Posted on: February 4, 2011 3:21 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Ranking the Big 12 recruiting classes and breaking them down at the same time.
Overview: Mack Brown earned the title of Mr. February once again, turning a losing season and six new coaches into another top 10 class. Once again, the top talent in Texas is headed to Austin in a class that fills a lot of needs on both sides of the ball.
Hidden gem: Wide receiver Jaxon Shipley may have a familiar last name but he has the skills to easily pickup where his brother left off.
Pencil in for the fall: Running back Malcolm Brown, one of the best running backs to commit to the Longhorns out of high school in years.
Just missed on: Offensive tackle Christian Westerman to Auburn.
Overview: The Sooners have a ton of talent returning for 2011 and a likely top three team in the country but that didn’t stop them from bringing a talented recruiting class. It wasn’t a big class but the talent in it should hit the field sooner rather than later (pun very much intended).
Hidden gem: Cornerback Bennett Okotcha, a former Notre Dame commit, has continued to get better and could be a steal after a redshirt year.
Pencil in for the fall: Wide receiver Trey Metoyer, who should be the next freshman wide receiver to put up numbers in the Oklahoma offense.
Just missed on: Athlete Brandon Carter to TCU.
3. Texas Tech
Overview: Tommy Tuberville has certainly made his mark on the recruiting trail for the Red Raiders this year. Pulling prospects from Florida, Wisconsin, Alabama and Pennsylvania show that Tech is no longer just grabbing the players passed over by Texas and Oklahoma. In fact, this may be the most talented class to ever head to Lubbock.
Hidden gem: Defensive end/linebacker Branden Jackson, who could be a terrific hybrid player with his speed and athleticism.
Pencil in for the fall: Running back Kenny Williams has the size and power to add to the Tech ground game from day one.
Just missed on: Cornerback Marcus Roberson to Florida.
4. Oklahoma State
Overview: Credit to Mike Gundy for signing an impressive class, especially on offense, despite experiencing a lot of staff turnover. The Cowboys filled needs and brought in some great skill position talent in 2011.
Hidden gem: Athlete Desmond Roland is very versatile and could play all over for Oklahoma State.
Pencil in for the fall: Running back Herschel Sims should slot into the running back rotation from the get go.
Just missed on: Possibly Jon Jenkins, a former commit at defensive tackle who still hasn’t made his choice.
5. Texas A&M
Overview: The Aggies might not have taken advantage of Texas’ down year quite as much as they might have liked but they did put together a very solid class. Grabbing a few linebackers filled a big need.
Hidden gem: Kicker Taylor Bertolet, one of the best kickers in the country and even kicked the game-winning field goal in the Under Armour All-America game.
Pencil in for the fall: Outside linebacker Shaun Ward should come in and compete for playing time right away.
6. Kansas State
Overview: Junior college heavy to no one’s surprise, the Wildcats grabbed talented players from different parts of the country.
Hidden gem: Former top recruits Arthur and Bryce Brown are part of this class as transfers and are still very talented despite most glossing over them because they transferred awhile back.
Pencil in for the fall: Defensive end Ian Seau may have a familiar name (he’s Junior Seau’s nephew) but he will have no problem getting Wildcat fans to think of Ian whenever they hear of Seau.
Overview: Turner Gill’s first full class as head coach doesn’t have a ton of impact players but it is a deep and versatile class.
Hidden gem: Wide receiver JaCorey Shepherd is a very explosive athlete who could end up being a steal.
Pencil in for the fall: Running back Darrian Miller is an early enrollee so he will already be going through spring drills to learn the system. One of the best backs from the Midwest, he should step in right away at Kansas.
Overview: Solid if not spectacular is the best way to describe Baylor’s class. There’s a ton of talent that should benefit from a redshirt year and good coaching from Art Briles.
Hidden gem: Wide receiver Jonathan Lee has the size and speed to quickly become a factor in the passing game.
Pencil in for the fall: Defensive tackle Trevor Valdez has a terrific motor and great quickness inside.
Overview: Not the typical class we’ve seen from Missouri over the past couple of years but nevertheless a solid class to build around.
Hidden gem: Quarterback Corbin Berkstresser should be a dependable backup early in career before being tapped to put up some big numbers for the Tigers.
Pencil in for the fall: Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson has been waiting for a few years to play for Mizzou and should step in right away in the middle of the defense.
10. Iowa State
Overview: A very surprising class given some of the talents the Cyclones brought in. Although they’re ranked at the bottom of the Big 12 classes, there’s still a talent upgrade headed to Ames.
Hidden gem: Wide receiver Quenton Bundrage is a very speedy kid who could be very productive in just about any offense.
Pencil in for the fall: Running back DeVondrick Nealy is a great get for Iowa State out of Florida.
Tags: Art Briles, Arthur Brown, Baylor, Bennett Okotcha, Big 12, Big 12 Signing Day, Branden Jackson, Brandon Carter, Bryce Brown, Christian Westerman, Corbin Berkstresser, Darrian Miller, Desmond Roland, DeVondrick Nealy, Herschel Sims, Ian Seau, Iowa State, JaCorey Shepherd, Jaxon Shipley, Jon Jenkins, Jonathan Lee, Kansas, Kansas State, Kenny Williams, Mack Brown, Malcolm Brown, Marcus Roberson, Mike Gundy, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Quenton Bundrage, Shaun Ward, Sheldon Richardson, Taylor Bertolet, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Tommy Tuberville, Trevor Valdez, Trey Metoyer, Turner Gill
Posted on: February 3, 2011 10:21 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
There’s not much rest for the weary as we can’t officially close out the class of 2011 yet.
- One key recruit is still on the board in quarterback Jacoby Brissett and he’s especially key to Miami.
