Here are the rankings from the incoming Big 12 recruiting classes.
1. Kansas State – At first glance you might not see it. Few do. But Bill Snyder built this program the first time on classes like this: heavy on jucos and speed. Bill has a system, and he recruits players to his system better than anyone else in the country. He likes dumb players that play fast. This class is classic Bill Snyder.
Key Recruits – DT Javonta Boyd, DT Ray Kibble
2. Texas A&M – It’s been a long time since Texas A&M has signed a better class than its Big 12 South brethren, but it looks like the sleeping giant is starting to stir. Mike Sherman has had a little time to adjust back to the college game, and the results look pretty good. The offensive line class is particularly impressive.
Key Recruits – DT Jonathan Mathis, DB Toney Hurd, Jr.
3. Nebraska – In all other sports you hear Nebraskans saying, “We just can’t get the athletes.” (Translation: Who wants to live in a frozen cornfield?) However, this year, Nebraska has been impressive on the recruiting front. Sporting one of the worst offenses in college football, they need all the help they can get.
Key Recruits – DT Jay Guy, OL Mike Moudy
4. Texas – The rich get richer. Mack Brown’s early recruiting strategy causes him to miss on players that his staff has been unable to fully evaluate, but he gets who he wants early and most of them stick. The loss of Ahmad Dixon really hurt this class, but don’t feel sorry for the Longhorns. There are plenty of mid to upper tier athletes that will show up in Austin this summer.
Key Recruits – QB Case McCoy, DT DeAires Cotton
5. Mizzou – Gary Pinkel’s days are probably numbered in Columbia, but that’s not stopping him from hitting the recruiting trail. A strong collection of homegrown talent boosts this class. Pinkel will also sign great athletes from Michigan, Iowa, and Nebraska, plus they stole longtime Longhorn lean Mitch Morse from Mack Brown.
Key Recruits – DE Kony Ealy, OL Mitch Morse
6. Baylor – This class could have been better, but the turmoil surrounding Art Briles’ attempts to leave Waco for Lubbock undoubtedly scared some recruits away. One way to classify this class is underrated. There are some gems in this class, and Art Briles did an excellent job of identifying second and third tier players up front instead of recruiting against other Big 12 schools. He signed football players. They may not be fast or strong, but they can play football.
Key Recruits – QB Tyrell Jenkins, LB Bryce Hagar
7. Oklahoma State – Oklahoma State seems to have peaked. With T-Boone’s hedge fund collapsing and the realization that a Don Quixote nightmarish landscape will not happen in the near future, the excitement surrounding the Stillwater campus has switched back to wrestling and basketball. Still, T-Boone made his usually forays into Texas and came away with some nice players.
Key Recruits – LB Caleb Lavy, DB Deion Imade
8. Oklahoma – The most puzzling class in the Big 12 this year belongs to Oklahoma. Stories of the coaches forgetting to call recruits, rescinding offers, arguing amongst themselves in recruits’ homes, and general disorganization are uncharacteristic of Sooner efforts in past years, but this year is a different story. Oklahoma has lost out on most head to head recruiting battles with other BCS schools.
Key Recruits – DT Julian Wilson, WR Sheldon McLain
9. Colorado – The administrations decision to keep Dan Hawkins around for another year probably held this class together. The Buffaloes seem to have a lot of talent on campus, but the players seem kind of spacey, giggly, and hungry. Hopefully for Coach Hawkins, this incoming group of freshman will become a foundation for Colorado’s return to prominence.
Key Recruits – TE Justin Favors, TE Henley Griffon
10. Iowa State – They are still in the Big 12, so the Cyclones hit the recruiting trail just like the rest of the conference. They just don’t have as much success doing it. They are the only Big 12 school that recruits Florida hard, and they find some gems there from time to time, and this year appears to be no exception.
Key Recruits – K Kirby Van Der Kamp, OL Shaban Dika
11. Kansas – Obviously, when you have a coach sumo wrestle players and call them names, your recruiting will suffer. Kansas is struggling on the recruiting front, and Mark Mangino is to blame. The new staff has to overcome a lot of obstacles to get good players to consider playing football in Kansas once again.
Key Recruits – LB Ed Fink, DE Jaqwaylin Arps
12. Texas Tech – Like Kansas, the the Texas Tech head coach abused his players and was let go. Like Kansas, The Red Raiders are struggling on the recruiting front. The new staff’s decision to become primarily a rushing offense has really confused recruits. With an emphasis on defense, Tommy Tuberville is finding out that most of the top defensive players in the area have never and will never consider going to Texas Tech.
Key Recruits – None