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April 26, 2006

Texas tidbits: Frogs looking for domino effect

While most of the early recruiting talk in the Lone Star state has surrounded the Texas Longhorns, something special is going on with Gary Patterson's TCU class. One high school in particular is turning into significant source of talent.

Word came out at the NIKE Training Camp this past weekend that Brenham (Texas) High School defensive back Shawn Sullivan turned down several scholarship offers to stay in-state. Sullivan had given a commitment to the Horned Frogs but had keep things quiet for several weeks.

"It's close to home," Sullivan said about TCU. "I feel that it was just the best fit for me and place for me to go. I have a lot of family that were helping me out telling me I should go there. Plus, I have a lot of family close there that live up in Dallas."

Though Sulivan's commitment is big for the 2007 class, the storyline has been the possibility of more Brenham standouts making an early pledge to TCU. After Sullivan's decision came out at the NIKE Camp, rumors swirled that his teammate, Brandon Collins, was also close. Collins didn't say otherwise.

"I didn't commit like everyone thought, but TCU is my leader and I may have a decision on Tuesday of this week," Collins said after the NIKE Camp.

Though Tuesday came and went without a decision, it's obvious that Collins thinking hard about an early commitment. However, Brenham coach Glen West says that it may not be as close as many believe.

"Brandon has not committed yet," West said. "TCU was here yesterday. They're still high on his list but he's not quite ready. I think with all the schools coming in, don't expect much for the next several weeks."

West also spoke about the possibility of his star quarterback Jarrett Lee ending up at TCU. Though many have said that Nebraska seems to be a team he's leaning to, West disagrees a little.

"Nebraska is high on his list, but I'm not sure he's in a position right now to say there is a leader," West said. "LSU was here yesterday and they've offered him now. Texas A&M was here Monday and Texas Tech was here when LSU was. Then TCU came by as well. Nebraska is coming soon."

"What would be accurate to say is that Nebraska has done a good job recruiting him, but I think it's unfair to say he's leaning anywhere. This may be a harder decision that he thought."

A Texas Tech visit is up next which could make the decision even harder. West says that originally Lee thought about a May decision but may not be deciding before the end of summer.

If that wasn't enough, a third teammate came out with his intentions about TCU. Wide receiver Justin Daniels says he is also nearing a pledge for the Frogs.

"I'm going to commit to TCU," Daniels said. "I'm going to do it sometime this week."

West mentioned that Daniels has yet to commit and like Collins, may be a little farther off now with the evaluation period heating up. Nonetheless, it looks like the Frogs are doing quite well so far at the talent-loaded school.

Mallett headed to Michigan

Finally the recruiting saga has ended for top Texas quarterback Ryan Mallett.

After collecting several offers from around the country, the 6-foot-7, 235-pounder gave his commitment to Michigan on Tuesday. "Relief" was the best word to describe how the Rivals.com pre-evaluation Rivals100 member felt.

"A thousand pounds has been lifted off my shoulders," Mallett said. "Everything about it was perfect. I'm definitely glad I did because that helped me out a tremendous amount. I think that one of the main things that helped make the decision was going up there and looking at it real close."

There is also a possibility that the big QB may be arriving to Michigan early. If classes go the way he would like, the Lone Star product may be a December graduate and be on campus for spring football.

"I'm taking summer classes so if I decide to do that, then I'll be able to," he said. "I'm definitely looking at it."

Aggies get commitment from relocated cornerback

One of the more interesting stories in recruiting as of late, has to be about Houston Bellaire corner Lionel Smith.

After leaving New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina, the 6-foot-1, 180-pounder ended up in the Houston area and made Bellarie his home. However, Smith is coming up in his 19th birthday this August. He was put into an accelerated school in Houston and he'll graduate this spring and show up in the summer for Texas A&M.

"He is the type of guy that can probably go in there and fight for a starting position," Bellaire coach Marshall Law "He'll start summer school in June and start working out with the team."

Smith chose A&M over offers from Kansas State and Missouri. By showing up for summer and fall workouts, he will be considered a 2006 prospect.

NIKE Sleepers getting noticed

The NIKE Camps usually provide not only top players to showcase their abilities, but also prospects under the radar to get their name out. Several of those were present at College Station this past weekend and interest is sky rocketing.

Cornerback Phillip Ofili is one prospect that should see a dramatic increase in recruiting interest over the next few weeks. On top of the fact that the evaluation period is underway, Ofili went out to the camp and ran one of the faster 40-yard dash times and showed well in one-on-one drills.

Texas A&M and Indiana have already been by the school with Florida also planning to stop by as well.

Running back Travis Lewis from San Antonio Lee absolutely blew people away. Posting a sub 4.4-second 40-yard dash and standing at 6-foot-1, 213 pounds, Lewis is about to get a rush of college interest.

Lee coach Jimmy Ramos says that schools are already stopping by.

"On Monday, Connecticut and Arizona were here asking about him," Ramos said. "Yesterday Arizona was here and UTEP has shown a lot of interest. He went to the UTEP camp last summer."

Ramos mentioned that he was under the radar for a while considering the way his season went last year. Suffering a fractured ankle before the season, Lewis was forced to wait until week seven to showcase his abilities. In those last few games, Lewis rushed for nearly 700 yards with small fracture still there.

"He has the ability to play," Ramos said. "He's very intelligent and he passes the eye test most definitely."

Wide receiver Krys Buerck was not the biggest receiver at the NIKE Camp but walked away with a Baylor offer after running a 40-yard dash in the 4.4-second range. Killeen Harker Heights receiver Nick Trice was getting a lot of interest before last Saturday but had just one offer from Oklahoma State. His performance earned him an offer from Texas A&M.

North Richland Hills quarterback Joe Kemp along with Allen's Nathan Dick should see offers heading their way quickly after strong showings at the camp. Linebacker Alvin Jordan left the camp and was alerted to the fact that Wyoming was offering him.

Houston St. John's defensive end David Sklar looks to pick up offers as well. He was talked about as one of the best defensive lineman at the camp along with Jacody Coleman. Coleman already holds one offer from Iowa State.


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