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February 4, 2010

Signing Day Blitz: Ranking the Big 12

More Conferences: ACC | Big East | Big Ten | Pac-10 | SEC

The Texas recruiting class, led by five-star prospects Jackson Jeffcoat and Jordan Hicks, finished on top of the Big 12 and No. 3 nationally.

Check out the breakdown of the conference in a special edition of the Big 12 Blitz.

Baylor | Colorado | Iowa State | Kansas | Kansas State | Missouri
Nebraska | Oklahoma | Oklahoma State | Texas | Texas A&M | Texas Tech

Signing Day Blitz: Ranking the Big 12
1. Texas

Commit List
Orangebloods.com
Message Board
Headliner: There may not be a recruit with as much upside nationally as defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat. His heated recruitment reflected that potential.
Sleeper: The last commitment for Texas may be the most underappreciated. William Russ is a phenomenal talent as a kicker and a punter and could have a huge impact in Austin.
Overview: It was another fantastic class by Mack Brown, who seemingly gets any player he wants out of the most talented state in the nation. A few positions that are particularly strong in this class are wide receiver, defensive line and linebacker. There are five four-star wide receivers in the class, and three are ranked in the national top 100. At defensive end, the Longhorns signed a pass-rushing specialist in Reggie Wilson and a longer, physical body in Jeffcoat while also adding mass at defensive tackle. Jordan Hicks, Tevin Jackson and Aaron Benson form a linebacking corps as talented as any in the country.
2. Oklahoma

Commit List
SoonerScoop.com
Message Board
Headliner: Justin McCay is an impressive athlete who projects effectively at wide receiver and outside linebacker.
Sleeper: Defensive tackle Eric Humphrey he was heavily recruited, but that recruitment didn't begin until the end of his senior season.
Overview: There aren't any weaknesses in the class. Oklahoma landed a prototypical big quarterback in Blake Bell, two explosive running backs in Roy Finch and Brennan Clay and a game-breaking wide receiver in Kenny Stills. In the trenches, OU should be in good shape for the next few years by building around Bronson Irwin, Daryl Williams and center Austin Woods. Defensively, the Sooners stole four-star linebacker Corey Nelson from Texas A&M late and also added some size on the defensive interior in Humphrey and Torrea Peterson. With the versatility of prospects such as McCay, James Haynes, Joe Powell and Tony Jefferson, the Sooners have plenty of options for how to use their talent.
3. Texas A&M

Commit List
AggieYell.com
Message Board
Headliner: With a dominating week of practice at the Under Armour All-American Game, Luke Joeckel proved to be one of the top offensive tackles in the country.
Sleeper: Defensive tackle Brandon Jackson isn't very flashy but he is effective, particularly when it comes to stopping the run.
Overview: With commitments from four of the top six offensive linemen in Texas, the Aggies have a great foundation for their offense. Joeckel, Cedric Ogbuehi, Shep Klinke and Jake Matthews are as good a line quartet as there is in the nation. Mike Sherman also is bringing in three physical running backs and three high school quarterbacks who offer different skill sets. Defensively, there were a couple of near-misses and disappointments on the recruiting trail. However, there still are some playmakers in the group - such as defensive tackle Ivan Robinson.
4. Missouri

Commit List
PowerMizzou.com
Message Board
Headliner: Offensive tackle Nick Demien has a massive body and good feet. He brings the right disposition to the offensive line.
Sleeper: Despite rushing for more than 1,400 yards on one of the most talented teams in Texas, all-purpose back Marcus Murphy never got the national offers one would expect.
Overview: Two talented quarterbacks highlight the Missouri class. James Franklin is a big, athletic quarterback, and Tyler Gabbert - the brother of Blaine Gabbert - is small but has a huge arm. They will have some great targets to throw to in Marcus Lucas and Bud Sasser. Demien highlights the offensive line, and defensive lineman Kony Ealy should be an impact player, too. Missouri also dipped into the talented Gilmer (Texas) High program to land versatile athletes Tristen Holt and Braylon Webb.
5. Nebraska

Commit List
HuskersIllustrated.com
Message Board
Headliner: A phenomenal senior season in Ohio catapulted Braylon Heard into the discussion as one of the nation's top running backs.
Sleeper: In high school, Walker Ashburn was forced to play some defensive tackle, but a high motor and a good work ethic should make him a productive college defensive end.
Overview: Nebraska got a nice mix of athleticism and physicality. The physicality came from massive junior college offensive tackle Jermarcus Hardrick and four-star high school offensive tackle Andrew Rodriguez. Junior college linebacker Lavonte David should make an early appearance as a needed physical presence. Athletically, the class is highlighted by Heard. He rushed for close to 2,000 yards as a senior. Brion Carnes, a dual-threat quarterback, led his Bradenton Manatee team to a state championship game appearance in the most competitive division in Florida.
6. Oklahoma State

