Top 10 Committed Big 12 Football Recruits in Class of 2014

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IJuly 3, 2013

Top 10 Committed Big 12 Football Recruits in Class of 2014

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    Although the Big 12 is not as strong as it once was, the conference still remains among the best in college football. Traditionally dominated by Texas and Oklahoma, several programs have made recent coaching changes which have given them a renewed sense of confidence.

    The Red River Rivalry is still the top tussle in the league, as the Longhorns and Sooners fight on the field and on the recruiting trail for prospects. However, other schools have begun making up ground and have closed the gap in the Big 12.

    A big receiver prospect is surprisingly committed to a Big 12 program not known for its recruiting prowess. Another program has two commitments on this list who could be key players in its resurgence, while quarterback and defensive end have committed to Texas. But Oklahoma also is well represented on this list.

    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals247Sports ESPNU.

10. Donald Catalon, RB

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    Committed to: Texas

    Catalon, who has ran for more than 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons, is a good running back prospect who will earn carries soon for Texas. He has every-down potential as a running back and shows solid receiving skills.

    Catalon, who is 5'11" and 190 pounds, can run effectively inside and outside. He is a willing interior runner who threatens linebackers quickly in alleys and has the strength to break tackles. Catalon also displays solid foot quickness and agility to jump to the edges and good speed.

    He is an instinctive runner who makes quick decisions and has a good blend of power and speed.

9. Traevohn Wrench, RB

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    Committed to: Kansas

    Wrench, who has more than 4,600 yards and 58 touchdowns in his past two seasons, is a sleeper prospect for Charlie Weis. He has the potential to be one of the top multi-purpose players in the Big 12.

    Wrench, who is 6'0" and 180 pounds, has great speed and agility. He can play as a downhill runner who attacks front-seven alignments with solid strength or as a space player. He has solid instincts and can make an impact in the passing game due to his shifty athleticism and hands. His frame and running style must excite the Kansas coaching staff, as he could be a diamond-in-the-rough prospect.

    Wrench could play a significant role for Kansas as a true freshman. 

8. Kyron Watson, LB

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    Committed to: Kansas

    Watson, who is the top defensive commitment for Kansas, is a versatile linebacker recruit. He can play inside and man the middle due to his toughness and strength, but also has the speed to play outside.

    Watson, who is 6'1" and 225 pounds, has good instincts and awareness. He quickly locates the ball and uses explosive short-area quickness to attack. Watson does not shy away from blockers, as he is strong at the point of attack and can shed.

    He can buzz into coverage and has the ability to keep his head on a swivel to read quarterbacks and receivers. Watson will be a defensive leader for Kansas, as his versatility and toughness will command respect.

7. Dallis Todd, WR

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    Committed to: Oklahoma

    Todd, who caught more than 70 passes as a junior, is an interesting receiver prospect. He looks like a tight end on the hoof, but runs better than his frame would initially indicate.

    Todd, who is 6'5" and 210 pounds, has great release quickness for a big receiver. He can surge off the line, is light on his feet and does not need to decelerate to get in and out of his breaks. Todd has solid field vision and can find a void on the back end.

    He has deep speed, though Todd's catch radius is limited. He's a body-catcher who needs to work on extending his arms and attacking throws with his mitts. However, he is a prospect who is fascinating to study and has a high ceiling.

6. Devon Thomas, RB

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    Committed to: Oklahoma State

    Thomas, who pledged to the Pokes in December, is a quick running back who is on track to develop into a power guy. Thomas gets by at the high school level with sharp cuts and solid agility, but his frame has added much bulk over the past few seasons, which will slow him down some in college.

    Thomas, who is 5'11" and 211 pounds, is not going shake and bake defenders in the open field or run with much electricity. However, he allows his blocks to set up, makes quick decisions and can sharply cut to get upfield in a hurry.

    Thomas displays above-average speed and has an adequate burst. He is not going to possess a single dominant trait in Stillwater, but rather be a back who's good at several things. 

5. Justice Hansen, QB

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    Committed to: Oklahoma

    Hansen, who threw 34 touchdowns as a junior, is a mobile quarterback who is a good fit for the Sooners' offense. He has better movement skills than former starter Landry Jones had at this point.

    Hansen, who is 6'4" and 200 pounds, has quick feet in the pocket and a solid delivery. He has the arm talent to attack any level of the defense and doesn't shy away from fire strikes outside the hashes. Hansen has solid accuracy and has good ball-placement skills when throwing on the run.

    His mobility will allow him to run zone-read plays, along with being used on sprints, boots and rollouts. He's a quarterback who could develop into an elite starter. 

4. Allen Lazard, WR

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    Committed to: Iowa State

    Lazard, who pledged to the Cyclones after his junior season, is a class possession receiver. He is an athlete who needs to build up off the line and can move the chain.

    Lazard, who is 6'5" and 202 pounds, uses a long stride to move around the field. He is not sudden off the line, but can get upfield to shield defenders away from the ball. Lazard controls his body well and can adjust to balls outside his strike zone.

    He can pluck the ball with his hands and is a nightmare for cover men on fade routes. Lazard is not going to consistently make dynamic plays after the catch, but Iowa State will love throwing him the ball due to his size, hands and ability to be open even when he's covered. 

3. Derick Roberson, DE

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    Committed to: Texas

    Roberson, who had more than 100 tackles in 2011, is the top defensive commitment for Texas. He plays with a great motor and has quick ball-location skills.

    Roberson, who is 6'4" and 218 pounds, is light for an end but has deceptive strength. He will fight a blocker, defeat his man with quickness and pursue a ball-carrier with speed. He is not going to routinely stack and set the edge, but will meet his tackling-target with force and wrap them up when allowed to chase from the backside.

    Roberson can fire out of his stance, surge upfield and jump on top of blockers. He is dangerous on the edge and flashes solid hand usage when rushing. Once he fills out his frame, he could be a versatile defensive end who leads Texas in sacks and quarterback hurries.

2. Jerrod Heard, QB

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    Committed to: Texas

    Heard, a dual-threat quarterback, is the top commitment for Mack Brown. He is even a better passer than 2013 signee Tyrone Swoopes.

    Heard, who is 6'3" and 190 pounds, has great drop back quickness and sets up in a hurry. He has a solid release and good arm strength to get the ball downfield. Heard excels when he's asked to attack the intermediate level of the field and has good field vision.

    A mobile quarterback, Heard can make throws on the run or use his legs gain yards and keep the chains moving. He will command a spy-spy defender on important downs.

1. Davion Hall, WR

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    Committed to: Baylor

    Hall, who could be a great safety, is an athletic receiver with a high ceiling. He has great body control and speed to dominate the Big 12 perimeters.

    Hall, who is 6'2" and 186 pounds, can launch off the line with sudden release quickness. He is a deceptive route-runner and can avoid trash at the bottom of his long patterns, get back on his route-line and quickly separate at junction points.

    Hall is a dynamic playmaker with adequate hands and great speed. He shows good elusiveness with the ball and can skate past deep safeties to race to the end zone. He will need to work on being more precise as a route-runner, but Hall's potential is through the roof.


    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.