American Athletic Recruiting 2015
Posted Feb 4, 2015

American Athletic 2014 Fearless Predictions, Game Stories, Game of the Week, Roundup & Standings

American Athletic East

The Class Is Heavy On … inside linebackers. The Bearcats’ star is Marquise Copeland, who has the ability to work inside or out, while Matt Draper was a good get who should become a tackling machine once he gets into a weight room. Jaylin Minor isn’t as high a recruit as the other two, but he’s built for the middle with a 6-1, 240-pound frame. The Bearcats also beefed up the O line with two good tackle recruits getting 320-pound Delonte Murray and 310-pound Idarius Ray.

The Star of the Class is …
LB Marquise Copeland, 6-3, 220 – The Bearcats stepped up bringing in the linebackers, but Copeland is a part defensive end, part outside linebacker, and part prospect to take over inside if he can add a little bit of bulk. He had his shot to go to Louisville, Kentucky and Illinois, and he got a push from several Big Ten schools, but he should be a versatile, athletic star of the defensive front early on.

The Class Is Heavy On … defensive end. The offensive side is getting a slew of receivers with size the key. Aaron McLean is 6-6, Frank Battle 6-5 and Marshe Terry 6-4. The defensive front is getting the most help with five hybrid pass rushers with Nazir Williams out of New Jersey able to work as an outside linebacker or a fast defensive end, and Kevin Murphy a high-energy option. Losing Kirk Livingstone to USF, though, hurts.

The Star of the Class is …
DE Nazir Williams, 6-4, 210 – After the program had a hard time getting in any key prospects, landing Williams for the defensive line helped. Rutgers and Buffalo were the ones who made the biggest push, and Williams needs time and at least 30 pounds of good muscle, but given time he should turn into a dangerous hybrid on the outside.

East Carolina
The Class Is Heavy On … wide receiver. The Pirates got two quarterbacks in James Summers and John Jacobs to pay attention to over the next few seasons, but they’re going to need targets to throw to. Bringing in high-end receivers wasn’t a problem, highlighted by Deondre Farrier out of Florida and Taz Richardson out of South Carolina. All four receiver recruits are different with various sizes and speeds, but there’s a little something for everything in the passing game.

The Star of the Class is …
QB James Summers, 6-3, 220 – Corner Nhyre Quinerly was a great get, and the secondary will be helped in a big way by getting Colby Gore, but Summers is the key to the class. The JUCO transfer was seen at some places as a receiver – he has that type of size and athleticism – but with a little time and effort, he could be a whale of a quarterback. ECU wants him under center, while Louisville was pushing for him to play wide receiver. Kansas State and Ole Miss were also on the radar.

The Class Is Heavy On … defensive linemen. The offense got a player in RB T.J. Simmons, and wide receiver was a key area with a few very big, very promising targets led by Jeremiah Atoki and Roy Pugh, but the Owls are building up the D line with three good ends and two tackles starting with Greg Webb for the interior. Dana Levine is a ready-made pass rusher, and DeAndre Kelly can become a factor early on with the room to get a little bigger.

The Star of the Class is …
DT Greg Webb, 6-1, 312 - CB Kareem Ali is a great get and he should end up one day being the star of the secondary, but Webb is going to be the anchor. He’s short and he’s not going to get behind the line, but he’s strong and built for the nose. He’s the type of player who can sit in the middle of the line and stuff things up right away. A JUCO transfer from Hutchinson JC, he turned down Rutgers to go to Temple.

The Class Is Heavy On … pass rush. The offense got its stars in QB Bo Schneider and with three good receiver prospects with the trio of Tristan Payton, D’Erren Wilson and Cameron Stewart forming one of the best position areas in the class. The dangerous options are on the outside of the defensive front seven with four outside linebacker prospects led by Quintin Hampton, while the line has a future star in Titus Davis out of Georgia, who committed early in the process and gave the Knights a fixture to count on.

The Star of the Class is …
QB Bo Schneider, 6-4, 217 – C Luke Hiers will end up being the anchor of the O line once he bulks up a bit, and Tristan Payton is going to become a go-to target, but running the show is Schneider, who with a little time in the weight room could blossom into UCF’s next great passer. A bomber, the Texas native a good passer who had his opportunity at several Group of 5 schools, and was wanted by Oregon State, but in time, look out.

The Class Is Heavy On … wide receiver. The defense got a huge flip getting end Kirk Livingstone away from UConn, and the secondary came up with a great haul starting with excellent safety prospect Khalid McGee and corners Nate Ferguson and Ronnie Hoggins – they’ll both start sooner than later. Chris Barr is a blazer of a receiver, and Malik Vaccaro-Dixon is a big get – literally – out of Florida. JUCO transfer Jarvis Baxter might play right away, and Jordan Reed is a speedster who’ll add more pop to the attack.

