National signing day (February 6) is fast approaching, and there are still some big-name recruits who have yet to make their commitments to schools.
Some Big 12 prospects will be making their decisions before signing day, but if each Big 12 team could land its top prospect (realistically speaking of course) today with a solid verbal commitment, who would that prospect be?
We've gone ahead and checked out each team's prospect list—soft verbals are included—and identified who we think would be the one that puts an exclamation mark on the Big 12's teams' class of 2013. That one prospect who is the big red bow on a gift.
Who are those guys?
*Teams' prospect rosters and star rankings compiled by Scout.
According to Scout, defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson is currently a soft verbal commitment to Texas. His profile page indicates medium interest in Florida State, Alabama and USC—he has taken official visits to USC and Florida State.
Keeping this No.1 (by position) defensive tackle instate is crucial for the Longhorns. Losing him to an out-of-state school could stop the roll Texas is on after getting offensive guard Rami Hammad to commit last week.
Mack Brown wants to improve the defense and Robinson is perfect for that new foundation.
Head coach Gary Patterson
Defensive end Daeshon Hall has made a soft verbal commitment to Washington, but the Huskies will have to battle to keep him since Hall's profile page also indicates a high interest in both TCU and Texas A&M.
According to Scout, "four-star Texas defensive end Daeshon Hall declares he is 'still committed to UW,' but has been weighing other options, and will announce his final school of choice on National Signing Day, next Wednesday, Feb. 6."
Hall, it should be noted, is from Lancaster, Tex.
Head coach Art Briles
Defensive tackle Andrew Billings can play on both sides of the ball and is an exceptional athlete.
From Billings' profile page:
One of the most physically imposing players in the entire country. The first thing that jumps out is his superior strength. Whether he lines up on the offensive line or the defensive line he plays each and every play with a chip on his shoulder. When he gets his hands on the opposition he makes them pay. He moves extremely well for a bigger bodied player and will be a force in college.
Baylor does need to improve its defense, and landing Billings would be a huge step in the right direction.
Head coach Kliff Kingsbury
Outlaw received offers from six SEC schools including Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee. The 3-star Georgia native is a long shot for Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury.
Head coach Dana Holgorsen
Safety Tyler Boyd has made a soft verbal commitment to Pittsburgh, but he just got back from a West Virginia visit. West Virginia holds medium interest for the 4-star safety, but there could be a backyard brawl over him.
The Mountaineers need some elite defensive players to improve their chances in the Big 12. Landing Boyd, who hails from Clairton, Pa., would immediately improve their pass defense and stick a dagger in their former rival's heart.
Head coach Bob Stoops
L.J. Moore is a 4-star corner out of Fresno, Ca. and has received a lot of praise. From his Scout profile page:
Moore may have the best ball skills of any corner in the West, with great anticipation and instincts. Has the best size of any of the top corners in the region, and could even add weight and become a safety.
Moore has Oklahoma as one of his top schools—Oregon State and Arizona State are the other two—and he recently took a visit to Norman.
The Sooners' secondary took a big hit with graduation, so with Moore's ability to play at both corner and safety, help could be on the way.
Head coach Mike Gundy
Fred Ross is going to give Oklahoma State fans fits on signing day. Apparently the 4-star receiver really enjoyed his visit to Mississippi State last week.
According to this report, Ross's high school athletic director and head coach Ricklan Holmes says the soft verbal commit to Oklahoma State is "weighing his options."
Oklahoma State will be on pins and needles because if Ross decides to go with Mississippi State. That would leave the Cowboys with "only" two receivers (Ra'Shaad Samples and Marcell Ateman) currently committed to the high-flying Cowboys' class of 2013.
Head coach Paul Rhoads
Defensive tackle Bobby Leath is from Lake Wales, Fla., but Iowa State may still be in play for the heavily recruited 3-star lineman.
Any time the Cyclones can poach an athlete out of Florida is a good thing, and who knows what head coach Paul Rhoads has up his sleeve.
Rhoads already convinced 4-star offensive tackle Jake Campos to flip from Missouri.
Head coach Bill Snyder
Chances are, head coach Bill Snyder will land the 3-star defensive end, and here is the reason why: Of the top Kansas State prospects who have received offers from the school, the majority of them accept the offer.
Snyder doesn't appear to waste time offering prospects offers he knows they won't accept, and that is one of the reasons why Snyder is so successful. All of his players want to play for Kansas State.
When you're wanted by Bill Snyder, it's hard to say "no."
Head coach Charlie Weis
D.J. Green. a 3-star linebacker out of Mesquite, Tex., decommitted from Baylor, and while the Bears may lose out, the Jayhawks may score a win here. According to his profile page, Green has a bunch of schools listed as medium interest, and Kansas is one of them.
Head coach Charlie Weis is putting together a great class, and part of the reason why is because he is going after the building blocks that form a solid foundation for a great team—defensive players. Right now, Weis has two JUCO linemen who are both rated as 4-stars: defensive tackle Marquel Combs and defensive end Chris Martin.
Martin was a former 5-star linebacker and a 2010 Army All-American who after transferring to Florida via Cal, ended up at a junior college. Still, the fact remains that Weis is landing elite talent, and you can see it in this class of 2013.
Well done, sir.