The Dotted Line

Bob Stoops and Mack Brown have moved on, but the Texas-Oklahoma rivalry is being redefined by new Sooners coach Lincoln Riley (right) and new Texas coach Tom Herman (left). They have the Big 12's two highest-rated recruiting classes. National signing day is Wednesday. [STAFF/WIRE PHOTOS]

Football

The Dotted Line: Texas, Oklahoma remain atop Big 12 recruiting rankings

Posted February 3rd, 2020

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New song, same dance.

That’s how recruiting feels in the Big 12, and the 2020 class hasn’t change that perception. The two kings of the conference, at least on the recruiting trail, are Oklahoma and Texas. There is no third challenger. Texas and Oklahoma are the only Big 12 programs to rank inside the top 30 of the team rankings on 247Sports’ composite.

That’s fewer than either division in the SEC. The talent gap continues to widen between the royal pair and the rest of the conference. Baylor holds the league’s lowest-rated class despite an appearance in the Big 12 championship game and the fact that Matt Rhule didn’t leave for the NFL until after the early signing period.

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A look at the conference’s classes:

Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley has the Big 12’s top-rated recruiting class heading into national signing day week. But Texas is right behind. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

1. Oklahoma 

No. of commits: 23

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

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

Twenty-two of Oklahoma’s 23 pledges signed during the early period. The Sooners failed to sign five-star running back Jase McClellan, however, as he flipped to Alabama the week of the early period despite a two-year commitment to Oklahoma. Four-star defensive end Reggie Grimes is the only commitment who didn’t sign in December. Oklahoma also picked up a transfer from UCLA wide receiver Theo Howard, a former four-star recruit. The seven highest-rated recruits in the class play offense.

2. Texas 

No. of commits: 17

Current national/Big 12 ranks: 11th/2nd

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

The Longhorns can move back into the top 10 and claim the Big 12’s best class for the third consecutive cycle if they can close with targets like defensive lineman Alfred Collins and wide receiver Kelvontay Dixon. Texas’ class is small, but talented. Robinson was the only five-star to sign with a Big 12 school. Texas also did a great job recruiting a pair of talented quarterbacks to take over when Sam Ehlinger leaves. 

3. TCU

No. of commits: 15

Current national/Big 12 ranks: 33rd/3rd

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

The Horned Frogs’ class ranks third despite just 15 commitments. 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: 20

Current national/Big 12 ranks: 37th/4th

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

West Virginia signed 18 of its 20 commitments during the early period with JUCO three-star offensive tackle Jacob Gamble and three-star running back Avarius Sparrow yet to sign. Sparrow committed in January. 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 21st-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: 43rd/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 running back Chuba Hubbard, who’ll join with emerging quarterback Spencer Sanders. Oklahoma State addressed the 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. Oklahoma signed 18 of its 20 commitments. Iowa Central C.C. linebacker Lamont Bishop committed last weekend. 

6. Iowa State

No. of commits: 22

Current national/Big 12 ranks: 44th/6th

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

Each of the 21 future Cyclones signed early. 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 2018. Iowa State was also sixth in the Big 12 last year. The Cyclones added a commitment from kicker Ben Sauls in January. 

7. Texas Tech

No. of commits: 19

Current national/Big 12 ranks: 47th/7th

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

It was a solid first year of recruiting 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 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 19 commitments signed. 

8. Kansas State

No. of commits: 27

Current national/Big 12 ranks: 48th/9th

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

Kansas State’s class ranks 15 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. Round Rock running back Deuce Vaughn is one of six Texans who signed. The Wildcats also added former Cedar Park and Lake Travis defender Hunter Henry through a transfer from Rice. 

9. Kansas

No. of commits: 24

Current national/Big 12 ranks: 55th/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. 

10. Baylor

No. of commits: 14

Current national/Big 12 ranks: 61st/10th

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

Baylor is the only Big 12 team with a class ranked outside of the top 60 in the nation. The Bears hold just 14 commitments, signing a Big 12-low 12 prospects during the early period. Sylvester and Barron are members of the Fab 55, however. It’s disappointing for Baylor that it couldn’t capitalize on a great season in terms of recruiting. 

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)TCU
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)Arkansas
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)Texas
32. (41)Josh WhiteOLBCy Creek (6A)LSU
33. (22)Princely UmanmielenDEManor (5A)Florida
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)LSU
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)Texas
53. (53)Chandler MorrisQBHighland Park (5A)Auburn
54. (42)Brennan ScottOLBBishop Dunne (TAPPS)UNLV
55. (43)Ty'Kieast CrawfordOTCarthage (4A)Kilgore College (JUCO)

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