) Maine South three-star offensive lineman Liam O'Sullivan (now committed to Syracuse); Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas three-star cornerback Dontye Carriere-Williams (Wisconsin); Hallandale (Fla.) three-star cornerback Romelo Webster (Iowa State); Weston (Fla.) Cypress Bay two-star wide receiver Andrew Parchment.

7. Connecticut Huskies: 14 commits

Top-rated commit: Lynnfield (Mass.) three-star offensive tackle Cam DeGeorge, Scout’s 56th-ranked tackle and first-ranked in Massachusetts.

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

Commits by ranking: Eight three star, four two-star, two unrated.

December commitments: The Huskies hauled in six players in December: West Palm Beach (Fla.) Oxbridge two-star tight end A.J. Garson; Flower Mound (Texas) Marcus three-star running back Nate Hopkins; Belle Glade (Fla.) running back Ja’Kevious Vickers; Somerville (N.J.) Immaculata offensive lineman Mike Lonsdorf; Windsor (Conn.) two-star safety Tyler Cole; and DeGeorge, a former Syracuse commit.

December decommitments: None.

8. Memphis Tigers: 13 commits

Top-rated commit: Coffeyville C.C. (Kan.) four-star quarterback Riley Ferguson, Scout’s 25th-ranked JUCO prospect.

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

Commits by ranking: one four-star, three three-star, six two-star, three unrated.

December commitments: Memphis signed four junior college players on Dec. 16, shortly after hiring former Arizona State offensive coordinator Mike Norvell as head coach. Ferguson, three-star guard Lio Lafaele, two-star offensive tackle Harneet Gill and safety Jonathan Cook all signed mid-year letters of intent. Ferguson signed with Tennessee out of high school in 2013, while Cook signed with Alabama the same year.

December decommitments: Aberdeen (Miss.) three-star athlete Jerrick Orr.

Commit spotlight: Riley Ferguson. The North Carolina native was a three-star prospect coming out of high school and stuck with Tennessee through a coaching change and last pushes by Alabama and Louisville. He left after one year and opted for junior college, completing 68 percent of his passes and throwing for 35 touchdowns as Coffeyville’s starter in 2015. With Paxton Lynch off to the NFL draft, Ferguson is a candidate to start right away.

9. UCF Golden Knights: 13 commits

Top-rated commit: Daytona Beach (Fla.) Mainland three-star running back Adrian Killins Jr., Scout’s 113th-ranked running back and 14th-ranked in Florida.

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

Commits by ranking: seven three-star, six two-star.

December commitments: The Knights got off to a hot start under new head coach Scott Frost, adding seven players since his Dec. 1 hiring: Killins Jr.; Sanford (Fla.) Seminole two-star cornerback Brandon Moore; Orlando (Fla.) Phillips three-star running back Jaquarius Bargnare; junior college defensive tackle DeQuinton Osborne; three-star junior college offensive lineman Christian Beard; Homestead (Fla.) South Dade offensive lineman Bowman Swanson; junior college defensive end Josh Odigie.

December decommitments: None.

10. Tulsa Golden Hurricane: 13 commits

Top-rated commit: Houston Reagan three-star inside linebacker Robert Revels, Scout’s 14th-ranked ILB and second-ranked in Texas.

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

Commits by ranking: two three-star, 11 two-star.

December commitments: Alto (Texas) three-star athlete Keenen Johnson.

December decommitments: None

11. Tulane Green Wave: 12 commits

Top-rated commit: Tallahassee (Fla.) Godby three-star quarterback Darius Bradwell, Scout’s 89th-ranked quarterback and tenth-ranked in Florida.

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

Commits by ranking: one three-star, 11 two-star.

December Commitments: Bradwell is the only commitment since the Green Wave hired former Georgia Southern head coach Willie Fritz for the same position on Dec. 11, replacing Curtis Johnson. The former Kent State commit also held offers from Georgia Southern, Louisville, Oregon State, South Florida and Southern Mississippi.

December Decommitments: Five players have decommitted since Johnson’s firing: Miramar (Fla.) Everglades two-star offensive tackle Keenan Forbes; Edison Prep (Okla.) two-star defensive tackle Alex Criddle (flipped to Purdue); three-star New Orleans St. Augustine linebacker Giovanni LaFrance; two-star Columbus (Ga.) Carver defensive end Jacoby Hill; three-star Oxford (Miss.) quarterback Jack Abraham. LaFrance’s brother, Royce LaFrance, plays defensive line for Tulane.

12. East Carolina Pirates: 11 commits

Top-rated commit: Raleigh (N.C.) Millbrook three-star quarterback Reid Herring, Scout’s 101st-ranked QB and fifth-ranked in North Carolina.

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

Commits by ranking: four three-star, seven two-star.

December commitments: East Carolina named Scottie Montgomery head coach on Dec. 13, which was the eve of the dead period, so the Pirates got a late start to recruiting under the new regime. Montgomery has not landed a commitment yet, but Herring reaffirmed his commitment to the new staff. 

December decommitments: Mooresville (N.C). defensive tackle Jamil Dukes; junior college offensive lineman T.J. Henson (signed with North Texas); Lynchburg (Va.) Liberty Christian defensive tackle Rondre Knowles-Tener (now committed to James Madison).

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