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 2, 2011 9:17 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Taking stock of National Signing Day in the Big 12.
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.
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.
Tags: Art Briles, Baylor, Baylor Recruiting, Baylor Signing Day, Big 12, Big 12 Recruiting, Big 12 Signing Day, Bill Snyder, Bradley Marquez, Branden Jackson, Brandon Alexander, Cedric Reed, Cincinnati, DeAndre Washington, Floyd Raven, Ian Seau, Iowa State, Iowa State Recruiting, Iowa State Signing Day, Jermichael Selders, Jonathan Lee, Junior Seau, Kansas State, Kansas State Recruiting, Kansas State Signing Day, Kenny Williams, Louisville, Malcolm Brown, Marshall, National Signing Day, Nila Kasitati, Paul Rhoads, Quenton Bundrage, Robert Griffin III, Signing Day, Steve Edmond, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas A&M Recruiting, Texas A&M Signing Day, Texas Recruiting, Texas Signing Day, Texas Tech, Texas Tech Recruiting, Texas Tech Signing Day, Tommy Tuberville, West Virginia
Posted on: January 29, 2011 5:44 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Biggest need: Defensive linemen. Baylor has struggled over the years to get a decent pass rush and the Bears lose their best defensive tackle in Phillip Taylor to the NFL Draft. Getting quality and quantity at this position will be key to continue the momentum from their first bowl season in over a decade.
Best verbal commit: Offensive lineman Spencer Drango.
Hope to get: Running back Jermichael Selders.
Biggest need: Receiver. Iowa State loses their two leading scorers in the passing game and saw Sedrick Johnson transfer. There’s playing time available right away but the Cyclones need someone to break out and not just fill out the depth chart.
Best verbal commit: Running back Devondrick Nealy.
Hope to get: Wide receiver Cedric Gilbert.
Biggest need: Defensive line. The Jayhawks lose three of the four starters off of the line and will need to bring in some players to bolster a unit that was 105th in the country in sacks and 107th in rush defense.
Best verbal commit: Athlete Anthony Pierson.
Hope to get: Defensive tackle Terry Redden.
Biggest need: Offensive line. All three interior linemen are gone from a unit that paved the way for running back Daniel Thomas. While head coach Bill Snyder will typically get some help from the junior college ranks, the Wildcats need some bodies to build around on the O-line.
Best verbal commit: Defensive end Meshak Williams.
Hope to get: Defensive tackle Kevin McReynolds.
Biggest need: Defensive line. Missouri has been hit by graduation and impact player Aldon Smith leaving for the NFL. Finding players who can play right away will be key if they are to re-tool on defense.
Best verbal commit: Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson.
Hope to get: Defensive tackle Christopher Cormier.
Biggest need: Secondary. Two starters have graduated and their two replacements should both be upper classmen. The fact that they play in a pass-happy league also means it’s never a bad thing to have several defensive backs.
Best verbal commit: Running back Brandon Williams.
Hope to get: Class is pretty much set for 2011.
Biggest need: Linemen. Three starters depart from the defensive line and there will be four seniors on the offensive line. The Cowboys are looking for depth as much as they are players who can compete early.
Best verbal commit: Running back Herschel Sims.
Hope to get: Defensive end Brandon Alexander.
Biggest need: Secondary. Aaron Williams, as expected, left early for the NFL draft and the departures of several seniors leave this group thin. If they’re going to compete against some prolific offenses, Texas needs to grab a few players who can play immediately.
Best verbal commit: Running back Malcolm Brown.
Hope to get: Defensive end Brandon Alexander.
Biggest need: Linebacker. The loss of Von Miller and Michael Hodges are huge for a defense that was starting to turn the corner under defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter. In the 3-4 scheme, the Aggies need depth as well as playmakers.
Best verbal commit: Quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Hope to get: Linebacker and soft verbal commit Shaun Ward.
Biggest need: Receiver. All-everything receiver Lyle Leong is gone and the depth at the position looks thin after 2011.
Best verbal commit: Running back Kenny Williams.
Hope to get: Cornerback Marcus Roberson.
Tags: Anthony Pierson, Baylor, Big 12, Bill Snyder, Brandon Alexander, Brandon Williams, Cedric Gilbert, Christopher Cormier, Devondrick Nealy, Herschel Sims, Iowa State, Jermichael Selders, Johnny Manziel, Kansas, Kansas State, Kenny Williams, Kevin McReynolds, Malcolm Brown, Marcus Roberson, Meshak Williams, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Shaun Ward, Sheldon Richardson, Spencer Drango, Terry Redden, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Tim DeRuyter