RECRUITING ON THE SOUTH PLAINS
Ht: 5'9" | Wt: 175 lbs | Forty: 4.55
High School: Rowlett (Rowlett, TX)
Video: Clip 1
Rivals N/R | Scout N/R
ESPN N/R | 24/7 Sports 86
Cumulative Ranking: INC
OffersColorado St., New Mexico, New Mexico St., North Texas, Texas Tech and UTSA
In what seemed like an incredibly long drought of commits, Texas Tech received it's 8th commitment (this is after subtracting a couple of commits) in Rowlett running back Jalen Rhodes. Again, not the best offer list and I guess that you could argue that the best offer other than Texas Tech is New Mexico or Colorado St.
However, you can pretty much guarantee that Rhodes was at the Rockwall camp and impressed coaches enough to garner an offer. That's the good thing about these satellite camps in that the staff gets to see the players that attend close-up and in-person. Now you've got a player that isn't even rated by three of the four scouting services and a player that has hardly any offers. Not only that, if you go off of some of Rhodes' measurables from earlier in the spring and you've got a running back that is also isn't very fast, being clocked at a ESPN-SPARQ in Dallas running a 4.70 40-yard dash.
I still think that Rhodes will be one of two running backs in the class and wouldn't at all be surprised if the other running back was a JUCO prospect.
Here is where Rhodes shines, but most good football players have good statistics. Rhodes was a little-used running back as a sophomore, having only 40 carries and 278 yards for 7.0 yards per carry average. Rhodes exploded as a junior toting the rock 229 times for 1,491 yards, 22 touchdowns, and 6.5 yards per carry average. One other note where Rhodes excels is that he caught 19 passes for 149 yards and 2 touchdowns for 7.8 yards per reception.
The Player Speaks
Not much that's free at this point. From ESPN:
"I feel great," said Rhodes, who also is the Red Raiders’ eighth overall commit of the 2013 class. "I can’t wait to put on the red and black."
UPDATE: DMN's Mike Graham has a bit from RRS.com from Rhodes as well:
“I’m very excited,” Rhodes told RedRaiderSports.com. “I just can’t wait. I was thinking about it the whole time I was there, and I was just ready to get it over with. The visit was very well organized and good. I pretty much saw the whole school from the teammates to the locker room to the whole field. It was very good.”
Graham also tells the story that McKinney Boyd's Bryan Driskell was also at the Rockwall camp and hurt himself and couldn't go through the workouts, but Rhodes did. Driskell was on my list of players that I thought were potential options at running back. Rhodes also mentions that Texas Tech still has the highest graduation rate in the Big 12.
Scouting report and video are after the jump.
This is where Rhodes is a bit better than maybe his measurables stack-up. Let's get to the film first.
What Rhodes does possess is really nice vision, which is something that you expect with a running back, but Rhodes does a really good job of being patient enough to find the correct running lane. Rhodes is also shifty enough and has quick enough feet to actually make defenders miss along the line of scrimmage. I also like that as a junior, Rhodes had pretty receiving numbers and that's relatively uncommon for running backs at his level. Usually, they are just asked to run the ball, but it wouldn't surprise me to see Rhodes catch three or so passes each game next year, which isn't bad.
For all of Rhodes' good points, he does seem to lack top-end speed that we were very familiar with in players like DeAndre Washington and Bradley Marquez. Rhodes does not seem to have that straight-line speed that those players had. For a running back, the straight-line speed is an added bonus and I think I can live with a player that makes defenders miss along the line of scrimmage.
Jalen, welcome to Texas Tech and Git Your Guns Up!
The 2013 Class
I have actually updated everything from this recruiting class, which means that the cumulative rankings are accurate, except for Rhodes. Overall, this is actually a pretty good class at this point, despite the de-commitments. I know that seems strange, but as of February, the average Cumulative Ranking was about 70 and right now, this figure sits at 73, which means that despite appearances and despite having two JUCO defensive backs, this is still a pretty good class. At least on paper. #
|Prosper (Prosper, TX)
|Rowlett (Rowlett, TX)
|Bellaire (Houston, TX)
|Whitehouse (Whitehouse, TX)
|O'Connor (Helotes, TX)
|Skyline (Dallas, TX)
|College of Sequoias (Visalia, CA)
|College of Sequoias (Visalia, CA)