With a week before National Signing Day, the Big 12 leader is Oklahoma. And not by a little.
The Sooners have more commitments than any other team in the league, and more highly rated recruits.
“They’re the bell cow of the league, not only from a numbers standpoint, but from a quality standpoint,” said publisher and reporter Josh Harvey of HornedFrogInsider.com on the Scout network. “We’ve talked about quality and quantity. Oklahoma is leading the way in both areas.”
The Sooners hold commitments from 18 four-star players, including eight early enrollees. The rest of the conference combined has 12 four-star recruits.
“The Sooners should finish with a top-five or six class this season after hovering around 15 for the previous three years,” said Nick Kreuger, Texas recruiting analyst for Rivals.com.
Scout.com FBS conference rankings 1. SEC 2. Big Ten 3. Pac-12 4. ACC 5. Big 12 6. Independent 7. Mountain West 8. American Athletic 9. Mid-American 10. C-USA 11. Sun Belt
The remainder of the Big 12, rated middle of the pack nationally by Scout.com, is trying to keep the Sooners from making it a runaway.
Texas and Baylor got boosts from their new coaches, Tom Herman and Matt Rhule. But the Longhorns hold only 15 commitments. Baylor, down to one recruit just months ago following the sexual assault scandal under former coach Art Briles, got on its feet with a handful of commitment flips when Rhule arrived.
In the middle of the pack are Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, and TCU. The Horned Frogs hold the fewest commitments, 13, of any team in the league.
“TCU is middle-of-the-pack just because of the number of commitments they have,” Harvey said. “I think they could climb pretty quickly over the next couple of days if they land some guys.”
With signing day approaching, it looks impossible for anyone to match the Sooners’ class. But every school in the league can claim varying success.
TCU is middle-of-the-pack just because of the number of commitments they have. I think they could climb pretty quickly over the next couple of days if they land some guys.
Josh Harvey, Scout.com recruiting expert
“Rhule has given the Bears an instant shot in the arm, and they already have a better ranking than they’ve had in any of the last three years,” Kreuger said. “The same can be said for Iowa State and Kansas, and Oklahoma State and Texas Tech could potentially fall into that category as well. Last season, Texas finished with a top-10 recruiting class and probably won’t do that this year, but the Longhorns are doing well to finish up after only having six commits at the time Charlie Strong was let go.”
Here is a look at the Big 12 teams and their recruiting season so far.
After being down to one recruit in November, the Bears hold 20 commitments. They scrambled to identify prospects that fit new coach Matt Rhule. That list includes a pair of former TCU recruits, receiver RJ Sneed of Cypress Ranch and receiver/safety Trestan Ebner of Henderson. The Bears also flipped quarterback Charlie Brewer from SMU and running back Abram Smith from Tulsa.
The Cyclones have 22 commitments, including three early enrollees and one signee, 6-foot-7 defensive end Matt Leo of Arizona Western College. They outfought TCU and Oklahoma State for a big defensive tackle, 320-pound Kamilo Tongamoa of Merced (Calif.) College.
The Jayhawks signed eight transfers in December, including junior college quarterback Peyton Bender, who projects as their starter. Arlington Lamar product Kyron Johnson, an outside linebacker, also signed in December. Also in the 16-member class is all-state running back Dominic Williams of Frisco Independence.
The Wildcats hold 15 commitments and one signee, including defensive end Spencer Misko of Frisco, a former Oklahoma State recruit. Five of the top seven recruits for K-State play defense, but the Wildcats added more size to their offensive line with 6-foot-6, 335-pound OT Josh Rivas.
The Sooners have 18 four-star recruits, or 17 four-stars and one five-star, depending on who is rating linebacker Jacobs Phillips. Eight of the four-stars are already on campus. If the Sooners keep Phillips — LSU continues to make a big push — the Sooners’ class is one of the nation’s best.
The Cowboys’ class includes two of the top receivers in Texas. Four-star Shamond Greenwood of Garland Lakeview Centennial pledged in August but continued to be pursued by TCU and others. Under Armour All-American Tylan Wallace of Fort Worth South Hills caught 12 touchdown passes in an unbeaten regular season.
The Horned Frogs’ class remains at 13 players because junior college defensive tackle Ezra Tu’ua committed around the time Tyreece Lott decommitted. It’s the smallest class in the Big 12, but includes four-star quarterback Shawn Robinson and four-star tackle Wes Harris, both early enrollees, and four-star receivers Jalen Reagor and Omar Manning.
The Longhorns’ six four-star recruits include quarterback Sam Ehlinger and running back Toneil Carter, both early enrollees. Four-star junior college linebacker Gary Johnson committed last week. TCU and Oklahoma continue a push for four-star defensive end Taquon Graham, who visited Fort Worth last week.
The Red Raiders dipped heavy into the junior college ranks for defensive help, signing two cornerbacks, a safety and a linebacker in December. Their 20-member commitment list includes another JUCO linebacker, Dakota Allen, and four-star linebacker Jack Anderson of Frisco.
The Mountaineers have 10 of their 18 recruits already on campus as early enrollees. They took a blow with the decommitment of Army All-American receiver Mike Harley. Junior college offensive tackle Isaiah Hardy reportedly became a 19th pledge for the class on Wednesday.
National Signing Day
Wednesday, Feb. 1