ANALYSIS: Memphis football recruiting

ANALYSIS: Memphis football recruiting

The University of Memphis football program has not gotten a verbal commitment since July 29, when Daniel Hurd and Carl Mitchell of Wooddale pledged to the Tigers in front of City Hall.

First, the facts: The University of Memphis football program has not gotten a verbal commitment since July 29, when Daniel Hurd and Carl Mitchell of Wooddale pledged to the Tigers in front of City Hall.

Within Conference USA, only East Carolina has gone longer than Memphis without a verbal commitment.

It hasn't helped, of course, that U of M coach Larry Porter's job status has been on unsettled ground since September.

But since Hurd and Mitchell made the sixth and seventh commitments for Porter's 2012 class, things have been eerily quiet on the recruitment front for the Tigers.

There have been no official decommitments as of yet, so Porter and staff must be given credit for honing in on the commits and keeping them put.

After two straight fourth-quarter collapses at home, however, Porter has probably never been on thinner ice. Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson maintains that no decision has been made about Porter's future. The fact of the matter, though, is that his career at Memphis is very much up in the air and recruits are likely waiting until Porter is either retained or let go to make a decision.

Here, we take a look at the current Memphis commits and the probability of each recruit signing with the Tigers.

  • Sheldon Dawson, Ridgeway ATH. Dawson was perhaps the biggest shock of the entire 2012 class in terms of his decision. Widely considered the best athlete in Tennessee, he had offers from SEC schools like Tennessee and Ole Miss. Dawson is likely to stick with his commitment if Porter is given a third year. If not, he will most likely head to an SEC school.

  • Will Gross, Melrose QB. When Gross committed to the Tigers in July, he set off a domino effect around the city. Dawson, Mitchell, and Hurd all committed to Memphis shortly after Gross gave a verbal commitment to Porter. Like Dawson, Gross had offers from several SEC schools but spurned them for Memphis. He tore his ACL midseason, so the interest from other schools cooled off a bit. Again, like Dawson, if Porter is retained, Gross will most likely sign with Memphis.

  • Carl Mitchell, Wooddale DE. Mitchell committed alongside Hurd at the end of July in front of City Hall to cap an avalanche of commitments for Porter. Of all the commitments now, Mitchell is probably the shakiest. While he's still solid to Memphis, he is definitely weighing his options and could look elsewhere, whether Porter is back or not.

  • Daniel Hurd, Wooddale WR. If Mississippi State offers -- and it may -- Hurd will most likely renege on his commitment to the Tigers. Unless that happens, though, Hurd's commitment to Memphis should stick.

  • Eric Belew, Columbia Central, ATH. Belew was the first commitment of Porter's 2012 class. He's gotten offers from Arkansas State and Air Force since then, however, and suddenly has a few options. If Porter is fired in the offseason, it is unlikely Belew signs with Memphis.

  • Wynton McManis, Olive Branch, LB. McManis has made it clear: He's sticking with Memphis regardless of Porter's job status.

  • Nicholas Gibbons, Stephenson, OL. Even when he committed, Gibbons didn't have much of anything to say about Memphis. He's been quiet throughout the process. Gibbons had BCS offers, so if Porter is let go, look for Gibbons to pursue other opportunities.
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