Power Ranking Every Big 12 Team's 2013 Recruiting Class
After falling short of the Big 12 conference football crown in 2012, traditional powers Oklahoma and Texas were able to reestablish their recruiting dominance with impressive hauls on national signing day.
The 2012 Big 12 champion Kansas State couldn't match its on-field success, but just how far down the recruiting power rankings did Bill Snyder's Wildcats slide?
West Virginia and TCU were both able to take advantage of a recruiting boost with their moves to the Big 12, though one brought in a decidedly better class than the other.
Baylor and Oklahoma State, meanwhile, each managed to draw a new wave of offensive playmakers to plug into their dangerous systems. So which high-flying attack is looking better going forward?
And did Kansas bring in enough talent to make its way out of the Big 12 cellar?
Let's find out in our Big 12 2013 recruiting power rankings.
10. Kansas State
After finishing atop the Big 12 on the field in 2012, Kansas State brought in the least impressive recruiting class in the conference.
By no means is this a bad class. As you'll find out, the four to five lowest-ranking classes on this are all pretty comparable and solid overall.
However, KSU doesn't have a single composite 4- or 5-star prospect, according to 247Sports.com.
Where this class lacks in flash at the top, it makes up for in overall depth and quality.
Waters, and eventually 3-star quarterback Jesse Ertz, are lined up to succeed Heisman Trophy finalist Collin Klein under center in Manhattan.
Snyder, of course, is notorious for bringing in JUCO players and unheralded recruits and translating that into success on the field.
Given the Snyder factor, KSU fans shouldn't be too discouraged by this ranking.
9. Iowa State
Similar to Kansas State, Iowa State's class isn't very glamorous.
To slightly edge out K-State, ISU pulled in one composite 4-star prospect, according to 247Sports.com.
And while 4-star offensive tackle Jake Campos isn't quite the headliner that some programs at the top of this list brought in, he's exactly the kind of player that makes a great start for a recruiting class.
As K-State, Alabama, Texas A&M and numerous other programs have proved, success starts up front, so bringing in a highly touted OT is an excellent pull for the Cyclones.
ISU also has four early enrollees, including Aaron Wimberly, the top composite JUCO all-purpose back according to 247Sports.com. Another player already on campus, offensive tackle Shawn Curtis, will also add to ISU's fortitude on the line.
Paul Rhoads seems to have found his quarterback of the future in sophomore Sam Richardson.
Now, the pieces around him are beginning to fall into place.
H/t to Casey White for catching my mistake, transposing former Iowa QB Jake Christensen with ISU QB Sam Richardson.
Kansas' 2013 class was defined by an enormous—literally and figuratively—signing of 247Sports.com's No. 2 overall composite JUCO prospect, defensive tackle Marquel Combs.
The composite 4-star is listed at 6'3" 305 pounds, but still runs a sub-5.0 second 40-yard dash (via 247Sports.com).
Even outside of Combs, KU's class is loaded with JUCO recruits, as Charlie Weis is looking to pull the Jayhawks out of the depths of the conference as soon as possible.
While this may be extremely beneficial over the next couple of seasons, one has to question the lack of young talent brought in going forward.
For now, the Jayhawks look to be in much better shape. KU's nine highest-rated prospects, according to 247Sports.com, are all JUCO transfers.
With all of that developed talent, Kansas should be able to turn the corner and actually win some games in league play this season. With some luck, the Jayhawks may even be back in the bowl picture before long.
Weis knew it would be a process in Lawrence, and this is just the start.
7. Texas Tech
New Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury did an excellent job of bringing in a solid class on short notice.
Circumstances aside, TTU—coming in at No.7—is close to being a push with the program that came in at No. 6.
None of the Red Raiders' 24 signees came in rated as 4- or 5-star composite prospects, according to 247Sports.com, though a few were just on the cusp.
The Red Raiders have a 3-star early enrollee at quarterback in Davis Webb. Under the tutelage of Kingsbury over the spring, he could challenge for the open starting role in Lubbock.
