Keller Citizen

Football recruiting heats up for area standouts as NSD nears

Keller Fossil Ridge RB Anthony Smith (20) has committed to UT-San Antonio, but that could change before National Signing Day.
Keller Fossil Ridge RB Anthony Smith (20) has committed to UT-San Antonio, but that could change before National Signing Day. Special to the Star-Telegram

The so-called dead period in college football recruiting finally ends next Wednesday. College coaches will be canvasing high school campuses on Jan. 12, connecting with recruits face-to-face and determining if they can make a difference in this stretch run.

It might be called the dead period, but plenty happens over the span from Dec. 12-Jan. 11. Because the NCAA relaxed the rules on electronic communication, coaches were contacting recruits through Twitter or text message. Recruits were also able to call coaches or even visit a campus if they so desired.

That’s the way it works. But this is also the period that’s important for these staffs and players to set up plans for the final push to National Signing Day, Feb. 1.

So let’s get you caught up.

▪  Justin Northwest 2017 wide receiver Gavin Holmes may be the most-watched recruit in this area. De-committed from Iowa, he’s already visited Nebraska and has visits set up for Arizona State (Jan. 13) and UCLA (Jan. 20). Recently, he released a list of seven finalists: Baylor, UCLA, Arizona State, Oregon, Notre Dame, Utah and Nebraska.

Baylor, Oregon and Notre Dame are the new entrants into this race. They extended offers in December. When you’re in as much demand as Holmes is, it’s nice to have choices. Don’t look for Holmes to make any decisions until after he takes his final visit or on signing day itself.

Meanwhile, running back Syrus Moore has offers from some small schools including William Jewel, a Division II school in Missouri, and Fort Scott Community College in Kansas.

▪  Keller Fossil Ridge 2017 running back Anthony Smith recently committed to UT-San Antonio. But the theory is that’s when the recruiting really begins. We’re aware that several Power 5 programs have looked into him, including Baylor. The Bears have a new coach in Matt Rhule, who arrived from Temple on Dec. 7. Smith might be one of those players that P5 schools will need to see in person before they move forward on him.

▪  Grapevine 2017 nose tackle Brian Andrews is starting to earn attention from more football programs. They may not be Division I, but the well-known wrestler understands that. He’s picked up an offer from FCS Northwestern State in Louisiana and three Division II programs in Texas A&M-Commerce, Southeastern Oklahoma and Northwestern Oklahoma State. The major consideration for Division I programs to evaluate is that Andrews is also looking at wrestling at the next level.

▪  Other notes: Colleyville Heritage 2019 wide receiver Kam Brown has picked up offers from SMU and East Carolina. Look for his attention to increase at least by spring football ... Carroll junior linebacker Jacob Doddridge spent the fall taking unofficial visits to Clemson, Kansas State, UCLA and Baylor. No offers yet. He’s going to be a candidate to receive invitations for junior days later this month or in the spring … Carroll 2017 offensive lineman Henry Klinge has an official visit to Baylor set for Jan. 20 … Keller Central 2017 safety/linebacker Josh Cilumba may be closer to making a commitment decision in the early part of the month. Cilumba has an offer from Air Force … Keller 2017 defensive end Spencer Misko appears to be all set with his commitment to Kansas State, head coach Carl Stralow said.

There are many more stories to unfold for the next four weeks. As with recruiting, there are always surprises.