Justin Ford - USA Today Sports

August 2016 AAC Football recruiting recap

PonyStampede breaks down the August recruiting activity in the American Athletic Conference. In the month, 25 players committed to AAC schools, including three that turned down SEC schools to play for one particular AAC team.

Navy Midshipmen: 36 known commitments

Top-rated player: Bowling Green (Ky.) three-star RB Jamale Carothers, Scout’s 47th-ranked RB and top-ranked in Kentucky.

Commits by position: QB (3) RB (7) WR (7) TE (1) OL (4) DL (5) LB (5) DB (3) ATH (0) specialists (1) 

Commits by rating: 5 three-star, 31 two-star

August additions:

Forney (Texas) North Forney two-star RB Khari Dickinson

Villa Park (Calif.) two-star ILB John Stamos

Duluth (Ga.) Northville two-star S Chike Otaluka

Norco (Calif.) two-star LS Kyle Gibbs

Collierville (Tenn.) St. George’s two-star QB Ben Glass

(Note: Navy doesn’t use the NLI system and doesn’t have a limit on its class size. Its commitments are also not as publicized).

August attrition:

None

Takeaways:

Stamos and Otaluka were the commitments coveted most by other FBS teams. Stamos held offers from Nevada and Fresno State while Otaluka’s offer list included Arkansas State, Ball State, Central Michigan, Kent State and Ohio. Dickinson’s only other FBS offer came from Lousiana-Lafayette and Gibbs held offers from the other service academies.

Memphis Tigers: 24 commitments

Top-rated player: Nashville (Tenn.) Davison Academy four-star OT Obinna Eze, Scout’s No. 210 recruit nationally. 

Commits by position: QB (2) RB (1) WR (1) TE (1) OL (2) DL (4) LB (2) DB (7) ATH (2) specialists (1) 

Commits by rating: one four-star, 10 three-star, 12 two-star, one unrated

August additions: 

Jackson (Tenn.) Liberty Technology three-star S Alec Long (No. 75 S)

Nashville (Tenn.) Stratford Comp three-star CB T.J. Carter (No. 81 CB)

Edwardsville (Ill.) K Riley Patterson

Eze (No. 23 OT)

August attrition:

None

Takeaways:

Memphis continues to build a strong class, headlined by Eze, who chose the Tigers over SEC powers Alabama, Florida, LSU and Tennessee. Eze’s pledge gives three AAC teams at least one four-star commitment. Long also picked Memphis over the four SEC schools in his top 5: Kentucky, Mississippi State, Missouri and Texas A&M. Carter also spurned SEC teams for Memphis: Auburn, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Vanderbilt had offered him. Memphis’ class ranks 42nd nationally and is the third highest ranked among non-Power Five teams.

Houston Cougars: 18 commitments

Top-rated player: Plano West (Texas) four-star ILB Mohamed Sanogo, the No. 300 overall player in the nation and Scout’s 11th-ranked ILB.

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

Commits by rating: one four-star 12 three-star, five two-star

August additions: 

None

August attrition:

None

Takeaways:

Houston still boasts the AAC’s top-ranked class, but did not add a commitment in August.

Temple Owls: 18 commitments

Top-rated player: Wexford (Pa.) North Allegheny three-star tight end Griffin Sestili, Scout’s 50th-ranked tight end and top-ranked in Pennsylvania. 

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

Commits by rating: three three-star, 12 two-star, three unrated

July additions:

Englishtown (N.J.) WR L’Jeron Holder

Norwalk (Conn.) OT James Makszin

July attrition:

Newcastle (Pa.) Neshannock two-star Tyler Sear

Takeaways:

August was a fairly quiet month for the Owls. Both Holder and Makszin held one FBS offer, from Temple. Sear flipped to Pittsburgh on Aug. 18, but Temple still has a top-50 tight end in the class with Sestili. 

Central Florida Knights: 17 commitments

Top-rated player: Hollywood (Fla.) three-star DE Chris Whittaker, Scout’s 63rd-ranked DE and 11th-ranked in Florida

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

Commits by rating: three three-star, 13 two-star, one unrated

August additions: 

Whittaker

August attrition:

Sanford (Fla.) Seminole three-star DE Demarco Artis (No. 75 DE)

Takeaways:

The Knights did not get a commitment in August, but added an early September one from Whittaker, who committed the day of their opening game. His addition filled the spot left by Artis, who flipped to Florida State on Aug. 2 upon receiving that offer. Whittaker held a lot of Power Five offers, including Colorado, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, Notre Dame, South Carolina, Rutgers and Tennessee.

South Florida Bulls: 16 commitments

Top-rated player: Cocoa (Fla.) four-star ATH Bruce Judson, Scout’s 29th-ranked ATH and third-ranked in Florida.

