THE INSIDE VIEW

Barry Laminack: Early signing day changes things for college football

Jimbo Fisher's first A&M class got off to a slow start. Tomahawknation.com

Yesterday marked the beginning of the early signing period in college football, and boy are teams already busy. This time of year is make-or-break for a lot of kids and programs alike.

For guys like new Texas A&M football coach Jimbo Fisher changing schools weeks before this moment can be challenging, so we’ll see what he can do on short notice to get recruits to come join him at Texas A&M. And don’t look now but apparently Tom Herman has an outside shot at having the number 1 recruiting class in the nation this year.

Keep in mind, recruiting – and these class rankings – are an inexact science, so take that last statement (and pretty much any recruiting statement) with a grain of salt. Predicting how good recruits will be seems to me like being able to predict how good players will do when they are drafted into the NFL. It’s just hard to tell. Some guys you think will be really good and they’re not, an other guys end up being outstanding, and nobody ever saw it coming.

ESPN predicted that either Ohio State or Georgia would finish with the number one recruiting class in the nation. If that happens it will be the first time that a team not named Alabama, Florida State, Florida, Miami, or USC has done so in the last 12 years.

Here’s your top 10 list as of late yesterday evening (according to ESPN):

  1. Georgia
  2. Ohio State
  3. Texas
  4. Penn State
  5. Clemson
  6. Alabama
  7. Miami
  8. Oklahoma
  9. Auburn
  10. Notre Dame

Other Texas notables: Baylor (16), TCU (19), Texas A&M (26).

If you’re jonesing for a UH update rivals.com says they have the #52 ranked recruiting class for 2018.

Really guys?

All this recruiting talk got me thinking about something – and yes, I know that what I’m about to write is probably going to rustle a few jimmies, and that’s OK. I get it, it’s probably not a popular take (especially here in Texas) – but why are grown men out here watching high school football with no kids on the team?

I’ll never understand how a dude can get off work on a Friday, hop in the car, drive down to the local high school football stadium, grab a hot dog and a coke, and watch a bunch of kids that he has no idea about play football. I’m not talking about guys with kids on the team. I’m not talking about guys with kids in the band, or on the cheer squad, or JV.

Just regular ass dudes who go and watch high school football, just because?

I don’t get it.

Maybe I’m not “Texas” enough, but I just do not understand it. But to each their own, I suppose

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

Rockets get another much-needed win. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets went on a redemption tour by beating the Detroit Pistons and Dallas Mavericks. But the most pivotal win was against the Mavericks as the Rockets finally showed their true potential. John Wall finally made his return from his injury hiatus and played with a lot of energy. DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Gordon combined for 61 points. It was great to see Stephan Silas crack a smile as he was able to beat his former team.

The Rockets clearly missed Wall during his eight-game absense. This season, the Rockets are a .500 team with Wall on the court. Wall is the Rockets' floor general that leads, constructs, and also pushes his teammates to become better.

Wall only played 21 minutes in the 133-108 win over the Mavericks but still had eight assists. Even though Wall only had 7 points, his presence was still felt by finding his teammates for open looks beyond the perimeter. Wall made sure Cousins and Gordon got a plethora of touches. He called multiple actions, so they got open looks from three, which was mainly Gordon. Gordon and Cousins' struggles have been similar but with Wall on the court, they were successful against the Mavericks. According to NBA Stats, Wall posted a 111 offensive rating with the starters versus the Mavericks, which included Gordon and Cousins.

"He's the engine to this team. He gets everybody going. He makes the game easy," Cousins told a reporter after the game. "The pressure that he constantly puts on the defense is a tough thing to deal with."

Gordon has struggled all season long with three-point shooting and relied on his slashing abilities. Saturday night, Gordon made six three pointers against the Mavericks, which was 66 percent from beyond the perimeter. Gordon increased his three-point percentage from 31 percent to 34.5 percent after Saturday night's game. Gordon's 33 points came from being able to attack the entire Mavericks' defense. Willy Cauley-Stein didn't stand a chance against Gordon as he was burned multiple times. Gordon's been a lifesaver for the Rockets in the last two games, and hopefully he maintains his play.

Cousins played fantastic against the Mavericks scoring 28 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. This is Cousins' first double-double with the Rockets this season. Cousins became the vintage player from the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings. It was extremely fun watching Cousins push the ball up the court and aggressively snatch rebounds. Boogie shot 50 percent from behind the arc by making four three-pointers. He was dominant inside the paint as Cousins went 7/8 from the restricted area versus the Mavericks. This was the game Cousins needed after having a poor performance against the Pistons Friday night.

"It was really, really good. He did it all. He's a physical presence on both ends of the floor," as Silas said on Cousins' performance.

David Nwaba and Mason Jones were big factors off the Rockets' bench by having a combined total of 34 points together. Nwaba has been great in transition for the Rockets the entire season. Keep in mind that Nwaba is returning from an Achilles injury he suffered with his former team, the Brooklyn Nets. Nwaba has became a great defender, slasher, and is averaging a career-high nine points per game with the Rockets. He finished with 18 points on Saturday night versus the Mavericks.

Mason Jones has become a fan favorite of the Rockets because of his confidence. Silas is loving the usage of Jones off the bench but wants to find more minutes for him. Jones had a breakout performance versus the San Antonio Spurs with 24 points off 66 percent shooting from the field. He continues to get better with his reads from the point guard position. Jones' knowledge of running the offense has helped his efficiency on the court. He is never afraid to take clutch shots in pivotal moments of the game.

"To have a young kid who can come in and not be afraid of the moment, that's big. That's a tough position to be in as an undrafted rookie. I trust him. It's a good problem to have," Silas mentioned after the game. "He's showing me he's ready. He's a confident kid, and he should be. That's why he's good. He's not afraid of the moment, at all. He can get us organized, run plays, and score the basketball."

Hopefully, the Rockets can sustain their level of play when Victor Oladipo returns against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday. It will be interesting to watch Oladipo and Wall play in the same backcourt.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome