The Dotted Line

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Texas Longhorns Head coach Tom Herman walks off the field after losing to Oklahoma 39-27 during Big 12 Conference championship NCAA collage football game at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX Saturday, December 1, 2018. [RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

Football

The Dotted Line: Big 12 recruiting rankings signal gloomy future

Posted November 10th, 2020

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There isn’t a single Big 12 team in contention to reach the College Football Playoffs and national recruiting rankings signal a direct impact to the conference’s ability to add top talent to future rosters. Oklahoma and Texas still pace the conference, but neither team currently ranks inside the top 10 nationally.

Tom Herman, left, and Lincoln Riley oversee the only two Big 12 recruiting classes that currently rank inside the national top 20. (Staff and wire photos)

West Virginia possesses the third-best group in the conference and it checks in at 34th nationally. The third-best recruiting class in the Big Ten ranks 16th. The third-best recruiting class in the SEC ranks sixth. The third-best recruiting class in the Pac-12 checks in at 18th. Even the ACC has three teams inside the top 20. 

A look at each Big 12 school’s class:

 

Oklahoma (15th nationally)

No. of commits: 15

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Fab 55 pledges: 5 — ATH Billy Bowman (4th), DE Clayton Smith (6th), WR Cody Jackson (7th), CB Latrell McCutchin (21st), OL Cullen Montgomery (50th)

Top commitments: QB Caleb Williams, WR Mario Williams, ATH Bowman

The biggest news in Big 12 recruiting over the past month was Oklahoma flipping four-star athlete Billy Bowman from Texas. The two-way star from Denton Ryan backed away from his UT pledge before their Red River Showdown game in October. He pledged to Oklahoma on Nov. 1. The Sooners are the only Big 12 squad with a realistic shot to finish with a top-10 class, but it’ll take closing with prospects like Camar Wheaton and Bryce Foster. 

 

Texas (17th)

No. of commits: 17

Fab 55 pledges: 7 — ATH Ja’Tavion Sanders (3rd), CB Ishmael Ibraheem (22nd), DE Jordon Thomas (27th), S JD Coffey (32nd), DE Derrick Harris Jr. (35th), OL Hayden Conner (38th), OLB Morice Blackwell (46th)   

Top commitments: ATH Sanders, CB Ibraheem, DE Thomas

The loss of Bowman dropped Texas from 15th to 17th nationally. The Longhorns are set to sign their lowest-rated class in a cycle without a coaching change since the 1990s. Tom Herman hopes the current three-game winning streak limits any more damage to the class. Texas can’t afford to lose pledges from five-star athlete Ja’Tavion Sanders, who happens to be teammates with Bowman at Denton Ryan. 

 

West Virginia (34th)

No. of commits: 16

Fab 55 pledges: None

Top commitments: OT Wyatt Milum, WR Kaden Prather, RB Jaylen Anderson

West Virginia moved up three spots nationally and leapfroged Baylor despite not adding a commitment since our update on Oct. 6. 

 

Baylor (35th)

No. of commits: 18 

Fab 55 pledges: 4 — QB Kyron Drones (36th), RB Jordan Jenkins (41st), S Cisco Catson (43rd), DT Byron Murphy II (49th) 

Top commitments: QB Drones, RB Jenkins, S Catson

The top of the class is littered with talent led by Drones, a quarterback who helped lead Alvin Shadow Creek to a Class 5A Division I state championship win over Denton Ryan as a junior. He’s a dual-threat quarterback with leadership skills. He’s joined on the offensive side by Williams, a three-star guard from Wall, and Lindale, a three-star running back who chose Baylor in April. Murphy, a three-star defensive tackle from DeSoto, is the top-rated defensive commitment. 

 

Oklahoma State (43rd)

No. of commits: 16

Fab 55 pledges: 1 — WR Bryson Green (54th)

Top commitments: WR Green, ILB Collin Oliver, DT Aden Kelley

The Cowboys currently lead the Big 12 race, but that success hasn’t yet transitioned into abnormal recruiting success. Head coach Mike Gundy knows his role on the recruiting trail, sticking to underrated prospects without as many offers. Kelley was an important in-state win, while Green is a potential star at wide receiver. The class does lack a quarterback. 

 

Kansas State (51st)

No. of commits: 16

Fab 55 pledges: None

Top commitments: QB Jake Rubley, ATH Davonte Pritchard, ATH Jayden Williams

No changes for Kansas State since our last update. 

 

Kansas (54th)

No. of commits: 20

Fab 55 pledges: None

Top commitments: RB Devin Neal, CB Kameron Grays, DE D’Marion Alexander

Kansas’ losses over the last month weren’t restricted to the football field. Four-star wide receiver Keon Coleman decommitted in October. He was the group’s top-rated player. Leal, a local running back, is the team’s only remaining four-star commitment. 

 

Iowa State (55th)

No. of commits: 19

Fab 55 pledges: None

Top commitments: WR Robert Army, OT Jim Bonifas, DT Howard Brown

No changes for Iowa State since our last update. 

 

Texas Tech (71st)

No. of commits: 11

Fab 55 pledges: 2 — QB Behren Morton (34th), RB Cam’ron Valdez

Top commitments: QB Morton, RB Cam’ron Valdez, DE E’maurion Banks

The Red Raiders added Valdez, a three-star from Rockdale, on Oct. 22. The 5-10, 190-pound three-star was the second-highest commitment in the Big 12 over the last month, trailing only Bowman. Texas Tech’s three highest-rated pledges are on offense with Valdez joining quarterback Behren Morton and DeSoto wide receiver Jerand Bradley. 

 

TCU (107th)

No. of commits: 8

Fab 55 pledges: 1 — DE Landyn Watson (29th)

Top commitments: DE Watson, QB Alexander Honig, DE Chris Murray

No changes for TCU since our last update. 

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