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Big 12 Football: One Word to Describe Every Team's National Signing Day

Ian BergCorrespondent IFebruary 8, 2013

Big 12 Football: One Word to Describe Every Team's National Signing Day

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    The Big 12 had a solid recruiting cycle for the 2013 class with a number of teams landing inside the 247Sports Composite Rankings Top 25. There were some disappointments, but overall it was a good haul for the conference. 

    Each team approached this recruiting year differently, and each team finished with different results. Some were impressive, some were major letdowns. 

    Teams like Oklahoma and Baylor finished very strong, while teams like Texas Tech fell hard off the radar. This is a look at each team from the Big 12 and the one word that comes to mind when evaluating their classes.

Kansas State Wildcats

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    Word: Steady

    Key Players: Jake Waters (No. 1 JUCO QB), Nick Ramirez (No. 21 ILB), Devon Nash (No. 5 JUCO SDE)

    What It’s Worth: This class is not flashy, but Bill Snyder’s classes never are. This met a lot of needs, but there aren’t any all-stars that line the list.

    Defense and the offensive line were major keys to this class, and those positions were filled. There is also some help that will arrive at quarterback via the JUCO ranks in Jake Waters. The Wildcats return some talent at signal-caller, but the No. 1 rated JUCO quarterback will be hard to keep off the field. 

Texas Longhorns

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    Word: Disappointing 

    Key Players: Darius James (No. 1 OG), Kent Perkins (No. 3 OT), Jake Oliver (No. 21 WR)

    What It’s Worth: This class finished strong with a number of big bodies along the offensive line. Darius James and Kent Perkins are two incoming freshmen that may help Texas along the line this fall. 

    The Longhorns also landed a big receiver in Jake Oliver. 

    This class lost out on former commitments Ricky Seals-Jones and A’Shawn Robinson which led to a disappointing finish. There was a lot of talent in the class, but losing those players was a big loss for Mack Brown and Co. 

Baylor Bears

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    Word: Surprising 

    Key Players: Robbie Rhodes (No. 3 WR), Andrew Billings (No. 13 DT), Brian Nance (No. 2 Prep OLB)

    What It’s Worth: Art Briles and his staff are doing more than just winning a lot of football games, they are landing top talent now on the recruiting trail. 

    This team gained a huge pickup in receiver Robbie Rhodes and landed a huge early enrollee in Brian Nance. Both have the ability to make early impacts for the Bears. 

    This class was solid all the way through, giving the Bears with the third-best class in the conference. The Bears had a better haul than West Virginia and Oklahoma State to name a few. This was a solid class for Briles. 

Iowa State Cyclones

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    Word: Expected 

    Key Players: Jake Campos (No. 23 OT), Emmanuel Bibbs (No. 5 JUCO TE), Aaron Wimberly (No. 1 JUCO APB)

    What It’s Worth: Iowa State finished with 25 players in this class that included four early enrollees. It was not a highly rated class—it is considered to be the worst in the conference—but if filled needs and landed a lot of immediate contributors from JUCO. 

    Every player in this class can fill a need somewhere, and Paul Rhoads has been very good at making that happen since arriving on the Cyclones' sideline. One player to watch this fall will be Aaron Wimbley; he is a tough runner that will be hard to keep sidelined.

Oklahoma Sooners

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    Word: Championships 

    Key Players: Keith Ford (No. 3 RB), D.J. Ward (No. 10 SDE), Hatari Byrd (No. 15 S)

    What It’s Worth: This class could be the one that turns Bob Stoops back into a championship coach. The Sooners are loaded with talent already, but this recruiting haul filled needs and brought in a number of immediate playmakers. 

    Keith Ford is a player that should step in and help ease the workload at running back, and D.J. Ward is cutting his teeth this spring in preparation for a big freshman year off of the edge for the defensive line. 

    This class is stacked with defensive linemen and offensive skill players. 

    Oklahoma is just a few steps away from winning the conference, and this class should tip the hand in the Sooners' favor. 

Kansas Jayhawks

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    Word: Upgrade

    Key Players: Marquel Combs (No. 2 JUCO DT),Chris Martin (No. 1 JUCO SDE), Cassius Sendish (No. 7 JUCO CB)

    What It’s Worth: This class is full of JUCO players and that was a smart move by Charlie Weis and his staff. The Jayhawks need players that can contribute immediately, and this class needed to upgrade the talent on the sideline. 

    Both goals were achieved as this team was able to overachieve in a number of key areas. The defense is loaded with JUCO talent and should help this program reach moderate success this fall. 

West Virginia Mountaineers

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    Word: Balanced 

    Key Players: Dreamius Smith (No. 2 JUCO RB), Mario Alford (No. 3 Prep ATH), Shelton Gibson (No. 18 WR)

    What It’s Worth: The Mountaineers went into this recruiting cycle with a lot of needs spread on both sides of the ball. The defense was a major disappointment last fall, and there were a number of needs met in that area. 

    One player that stands out as an immediate impact guy is Dreamius Smith. He was an early enrollee and is game-day ready now. He blazed through the JUCO ranks, and he should be able to walk in and help out the Mountaineers this season from the backfield. 

TCU Horned Frogs

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    Word: Underappreciated 

    Key Players: Dac Shaw (No. 34 OLB), Kyle Hicks (No. 14 RB), Ty Slanina (No. 33 S)

    What It’s Worth: This class is not going to land head coach Gary Patterson any recruiting awards, but it fills needs and will be another solid group of contributors for this team. 

    The Horned Frogs never land at the top of the recruiting rankings, but TCU always gets players that develop well into the system, and overachieve once they arrive on campus. 

    Dac Shaw and Kyle Hicks are two players that will overachieve their rankings. This class will be the most underappreciated of the recruiting cycle. 

Texas Tech Red Raiders

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    Word: Lackluster 

    Key Players: Davis Webb (No. 25 Pro QB), Gary Moore (No. 58 WR), Devin Lauderdale (No. 49 WR)

    What It’s Worth: This class was the first in the Kliff Kingsbury era and it shows. It was a very lackluster class. There is no key leader in the group and no immediate impact players that appear to be in this class. 

    It was a scramble to finish strong for Kingsbury, and he did close better than expected. Davis Webb was an early enrollee that could be a future star at quarterback, but overall this class will cause a gap in talent for the Red Raiders down the road. 

Oklahoma State Cowboys

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    Word: Speed

    Key Players: Jerel Morrow (No. 17 ATH), Rennie Childs ((No. 40 RB), Ra’Shaad Samples (No. 33 WR)

    What It’s Worth: The Oklahoma State Cowboys went after speed in this class and they got it. Guys like Jerel Morrow and Rennie Childs will walk in and help out this offense this fall. 

    The Cowboys will plug in Ra’Shaad Samples as well. Bringing in playmakers on offense was a major goal, and despite not pulling in a major all-star, this class is riddled with speed and explosive athletes. 

    There will be a lot of all-purpose yards churned up by players in this class over the next four years. 

     

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