TTU continued its reload on offense, bringing in a pair of talented wide receivers, Gary Moore and Devin Lauderdale. Moore at 6'6",221 pounds, and Lauderdale at 5'10", 167 pounds, will fill completely different roles, but may prove to be a very dangerous receiving duo in the coming years.
TCU just edged out Texas Tech by bringing in one composite 4-star recruit, running back Kyle Hicks (via 247Sports.com).
And that one 4-star is a big one. Hicks was coveted by programs all around the nation, including Michigan, Notre Dame and numerous Texas schools, but the Horned Frogs were able to persuade the Arlington, Texas, native to stay home.
Hicks was a one-time Texas commit, which makes his flip that much more important for Gary Patterson.
In addition to Hicks, TCU was able to add to every level of its already staunch defense. Patterson built this program on defense, an emphasis he isn't likely to alter.
Overall, this is a solid class for Patterson and the Frogs, who are showing that they can hang on the field and on the recruiting trail since their conference upgrade.
5. Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State did an excellent job of reloading offensively in the 2013 class and was just edged out by the No. 4 program.
OSU's 23-man class is headlined by playmakers out wide and at the running back position.
The Cowboys also had an opening at running back after the early departure of All-Big 12 runner Joseph Randle, which they were able to fill with a couple of composite 3-star prospects, Rennie Childs and Corion Webster.
Obviously, these highly touted offensive recruits have noticed the sustained success OSU has had on that side of the ball.
Defensively, Oklahoma State also added a composite 3-star athlete, Jerel Morrow, who could project to be a great cover corner in Stillwater.
4. West Virginia
Like Oklahoma State, West Virginia was able to reload with some key playmakers on offense.
However, two factors separate WVU's class from that of OSU: early impact and depth.
In their 28-man class—the largest in the conference—the Mountaineers brought in an impressive seven early enrollees.
Nine of WVU's commitments came from JUCO prospects, so there should be some early benefit from those players. However, unlike Kansas, West Virginia also brought in a large group of prospects out of high school.
Headlining that group is Cleveland Heights, Ohio, receiver Shelton Gibson. Gibson is a composite 4-star, according to 247Sports.com, and could immediately fill in for All-American Stedman Bailey, who left early for the NFL draft, on the outside.
Joining him at receiver will be Mario Alford, one of the nation's top JUCO prospects, who was a late flip from Arizona.
The Mountaineers were also able to add to the offensive line and address some needs on defense.
Overall, this is a very good first Big 12 class for Dana Holgorsen and company.
What Art Briles has done at Baylor has been incredible, bringing the Bears from the depths of the Big 12 onto the national scene.
And he just keeps going.
The Bears also added three early enrollees, including 4-star dual-threat quarterback Chris Johnson, who is already on campus and competing for the open starting position under center.
Another 4-star—linebacker Brian Nance—is already working in Waco as well to help shore up the Bears defense.
Briles was able to bring on key additions to the offensive and defensive line, and really at just about every position on the field as part of the 23-man class.
Simply put, this is what a recruiting class is supposed to look like.
I was tempted to slide Baylor up to No. 2 in these rankings, but even with just 15 commits, this Texas class is simply too talented.
Mack Brown claimed eight composite 4-star prospects and one 5-star in this small class (via 247Sports.com).
The biggest pull may prove to be 6'4", 230-pound, dual-threat quarterback Tyrone Swoopes, who is already enrolled in classes in Austin.
There are also some excellent pieces around him, including an entire offensive line granted four stars in 247's original rankings— feat that is just incredible and could lead to titles for Texas.
Though it isn't large in number, this class is enormous in terms of talent.
Add that to the talented corps of players returning to UT, and the Longhorns just may be back in the Big 12 title hunt and national title picture.
At No. 1 is Oklahoma, who truly brought in the best of both worlds, combining the depth of Baylor's class with the talent of the Texas class.
Four early enrollees highlight this class for Oklahoma, most notably 4-star defensive end D.J. Ward.
The Sooners brought in talent on the offensive and defensive lines to shore up their push up front.
Finally, Oklahoma has apparently tabbed the quarterback of the future in 4-star Cody Thomas.
The only question: Will this class be enough for the Sooners to make it back into the thick of the national title hunt?
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