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

Commits by rating: one four-star, five three-star, 10 two-star

August additions:

Bradenton (Fla.) Southeast two-star DE Darrien Grant

Tampa Catholic (Fla.) two-star ATH Bentlee Sanders

August attrition:

None

Takeaways:

The Bulls slowed down after a 13-commit July, but still added two players with at least one Power Five offer each. Sanders flipped from Toledo, but previously held offers from Arizona, Bowling Green, Marshall, South Alabama and Utah State. Grant had offers from Boston College, Duke, Navy and N.C. State. He’s the 10th USF commit with at least one Power Five offer.

USF didn’t suffer any 2017 attrition, but their lone 2018 commit reopened his recruitment: top-150 WR Jermaine Eskridge, who held more than 25 offers.

East Carolina Pirates: 15 commitments

Top-rated player: Charlotte (N.C.) Vance three-star QB Kingsley Ifedi, Scout’s 74th-ranked QB and fourth-ranked in North Carolina.

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

Commits by rating: two three-star, 13 two-star

July additions: 

None

July attrition:

None

Takeaways:

Nothing to see here – the Pirates went without a commit in August.

Tulane Green Wave: 16 commitments

Top-rated player: Natchez (Miss.) Cathedral three-star TE Will Wallace

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

Commits by rating: one three-star, 13 two-star, two unrated

August additions: 

Wallace

Marrero (La.) Archbishop Shaw OT Cameron Jackel

Tallahassee (Fla.) Lawton Chiles two-star WR Kris Reed

Senatobia (Miss.) two-star WR Travis Tucker

Petal (Miss.) two-star RB Stephon Huderson

Denton (Texas) Guyer two-star OL Gage Mallory

August attrition:

Marrero (La.) Ehret two-star DB Darius Campbell

Takeaways:

Tulane continues to recruit Mississippi heavily – four of the class’ commitments are from the state and three are in the Mississippi Top 45. Wallace, the class’ only three-star and Mississippi’s 23rd-ranked player, held offers from Coastal Carolina, Florida Atlantic, Kansas and Southern Miss. Mallory briefly decommitted from Tulane in July, but recommitted in August. Buffalo, FIU and UAB offered Reed. Tucker (No. 32 in Miss.) held Memphis and Southern Miss offers. Huderson (No. 42) held offers from Southern Miss and Troy.

SMU Mustangs: 14 commitments

Top-rated player: Lake Travis (Texas) three-star QB Charlie Brewer, Scout’s 52nd-ranked QB and eight-ranked in Texas.

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

Commits by rating: five three-star, nine two-star

August additions: 

None

August attrition:

None

Takeaways:

SMU did not add a high school commitment last month, but landed Arkansas QB transfer Rafe Peavey just after classes started in late August.

Tulsa Golden Hurricane: 14 commitments

Top-rated player: Abilene (Texas) three-star RB Abram Smith, Scout’s 53rd-ranked RB and eighth-ranked in Texas.

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

Commits by rating: four three-star, eight two-star, two unrated

August additions: 

Prattville (Ala.) two-star WR Josh Moore

Tulsa (Okla.) Bishop Kelley DE Ryan Patrick

Hominoy (Okla.) ATH Zaven Collins

August attrition:

None

Takeaways:

Moore becomes the second player with at least one Power Five offer to commit to Tulsa. Utah was the lone Power Five on Moore’s offer list, but he also held offers from Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Cincinnati, UTSA and Tulane. He’s also the only player in the class not from Oklahoma or Texas. Tulsa was the only FBS school to offer Patrick and Collins.

Cincinnati Bearcats: 10 commitments

Top-rated player: Louisville (Ky.) St. Xavier three-star QB Desmond Ridder, Scout’s 43rd-ranked QB and top-ranked in Kentucky

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

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

August additions:

Southfield (Mich.) three-star OLB Lorenzo McCaskill (No. 107 OLB)

August attrition:

Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas three-star WR Jordan Merrell

Takeaways:

Cincinnati ends August with the same number of commits it started with: 10. McCaskill’s offer list included Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Purdue, Toledo and Western Michigan. Merrell flipped to Florida Atlantic on Aug. 9.

Connecticut Huskies: Eight commitments

Top-rated player: Wilmette (Ill.) Loyola Academy three-star CB Ian Swenson, Scout’s 68th-ranked CB and second-ranked in Illinois. 

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

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

August additions: 

New Caanan (Conn.) St. Luke’s two-star ATH Omar Fortt

August attrition:

None

Takeaways:

UConn still has the smallest recruiting class in the conference. Local product Fortt held offers from Army and Navy, and he gives the Huskies four New England natives in the class.


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