AAC Signing Day Recap

With Signing Day now over, PonyStampede takes a look at each of the classes around the American Athletic Conference.

Signing Day has come and gone, and while Rashan Gary, the Texas Longhorns, Florida State Seminoles and Alabama Crimson Tide dominated headlines, a couple of American Conference teams closed the 2016 cycle with strong finishes. Others held on to their players despite late pushes from bigger teams, and some just didn’t bring in many impact players. Houston, which once had a top-30 class, fell to 51st, below Group of Five teams Boise State and Western Michigan. Here is a look around the conference’s signing class. The classes are listed in order of Scout.com class ranking. 

1. Houston Cougars: 20 signees, class rank: 51

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

Signees by position: QB (1) RB (1) WR (4) TE (0) OL (3) DL (4) LB (0) DB (6) ATH (1) specialists (0) 

Signees by ranking: one five-star, two four-star, nine three-star, seven two-star, one unrated.

Notable January/February commitments: Lufkin (Texas) wide receiver Terry Mark.

Notable Jan./Feb. decommitments/flips: Four-star wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland (signed with Florida), three-star defensive back Nygel King (Utah).

2. SMU Mustangs: 25 signees, class rank: 61

Top-rated signee: Plano (Texas) three-star center Kadarius Smith, Scout’s 16th-ranked center and seventh-ranked in Texas.

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

Signees by ranking: 15 three-star, 10 two-star.

Notable Jan./Feb. commitments: three-star Trinity Valley C.C. (Texas) defensive tackle Jacob Williams, three-star running back/linebacker Jordan Carmouche, three-star Texarkana (Texas) Liberty-Eylau athlete Ke'Mon Freeman.

Notable Jan./Feb. decommitments/flips: Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton three-star quarterback David Moore (Memphis), two-star Sapulpa (Okla.) running back Dae Williams (Louisville).

Commit Spotlight: Jordan Carmouche. The Manvel product originally committed to Arkansas as a linebacker, choosing the Hogs over Texas, UCLA, Baylor, Arizona State, Stanford, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Missouri, among others. But he initiated contact between himself and SMU, asking for a chance to play running back. SMU gave him the chance, and he committed in late January.

3. Memphis Tigers: 21 signees, class rank: 69

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

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

Signees by ranking: one four-star, nine three-star, nine two-star, two unrated.

Notable Jan./Feb. commitments: Memphis closed the class extremely well. The Tigers flipped former SMU commit/three-star quarterback David Moore and former Colorado commit/three-star Humble (Texas) Atascocita running back Patrick Taylor. They landed former Alabama commit/three-star Amite (La.) safety Josh Perry, former Tennessee commit/three-star Memphis University school linebacker Tim Hart, former Tulane commit/two-star Atlanta Carver defensive end Jacoby Hill.

Jan./Feb. decommitments/flips: Three-star Laurel (Miss.) quarterback Keon Howard (Southern Mississippi). Three-star Olive Branch (Miss.) cornerback Sanchez Blake, Humble (Texas) Atascocita wide receiver Coye Fairman and two-star Memphis Southwind offensive lineman Jonathan Timmons are not listed in Memphis’ official signing day release.

4. Cincinnati Bearcats: 21 signees, class rank: 72

Top-rated commit: Indianapolis Lawrence Central three-star running back Gerrid Doaks, Scout’s 36th-ranked running back and third-ranked in Indiana.

Signees by position: QB (1) RB (1) WR (6) TE (1) OL (2), DL (3) LB (2) DB (5) ATH (0) specialists (0) 

Signees by ranking: 11 three-star, nine two-star, one unrated.

Notable Jan./Feb. commitments: Cincinnati had a hectic final month of the cycle. Some of its late commitments came from former Kansas commit/three-star Ypsilanti (Mich.) safety Marquis Smith, three-star Oakwood (Ga.) West Hall running back Tyquan Statham, former Central Florida commit/three star Lithonia (Ga.) Arabia Mountain wide receiver Malick Mbodj. The Bearcats also held off a late Maryland push for Hoover (Ala.) Spain Park two-star safety Perry Young.

