April 2016 AAC Football Recruiting Recap

The spring evaluation period started three weeks ago, allowing college coaches to visit players at their high schools. It's the start of commitment season. Twelve players committed to American Conference schools in April, with three more committing on May 1. Here’s how the AAC classes stack up right now. Every team has at least one commitment.

1. Houston Cougars: Seven commitments

Top-rated commit: Three-star Richmond (Texas) George Ranch safety Adam Beck, Scout’s 35th-ranked safety and third-ranked in Texas.

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

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

April recruiting activity: Houston grabbed its first two 2017 commitments since Christmas. Beck committed April 9, choosing Houston from an offer list that included Colorado, Kansas, SMU and Texas Tech. On April 13, the Cougars landed three-star Metuchen (N.J.) tight end Devin Miller, who spurned in-state Rutgers. He’s the first high school player from outside Texas or Louisiana to commit to Houston under Tom Herman. Houston lost one commitment: Three-star Refugio quarterback Jaylon Mascorro reopened his recruitment on April 14.

2. East Carolina Pirates: Five commitments

Top-rated commit: Three-star Cameron (N.C.) Union Pines defensive end Taijh Alston, Scout’s 42nd-ranked defensive end and second-ranked in North Carolina.

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

Commits by rating: one three-star, three two-star, one unrated

April recruiting activity: The Pirates had a productive April, landing four players. Two-star Greensboro (N.C.) Dudley cornerback Myles White  committed on April 16, after the spring game. ECU is his only FBS offer. Alston also committed the day of the spring game, picking ECU over Appalachian State, Charlotte, Miami (Ohio) and N.C. State. On April 23, ECU added the commitment of two-star Cleveland (Ohio) St. Ignatius center John Spellacy. ECU landed a May 1commitment in Northwest Mississippi college quarterback Gardner Minshew. The JUCO national title winner was originally a Troy commitment and Scout’s 80th-ranked quarterback in the 2014 class. His commitment comes a few days after Kurt Benkert’s transfer to Virginia.

3. SMU Mustangs: Four commitments

Top-rated commit: Fort Worth (Texas) Timber Creek offensive tackle Alan Ali, Scout’s 69th-ranked tackle and ninth-ranked in Texas.

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

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

April recruiting activity: SMU gained a net of zero commitments between the beginning and end of April, but had a busy month. The class’ first pledge, three-star Henderson (Texas) wide receiver Trestan Ebner, decommitted in early April, but still remains interested in SMU. He’s picked up recent offers from TCU, Illinois and Syracuse. SMU gained two-star League City (Texas) Clear Springs quarterback Will McBride, who committed right before the April 16 spring game. That same day, SMU lost two-star Southlake (Texas) Carroll tackle Carson Green to Texas A&M. Four days later, SMU beat out Bowling Green, New Mexico, North Texas, Texas State and UTSA for three-star Lake Travis (Texas) tight end Cade Brewer’s commitment. He previously told PonyStampede SMU was his leader.

4. Navy Midshipmen: Four 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 (1) DB (1) ATH (0) specialists (0) 

Commits by rating: two two-stars, two unrated

April recruiting activity: Navy did not add a known commitment in April, but picked up a May 1 commitment from Camden (N.J.) Woodrow Wilson running back/linebacker Jelani McCargo. McCargo held offers from Cornell, Louisiana Tech and N.C. State. (Note: Navy doesn’t use the NLI system and doesn’t have a limit on its class size).

5. Temple Owls: Three commitments

Top-rated commit: Three-star Miami Booker T. Washington guard Willa Pierre, Scout’s 52nd-ranked guard and sixth-ranked in Florida. 

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

Commits by rating: one three-star, one two-star, one unrated

April recruiting activity: Temple added one player in April, two-star Oakhurst (N.J.) Ocean Township quarterback Kenny Pickett. The 6-foot-1 passer held offers from Buffalo, Connecticut, Texas State and Toledo.

6. Central Florida Knights: Two commitments

Top-rated commit: three-star Jacksonville (Fla.) University Christian running back Otis Anderson, Scout’s 83rd-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 (1) ATH (0) specialists (0) 

Commits by rating: one three-star, one unrated

April recruiting activity: The Knights started the month well with a commitment from Ludowici (Ga.) Long County safety Tariq Carpenter on April 2. He was their only commitment of the month. Carpenter’s only offers before committing were UCF and Georgia State, but he’s since added ones from Memphis and Massachusetts.

7. Cincinnati Bearcats: Two commitments

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

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

Commits by rating: two three-star

April recruiting activity: Cincinnati earned its first commitment since Merrell committed in May 2015 when three-star Carmel (Ind.) wide receiver Jalen Walker committed on April 2. The 5-foot-9, 165-pound Walker’s only other FBS offer came from Central Michigan.

8. Memphis Tigers: Two commitments

Top-rated commit: None of Memphis’ commits 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

April recruiting activity: Memphis got its first two 2017 commits in a span of three days in early March with Cordova (Tenn.) defensive end Braylon Brown and Memphis East running back Timothy Taylor. The Tigers haven’t added a commitment since.

9. Tulsa Golden Hurricane: Two commitments

Top-rated commit: Two-star Tulsa (Okla.) Union running back Shamari Brooks.

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

Commits by rating: one two-star one unrated

April recruiting activity: Tulsa didn’t add a commitment in April, but Brooks committed to his hometown school on May 1. The 5-foot-9, 185-pound Brooks held one other offer, from Sam Houston State.

10. Connecticut Huskies: Two commitments

Top-rated commit: Two-star Everett (Mass.) quarterback Jordan McAfee

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

Commits by rating: one two-star, one unrated

April recruiting activity: UConn got on the board for 2017 on April 2 with McAfee’s pledge. He held one other FBS offer, from Boston College. The Huskies landed their second commitment of the month after their April 16 spring game: Pennsville (N.J.) Memorial defensive end Rob Saulin. UConn is his only offer.

11. South Florida Bulls: One commitment

Top-rated commit: two-star Miami Central wide receiver Jernard Phillips

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

Commits by rating: one two-star

April recruiting activity: The Bulls picked up their first 2017 pledge on April 17 with the addition of Phillips, who was high school teammates with 2016 four-star USF signee Darnell Salomon. Lauderdale Lakes (Fla.) Anderson cornerback Rennard Bozeman added a USF offer in March and named the Bulls in his top three along with Mississippi State and South Carolina.

12. Tulane Green Wave: One commitment

Top-rated commit: Tulane’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 (0) DB (1) ATH (0) specialists (0) 

Commits by rating: one unrated

Notable early commitments: None.

April recruiting activity: Tulane added its first 2017 pledge with Marrero (La.) John Ehret safety Darius Campbell on Feb. 19, but hasn’t earned a commitment since.


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