Matt Visinsky

March 2016 AAC Football Recruiting Recap

With two months passed since the class of 2016 signed their letters of intent, teams are building a base for their 2017 classes. So far, every American Conference team except South Florida and Connecticut has at least one 2017 commitment, and 21 total 2017 players have committed to AAC schools. Here is how the classes look as the spring contact period draws closer.

1. Houston Cougars: Six commitments

Top-rated commit: Four-star Refugio (Texas) quarterback Jaylon Mascorro, Scout’s 24th-ranked quarterback in the 2017 class and fifth-ranked in Texas.

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

Commits by rating: One four-star, four three-star, one two-star.

Early commitments: The Cougars had six 2017 commitments by Christmas, but none since. All are from the Houston or South Central Texas area. Dual-threat quarterback Mascorro is the highest-rated of the bunch, but Houston has three defensive players who rank in the top 60 at their positions: Brenham (Texas) linebacker Marqez Bimage, Pearland (Texas) linebacker Derek Parish and Missouri City (Texas) Ridge Point cornerback Terry Petry. Bimage has added offers from California and SMU since committing in December, plus visited SMU. He told PonyStampede in February he is “not done” with recruiting.

February/March commitments: Houston has not received any commitments since National Signing Day.

2. SMU Mustangs: Four commitments

Top-rated commit: Three-star Fort Worth (Texas) Timber Creek offensive tackle Alan Ali, Scout’s 66th-ranked tackle and ninth-ranked in Texas.

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

Commits by rating: Three three-star, one two-star.

Early commitments: Three-star Henderson (Texas) wide receiver Trestan Ebner started off the class when he committed in December, but he has since visited Texas and picked up an Arkansas offer. Three-star El Paso (Texas) El Dorado wide receiver Tyquez Hampton committed in January.

February/March commitments: Ali and two-star Southlake (Texas) Carroll tackle Carson Green committed on the same day. Green has a massive frame at 6-foot-6, while Ali stands at 6-foot-5, but Green is a little light at 260 pounds.

3. Navy Midshipmen: Three known commitments

Top-rated commit: Two of Navy’s three known commitments are rated a two-star prospect. 

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

Commits by rating: Two two-stars, one unrated.

Early commitments: None known. 

February/March commitments: Two-star Paramus Catholic (N.J.) offensive tackle Peter Nestrowitz; two-star Sicklerville (N.J.) Timber Creek defensive end Tony Brown; Alpharetta (Ga.) safety Ellis Merriweather.

4. Memphis Tigers: Two commitments

Top-rated commit: None of Memphis’ commitments is rated yet by Scout.

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

Commits by rating: N/A

Early commitments: None.

February/March commitments: Memphis got its first two 2017 commitments in a span of three days in early March. Cordova (Tenn.) defensive end Braylon Brown committed on March 8, with Memphis East running back Timothy Taylor following suit on March 10. Brown’s only other reported offer came from Cincinnati, while Taylor’s only other one was from UTSA.

5. Temple Owls: One commitment

Top-rated commit: Three-star Miami Booker T. Washington guard Willa Pierre, Scout’s 51st-ranked guard and sixth-ranked in Florida. 

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

Commits by rating: One three-star.

Early commitments: None.

February/March commitments: Pierre committed on Feb. 24 and his only other reported offer was FIU. He already has good size at 6-foot-3 and 285 pounds and his strength allows him to be a good run blocker, but he needs technique work, especially in pass protection.

6. Central Florida Knights: One commitment

Top-rated commit: three-star Jacksonville (Fla.) University Christian running back Otis Anderson, Scout’s 84th-ranked running back and 16th-ranked in Florida.

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

Commits by rating: One three-star.

Early commitments: None

February/March commitments: Anderson committed on March 17, choosing UCF over Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Colorado State, Illinois, Iowa State, Marshall, Northwestern, Oregon State, Toledo, Virginia and Washington State, among others. He’s a little small at 5-foot-10 and 168 pounds, but is quick and elusive.

7. Cincinnati Bearcats: One commitment

Top-rated commit: Three-star Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Dillard wide receiver Jordan Merrell.

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

Commits by rating: One three-star.

Early commitments: Merrell, a slot receiver, committed in May 2015, picking Cincinnati over Marshall, South Florida, and Temple. He recently told Scout that he’s “open” and has picked up offers from Kentucky and Syracuse.

February/March commitments: Cincinnati has not received a 2017 commitment since Merrell.

8. East Carolina Pirates: One commitment

Top-rated commit: Two-star Beaufort (N.C.) East Carteret linebacker Da'Shaun Johnson.

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

Commits by rating: One two-star.

Early commitments: None.

February/March commitments: Johnson, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound outside linebacker and wide receiver, committed on March 7, becoming the Pirates’ first 2017 pledge. His other FBS offers were from Old Dominion and Charlotte, but Scout Regional Analyst Michael Clark called him a major steal with big upside, projecting him to play receiver in college.

9. Tulsa Golden Hurricane: One commitment

Top-rated commit: Tulsa’s lone commit is not yet rated by Scout.

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

Commits by rating: One unrated.

Early commitments: Tulsa’s only 2017 commitment came in May 2015, when Kerrville (Texas) Tivy linebacker Chase Brown pledged to the Golden Hurricane.

February/March commitments: None.

10. Tulane Green Wave: One commitment

Top-rated commit: Tulane’s lone commitment is not yet rated by Scout.

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

Commits by rating: One unrated.

Early commitments: None.

February/March commitments: Tulane added its first 2017 pledge with Marrero (La.) John Ehret safety Darius Campbell on Feb. 19. He picked up the Tulane offer a day earlier. He also held offers from UTSA and Louisiana-Monroe.

11. South Florida Bulls: No commitments

Top-rated commit: N/A

Commits by position: N/A

Commits by rating: N/A

Early commitments: N/A

Recent offers: Largo (Fla.) Pinnellas Park cornerback Zamari Maxwell; three-star Palm Peach Gardens (Fla.) cornerback Cedrick Dort; three-star Delary Beach (Fla.) American Heritage defensive end Noah Curtis; Lauderdale Lakes (Fla.) Anderson cornerback Rennard Bozeman.

12. Connecticut Huskies: No commitments

Top-rated commit: N/A

Commits by position: N/A

Commits by rating: N/A

Early commitments: N/A

Recent offers: College Park (Ga.) Woodridge Academy defensive back Jeffrey Hubbard; Oakhurst (N.J) Ocean Township quarterback Kenny Pickett, two-star Ligonier Valley (Pa.) athlete Collin Smith; three-star Egg Harbor City (N.J.) Cedar Creek wide receiver Bo Melton.


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