As the Big Blue World wonders what will happen to Stoops’ superstar recruiter Vince Marrow, let’s take a look at what he’s helped put together so far in the Class of 2015.
– 17 Commitments
– Four 4-star players, according to 24/7 Composite
– Ranked 29th Nationally, 11th in the SEC
– 7 Players from Ohio, 3 from Florida, 2 from Kentucky
– And twiiiiiiiiiiiins….
Filling Areas in Need of Improvement
Tight End: The tight end position has been virtually non-existent through Stoops first two years, combining for only 431 yards on 34 catches and 2 touchdowns (ZERO TDs in 2014). An important part of the Air Raid system, drag routes across the middle of the field could easily become the bread-and-butter of Shannon Dawson’s offense with the right players in place. CJ Conrad is arguably the best tight end in the country. A participant in Nike’s prestigious camp, The Opening, he will enroll early in January to get a head start. Alongside RS freshman Darryl Long, who people around the program continue to speak highly of, the Cats should have a pair of big targets to get the ball to in 2015.
Linebacker: Mark Stoops didn’t sign a linebacker in his first class, but has gotten some of the best since. Eli Brown of Bowling Green, Ky. is the consensus #2 player in the state behind Damien Harris. The exceptional athlete can cover the pass well from the outside position. Stoops went home to Cardinal Mooney to pick up Jordan Jones, another outstanding outside linebacker who has a knack for making plays. Not to mention the three linebackers that wore the redshirt this year – Nico Firios, Kobie Walker and Dorian Hendrix – all of whom should see quality playing time.
Offensive Line: The best way to get the best running back in the country, is to recruit the best linemen in the country. Four offensive lineman are poised to sign next month, including 247’s 4-star offensive tackle, George Asafo-Adjei. The group will likely stick with Stoops’ plan to redshirt their first year, just like the four freshman OLinemen from 2014. The way the 14ers’ changed their bodies and got their mind right for college is only encouraging for more bigger bodies in the future to lead the way for elite talent in the backfield.
In the Crosshairs
With only 31 short days left til National Signing Day, the Cats could still pull in their two biggest homeruns of the class: #1 running back Damien Harris and Top Ten cornerback and former Florida commit Marcus Lewis, a pair of UnderArmour All-Americans. Getting both might be wishful thinking, but in elite college football recruiting, anything is possible.