Notable Jan./Feb. decommitments/flips: three-star Highland Springs (Va.) K'Von Wallace (flipped to Clemson), Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Cypress Bay two-star wide receiver Andrew Parchment (Northern Illinois), Suwanee (Ga.) Lambert two-star offensive lineman Sean Bailey (East Carolina).

5. Temple Owls: 26 signees, class rank: 74

Top-rated signee: Philadelphia Penn Charter four-star defensive end Karamo Dioubate, the No. 238 overall player in the 2016 class and the 28th-ranked defensive end.

Signees by position: QB (1) RB (2) WR (3) TE (2) OL (2) DL (5) LB (2) DB (7) ATH (2) specialists (0)

Signees by ranking: one four-star, five three-star, 13 two-star, seven unrated.

Notable Jan./Feb. commits: The Owls closed the 2016 cycle with a lot of momentum. Dioubate, the first four-star recruit to sign with Temple since 2012, committed and faxed in his letter of intent late on signing day. He was a former Penn State commit. Temple also landed Warminster (Pa.) Archbishop Wood three-star quarterback and Elite 11 alum Anthony Russo a few days after he decommitted from Rutgers. Another former Rutgers pledge followed him: West Hartford (Conn.) Kingswood three-star wide receiver Isaiah Wright. Temple also signed Philadelphia Imhotep Charter three-star running back Tyliek Raynor, who was once committed to Arizona.

Notable Jan./Feb. decommitments/flips: Three-star Antelope (Calif.) quarterback Montel Aaron (San Jose State), New Berlin (N.Y.) Milford Academy three-star linebacker @Elorm Lumor (Rutgers), Baltimore (Md.) Dunbar two-star wide receiver Dae'lun Darien (Penn State).

6. Central Florida Knights: 20 signees, class rank: 75

Top-rated signees: Fairburn (Ga.) Creekside three-star guard Aaron Dowdell, Scout’s 39th-ranked guard and fifth-ranked in Georgia.

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

Signees by ranking: 11 three-star, nine two-star.

Notable Jan./Feb. commitments: Scott Frost and his staff did an impressive job with this class in just two months. They held on to Daytona Beach (Fla.) Mainland three-star running back Adrian Killins Jr. despite late pushes from Syracuse and Iowa State. Miami Norland three-star cornerback Bryon Brown signed despite late efforts from N.C. State and Illinois. Former Miami commit and Homestead (Fla.) South Dade running back Jawon Hamilton picked UCF in mid-January. UCF flipped Miliani (Hawaii) three-star quarterback McKenzie Milton from Hawaii. Jacksonville (Fla.) White three-star guard Jordan Johnson picked UCF over South Carolina, Georgia Tech and Georgia Southern on signing day. Dowdell is a former Georgia commit whom UCF landed two days before signing day. Lastly, the Knights flipped Pembroke Pines (Fla.) Flanigan three-star wide receiver Dredrick Snelson from Minnesota on signing day. Maryland and Penn State were also in pursuit.

Notable Jan./Feb. decommitments: Lithonia (Ga.) Arabia Mountain wide receive Malik Mbodj (Cincinnati).

7. South Florida Bulls: 18 signees, class rank: 78

Top-rated signee: Miami Central four-star running wide receiver, Darnell Salomon, Scout’s 56th-ranked wide receiver and 11th-ranked in Florida.

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

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

Notable Jan./Feb. commitments: The Bulls added a former Colorado and Wisconsin commit, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Farragut three-star safety Craig Watts. He was just bumped down from four-star status. Tampa (Fla.) Wharton two-star wide receiver Devontres Dukes picked USF over N.C. State. Tampa (Fla.) Hillsborough three-star cornerback Michael Hampton stayed local, choosing the Bulls over offers from Iowa, Indiana Pittsburgh, Marshall and Temple, among others. 

Notable Jan./Feb. decommitments: Hudson (Fla.) two-star offensive tackle Grayson Stover (Indiana), Lake City (Fla.) Columbia, three-star wide receiver Latrell Williams (Tennessee), Sebastian (Fla.) three-star linebacker Paul Dawson (has not signed), Tyler J.C. (Texas) offensive lineman Craig Smith (West Virginia).

