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South Central Spotlight: Five head-to-head battles to track

Tommy Brockermeyer
Tommy Brockermeyer (Nick Lucero/

The spring wave of commitments has taken a lot of top prospects off the board, and many remaining recruitments are focused on a handful of schools. In the South Central region alone, 28 of the 51 prospects rated as four-stars or better have already issued commitments. Of the remaining uncommitted prospects, there are some clear top contenders.

Here are five two-team battles in the region that are set to play out over the coming weeks and months.

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BRYCE FOSTER - Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma   

The nation's top offensive guard made not one, but two visits to Oklahoma at the beginning of the spring, including the first day of the Sooners' spring practices. Lincoln Riley and offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh have been very active recruiting Foster and most of his family, which has allowed Oklahoma to emerge as one of the obvious favorites.

Foster's mother attended Texas A&M and his older brother played there. In terms of proximity to home, Texas A&M has a distinct edge. Offensive line coach Josh Henson has been piecing together an impressive offensive line haul for the Aggies in 2021, with Foster potentially being the final piece of the puzzle.

The five-star plans to take all five of his officials, including to Oklahoma and Texas A&M, but also to Texas, LSU and Oregon. There's plenty of time left in this recruitment and Foster is still mulling his options.

Prediction: Oklahoma


TOMMY BROCKERMEYER - Texas vs. Alabama

Brockermeyer has narrowed his top schools down to Texas, Alabama, Auburn and LSU, but this is becoming a two-team race as we inch closer and closer toward a decision. In a recent interview with Rivals, Brockermeyer indicated that if he had to make a decision today, he would be able to do so.

Alabama has been a popular destination for both Tommy and his twin brother, James. They visited last summer, worked out during camp and have returned for unofficial visits already. If not for the pandemic, the Brockermeyers would have been in Tuscaloosa twice this spring and summer as they prepared to make their commitments.

Texas, of course, is the favorite within the Brockermeyers household. The twins' father, Blake, was an All-American for the Longhorns and their older brother, Luke, plays linebacker in Austin. One of the major selling points that the Texas staff is trying to gain ground with is development as they prepare for the NFL.

Official visits could loom large here, as they would give Alabama an opportunity to close and Texas a chance to gain ground. Alabama assistant coaches Kyle Flood and Jeff Banks - in addition to Nick Saban - have been very impactful so far, and it's hard to imagine the Tide slowing down.

Prediction: Alabama


LATRELL McCUTCHIN: Oklahoma vs. Alabama

McCutchin was an early Alabama commitment, pulling the trigger after a dominant performance at a summer camp last year. Even after the Rivals100 cornerback suffered a season-ending leg injury, the Alabama coaches remained consistent in communicating and got him on campus for the LSU-Alabama showdown last November.

Oklahoma was one of a handful of teams that continued to court McCutchin as he dealt with his injury. That included FaceTime meetings with the entire staff and head Sooner Lincoln Riley. McCutchin's decision to open his recruitment back up coincided with a junior day trip to Norman, his first visit to a school outside of Alabama in several months.

Schools such as Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Ohio State and LSU are also in this, but McCutchin has certainly favored the Tide and the Sooners throughout his recruitment. Whenever visits resume, those are two to watch for the four-star cornerback.

Prediction: Alabama


BRIAN THOMAS - LSU vs. Alabama 

The always quiet Thomas trimmed his list of finalists down to four, including LSU and Alabama as well as Georgia and Texas A&M. The Rivals100 wide receiver has visited both LSU and Alabama quite a bit and has yet to check out either College Station or Athens.

LSU is the hometown team and Thomas lives minutes from campus. The Tigers were the first to offer him after his freshman season and have been able to get him on campus for workouts and visits since. Thomas' best friend and former teammate, Jalen Cook, recently signed to LSU's basketball team.

The Alabama coaches were able to get the four-star back to Tuscaloosa for a Louisiana-heavy junior day before the dead period and area recruiter Pete Golding has made Thomas a priority. This is shaping up to be a classic LSU-Alabama race, with either side capable of landing the playmaker.

Prediction: LSU


THEODORE KNOX: Texas vs. Mississippi State  

Knox recently cut his offer sheet down to seven schools, and while TCU, Texas A&M and Baylor are all involved, this is shaping up to be a two-team race between Texas and Mississippi State.Texas blew Knox away when it offered him last summer and the Longhorns have had him on campus multiple occasions since. The coaches there love his speed and his playmaking ability in their wide-open offense. There is no doubt that Knox sits very high on Texas' wish list.

The same goes for State. Knox has very strong connections to the coaches up in Starkville, which dates back to his time in Louisiana. Mississippi State has been selective with wide receivers in its 2021 haul to ensure there's a spot saved for Knox in case he decides he wants in.

Prediction: Mississippi State