clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Why a blue-chip recruit might commit to play in a non-power conference

Welcome to The Crootletter (sign up to get this in your inbox every morning!). I'm Bud Elliott, SB Nation's National Recruiting Analyst, and in this space I'll be sharing news, rumors and musings on the world of college football recruiting.

UTSA v Arizona Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Fall camp is happening across the country both at the high school and college levels, and that means not much is happening in recruiting. Prospects are not visiting colleges, and coaches are not visiting high schools. This time of year, the pickings are slim for a recruiting analyst.

But one thing this weekend did catch my eye: The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) gained a commitment from a four-star linebacker recruit, Javaris Steward.

This is highly abnormal. Over the last four years, the entire Group of 5 has combined to sign just 27 four- and five-star players.

Over that same time period, 21 Power 5 programs have signed more.

Steward has had an interesting recruitment to date. He was previously committed to both USC and UCLA in 2015, while he played in Southern California, but he has since transferred transferred back to Denton (Tex.) Ryan.

Could a lack of familiarity with a prospect who has been at three high schools in three different years be a reason Steward hasn’t received much interest from the big Texas schools?

While I do not have specific access to Steward’s grades, coaches often lament the transcript issues presented by players who transfer multiple times. It also could be that the 6’2, 240-pound Steward is a bit of a tweener between defensive end and linebacker.

Or maybe UTSA just did a better job getting on a talented player who recently transferred back to the state. Coach Frank Wilson, a longtime recruiting ace during his time at LSU, may have simply been better and quicker in this instance.

If Steward has a big senior year and his transcripts check out, you can bet the bigger programs in the state and the Midlands region will come after him. At that point, the real fight begins.


Four-star athlete Devonta Smith was set to commit Monday (I believe to Alabama over Miami, LSU and others), but the Amite (La.) star postponed his announcement due to the flooding in the state. Prayers to the folks in Louisiana displaced from their homes.

Four-star safety Richard LeCounte, a Georgia commit from Liberty County was taken off the field by stretcher after a big hit. But an assistant for his high school told Dawgs247 that LeCounte is OK:

"He's good," Glazer told Dawgs247 on Friday morning. "I think he just got knocked out. No concussion according to the doctor last night. He's at school today and is his normal self."

LeCounte also says that he is fine.

When LeCounte’s on the field, he’s terrific.

Texas Tech gained a commitment from 2018 running back recruit Stanley Hackett, of Pasadena (Tex.). He’s a four-star, and Viva The Matadors believes he could eventually be a power back in the Red Raiders’ air raid.

All in all, this is a great recruit that Texas Tech locked up early. After a few years in Rusty Whitt’s [strength and conditioning] program, we might have a true power back with vision on the roster in Lubbock.