Big 12 recruiting capsules: Texas, Oklahoma sign top-10 classes with final flurry
A look at the Big 12's recruiting classes for the 2022 cycle, which ended Wednesday with national signing day. Schools are listed in order of their class's national ranking in 247Sports' composite ratings.
The class: No. 5 nationally, right ahead of Penn State and right behind Ohio State; 28 signed with 10 early enrollees
What an offseason. Steve Sarkisian hopes he's fixed, or at least seriously upgraded, his offensive line, which was a season-long issue. The Longhorns need better talent and depth. Two five-star linemen — Devon Campbell, the No. 1 interior line prospect in the country, and Kelvin Banks, the No. 3 tackle — could make a quick impact, and the Longhorns also bolstered their depth, signing seven linemen. Campbell chose Texas over Oklahoma on Wednesday. Fifteen of the 28 signees were linemen (both front lines needed help) and Sarkisian picked his spots at running back and receiver. He even signed the country's No. 4 kicker prospect to replace Cameron Dicker and devoted a scholarship to the nation's No. 1 long snapper. The Longhorns really raided Ohio State this year, flipping top-10 cornerback prospect Terrance Brooks from the Buckeyes in the early signing period, then adding two potential starters via the transfer portal in QB Quinn Ewers and CB Ryan Watts.
The class: No. 8 nationally, right ahead of Michigan and right behind Notre Dame; 21 signed
The Sooners signed four players Wednesday, including their state's No. 1 prospect, CB Gentry Williams. It was a nice closing push for new coach Brent Venables, who lost pledged recruits after Lincoln Riley left for USC, including two who left after OU hired Venables from Clemson. And on top of that, OU has been all over the transfer portal, losing three key players to USC (QB Caleb Williams, WR Mario Williams and CB Latrell McCutchin) as well as QB Spencer Rattler and TE Austin Stogner to South Carolina. But OU added Central Florida QB Dillon Gabriel and DB Trey Morrison, a former starter at North Carolina, as well as a couple of offensive linemen from TCU and Cal, a TE from Missouri, an LB from Appalachian State, a DL from Hawaii and two other DBs from Wyoming and Louisville besides Morrison. The class doesn't have any five-stars, however. One of OU's decommitments, ATH Xavion Brice, signed with rival Texas in December because the Longhorns were OK with him playing receiver; OU wanted him as a DB.
3. Oklahoma State
The class: No. 29 nationally, right ahead of Iowa and right behind Arkansas; 20 signed, including 14 three-stars
The story of Oklahoma State's class has been the story of Mike Gundy's recruiting history: shoot for the stars with targeted running backs and wide receivers, sign a half-dozen or so Texans and work the junior colleges. WR Talyn Shettron and RB CJ Brown, both early enrollees, were top-10 state prospects. Shettron is an intriguing 6-foot-3 target. Three of the top four recruits are from Oklahoma; in all, OSU signed nine Oklahomans and six Texans.
4. West Virginia
The class: No. 35 nationally, right ahead of Baylor and right behind Maryland; 21 signed, including 19 three-stars
QB Jarrett Doege is returning, but signing Nicco Marchiol, a four-star lefty out of Arizona, could pay future dividends. He's 6-2 and 216 pounds and chose the Mountaineers over Michigan and Georgia. He is the No. 19 QB prospect in the country, was Arizona's Gatorade player of the year and threw for more than 8,000 career yards and 91 TDs. The top-rated signee is four-star CB Jacolby Spells, a top-30 prospect at his position. S Christion Stokes is a versatile athlete who put up big numbers as an RB and a DB and was a finalist this season for Michigan's Mr. Football high school award. And Oliver Straw will be the fourth active Big 12 punter from Australia; he's the No. 3 punter prospect in the class. Nine early enrollees are on campus.
The class: No. 36 nationally, right ahead of Purdue and right behind West Virginia; 21 signed
Maybe the Big 12 championship won't have an impact on recruiting until the 2023 class. The Bears signed only two four-star prospects this cycle — 6-2, 180-pound wide receiver Armani Winfield and edge rusher Kaian Roberts-Day — and the rest were three-stars. Winfield, the Bears' highest-rated prospect, actually was Steve Sarkisian's first commitment ever at Texas before he backed out of his pledge in late November. He was a 1,000-yard receiver with eight TDs his senior season. The Bears signed another 1,000-yard receiver as well, Rockwall-Heath's Jordan Neighbors, who scored 11 TDs. Roberts-Day (6-3, 240) played both RB and DL in high school and might also get a look at TE. More than half the class is either an offensive or a defensive lineman.
