Texas region breakdown: Five on the rise, two on the decline
As the fall wraps up in Texas, a number of players have seen their recruiting status either rise or fall after their high school season. Several players are receiving an uptick in interest and could surprise college football fans with their plans ahead of National Signing Day.
Recruitment: Filiaga is announcing his commitment during the Army All-America Bowl on Jan. 7. He’s taken official visits to Michigan, Oklahoma and Oregon, with plans to likely take his final visits to some combination of Arkansas, Nebraska, Texas or USC.
Analysis: Filiaga has easily established himself as one of the more dominant offensive linemen in the state since moving to Texas before the season. He carries next to no bad weight and is as athletic as he is large, making it a near-impossible task to simply get around him. He’s probably better-suited to anchor an offensive line in a more traditional offense, but is certainly versatile enough to plug in at either tackle - or guard - position and make defensive linemen miserable.
Recruitment: The circumstances surrounding the dissolution of Benjamin’s commitment from Iowa have been a hot speaking point in the football recruiting realm. Michigan fans hope the Wolverines will pick up where things left off before his commitment to the Hawkeyes. Benjamin has also taken visits to Missouri and Arizona State this season.
Analysis: Benjamin has been the heart of his Wylie East team this season, doing just about everything for his team’s offense. He lines up as a wildcat QB and has rushed for over 2,000 yards. Benjamin has climbed in the Rivals rankings because of his ability to do everything — he’s a sturdy running back that has shown during the offseason how effective he is as a pass-catcher as well.
Recruitment: Thompson flipped his commitment from TCU to Texas in July but has recently seen his offer list expand in November. This month, he’s picked up offers from Arizona State, Ole Miss, and UCLA as programs anticipate a possible coaching change with the Longhorns.
Analysis: Thompson has a lot of honey badger tendencies, as he looks to strip the ball as frequently as he tackles. He’s also an enthusiastic hitter and launches himself at ball-carriers in run defense or in the secondary. He’s played more of a safety role for his high school team, but that’s more to take advantage of how athletic and rangy he is, rather than sequester him to just covering one man on every play. Thompson is a prospect that can factor in quickly in multiple positions in the secondary.
Recruitment: Polley committed to Colorado in May after decommitting from Kansas earlier in the month. He was a hot commodity over the spring and summer, but recently picked up an offer from Oklahoma State this month. He now has over 25 offers and could still be weighing his options.
Analysis: Once Polley gets his hands on a defender, that’s usually where the story ends for his opponent. He’s the type of block-and-drive player that draws your eye on every play, which is no doubt how he caught the attention of so many top programs. Polley frequently finds himself on the top side of pancakes and keeps hands and feet active when engaging in blocks.
Recruitment: Since Oct. 30, Moore has added offers from Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa State, Kentucky, Purdue and USC. He’s becoming one of the most offered players in 2018 and now has 45 total under his belt. Moore’s twin brother, Jordan, already has many of the same offers and the two are obviously being watched to see if they’ll end up in the same place.
Analysis: Moore has become the premier name in Texas despite playing a small school in the southeastern part of the state. He was a camp darling in the spring as a dynamo wide receiver that is a speedy and sharp route-runner. He has a slender physique, but his brother is filled out more than him, so it stands to reason that he can thicken up a little more over the next few years. His brother has announced that his commitment is coming on Christmas Eve, so if he holds to that, that could be the first great indicator of where Joshua could be leaning.
Recruitment: Jackson has been committed to Colorado since April.
Analysis: Jackson suffered back-to-back ACL tears and hasn’t played this season for Cedar Hill. For a smaller guy that has made his hay on explosion and quickness, significant ligament issues like this don’t bode well for his future. Though he showed some promise of being able to make a nice comeback in the spring, this latest injury has created some big questions about his future.
Recruitment: Wallace has been committed to Oklahoma State since March.
Analysis: Like Jackson, Wallace has suffered a second consecutive ACL tear this season. He committed to Oklahoma State with his twin brother, Tylan, with hopes of getting a shot at trying his hand at quarterback but likely finding a role as a playmaker elsewhere in the offense. Now, his future at either position is up in the air as — like his brother — his mobility was an important part of his skill set.