The Star of the Class is …
WR Jarvis Baxter, 5-11, 165 – While he’s coming off a knee injury, the receiving star of Trinity Valley JC is a speedster who could be the No. 1 receiver the program has been waiting for. A Group of 5-caliber recruit, he might not have high-end skills, but he’s lightning quick and should be a used in a variety of ways. Also watch out for DE Marlon Gonzalez, a 6-4, 260-pound pass rusher who had his pick of several top schools with Louisville, Arizona and Florida State interested.

American Athletic West

The Class Is Heavy On … tight end. The secondary was addressed with three good safety prospects with excellent size, and Leroy Godfrey is a terrific linebacker recruit who should end up being the star of the front seven. The offense got its big targets with three tight ends coming in starting with Rusty Clark from the JUCO ranks as a big option right away, and with Kobe Idumwonyi and Chuckuemeke Egbule bringing the game along with the name.

The Star of the Class is …
RB Tyreik Gray, 5-11, 180 – While he’s not all that big, and he’s not a blazer, he can do a variety of things with good quickness and great cutting ability between the tackles. Can he be a workhorse? He won’t need to be, but he could turn into a key part of the attack and also develop into a receiver. Arizona State, Georgia, Arkansas and Baylor all made a push and wanted to potentially move him, but he’ll be a running back for the Cougars.

The Class Is Heavy On … defensive linemen. The star of the show might be QB Brady Davis, but the Tigers are loading up in a huge way on defense both in the secondary and on the line. It’s a strength-in-numbers thing on the end with East Mississippi JUCO transfer Demarco Montgomery the one who might be able to produce now, but the tackles are the stars with Jared Gentry and Mike Edwards two ready-made big bodies for the interior. Edwards, a JUCO transfer out of Iowa Western, has to produce as part of the rotation immediately.

The Star of the Class is …
QB Brady Davis, 6-3, 190 – JUCO transfer Mike Edwards should make an immediate impact, and Jared Gentry is another great get for the defensive interior, but Davis was a Mississippi high school star with sharp passing skills and the ability to spread the ball all over the field. While he wasn’t wanted by the Power 5 schools, with a few years of development he should turn into the team’s main man for the offense.

The Class Is Heavy On … offensive linemen. The Midshipmen are bringing in five quarterback prospects with the potential to move a few of them around where needed as slotbacks and defensive backs. The linemen coming in are going to pave the way with eight decent-sized athletes who fit what the Midshipmen like to do. 295-pound Kyle Malik-Mitchell, and 290-pound David Forney are among the biggest of the bunch forming the foundation. 315-pound Jackson Pittman leads a group of centers who can move around on the line, too.

The Star of the Class is …
G Andrew Wood, 6-5, 286 – The Midshipmen are bringing in a little bit of size across the board with 6-4, 270-pound Nick Czar eventually going to be a big presence on the defensive line, but the star of the class should be for the offensive front. There were offers from Purdue, California and Mississippi State, but Wood chose Navy and should be the exact type of devastating blocker who can bring the power on the interior. He can hover around 300 pounds, but he might play lighter to get on the move and do what Navy likes.

The Class Is Heavy On … receiver. The Mustangs are trying to improve the defensive front with a few good ends and a slew of outside linebackers led by Austin Corbett, a good-sized speedster who could beef up a bit and become a dangerous pass rusher. The receiving corps is getting the bulk with several prospects coming in led by Kevin Thomas, the most talented one of the bunch, and the 4.4 wheels of Xavier Castille. James Proche II will quickly become a factor, too.

The Star of the Class is …
WR Kevin Thomas, 6-1, 175 – QB Ben Hicks is going to need to someday by the leader of this class, TE Hunter Herndon could become a dangerous target, and James Proche is a high-end receiver prospect, but Proche’s De Soto High teammate, Thomas, is built to someday by the No. 1 receiver in the Mustang attack. He might not be a blazer, but he’s tough for his size and he’ll battle for midrange plays and should be a go-to guy.

The Class Is Heavy On … cornerback. The backfield got some help with Nigel Anderson a dangerous speedster and Chaz Key and Devin Glenn two quick options. The defensive backfield got the biggest influx of talent with four decent-sized speed option. Malik Eugene and Douglas Henry committed early on in the process, but Jeremie Francis and Taris Shenall are in the hunt for early playing time, too.

The Star of the Class is …
DT John Washington, 6-3, 290 – The offense is getting a running back to eventually work around in Nigel Anderson, and Keeyon Smart and Leeward Brown are great prospects for the O line, but the defensive front needs bodies for the interior, and Washington might be a huge part of the rotation. There were some thoughts that he might end up at an SEC school, but Tulane was the one. There’s anchor talent and potential.