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6. Iowa State
The class: No. 39 nationally, right ahead of Boston College and right behind Utah; 22 players, including two four-stars
The Cyclones are replacing several key players, particularly at quarterback, linebacker, tight end and defensive line, and addressed just about everything in either recruiting or the transfer portal, with four new linebackers, five defensive linemen, two tight ends and two quarterbacks. Matt Campbell signed players from 11 states. The new TEs, Andrew Keller and Gabe Burkle, at least look the part at 6-6, 220 and 6-7, 240. Minnesota transfer M.J. Anderson and four-star signee Hunter Deyo could help the most on the defensive line. The Cyclones coveted in-state S Xavier Nwankpa, but the five-star signed with Iowa. But getting Deyo, who did pick Iowa State over the Hawkeyes, was a good recruiting win. WR Greg Gaines, the only other four-star who signed, is a 6-2, 185-pound speedster from Florida.
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7. Texas Tech
The class: No. 43 nationally, right ahead of Wisconsin and right behind Cincinnati; 18 players, including one four-star and 17 three-stars
Credit new head coach Joey McGuire, who was hired to replace Matt Wells in early November, for making quick work on the recruiting trails and in the transfer portal. The lone four-star of the class is Maurion Horn, who's classified as an athlete but will play running back. Seven of the nine highest-rated prospects are defensive players, while the portal was used to concentrate on offense — a quarterback from Virginia, a wide receiver from Minnesota and three offensive linemen — but also yielded Texas safety Tyler Owens. Promising defensive signees Landon Hullaby (a safety) and Ty Kana (a linebacker) are already on campus. The Red Raiders' 2021 class was No. 74.
The class: No. 47 nationally, right ahead of Minnesota and right behind Colorado; 14 players, including three four-stars
Gary Patterson left at the end of October, but Sonny Dykes, who was hired about a month later, did a nice job with his patchwork class. The Horned Frogs signed nine players in December — only weeks after Dykes was hired, though 10 pledges backed out after Patterson's resignation, including four after Dykes' arrival. The class was No. 61 nationally at the time but improved 14 spots after signing five players Wednesday. Three players were plucked from rival Texas, including former Longhorns commitment Ronald Lewis, a three-star CB out of New Orleans who flipped Wednesday, and transfer TE Jared Wiley and LB Terrence Cooks. WR DJ Allen decommitted in November and visited Florida last weekend but ended up signing with the Horned Frogs after all Wednesday.
9. Kansas State
The class: No. 61 nationally, right above Memphis and right behind Boise State; 17 players, all three-stars
The Wildcats made their biggest splash in the transfer portal, bringing in veteran Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez, Missouri safety Shawn Robinson and Maryland linebacker Branden Jennings. All should help immediately. Improving the defense was a top priority; four of the five transfers were on that side of the ball, and edge rusher Donovan Rieman and linebacker Tobi Osunsanmi could be good, as should junior college edge Vaai Seumalo. Also in this class is WR Sterling Lockett, a 5-10, 155-pounder who was the 11th-rated prospect in Kansas and is the younger brother of Seattle Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett. The biggest knock? No running backs, something that even head coach Chris Klieman acknowledged Wednesday.
The class: No. 119 nationally, right above Central Arkansas and right behind Nevada; seven players — all three-stars
The Jayhawks had more success raiding the Big Ten through the transfer portal than wooing high school recruits. Kansas' class is small, with all but one player from out of state. The portal, however, brought Nebraska RB Sevion Morrrison, Michigan State CB Kalon Gervin, Ohio State S Craig Young, Maryland edge rusher Lonnie Phelps and Minnesota RB Ky Thomas. Kaleb Purdy, the No. 71 safety prospect in the country, was the highest-rated high school signee. Also added were a pair of three-star offensive tackles (6-4, 250-pound Joe Baker and 6-7, 275-pound James Livingston) who are top-100 prospects at their positions.