8. Tulsa Golden Hurricane: 19 signees, class rank: 85 

Top-rated signee: Houston Reagan three-star inside linebacker Robert Revels, Scout’s 25th-ranked ILB and third-ranked in Texas

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

Commits by ranking: seven three-star, 10 two-star, three unrated.

Notable Jan./Feb. commitments: Donaldsonville (La.) two-star offensive lineman Tyarise Stevenson picked Tulsa over Tulane on Jan. 25. Arlington (Texas) Martin defensive end Jimmy Nelson and Long Beach (Calif.) J.C. cornerback Keanu Hill committed in January. Tulsa was each one’s only FBS offer. Three-star Alto (Texas) athlete Keenen Johnson committed back to the Golden Hurricane after originally flipping to North Texas. Tulsa Central defensive tackle Shemarr Robinson flipped from Wyoming on Jan. 31.

Notable Jan./Feb. decommitments: None.

9. East Carolina Pirates: 22 signees, class rank: 89

Top-rated signee: Columbus (Ga.) Carver three-star safety Javontay Smith, Scout’s 67th-ranked safety and fourth-ranked in Georgia.

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

Signees by ranking: eight three-star, 11 two-star, three unrated.

Notable Jan./Feb. commitments: The Pirates landed a large January haul. Among their late additions: Suwanee (Ga.) Lambert two-star offensive lineman Sean Bailey, Jacksonville (Fla.) University Christian three-star cornerback Hussein Howe, Grovetown (Ga.) three-star guard D'Ante Smith, Plymouth (N.C.) two-star linebacker Raequan Purvis and two-star Jacksonville (Fla.) University Christian tight end Anthony Watley, a former Marshall commit. The biggest addition was Javontay Smith, who held offers from Alabama, Indiana, Louisville, LSU, Nebraska, UCLA, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.

Notable Jan./Feb. decommitments: None.

10. Tulane Green Wave: 22 signees, class rank: 97

Top-rated signee: Baton Rouge (La.) University Lab athlete Tre Jackson, Scout’s 66th-ranked athlete and third-ranked in Louisiana.

Signees by position: QB (2) RB (2) WR (4) TE (0) OL (2) DL (3) LB (2) DB (6) ATH (1) specialists (1) 

Signees by ranking: five three-star, 13 two-star, four unrated

Notable Jan./Feb. Commitments: The Green Wave also had a big January under new head coach Willie Fritz. Jackson, a former South Carolina commitment and South Carolina legacy, picked Tulane on Jan. 30. He also held offers from Florida, Houston, Oklahoma and North Carolina. Hoover (Ala.) three-star cornerback P.J. Hall  picked Tulane over Memphis, Minnesota and Mississippi State, among others. Tulane flipped South Grand Prairie (Texas) two-star cornerback Chase Napoleon from Texas State on Jan. 29 and secured Tyrone (Ga.) Sandy Creek two-star safety Will Harper’s commitment on signing day. He is a former Syracuse commitment.

Notable Jan./Feb. Decommitments: Tulane had six commitments from the old staff that did not sign with the Green Wave.

11. Connecticut Huskies: 16 signees, class rank: 99

Top-rated signee: Southington (Conn.) three-star quarterback/tight end Jay Rose, Scout’s 64th-ranked quarterback and first-ranked in Connecticut

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

Signees by ranking: Eight three star, five two-star, three unrated.

Notable Jan./Feb. commitments: Connecticut faded at the end of the recruiting cycle. It did sign the player with the best name in the conference: Belle Glade (Fla.) running back Ka’Kenvioun Vickers.

Notable Jan./Feb. decommitments: Somerville (N.J.) Immaculata three-star offensive lineman Mike Lonsdorf (Rutgers).

12. Navy Midshipmen: class rank: N/A

Top-rated commit: Alexandria (Va.) Episcopal three-star defensive tackle Joe Goff, Scout’s 54th-ranked DT and second-ranked in Virginia.

Navy doesn’t release a signee list because its players do not sign letters of intent.

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