The Dotted Line

Stay updated on the latest Texas Longhorns recruiting news brought to you by Longhorns recruiting beat writer Mike Craven of Hookem.com. The Dotted Line will publish M-F at 10 a.m. each morning to provide Texas fans with an in-depth look at the latest for the Longhorns on the recruiting trail.

Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley celebrates with fans following an the Sooners 34-16 win over Oklahoma State Saturday. With the win, the Sooners finish atop the American-Statesman's Big 12 Power Poll. [AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki]

Football

The Dotted Line: Big 12 recruiting rankings take shape a month away from NSD

Posted January 7th, 2020

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Four weekends remain until a bow is placed on the 2020 recruiting classes across the country. National signing day is on Feb. 5.

The early signing period allowed prospects to sign national letters of intent, and most capitalized on that opportunity. Late movement the week of the early period shifted the rankings of the Big 12 with Oklahoma overtaking Texas for the top spot as January recruiting started Monday.

Baylor head coach Matt Rhule, left, and Texas head coach Tom Herman shake hands after an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)

1. Oklahoma 

No. of commits: 23

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Current national/Big 12 ranks: 1st/9th

Top prospects: G Nate Anderson, G Andrew Raym, RB Seth McGowan

The biggest loss of the early signing period was five-star running back Jase McClellan flipping to Alabama. The Aledo product committed to OU during his junior year, only to announce his flip on the same day he faxed in a national letter of intent. The Sooners moved to the top of the Big 12 rankings despite the loss because Oklahoma holds six more pledges than the Longhorns. 

2. Texas 

No. of commits: 17

Current national/Big 12 ranks: 10th/2nd

Top prospects: RB Bijan Robinson, QB Hudson Card, ATH Ja’Quinden Jackson

The class was mildly disappointing for Texas following top-three national classes in 2018 and 2019. It makes sense considering an 8-5 season. Tom Herman’s program lost key commitments from four-stars Quentin Johnston, Princely Umanmielen, Joshua Eaton and Ethan Pouncey during the season. Robinson was the only five-star to sign with a Big 12 program during the three-day early period. The running back from Arizona headlines an offense-heavy class for the Longhorns. 

3. TCU

No. of commits: 15

Current national/Big 12 ranks: 31st/3rd

Top prospects: WR Quentin Johnston, OT Garrett Hayes, DT Patrick Jenkins

The Horned Frogs’ class ranks third despite just 15 commitments, tied with Baylor for the least in the conference. Stealing Johnston from Texas was a huge development for Gary Patterson. Johnston was the highest-rated wide receiver in Texas’ class and a top-20 player in the state. Hayes is also a member of the Fabulous 55. TCU added the transfer of former Mississippi State quarterback Logan Burnett to help bolster an inexperienced and thin quarterbacks room. Seven of TCU’s 10 highest-rated signees play on the offensive or defensive line. 

4. West Virginia

No. of commits: 19

Current national/Big 12 ranks: 38th/4th

Top prospects: G Chris Mayo, CB David Vincent-Okoli, DE Sean Martin

West Virginia signed 18 of its 19 commitments during the early period with JUCO three-star offensive tackle Jacob Gamble yet to sign. Vincent-Okoli is the lone four-star in the class, while Mayo and Martin give the Mountaineers headliners on the offensive and defensive lines. Three-star quarterback Garrett Greene is the 19th-ranked dual-threat prospect in the country. It’s so hard to recruit at West Virginia because of its location. It’s the only Big 12 school without a commitment from a Texan.

5. Oklahoma State

No. of commits: 19

Current national/Big 12 ranks: 40th/5th

Top prospects: QB Shane Illingworth, G Eli Russ, G Trent Pullen

The Cowboys could be the darling pick to win the Big 12 in 2020 with the return of wide receiver Tylan Wallace and the possible return of running back Chuba Hubbard, to join an emerging dual-threat quarterback in Spencer Sanders. Oklahoma State addressed offensive line by signing Pullen and Russ. Pullen is a Waco Connally product and a member of the Fab 55. Illingworth is a 6-6 pocket passer with a big arm. 

6. Iowa State

No. of commits: 21

Current national/Big 12 ranks: 43rd/6th

Top prospects: QB Hunter Dekkers, DT Latrell Bankston, QB Aidan Bouman

Each of the 21 future Cyclones signed during the early period. The class is headlined by Dekkers, a four-star dual-threat quarterback from Iowa. Bouman is more of a pocket passer. Bankston is the third-rated JUCO defensive tackle in the class. The Cyclones signed a large, balanced group that currently ranks three spots higher than it did in the 2018 rankings. Iowa State was also sixth in the Big 12 last year. 

7. Texas Tech

No. of commits: 20

Current national/Big 12 ranks: 45th/7th

Top prospects: WR Loic Fouonji WR Ja’Lynn Polk, RB Tahj Brooks

It was a solid first year of recruiting in Lubbock for head coach Matt Wells. The Red Raiders signed the 62nd-ranked class in 2019. The top of the 2020 class is headlined by a pair of of star receivers. Fouonji is on the Fab 55. Polk was a dominant force at Lufkin for three years. Brooks, a running back from Manor, is a hard-nosed runner with wiggle and great balance. Texas Tech also nabbed two linebacker transfers to bolster the defense. Eighteen of the 20 commitments signed. 

8. Kansas

No. of commits: 24

Current national/Big 12 ranks: 47th/8th

Top prospects: ILB Brennon Scott, CB JaCobee Bryant, WR Lawrence Arnold

Twenty of Kansas’ 24 pledges signed in December. Les Miles is instantly raising the recruiting profile in Lawrence. The 2019 class ranked 70th in the nation and last in the Big 12. Arnold, an athlete from DeSoto, is the top-rated signee. Scott and Bryant elected to not sign until February, which could mean that other schools get a chance to flip the highest-ranked prospects in Kansas’ class. 

