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Tag:Art Briles
Posted on: January 27, 2012 1:08 pm
 

Baylor adds its 23rd commitment in Levels

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Baylor picked up its 23rd commitment on Thursday as cornerback Patrick Levels of Roosevelt high school in Dallas committed to the Bears. The 5'9 175-pound corner had offers from UTEP, Central Arkansas, Morgan State and Northern Colorado, but it seems as if the appeal of playing in a BCS conference along with other factors played a role in his choosing Baylor.

He made an official visit to Waco on January 13th.

Levels runs a 4.62 40-yard dash and was measured as having a 34.4-inch vertical leap, which will no doubt come in handy while defending some of the larger receivers in the Big 12.

Levels is the fourth defensive back to commit to Baylor this season, along with Terrell Burt, Aiavion Edwards, and Ryan Reid. It's a position that is very important in the pass-happy Big 12, and Art Briles is certainly focusing on the area as he tried to improve the Baylor defense. 
Posted on: December 10, 2011 2:02 pm
 

Sumlin can save promising Texas A&M class

Posted by Bryan Fischer

As soon as Mike Sherman was let go as head coach at Texas A&M, many speculated that Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin would take the drive up highway 6 and take over. That's exactly what will happen, with CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman confirming that Sumlin had accepted an offer to be the Aggies next coach on Saturday morning.

Sumlin, 47, understands the culture in College Station and knows how to recruit there. He worked under R.C. Slocum at the school and was an assistant on Bob Stoops' Oklahoma staff before moving on to Houston. Sumlin took over for Art Briles and led the Cougars to two 10-win seasons and two division titles while compiling a 35-17 record.

As Feldman notes, Sumlin has the reputation of being a good motivator, player's coach while maintaining discipline. Sherman left him some talent as the Aggies move to the SEC next season and a top 10 recruiting class for 2012. In addition to hiring a good staff, the first task that Sumlin has to do is hit the recruiting trail and try and keep the pieces for February together.

At the moment, there have only been a handful of defections following Sherman's firing and it's doubtful there will be many more. MaxPreps has A&M's class ranked ninth in the country with top players such as quarterback Matt Davis, linebacker Jordan Richmond and running back Trey Williams. After securing everybody's pledge over the next few weeks with in-home visits, Sumlin will have to go about filling the rest of the class out. He knows Texas high schools very well and can bring in a few players who maybe hadn't considered the Aggies before.

Going forward, it's obviously a step up in terms of a job. Conference USA to SEC is quite a leap on the field. Off the field, Sumlin knows the lay of the land and will have that added selling point of playing in the country's best conference. He likely will try to lock down the talent-rich Houston area and it should be fun to see how he does against Texas and other powerhouses such as LSU on the recruiting trail.

The facilities are there in College Station, it's a solid program and now they have a pretty good salesman. It shouldn't be too hard for Sumlin to save the 2012 class and hit the ground running in 2013.

Posted on: February 4, 2011 3:21 pm
 

Big 12 Recruiting Breakdown

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Ranking the Big 12 recruiting classes and breaking them down at the same time.

1. Texas

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.

2. Oklahoma

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.

7. Kansas

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.

8. Baylor

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.

9. Missouri

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.

Posted on: February 2, 2011 9:17 pm
 

Big 12 Signing Day: Winners and Losers

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Taking stock of National Signing Day in the Big 12.

WINNERS

Texas Tech: While the Red Raiders ended up outside the MaxPreps Top 25 when Signing Day wound down, there's no denying that Tommy Tuberville brought in an impressive class of signees. Branden Jackson should eventually be an asset to a middling front four once he fills out his frame, and for the meantime Tuberville brought in two well-regarded JUCO defensive linemen. It'll be interesting to see what Tech does with the glut of high-profile tailbacks that signed; DeAndre Washington, Bradley Marquez, and Kenny Williams all look talented enough to start, but Washington and/or Marquez might be better suited to some sort of slotback role instead. It's a nice problem to have at a school that doesn't typically bring in strong recruiting classes. 

Texas A&M: The Aggies don't have the recruiting chops of rivals Texas, but A&M did manage to snag Brandon Alexander from the Longhorns' grasp in a Signing Day showdown, which helps bridge the talent gap between the two programs just that little bit. The Aggies were also odd beneficiaries of forgery, as CB Floyd Raven's LOI to Ole Miss was found to be written by Raven's mother (who clearly had her own very strong ideas about what was best for her son); Raven is now officially an Aggie. No word on how awkward Mother's Day will be at the Raven household.

Texas: While Oklahoma's small signing class left it out of Tom Lemming's Top 25, Texas cruised to yet another Top 10 spot, thanks to the signing of stud tailback Malcolm Brown and freak athlete Steve Edmond (who can play wide receiver, linebacker, or pretty much any position that accommodates those between 200 and 290 pounds). Look out for Cedric Reed, a prototypical blue chip DE who could dominate soon. At 60, Mack Brown's not going to be in Austin forever, but if these types of classes keep up, he is going to leave a glut of talent for whoever takes over for him. 

LOSERS

Kansas State: Head coach Bill Snyder lived up to his reputation by bringing in eight JUCO players to this recruiting class (EIGHT!), and few of them are highly regarded. The high school recruits aren't much better, either; for every Ian Seau (Junior's nephew) with a list of decent offers, there are several high school signees with nearly barren offer sheets. The Wildcats were surprisingly decent in 2010, even reaching the Pinstripe Bowl, but their recruiting shows no signs of momentum. This is the type of class one expects from a 3-9 team. 

Baylor: Baylor's fighting an uphill battle in terms of tradition and resources to begin with, so it doesn't help to see Oklahoma poach longtime commit Nila Kasitati from Baylor for barely any better reason than "because Bob Stoops felt like it." The Bears did snipe talented tailback Jermichael Selders from West Virginia today, so it's not as if Art Briles was completely passive, but this still looks like a level of talent that must depend on a game-changer at quarterback like Robert Griffin III if Baylor's going to make any noise in the conference. Baylor needs wideout Jonathan Lee to contribute in a hurry.

Iowa State: The highlight of Iowa State's day, and probably its entire recruiting class, is landing wideout Quenton Bundrage over Cincinnati, Louisville, and Marshall today. ISU's class may end up good, but it probably won't, considering how few recruits ISU had to beat a BCS team other than Minnesota for. Paul Rhoads is a good coach with a bright future in college football, but he didn't strike gold today.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com