One Commitment Every Big 12 Team Wishes It Could Get This Summer
As we head into the heat of summer, the temperature gauge on the recruiting trail in the Big 12 is starting to rise as well.
Teams across the Midwest are trying to add depth and replace stars in the wake of the new college football era.
One hot prospect will be outside linebacker Anthony Wheeler of Dallas, Texas. The 4-star recruit that's part of the 2015 class is targeted by both Texas and Oklahoma.
With that, let's check out each Big 12 team's most coveted 2015 recruit heading into the summer.
All recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports unless otherwise noted.
Baylor: CB Kendall Sheffield
This 5-star cornerback from Missouri City, Texas, is one of the top prospects in the nation. Ranked 10th in the composite rankings, Sheffield has offers from 21 schools.
His top interests are currently Texas, Texas A&M, Alabama and Baylor.
What Baylor could offer more of than any of the other top schools on Sheffield is immediate playing time. The Bears haven't had a great pass defense in recent years and could use a huge boost in that department.
If Sheffield were to commit, a Big 12 power could get a huge injection on the defensive side.
Iowa State: Ray-Ray McCloud III
A running back out of Florida, Ray-Ray McCloud III is an elite athlete with a 4-star rating and a slew of offers, including from Alabama and Florida.
But McCloud III is also on Iowa State's radar, and the Cyclones could really utilize a prime-time ball-carrier.
Clemson and Florida are the top two schools on McCoud III's list, but perhaps the ploy of Mark Mangino, who was able to recruit great talent to Kansas, could help sway McCloud III to Ames.
Kansas: RB Tyreik Gray
Charlie Weis is desperate for a big-time recruit to come to Lawrence, and he may very well have an answer in 4-star running back Tyreik Gray out of Houston, Texas.
Gray's top offers are from Oklahoma and Louisville, but his top interests are Houston and Kansas.
Next season will be the Jayhawks' first without either James Sims—who graduated last season—or Tony Pierson, so they'll be looking for a playmaker. Gray would certainly fill that role.
Kansas State: OT Madison Akamnonu
A 6'5", 269-pound offensive lineman with a 4-star rating out of Arlington, Texas, Akamnonu would be an excellent addition to K-State's offensive line.
The best teams under Bill Snyder have always had tremendous offensive lines, so Akamnonu, who has offers from Texas, Oklahoma and Baylor, has to be high on Snyder's list.
The Wildcats currently have a commitment from 3-star offensive tackle Scott Frantz, but adding Akamnonu would be a huge addition.
Oklahoma: LB Anthony Wheeler
Wheeler's top two offers are from Texas and Oklahoma, putting this 4-star recruit right in the crosshairs of the Red River Rivalry.
Oklahoma's interest in Wheeler center's around the impending departure of Eric Striker, possibly the best linebacker in the Big 12. Striker will be a junior in 2014 and will possibly enter the NFL draft at season's end.
Either way, reeling in Wheeler has to be a top priority for the Sooners this offseason, and Bob Stoops and Co. would love to have him.
Oklahoma State: WR Tyron Johnson
Tyron Johnson, a 5-star receiver prospect out of New Orleans, is the third-ranked receiver in the 2015 class.
The top four schools on his list are Texas Tech, Georgia, LSU and Oklahoma State.
The Cowboys love having a plethora of wideouts on their roster considering Mike Gundy's air raid-style offense. So Johnson would be a great addition.
Texas Tech is currently the top choice for the Louisiana product, meaning he might be interested in joining a spread-style offense. So if Oklahoma State can capitalize on that, they'll have a chance to land Johnson.
TCU: RB/WR Kirk Merritt
Merritt, an offensive superstar out of Destrehan, Louisiana, has got to be atop the wish list for Gary Patterson and Co.
The sixth-ranked prospect with a 4-star rating has offers from Alabama and LSU, but TCU is third on his list.
While the Horned Frogs can't offer the elite level of play that SEC powers Alabama and LSU can, TCU can certainly guarantee Merritt more playing time early and often, which is certainly enticing.
Texas Tech has also offered Merritt, but TCU has to be the most likely Big 12 school to land this high-profile recruit.
Texas: DT Daron Payne
Daron Payne is perhaps the most highly touted defensive recruit out of Alabama in recent memory.
A 5-star prospect and ranked as the top prospect in the state, Payne's top two choices are currently Alabama and Auburn, the top two powers in the nation's best conference, the SEC.
But Texas is listed as third on Payne's list, and landing Payne would be an unbelievable step forward in Charlie Strong's rebuilding project in Austin.
While it's unlikely that the Longhorns will outbid the Crimson Tide or Tigers, if they do, Payne could end up being one of the best defensive players in the Big 12 early on.
Texas Tech: RB Soso Jamabo
While Baylor and Oklahoma are the top two schools on Soso Jamabo's list, Texas Tech has an outside chance at landing this 4-star prospect out of Plano, Texas.
At 6'3" and 210 pounds, Jamabo would add both size and speed to Kliff Kingsbury's spread offense.
Texas Tech's best chance is to hope that Jamabo wants to stay in the Lone Star State, then the Red Raiders could pitch more playing time and a program on the rise to him.
West Virginia: CB Jordan Whitehead
Karl Joseph is entering his junior season at West Virginia, and he's bound to either join the NFL ranks or graduate soon. That means the Mountaineers will need a boost in their secondary.
Enter Jordan Whitehead, a 4-star cornerback out of Monaca, Pennsylvania, that could revitalize the West Virginia defense.
The top three schools on Whitehead's list are Ohio State, Penn State and Pittsburgh. But the Mountaineers could guarantee that Whitehead would see the field almost immediately, making Morgantown enticing to him.