New head coach Jim McElwain has been slow out of the gate on the recruiting trail, but Florida finally landed its first in-state blue-chip prospect Monday. The Gators secured a commitment from four-star St. Thomas Aquinas running back Jordan Scarlett, who chose Florida over Florida State and Miami. Scarlett first committed to Florida Atlantic in December 2013, flipping to Miami in July. He decommitted from the Hurricanes the day before his pledge to the Gators. Alligator Army sees it as a big boost to Florida's much-maligned offense:
And after Florida failed to add a speed back in 2014 - the Gators had Dalvin Cook until a fateful flip to Florida State, then added Brandon Powell, more quick than fast and likely now destined for the slot - Scarlett is a welcome addition for McElwain, who will need to keep adding kindling to make the Gators explosive on offense again.
Scarlett wasn't the only pickup for McElwain and the Gators -- he was one of three Monday commitments for the program. Three-star Gainesville (Ga.) athlete Chris Williamson committed to Florida over Michigan and North Carolina, and three-star Dallas safety Kylan Johnson flipped from Kansas State to the Gators.
Les Miles picked up the day's single biggest commitment when four-star weakside defensive end Arden Key committed to the Tigers. The Georgia prospect chose LSU over South Carolina and Miami, and was previously committed to the Gamecocks. And the Valley Shook credits the Tigers' new defensive staff for the pledge:
The coaching change from Brick Haley to Ed Orgeron and Chavis to Kevin Steele changed things when the two new coaches made Key an even bigger priority than the previous staff. The official visit from Key on the weekend of January 16th helped seal the deal as both Key and his family fell in love with the personality of Orgeron, making things easier for Key to go a little further away from his home state of Georgia to call Baton Rouge his new home.
LSU also landed Australian punter Josh Growden, continuing the school's tradition of specialists from Down Under.
It wouldn't be Oregon without a number of explosive weapons on offense. The Ducks added another Monday. Four-star Louisiana athlete Kirk Merritt committed to the Ducks over Texas A&M and Auburn, among others. Addicted to Quack sees a bright future for the player:
Merritt is a versatile athlete who could play receiver, running back, or TAZR at Oregon, though it is thought that he will start out at receiver. At 5'11, 205 lbs he compares similarly to current running back turned wide receiver Byron Marshall. Merritt won the SPARQ Championship at The Opening in Beaverton last summer and is widely considered one of the best athletes in the nation.
After losing four-star Zach Gentry to Michigan, Texas really, really needed a quarterback in this class. The Longhorns got one Monday, flipping four-star Maryland prospect Kai Locksley from Florida State. Locksley was a part of a three-quarterback class at Florida State, but took a visit to Austin in late January and changed his decision. Burnt Orange Nation doesn't expect him to start right away, but a bright future could be in store for Locksley with the Longhorns.
Though Locksley played wide receiver at the 2015 Under Armour All-America game, he'll play quarterback at Texas. In fact, the coaching staff told him that he'll be able to redshirt behind Tyrone Swoopes and Jerrod Heard, which is his preference, so don't look for him to make an early impact.
There's nothing wrong with his mechanics and his athleticism could help him see the field early -- he possesses similar speed and agility to Heard, except he's a little bit taller and could eventually hold more weight on his frame than Heard, who was listed at 199 pounds last year.
Arizona State Sun Devils
Todd Graham has added another weapon to his linebacking corps, securing a commitment from four-star California prospect Jay Jay Wilson. Wilson chose the Sun Devils over Colorado and Utah, but also held offers from Minnesota and Oregon State. Arizona State also picked up a commitment from three-star Tennessee cornerback Kareem Orr, a former Louisville pledge who chose the Sun Devils over Indiana.
Bob Stoops didn't land any blue-chip prospects Monday, but Oklahoma grabbed two commitments who should be able to help with depth this season. Three-star New Orleans linebacker Arthur McGinnis pledged to the Sooners over Texas Tech and Arizona, while three-star Oklahoma City wide receiver Dahu Green pledged to Oklahoma over Louisville and Washington State (where he was previously committed).