Where Each 2014 Big 12 Football Recruiting Class Stands Before Signing Day

Ben Kercheval@@BenKerchevalCollege Football Lead WriterJanuary 15, 2014

Jan 4, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; West running back Joe Mixon (28) watches from the sidelines during U.S. Army All-American Bowl high school football game at the Alamodome. The West won 28-6. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

National Signing Day is just three weeks away and coaching staffs across the country are finalizing any remaining recruiting needs they still have.

There are still plenty of top prospects that remain unsigned as well. Eleven of 247Sports' top 50 recruits have yet to verbally commit, and of course, there's always time to flip commitments.

So while three weeks can seem like a short amount of time, it can also feel like an eternity for coaches trying to hang on to a recruit before Feb. 5. That's when players can begin signing National Letters of Intent.

The Big 12 is on its way to having three Top-25 classes: No. 12 Texas, No. 17 Oklahoma and No. 24 Baylor. Since so much can change between now and Feb. 5, here's where every Big 12 team stands with its recruiting class—and what needs still need to be addressed.


Great Shape

Oklahoma: No. 17-ranked class; No. 2-ranked Big 12 class

Verbal commits: 19
Early enrollees: 2
5-star players: 1
4-star players: 5
Player to watch: 5-star running back Joe Mixon

Summary: Expect to see some members of the '14 class contribute right away on offense. Mixon will likely break into the running back rotation if he doesn't win the job outright. Meanwhile, Oklahoma projects to bring in three wide receivers—Mark AndrewsDallis Todd and Jeffery Mead—who are 6'5" or taller.

Needs: There's probably room for another defensive back, and 4-star Steven Parker, an in-state prospect, remains uncommitted. The Sooners will be battling Texas A&M for his signature.


Baylor: No. 24-ranked class; No. 3-ranked Big 12 class

Verbal commits: 21
Early enrollees: 7
5-star players: 1
4-star players: 3
Player to watch: 3-star offensive guard Jarell Broxton

Summary: 2014 will be an interesting year for Baylor because of all the star power it loses from the '13 team. However, Bears coach Art Briles is stocking up with talent once again. Two players who could make an instant impact are Broxton, who could fill the void left by All-American Cyril Richardson, and 5-star receiver K.D. Cannon.

Needs: There aren't many of which to speak. About the only positions Baylor isn't addressing in this class are quarterback and running back, and the Bears are set in both departments.


OK Shape

TexasNo. 12-ranked class; No. 1-ranked Big 12 class

Verbal commits: 21
Early enrollees: 0
5-star players: 0
4-star players: 7
Player to watch: 4-star quarterback Jerrod Heard

Summary: Head coach Charlie Strong's first class is shaping up to be a solid one, even though the Longhorns are getting beat for many of the state's top prospects. Eighteen of the Longhorns' verbal commits are from Texas, so given Strong's unfamiliarity to the area, his biggest victory may be keeping the class together.

Needs: The '14 class features one offensive lineman commit (3-star Terrell Cuney) while the 'Horns lose seniors Trey Hopkins, Mason Walters and Donald Hawkins. Additionally, lineman Josh Cochran has given up football due to a shoulder injury.

Texas is relatively young at O-line, but perhaps the new coaching staff can flip a prospect; 3-star Alex Anderson is committed to Arizona State, but recently received a scholarship offer from Texas and is scheduled to visit Austin on Friday.


Oklahoma State: No. 30-ranked class; No. 4-ranked Big 12 class

Verbal commits: 23
Early enrollees: 2
5-star players: 0
4-star players: 4
Player to watch: 4-star running back/receiver Tyreek Hill

Summary: Oklahoma State has a large departing senior class (29 players) and a notable early departure in wide receiver Josh Stewart. The incoming '14 class is decent enough and focuses primarily on its defensive front seven. There are also a few athletes who could move around to a number of positions, perhaps to the secondary.

Needs: Oklahoma State looks like it's doing a good job of addressing its pass-rushing needs on defense. Still, if the Pokes want to bolster its D-line, 3-star defensive tackle Cedric Johnson is uncommitted.


