Every Big 12 Team's Biggest Competitor for Its Top 2014 Recruit Target
The Big 12 is a conference with an offensive reputation, as not much defense is played in the league. Its member schools compete fiercely on the recruiting trail, which stretches from the heartlands to the Atlantic Ocean.
Each program has one prospect circled on its recruiting board as a "must-get" but faces major competition for the recruit.
Texas is trying to keep an SEC program from taking a great safety, while Oklahoma wants to sign a great defensive end from the Lone Star State. Also, West Virginia is battling programs from the ACC and Big Ten for its top target.
Top Target: John Bonney, S
Bonney is a talented 4-star defensive back from Houston. He lacks great top-end speed but gets a jump on plays with his instincts, awareness and great feel for the game.
Bonney, who is 6'0" and 182 pounds, has good athleticism and deceptive short-area quickness. He will squeeze the line of scrimmage when he reads a running play and also has adequate range to factor in zone coverage.
Texas is Baylor's stiffest competition for him, according to 247Sports.
Top Target: Allen Lazard, WR
Although he is already committed to the Cyclones, Lazard must be recruited by Iowa State's staff like an uncommitted prospect.
Notre Dame, Oregon and Stanford are threats to head coach Paul Rhoads' top commitment, based on a report by Anna Hickey of IrishEyes.com (subscription required).
The 4-star receiver is 6'4.5" and 207 pounds. He has adequate quickness but excellent body control. Lazard displays a large strike zone, great ball skills and the potential to be a great blocker on the perimeter.
Top Target: De'Chavon Hayes, RB
A JUCO running back, Hayes is a 3-star prospect who plays in Pennsylvania. The scatback has quick feet, can slash through holes and has good speed.
Hayes, who is 5'10.5" and 180 pounds, can hide behind big offensive linemen, wiggle around and dart upfield for big gains. USC and Arizona State are Kansas' main competition, reports 247Sports.
Top Target: Calvin Heurtelou, DT
At 6'3" and 304 pounds, Heurtelou is a talented 3-star defensive tackle who plays for Scottsdale Community College in Arizona. He can anchor in the middle, be stout versus guards and work through gaps.
Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder has always been JUCO-fiendly, so Heurtelou would be a good fit in the Wildcats' program. However, Missouri looks like the team to beat, along with Tennessee, per 247Sports.
Top Target: Myles Garrett, DE
Garrett is a fantastic 5-star defensive end from Texas with great athleticism. Not only does he look like Tarzan, but he also plays like a warrior on the field.
The 6'4", 240-pounder can fire upfield out of his stance, quickly jump on top of a blocker and fight to pressure the passer with strength and quickness. Garrett can chase running backs from the backside in pursuit due to his good speed and great motor.
If Oklahoma wants to sign him, the main school it will have to beat out will be Texas A&M, according to 247Sports.
Top Target: Cameron Sims, WR
Sims has solid release quickness on the perimeter, as the 4-star receiver can be dangerous after the catch.
Sims, who is taller than 6'3" and weighs nearly 200 pounds, is from Louisiana. He has good separation quickness, big hands and can attack the football at its highest point.
Sims flashes the potential to be a physical receiver in college who cornerbacks shy away from pressing at the line.
Alabama and Ole Miss stand in the Cowboys' way, says 247Sports.
Top Target: Braden Smith, OL
Smith is a 4-star offensive lineman who can play tackle or guard. He is a physical player who plays with a mean streak, loves to mix it up and battles each snap.
Smith can move a defensive lineman off his mark with strength, roll his hips and run his feet to overpower his target at the point of attack. He flashes adequate pull/trap skills, helps when he is uncovered during pass protection and takes awesome care of his body.
He is a must-get for the Horned Frogs, but Alabama and Texas A&M are also in the mix, per 247Sports.
Top Target: Jamal Adams, S
Adams, a 5-star safety, is talented enough to make an instant impact in Austin. He has a terrific burst out of transition, can shoot off the hashes to get his hands on passes and plays with solid instincts.
The 6'0", 199-pound safety is comfortable playing in the box, sifts through trash while keeping his eyes on running backs and can hit with force. If he signs with the Longhorns, Adams could be an All-Big 12 selection early in his career.
Texas' main competition is Florida, shows 247Sports.
Top Target: Silvester Hayes, DE
Hayes is light in the pants for a defensive end, as the 6'3" prospect weighs only 215 pounds. However, do not be fooled, he has what it takes to hold his own in the trenches.
Hayes flashes deceptive power that shocks offensive linemen at the point of attack. He plays bigger than his size and is a tough customer. Hayes can also pin his ears back and launch upfield to pressure a passer with speed, as the 3-star recruit's light feet allow him to maneuver around tackles.
Baylor is the Red Raider's top competition for Hayes' services, according to 247Sports.
Top Target: Dravon Henry, DB/ATH
Henry plays cornerback on defense right now, but his skills project him to be a better safety. He recognizes routes well, is instinctive in coverage and has good range.
The 5'11", 185-pound defensive back can explode forward out of his back-pedal and displays impressive ball skills. His man-to-man cover skills grade out higher as a safety than they do at cornerback.
Henry is a prospect with a lot of upside, which is why Penn State, Ohio State and Pitt also want him, based on his profile at 247Sports.