Commit List
OState.com
Message Board
Headliner: Linebacker Shaun Lewis had offers from around the country because of his headhunter style of play and nose for the football. Though he is slightly undersized, he's a hitter.
Sleeper: Previously committed to Texas Tech, offensive tackle Javius Townsend has fantastic athleticism and moves well for a big-bodied athlete.
Overview: Two similarly athletic and productive quarterbacks lead the list of signees in Johnny Deaton and Nathan Sorenson. Justin Gilbert, who played quarterback in high school, may be the most explosive athlete in the class and one of the more exciting players entering the Big 12. Some hard-hitting linebackers will be heading to Stillwater to lead the defense. Lewis leads the way, but Caleb Lavey is a huge hitter on the inside - as are Tommie Saunders and Stephen Maeweather on the outside. Two others expected to help early are Joseph Randle and highly touted junior college safety Malcolm Murray.
7. Baylor

Commit List
SicEmSports.com
Message Board
Headliner: After several commitments and decommitments, Baylor signed one of the top safeties in the country in Ahmad Dixon.
Sleeper: Baylor stole talented defensive lineman Sean Watson out of Florida late in the process. Watson's size and athleticism could make him an all-conference performer.
Overview: There was a time when Baylor's presence near the middle of the pack in the Big 12 would be considered a huge accomplishment. But under Art Briles, it has become expected. Once again, Baylor grabbed a national recruit in Dixon. Joining Dixon in the secondary will be four-star cornerback Tyler Stephenson as well as four-star prep school prospect Prince Kent. Led by that trio, defense was a big priority for Briles, who also got help on the defense line in Watson, Dominique Jones and Kedrick Dial.
8. Texas Tech

Commit List
RedRaiderSports.com
Message Board
Headliner: Scott Smith is a massive defensive end who was one of the most highly rated and highly recruited defensive ends in the junior college ranks.
Sleeper: Relatively new to football, safety Brandon Smith flashes phenomenal athleticism and big-play ability; he has tremendous potential.
Overview: There were some clear obstacles that had to be overcome for the Red Raiders after a sudden coaching change, but Tommy Tuberville responded nicely to the challenge to land a solid class. With three offensive linemen listed at 6 feet 7 and Scott Smith listed at 6-7 at defensive end, size clearly was a priority for Texas Tech. The Red Raiders also got one of the nation's most productive quarterbacks in Scotty Young out of Denton (Texas) Ryan. Shawn Corker, LaVaughn Whigham and Benjamin McRoy are explosive athletes who bring Florida speed to the Big 12.
9. Kansas

Commit List
JayhawkSlant.com
Message Board
Headliner: A complete package at wide receiver, Keeston Terry could have an explosive future in Turner Gill's offense.
Sleeper: The definition of a sleeper, defensive end Keba Agostinho received his first offer from Kansas on the final weekend before National Signing Day. He has a ton of athleticism and upside.
Overview: The Jayhawks closed strong by snagging four-star running back Brandon Bourbon away from Stanford. Bourbon and Terry add a lot of firepower to Turner Gill's first signing class. The majority of the other impact recruits for Kansas also are offensive players, such as Ricki Herod Jr. at wide receiver, James Sims at running back, Trent Smiley at tight end and Quinn Mecham at quarterback. Jimmay Mundine and Pat Lewandowski are among the top defensive prospects.
10. Iowa State

Commit List
CycloneReport.com
Message Board
Headliner: After enrolling early, four-star cornerback Anthony Young will have a great opportunity to compete next season.
Sleeper: Though he's undersized, linebacker Floyd Mattison is an elite athlete and tests off the charts.
Overview: In Paul Rhoads' first full year to recruit, he signed a full class of 28 prospects that was heavy on the offensive line and at the skill positions. Six offensive linemen were signed, and the group is led by junior college standout Jon Caspers. On the skill-player front, another junior college prospect leads the way with the signing of Chris Young, a four-star player out of Trinity Valley C.C. in Texas. Defensively, the Cyclones landed two linebackers who can be considered steals in Mattison and Jeremiah George out Clearwater, Fla.
11. Kansas State

Commit List
GoPowercat.com
Message Board
Headliner: The No. 4-ranked player in Kansas, DeMarcus Robinson is a squatty, powerful back whose physical running style should be effective in college.
Sleeper: Because he lacks prototypical size, quarterback Billy Cosh wasn't a heavily recruited player out of Maryland. But put the football in his hands and he is a strong-armed, accurate passer.
Overview: The formula that has worked for Bill Snyder in the past is back in full effect once again with a heavy dose of junior college prospects. K-State signed 17 players overall, including seven junior college prospects. Of those junior college prospects, defensive end Adam Davis heads to Manhattan with the highest expectations. Joining him on the defensive line is Javonta Boyd, who can occupy blockers and be a disruptive presence. Though the skill positions were less of a priority in this class, Destin Mosley is one player who has the explosiveness to contribute early.
12. Colorado

Commit List
BuffStampede.com
Message Board
Headliner: Coming out of powerhouse Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep, Tony Jones has the natural running ability to contribute early in Boulder.
Sleeper: Because of academic questions, athlete Cordary Clark didn't see his stock begin to rise until late. He has the athletic ability to be an impact player in any number of roles.
Overview: A mediocre season on the field and coaching uncertainty undoubtedly impacted Colorado's class, but there were some strong points. In a class that included just five defensive players, Chidera Uzo-Diribe has a world of upside. Nick Hirschman is a quarterback who already has enrolled, and Jones and Clark could give Colorado some much-needed offensive firepower.

More Conferences: ACC | Big East | Big Ten | Pac-10 | SEC



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