Kansas State: No. 47-ranked class; No. 7-ranked Big 12 class 

Verbal commits: 15
Early enrollees: 3
5-star players: 0
4-star players: 0
Player to watch: 3-star linebacker D'Vonta Derricott 

Summary: Head coach Bill Snyder is known for finding diamonds in the rough and developing players to their fullest potentials. So K-State's average-looking class shouldn't be something to worry about. There's a definite focus on the offensive line and linebacker.

Needs: Despite the size of K-State's class size, there aren't many areas of concern for the Wildcats. There is an emphasis on defensive backs, though, and there are a few good ones out there like 3-star cornerback Jesse Mack


TCU: No. 63-ranked class; No. 9-ranked Big 12 class

Verbal commits: 11
Early enrollees: 2
5-star players: 0
4-star players: 0
Player to watch: 3-star quarterback Foster Sawyer

Summary: A disappointing 2013 season showed just how much help TCU needs on offense. It starts at the quarterback spot with Sawyer and Grayson Muehlstein. Junior college transfer Frank Kee should also provide some much-need help to the offensive line.

Needs: TCU has a young roster with just 15 departing seniors, but eventually it's going to need help in the secondary to replace a group full of NFL talent. With three offensive line commits, the Frogs have done a decent job filling that need.


Work To Do

Texas Tech: No. 37-ranked class; No. 5-ranked Big 12 class

Verbal commits: 21
Early enrollees: 5
5-star players: 0
4-star players: 0
Player to watch: 3-star defensive tackle Keland McElrath

Summary: The Red Raiders are focusing on putting plenty of speed on the field with this group. The '14 class is wide receiver and defensive back-heavy with the likes of cornerback Nigel Bethel and receiver Devin Lauderdale

Needs: Because quarterback Michael Brewer announced he would be transferring, this position is a definite need. The Red Raiders are down to one scholarship quarterback, Davis Webb, and have limited options behind him. Finding another quarterback will be paramount.


West Virginia: No. 38-ranked class; No. 6-ranked Big 12 class

Verbal commits: 13
Early enrollees: 6
5-star players: 0
4-star players: 1
Player to watch: 3-star quarterback William Crest

Summary: West Virginia's biggest issue in 2013 was depth, as a number of close games got away. Injuries, especially on defense, also played a factor. Building up defensive depth and rebuilding the offensive line are the two areas head coach Dana Holgorsen and his staff are concentrating on.

Needs: The Mountaineers need help at safety. There was talent in the secondary, but not a lot of bodies. West Virginia may need to look for an athlete or flip a commit from another school.


Iowa State: No. 54-ranked class; No. 8-ranked Big 12 class

Verbal commits: 18
Early enrollees: 4
5-star players: 0
4-star players: 1
Player to watch: 4-star receiver Allen Lazard

Summary: Ames can be a difficult place to recruit, but Iowa State got Lazard, a highly touted, in-state recruit to commit. Lazard has excellent size for a receiver at 6'4" and 207 pounds, and the expectation is that he could push for playing time immediately.

Lazard recently turned down an offer to play for Notre Dame. That's music to head coach Paul Rhoads' ears, but he won't rest easy until the ink on Lazard's signature is dry next month.

Needs: The Cyclones had all kinds of problems in the trenches in 2013. All other troubles basically stemmed from that. Rhoads and his staff are addressing the O-line issue with four commits, but a couple of defensive linemen would help as well. 


Kansas: No. 70-ranked class; No. 10-ranked Big 12 class

Verbal commits: 10
Early enrollees: 3
5-star players: 0
4-star players: 1
Player to watch: 4-star running back Traevohn Wrench

Summary: The '14 class doesn't have nearly as many JUCO/transfer players as the '13 class did. JUCO players are good for a quick fix; the problem is they didn't fix much for the Jayhawks. Who knows how much time head coach Charlie Weis has to turn things around, but developing players quickly will play a role in it.

Needs: Quarterback and wide receiver. Freshman QB Montell Cozart showed flashes of greatness after his redshirt was burned, but he definitely hasn't earned the starting job for next year as of yet. The Jayhawks also need a ton of help at receiver after another disappointing season of little production.


Ben Kercheval is the lead writer for Big 12 football. All recruiting rankings and information obtained through 247Sports