9. Kansas State

No. of commits: 28

Current national/Big 12 ranks: 49th/9th

Top prospects: ILB Jeremiah Harris, DE Nate Matlack, G Talor Warner

Kansas State’s class ranks 14 spots ahead of its pace in 2019. That’s a big improvement for Chris Klieman in his first full cycle in charge. Kansas State was JUCO- and transfer-heavy under Bill Snyder. Klieman clearly wants more focus placed on prep recruiting. The top-ranked player in the class is Harris, an inside linebacker from Alvin Shadow Creek. Harris is one of seven Texans, including Round Rock running back Deuce Vaughn. 

10. Baylor

No. of commits: 15

Current national/Big 12 ranks: 54th/10th

Top prospects: DE James Sylvester, CB Jahdae Barron, RB Taye McWilliams

Is this a sign that head coach Matt Rhule is destined for a NFL job? Baylor is the only Big 12 team with a class ranked outside of the top 50 in the nation. The Bears hold just 15 commitments, signing a Big 12-low 12 prospects during the early period. Baylor is in position to land a handful of talented prospects by signing day if Rhule stays in Waco. Sylvester and Barron are members of the Fab 55. 

2020 Fabulous 55 - Winter edition

The updated 2020 55 following the 2019 season.
RANK (PREV.)PLAYERPOS.HIGH SCHOOLCOLLEGE
1. (1)Zachary EvansRBGalena Park North Shore (6A)Uncommitted
2. (3)Jaylon JonesDBCibolo Steele (6A)Texas A&M
3. (5)Drew SandersOLBDenton Ryan (5A)Alabama
4. (2)Demond DemasWRTomball (5A)Texas A&M
5. (4)Ja'Quinden JacksonQBDuncanville (6A)Texas
6. (20)Jaxon Smith-NjigbaWRRockwall (6A)Ohio State
7. (11)RJ MickensSSouthlake Carroll (6A)Clemson
8. (9)Jase McClellanRBAledo (5A)Alabama
9. (7)Vernon BroughtonDTCy Ridge (6A)Texas
10. (18)Jalen KimberCBMansfield Timberview (5A)Georgia
11. (10)Haynes KingQBLongview (5A)Texas A&M
12. (8)Hudson CardQBLake Travis (6A)Texas
13. (17)Nate AndersonOTFrisco Reedy (5A)Oklahoma
14. (45)Jalin ConyersTEGruver (2A)Oklahoma
15. (12)Quentin JohnstonWRTemple (6A)TCU
16. (52)Garrett HayesOTAthens (4A)TCU
17. (19)Prince DorbahOLBHighland Park (5A)Texas
18. (26)Seth McGowanRBMesquite Poteet (5A)Oklahoma
19. (15)Xavion AlfordSAlvin Shadow Creek (5A)Texas
20. (14)Alfred CollinsDTBastrop Cedar Creek (5A)Uncommitted
21. (35)Devon AchaneWRFort Bend Marshall (5A)Texas A&M
22. (40)Marvin MimsWRFrisco Lone Star (5A)Oklahoma
23. (23)EJ SmithRBDallas Jesuit (6A)Stanford
24. (34)Jerrin ThompsonSLufkin (6A)Texas
25. (6)Chad LindbergOTClear Creek (6A)Georgia
26. (13)Jaylen GarthOTPort Neches-Groves (5A)Texas
27. (25)Malik HornsbyQBFort Bend Marshall (5A)Uncommitted
28. (32)Jahari RogersCBArlington (6A)Florida
29. (33)Collin SullivanWRRound Rock (6A)Purdue
30. (27)Logan ParrOGSan Antonio O'Connor (6A)Texas
31. (NR)Jahdae BarronCBPflugerville Connally (5A)Baylor
32. (41)Josh WhiteOLBCy Creek (6A)LSU
33. (22)Princely UmanmielenDEManor (5A)Uncommitted
34. (30)Jake MajorsOCProsper (6A)Texas
35. (21)Alec BryantOLBAlvin Shadow Creek (5A)Virginia Tech
36. (NR)Andrej KaricOTSouthlake Carroll (6A)Texas
37. (NR)Loic FouonjiWRMidland Lee (6A)Texas Tech
38. (44)Kitan CrawfordCBJohn Tyler (6A)Texas
39. (47)Parker WashingtonWRFort Bend Travis (6A)Penn State
40. (46)Kevontre BradfordRBLancaster (6A)Uncommitted
41. (48)Akinola OgunbiyiOGFort Bend Kempner (6A)Texas A&M
42. (38)Bryson WashingtonSC.E. King (6A)Oklahoma
43. (31)Lorando JohnsonCBLancaster (6A)LSU
44. (49)Ryan WattsCBLittle Elm (5A)Ohio State
45. (51)Avery HelmCBFort Bend Marshall (5A)Florida
46. (50)Michael HendersonATHCarrollton Ranchview (4A)Oklahoma
47. (24)Chris Thompson Jr.SDuncanville (6A)Auburn
48. (16)Troy OmeireWRFort Bend Austin (6A)Texas
49. (55)Trent Pullen OGWaco Connally (4A)Oklahoma State
50. (36)Darius SnowSCarrollton Hebron (6A)Michigan State
51. (37)James SylvesterDENewton (2A)Baylor
52. (NR)Kelvontay DixonWRCarthage (4A)Uncommitted
53. (53)Chandler MorrisQBHighland Park (5A)Oklahoma
54. (42)Brennan ScottOLBBishop Dunne (TAPPS)UNLV
55. (43)Ty'Kieast CrawfordOTCarthage (4A)Uncommitted

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