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.

Texas Longhorns Head Coach Tom Herman runs onto the field with his team during an NCAA football game against Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, in Austin, Texas. [RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

Football

The Dotted Line: Examining the status of the Big 12 recruiting scene

Posted October 23rd, 2019

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The 2020 recruiting rankings haven’t changed much since the start of the football season. The acceleration of the process due to the advent of the early period made the spring and summer as important to building a recruiting class than the actual season. Texas and Oklahoma remain the class of the conference. Oklahoma, which possesses the 10th-ranked class in the nation, is 25 spots in front of third-place Iowa State. It’s another example of the talent gap between the top two and the rest of the Big 12.

Lake Travis quarterback Hudson Card (1) heads to the locker room at halftime of a game against Lehman on Oct. 5, 2018. [John Gutierrez for American-Statesman]

Texas 

No. of commits: 20

Current national/Big 12 ranks: 5th/1st

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

Texas is poised to top the Big 12 for the third year in a row. Texas is now at 20 commitments after the flip of four-star wide receiver Troy Omeire from his pledge to Texas A&M. The class is headlined by five-star running back Bijan Robinson, a pair or talented quarterbacks and three of the best defensive linemen in the state. The Longhorns hope to add Bastrop Cedar Creek defensive end Alfred Collins to the list. Texas is also chasing at least more commitment at the wide receiver position. 

Oklahoma 

No. of commits: 17

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

Top prospects: RB Jase McClellan, OG Nate Anderson, RB Seth McGowan 

Five of Oklahoma’s top six-rated recruits are Texans. The Sooners even went to Houston and beat Texas straight-up for four-star safety Bryson Washington. The continued success and dominance of the Big 12 on the football field can only help Lincoln Riley keep pace with the Longhorns on the recruiting trail. Five-star running back Jase McClennan from Aledo might be the top running back in Texas. 

Iowa State

No. of commits: 21

Current national/Big 12 ranks: 35th/3rd

Top prospects: QB Hunter Dekkers, WR Daniel Jackson, QB Aidan Bouman

Head coach Matt Campbell committed his next few years to Iowa State after the 2018 season and that should help cement the program as the third-best in the conference. It’s certainly helping in recruiting, where Iowa State already ranks 11 spots ahead nationally in the 2020 class than it did for its final ranking in 2019. Two quarterbacks headline the group along with Jackson, a wide receiver from Cibolo Steele. 

Kansas

No. of commits: 26

Current national/Big 12 ranks: 36th/4th

Top prospects: ILB Brennon Scott, CB JaCobee Bryant, OLB Taiwan Berryhill 

The first step to turning around the Jayhawks is to infuse talent into the program. Les Miles can recruit, and he’s already showing that ability at Kansas. The Jayhawks’ 2019 class ranked 70th in the nation. A near win over Texas should help with the three-star prospects in Texas who are overlooked by Texas and Oklahoma. Kansas beat Texas for outside linebacker Brennon Scott, who is a member of the 2020 Fabulous 55. 

Oklahoma State

No. of commits: 17

Current national/Big 12 ranks: 38th/5th

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

Two of Oklahoma State’s top  four-rated recruits hail from Waco Connally. Mike Gundy was able to land guard Trent Pullen and cornerback Korie Black from there. The class is headlined by big-armed quarterback Shane Illingworth of California. Five Texans are pledged to the Cowboys. The class is heavy on offensive and defensive linemen. 

TCU

No. of commits: 13

Current national/Big 12 ranks: 42nd/6th

Top prospects: DE James Sylvester, CB Keontae Jenkins, DT Patrick Jenkins

TCU has jumped two spots from eighth to sixth in the Big 12 since the start of the season. The addition of four-star defensive tackle Patrick Jenkins helped the Horned Frogs jump Texas Tech and Kansas State. It’s still a small class for Gary Patterson, who hopes to reach at least 20 pledges by national signing day. The Horned Frogs could save a few scholarships to use on the grad transfer market. 

Texas Tech

No. of commits: 17

Current national/Big 12 ranks: 43rd/7th

Top prospects: WR Ja’Lynn Polk, RB Tahj Brooks, ATH Myles Price

Talent is on the way to Lubbock if head coach Matt Wells can keep the class together despite a lack of success on the field. Brooks, a Manor product, is a borderline four-star running back who can help change the culture in Lubbock. Polk is the best wide receiver in East Texas, while Miles Price can play offense or defense. Wells’ task is to find another handful of prospects to add to his existing bunch by national signing day. 

Kansas State

No. of commits: 18

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

Top prospects: ILB Jeremiah Harris, DE Nate Matlack, OT Carver Willis

It appears that Kansas State is going to rely more on high school recruiting than it did under Bill Snyder, who liked to focus on the JUCO ranks for instant starters. The 2019 class ranked 62nd in the nation. Head coach Chris Klieman is well above that mark in his first full cycle. Harris is from Alvin Shadow Creek. 

West Virginia

No. of commits: 13

Current national/Big 12 ranks: 55th/9th

Top prospects: G Chris Mayo, QB Garrett Greene, WR Devell Washington

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. A slow start to the season won’t help new head coach Neal Brown overachieve in the 2020 class. Expect West Virginia to scour the JUCO ranks and the transfer portal after the season. 

Baylor

No. of commits: 13

Current national/Big 12 ranks: 67th/10th

Top prospects: CB Jahdae Barron, RB Taye McWilliams, CB AJ McCarty

A 7-0 record hasn’t jump-started Baylor’s recruiting efforts. The Bears remain the lowest-rated recruiting class in the Big 12 with just 13 commitments and not a single four-star prospect pledged to Matt Rhule’s program. The success on the field should help Rhule round out this class with quality talent. 

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