We're starting chronologically with the commitments since I've been away. That means we'll have the following profiles in this order: C Jared Kaster; DT Anthony Smith; WR Dominique Wheeler; LB Ryan Flannigan; and OL Trey Keenan. I mentioned this when I left, but I had a good feeling that with the commitment of Kaster, there would be a handful of other commits due to the recent camps in Houston and in Dallas. I don't know how these commits would have played out had there not been a camps, but I really like the idea of coaches going to the players rather than the players having to go to the coaches. It's sometimes not easy to send a kid or drive to Lubbock depending on the family situation, but I really like what the staff is doing and I'd also imagine that they are laying some pretty deep roots as far as high school coaching staffs. And Kaster talked a bit about this with the Examiner's Jefferson Powell:
"Another factor was meeting Coach Moore who works with the offensive line; working with him at the Cy-ridge camp sealed the deal, Kaster added, he is an excellent coach and I can't wait to start working with him in college."
Yep, Moore working with Kaster sealed the deal. Let's get to it.
Initial DTN FanShot or FanPost: Hat-tip to Fileman G!
Nationally, Kaster is the #5 ranked center according to Rivals. He's not rated nationally by Scout, but I think they're the outlier as ESPN has Kaster as the #8 ranked center.
The Player Speaks: LAJ's Don Williams talked with Kaster after his commitment to Texas Tech, who says that he's done with recruiting:
"No, I’m done," Kaster said. "I’m a Red Raider for life."
Kaster, a lanky center from Altair Rice Consolidated, visited the Tech campus over the weekend shortly after he pledged to the Red Raiders.
"One of the big (reasons) is, of course, it’s in the Big 12, and it’s a dream to play in the Big 12 and for Texas Tech," Kaster said. "The relationship I had with my recruiting coach, coach (Chad) Scott, was unbelievable. We hit it off from the start."
Kaster also talked a bit about OL coach:
"Just working with him, I could tell he was a phenomenal coach," Kaster said. "That kind of set it off, made me want to play there, made me want to get started. And the campus was beautiful. We drove around there, and it was unbelievably beautiful."
More after the jump.
The aforementioned Examiner article also talked about his de-commitment from Rice, which is never a good thing for any college, but I'm happy that Texas Tech has Kaster on its side of the ledger.
The Video: Film don't lie.
Scouting Report: There's a lot to like, and a lot of you mentioned this when Kaster committed, but he really finishes his block well, he's very mobile and seems to really attack his opposing defensive lineman. He doesn't get too upright it seems like that Kaster could probably switch between guard or center, but I thought that Dave Campbell's Greg Tepper had some interesting thoughts as to why perhaps Kaster would stick at center:
First of all, Kaster was an early pledge to Rice who recently decommitted and switched to Tech; that’s a relatively big loss for the Owls and a very big gain for the Raiders. And Kaster is quite a catch: a first-team All-State center, he’s used to running the show of the multiple-formation Rice Consolidated offense, meaning he has experience in running complicated offensive schemes. That’s got to be a big reason why he was so attractive to the Red Raiders, aside from his obvious size (6-4, 255) and ability (84 pancakes, and didn’t allow a sack last year).
One other interesting tidbit. Back in May, when Kaster didn't have a Texas Tech offer, per Recruitcosm's Tipsy Gypsie, Oregon made it a point to check out Kaster and had this to say about Kaster:
He’s a country strong kid – as opposed to a city strong one – with a big frame. He’s about 265 lbs. now but he’ll easily add 30 more and my guy thinks he has the chance to be good if he keeps his feet. Basically he’s a cross between Steve Prefontaine and Ndukwe Kalu. My guy says he’ll be starting at Rice by his Sophomore year if he sticks with them. Conversely, if he did go to Oregon, he could be doing the o-line’s homework as a true Freshman! Early studying time is big with Rice types.
So what does all of this mean? Well, it means that Kaster is a smart kid who is able to understand various offensive concepts and make the right calls as well as being noticed by some pretty good programs, who has a good disposition for finishing plays and likes to flatten his opponent while not giving up any sacks. That sounds like a winning combination for a center.
Jared, welcome to Texas Tech and Git Your Guns Up!
The 2012 Class: Not complete because I haven't added the other commits, but this class is rounding out nicely.
|QB||CLAYTON NICHOLAS||6-3/205||Cooper (Abilene, TX)||3||5.7||2||4||79||3||88|
|WR||REGINALD DAVIS||6-1/185||Tenaha (Tenaha, TX)||4||5.8||4||4||81||4||91|
|WR||MARCUS JOHNSON||6-1/180||Clear Spring (League City, TX)||3||5.6||3||3||78||3||89|
|OL||CHRISTIAN OKAFOR||6-6/320||Westbury (Houston, TX)||3||5.6||4||4||79||3||88|
|OL||HALAPOULIVAATI VAITAI||6-5/260||Haltom (Haltom City, TX)||3||5.7||4||3||78||3||89|
|C||JARED KASTER||6-4/268||Rice (Altair, TX)||3||5.6||2||3||78||3||87|
|DL||J.J. BYNUM||6-3/275||A&M Consolidated (College Station, TX)||3||5.6||3||3||79||-||-|
|DL||MICHAEL STARTS||6-5/285||La Vega (Waco, TX)||4||5.8||4||4||80||4||94|
|LB||MICAH AWE||6-0/210||Mansfield Summit (Mansfield, TX)||-||-||2||3||78||-||-|
|LB||KRIS WILLIAMS||6-2/200||Bryan Adams (Dallas, TX)||-||-||2||-||-||-||-|
|DB||LA'DARIUS NEWBOLD||6-1/180||Lancaster (Lancaster, TX)||3||5.7||3||3||75||-||-|
|ATH||KEENON WARD||5-9/176||Snyder (Snyder, TX)||3||5.5||3||3||78||-||-|