- USC might have lost De’Anthony Thomas but their impressive class still means they had more hits than misses on Signing Day.
- CJ Johnson was the prize recruit for Ole Miss in a very impressive class for Houston Nutt. Down the road at Mississippi State, a great defensive line class headlined for Dan Mullen.
- Wrapping up Signing Day at Washington. Another impressive class for Steve Sarkisian so, as he likes to tweet when they get a commitment, Woof!
- Colorado head coach Jon Embree had to hit the recruiting trail hard but had a very solid first class.
- Texas Tech had one of the best classes the school had ever signed yesterday and head coach Tommy Tuberville said recruiting to Lubbock wasn’t an issue.
- Mack Brown told recruits to trust him in the face of the adversity that Texas went through the past few months.
- Great pickup for TCU in Brandon Carter, someone who head coach Gary Patterson had no problem talking about.
- Some more details on Ohio State recruit Chris Carter after he was arrested Tuesday.
Posted on: February 2, 2011 2:41 am
Posted by Adam Jacobi
The Big 12 may not have 12 members anymore, but it still does recruiting big -- especially down in Texas. Here's what to expect on National Signing Day.
Players to Watch
Brandon Alexander - Typically, Texas gets most of its recruiting out of the way early, and who can blame Mack Brown for that? When recruits in the most football-crazed state in America are beating down your door to get an offer, after all, filling a class full of blue-chippers months ahead of schedule isn't exactly difficult. And yet, when Texas jumps in late on a recruit, the team that was there first may have the inside track. So it appears with Alexander, a highly-touted DE who came into Tuesday still undecided between Texas, Texas A&M, Arkansas, and many other high-profile schools. According to Burnt Orange Nation, Alexander reportedly gave a verbal to Texas A&M Tuesday afternoon, but the commitment hasn't been confirmed elsewhere quite yet. We won't have to wait long for an answer on that front, but if it holds up, it's a coup for the Aggies, and a blow to Texas' depth at DE this season and beyond.
Nila Kasitati - TE/OL Nila Kasitati has been a soft verbal for Baylor for a while now, so Signing Day can't get here quick enough for the Bears -- especially since Oklahoma is pushing hard for Kasitati to switch his commitment. Oklahoma has a scholarship open after athlete Brandon Carter flipped from OU to TCU so he could play WR instead of defensive back (OU's favored position for Carter), and while the Sooners don't appear to have a replacement DB in mind, they do have their sights set on Kasitati as a potential star at offensive lineman instead. Does Kasitati honor his 10-month-long commitment to Baylor, or flip at the last second for the Sooners? Missouri is also in the mix here, but this appears to be a two-team race.
John Jenkins - This mammoth 6'4", 340-pound JUCO defensive tackle was an Oklahoma State commit for a while, but he decommitted in January to look farther east. OSU is still in the mix for Jenkins, who probably leans toward Georgia but didn't get an offer from Florida. He'd be a nice cap on an solid recruiting class, plus immediate help in the trenches for a defense that loses its two starting DTs. If OSU can get Jenkins back in the fold even after signing another JUCO DT in the meantime, Mike Gundy should be thrilled.
Teams to Watch
Texas - For somebody whose age suggests he's over the hill, Mack Brown can still recruit like nobody's business. Sure, the school recruits for itself quite a bit, but don't tell that to John Mackovic. Malcolm Brown is a potential Heisman winner at tailback, and Steve Edmond is one of three other MaxPreps Top 100 members of the class if it holds up (most of these commits are almost a year old, so we're assuming they're solid). Texas may have gone 5-7 this year, but it's recruiting like it's never going back. If Alexander's commitment to A&M holds up, it'll be interesting to see what Texas does with the freed scholarship.
Oklahoma - OU doesn't have a lot of players committed for this season -- just 17, which is enough to knock the Sooners down a few pegs on the MaxPreps rankings. There's lots of playmaking ability on offense though, with Troy Metoyer coming in as one of the best wideouts in the nation. Even adjusting for size, Oklahoma's class is good, but it isn't "Texas" good; we'll see what that does to the balance of power in the Red River Rivalry over the coming years.
Oklahoma State - Any thought that OSU is a flash in the pan brought on by QB Brandon Weeden and/or a couple of stud wideouts should be gone by now; OSU's imminent signings of stud RB Herschel Sims and versatile QB J.W. Walsh mean that the Cowboy offense should keep putting numbers on the scoreboard for years to come. It's the rest of the class that Mike Gundy should focus his attention on; can he and his coaches mold the 10+ linemen in the class into the road graders necessary to compete against elite foes?
The Below-the-Radar Storyline You'll Need to Follow
With Nebraska and Colorado officially departing from the conference, the Big 12 really had no choice but to do away with its championship game and just go with a nine-game, round-robin football schedule. One indirect result of that decision is that the remaining four Big 12 North teams no longer have the luxury of telling high-profile recruits they could help turn the North into a two-team division. Now, there's no getting around anybody in the South, and that may be the reason that all four of those North teams turned in frankly lackluster classes. Turner Gill recruited reasonably well to a woeful Kansas squad, but "reasonably well" doesn't beat Texas much more than once or twice out of ten tries -- especially at KU. Who's going to be the school from up north that makes a serious run at the conference crown, and how many years will it take before that happens?
Tags: Arkansas, Baylor, Big 12, Big 12 Signing Day, Brandon Alexander, Brandon Carter, Brandon Weeden, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Herschel Sims, J.W.Walsh, John Jenkins, John Mackovic, Kansas, Mack Brown, Malcom Brown, Mike Gundy, Missouri, Nebraska, Nila Kasitati, Oklahoma, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma State, Steve Edmond, TCU, Texas, Texas, Texas A&M, Troy Metoyer, Turner Gill