The Class Is Heavy On … pass rushers. Reggie Robinson leads a good group of corners to potentially make it the cornerstone position of the class, but they could use some help from the pressure into the backfield. McKinley Whitfield is a safety-sized outside pass rusher and Trevis Gipson is also built like a defensive back, but they’re going to make their way behind the line. The ends aren’t top prospects, but Austin Grotts and Michael Anderson have to come through.

The Star of the Class is …
QB Chad President, 6-3, 190 – Tulsa came up with some nice recruits for the new coaching staff with McKinley Whitfield and Trevis Gipson both too-thin, undersized playmakers for somewhere in the defensive back seven, but the class needs President to dominate. While he might need some tweaking and he might not be mechanically sound, he can make things happen on the move – he’s a baller. However, he could be a receiver if needed – Texas, Baylor and Texas Tech all were looking at him as a possible target.

Cincinnati | Connecticut | East Carolina | Houston | Memphis 
South Florida | SMU | Temple | Tulane | Tulsa | UCF


  Conf Overall
  W L W L
Memphis 7 1 9 3
UCF 6 1 8 3
Cincinnati 6 1 8 3
E Carolina 5 2 8 3
Houston 5 2 7 4
Temple 3 4 5 6
South Florida 3 5 4 8
Tulane 2 5 3 8
Tulsa 2 6 2 10
Connecticut 1 6 2 9
SMU 0 7 0 11
Nov. 28 Houston 35, at SMU 9
And You Care Because … Greg Ward Jr. ran for three touchdowns from 38, four and five yards out, and Kenneth Farrow ran for third quarter scores from 11 and 14 yards away as Houston ran away for the win. SMU held a 9-7 halftime lead after Jeremiah Gaines caught a 67-yard touchdown pass late in the first half, but it was all Houston the rest of the way with 28 unanswered points.
What Else? Houston QB Greg Ward Jr. completed 17-of-28 passes for 144 yards with a pick, and ran 14 times for 93 yards and three touchdowns
- SMU QB Matt Davis completed 13-of-27 passes for 145 yards and a touchdown, and ran 20 times for 70 yards
- Houston RB Kenneth Farrow ran 18 times for 110 yards and two scores
- Total yards: Houston 433 – SMU 223
Game Rating: C

Nov. 29 Cincinnati 14, at Temple 6
And You Care Because … The Bearcats earned a piece of the AAC title, getting all the points they’d need in the second quarter on a three-yard Mekale McKay touchdown catch and a one-yard Mike Boone run. The defense did the rest, setting up the first score on a forced fumble, and allowing just two field goals. The Owls got a 30-yard Austin Jones field goal in the first, and a 31-yard kick in the third, and that was it.
What Else? Cincinnati QB Gunner Kiel completed 19-of-31 passes for 174 yards and a score
- Temple QB P.J. Walker completed 19-of-35 passes for 196 yards, and ran 12 times for 33 yards
- Time of possession: Temple 33:06 – Cincinnati 26:54
- Total yards: Temple 267 – Cincinnati 255
Game Rating: C

Nov. 28 UCF 16, at South Florida 0
And You Care Because … UCF didn’t get the offense moving too well, but it came up with two big second quarter drives finishing with a seven-yard Breshad Perriman touchdown catch and a 21-yard Rannell Hall run for all the points needed. UCF DE Thomas Niles came up with a sack in the third quarter for the only other points. The Bulls only managed 200 yards of total offense.
What Else? UCF QB Justin Holman completed 20-of-29 passes for 150 yards and a score with a pick
- South Florida quarterbacks combined for 18-of-39 passes for 195 yards
- South Florida ran 22 times for five yards
- Third down conversions: UCF 11-of-18 – South Florida 5-of-14
Game Rating: C-

Nov. 29 at Memphis 41, Connecticut 10
And You Care Because … Paxton Lynch threw four touchdown passes with two to Keiwone Malone from six and nine yards out, and finding Tevin Jones from 12 yards away and Phil Mayhue from 21 yards out in the third. Connecticut could only managed a 45-yard field goal in a 34-3 Tiger run. The Huskies finally got into the end zone on a 39-yard Arkeel Newsome catch in the fourth. Memphis answered with a one-yard Jarvis Cooper run.
What Else? Memphis QB Paxton Lynch completed 22-of-41 passes for 194 yards and four scores, and ran nine times for 40 yards
- Connecticut QB Tim Boyle completed 12-of-24 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown with a pick
- Total yards: Memphis 372 – Connecticut 269
- Penalties: Connecticut 10 for 115 yards – Memphis 4 for 40 yards
Game Rating: D

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