Tag:Michael Smith
Posted on: January 24, 2012 11:32 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2012 10:05 am
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Big 12 Signing Day Overview



Posted by Bryan Fischer


National Signing Day is almost here and recruits across the country are gearing up for plenty of last-minute pitches and school visits as head coaches look to shape their program for years to come. The Big 12 is once again led by traditional powers Texas and Oklahoma but after that, it's not the drop off that other conferences have with a solid effort by just about every other school. Drawing on the talent-rich state of Texas makes recruiting easier than most but it's interesting to note how schools are developing other pipelines (such as the Sooners and California). The make up and look of the league is different and that makes this Signing Day particularly interesting down in the Big 12.

MaxPreps.com Top 25 Team Rankings, Big 12
College Commits Top 100 Moving
2. Texas 24 5
7. Oklahoma 16 4
24. TCU 20 0

Top storylines

1. Does Texas finish number one?

Mack Brown doesn't have the nickname of Mr. February for nothing, as the long-time head coach can certainly recruit. 2012 might be one of the most talented classes he' brought in during his time on the 40 acres, reeling in the state's top running back for the second year in a row, the top wide receiver, some talented front seven athletes and several offensive lineman who might be playing sooner rather than later. The Longhorns are in the running for a handful of national prospects as Signing Day rolls around so it's possible the current group of 24 picks up another top 100 player to give them an impressive six. If so they have a chance to take the top spot from Alabama and/or hold off Michigan, Florida or Ohio State. It's not a big chance but the Horns have a chance nevertheless.

2. Can Oklahoma move into the top five?

This was supposed to be one of Bob Stoops' smaller classes and for a time it looked like he was taking his time building it up. But things have started to pick up and while it's not as flashy as the school's Red River rival to the South, it brings in several quality pieces along the line and at receiver. In the running for the overall number one recruit and a handful of other top 300 players means the Sooners have nowhere to go but up and might be able to crack the top five depending on who they land. If that happens, it would be a major coup for Stoops considering he lost a talented recruiter in Brent Venables and had to help brother Mike readjust to recruiting players back to Norman.

3. How much better is TCU's class with the Big 12 draw?

From the looks of it, Gary Patterson is bringing in one of his most talented recruiting classes during his tenure in Fort Worth. If the Horned Frogs can't compete in the Big 12, it won't be for lack of resources - brand new facilities should be open by the season - or lack of talent. The team was young last season but still wound up taking the Mountain West conference title and upsetting Boise State and they'll add several players with top-end speed to help fill-out the depth chart. There's more skill position talent for TCU than lineman this year so that will be interesting to note going forward but in landing players like tight end Griffin Gilbert or Elite 11 quarterback Tyler Matthews, Patterson has shown that the conference realignment shuffling has paid off for the school on the recruiting trail.

4. Why is everybody Juco crazy?

One sign that this is something to keep an eye on in the conference this year is the mere fact that Brown is bringing a pair of Jucos to Austin for the first time in a decade. Charlie Weis is hoping for a quick talent influx at Kansas by taking on a host of Jucos and at least two transfers at quarterback. Tommy Tuberville has an impressive eight guys from the junior college ranks headed to Lubbock and, of course, Bill Snyder is going to have plenty lining his recruiting class. As things stand right now, all but one school - TCU - will be bringing in two Jucos come Signing Day which is a bit unusual for the Big 12 as a whole and something to keep an eye out for. It will be interesting to hear the coaches give their press conferences to discuss recruits and give the reason why they dipped into the Juco ranks more than usual this year.

Most impressive class: Texas

Most underrated class: TCU

Work left to do: Kansas

Top Players to Watch
Name Pos Committed
1. Dorial Green-Beckham WR Uncommitted
9. Johnathan Gray RB Texas
15. Cayleb Jones WR Texas
33. Malcom Brown DT Texas
48. Durron Neal WR Oklahoma
79. Taylor McNamara TE Oklahoma
84. Thomas Johnson WR Uncommitted
86. Kennedy Estelle OL Texas
88. Wes Lunt QB Oklahoma State
114. Connor Brewer QB Texas
 

Assistant recruiters of note:

Chris Chuff and Jim Gush , Baylor
Kenneth Pope, Iowa State
Ron Powlus, Rob Ianello and Buddy Wyatt, Kansas
Michael Smith, Kansas State
Josh Heupel, Mike Stoops and Jay Norvell, Oklahoma
Todd Monken and Glenn Spencer, Oklahoma State
Rusty Burns and Jarrett Anderson, TCU
Major Applewhite, Bruce Chambers, Stacy Searles and Duane Akina, Texas
Neal Brown and Robert Prunty, Texas Tech

Head coach under pressure: Tommy Tuberville, Texas Tech

Top Big 12 class prediction: Texas

Top Big 12 signee: Johnathan Gray

Big 12 school-by-school
Program Commits Top Players Notes
- Team page
- Commitment list
22 WR Kiante Griffin
RB Rashodrick Linwood
DE Javonte Magee
LB Brian Nance
It definitely looks like the Bears experienced a little bounce from their remarkable season and back-to-back years of going to a bowl game. There's some very quick players in this group and Magee and Nance are absolute steals.
- Team page
- Commitment list
23 QB Grant Rohach
WR Quan West
OL Duaron Williams
West and Rohach might be hooking up in the passing game a lot down the road as each are very good gets for the Cyclones. After that, there's a lot of 'we'll see.'
- Team page
- Commitment list
13 DB Greg Allen
TE Charles Brooks
Not included but it'd be remiss to not point out is the fact that Weis landed two solid quarterbacks in Dayne Crist and Jake Heaps this year. After that it remains to be see what kind of impact this group can have.
- Team page
- Commitment list
15 WR Marquez Clark
LB Will Davis
Clark and Davis might be able to play early but as usual for Kansas State, it might take a few games or years to assess what the 2012 group can do.
- Team page
- Commitment list
18 OL John Michael McGee
TE Taylor McNamara
WR Durron Neal
WR Derrick Woods
The offense reloads at receiver quite well and Neal has a chance to be a special playmaker with his talent. The offensive line also gets a nice boost with McGee and Ty Darlington in the interior.
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 WR C.J. Curry
QB Wes Lunt
OL Michael Wilson
Curry could see plenty of early playing and looks like he's the latest in a long line of talented Cowboys receivers. The defensive players are all very solid with LB/DE Jeremiah Tshimanda a very intriguing player who can pass rush early on.
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 DE Devonte Fields
ATH Daje Johnson
QB Tyler Matthews
Very few teams in the country are bringing in as fast, collectively, a group as the Horned Frogs are. Johnson is a special talent and Matthews can take his time to develop into a nice signal-caller.
- Team page
- Commitment list
24 DT Malcom Brown
RB Johnathan Gray
WR Cayleb Jones
OL Curtis Riser
Just another ho-hum group of stars for the Longhorns. The class is highlighted by Gray, who set just about every record imaginable in high school and should be a factor early on in running the ball.
- Team page
- Commitment list
24 QB Clayton Nicholas
OL Michael Starts
WR Dominique Wheeler
Nichols is still a bit raw but is tough and has the tools to be a good quarterback in the Tech offense. Wheeler is a dynamic talent who easily has a chance to start early.

 
 
 
 
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