National Signing Day 2011: Ranking the Big 12 Recruiting Winners and Losers
Word on the street was the Big 12 fell off last year. I don’t know why. Let’s see, maybe it was because traditional power Oklahoma romped in their bowl game—against UConn.
Oklahoma State and Texas Tech were the only other Big 12 teams to win a bowl game last season.
The conference needed to bounce back on the recruiting trail to regain street credibility. Did they succeed? Don't worry. All the answers you ever sought in life will be answered during this countdown.
Ladies and gentlemen, let's start the show.
10. Bill Snyder: Kansas State University Wildcats
Not even listed in the top 50 recruiting classes by any of the news services, the Wildcats still managed to get some impressive talent.
Snyder signed Justin Tuggle, a quarterback from Blinn College in Brenham, Texas. Cam Newton played quarterback there before going to Auburn, where he won a national championship and Heisman Trophy.
I'm also impressed by his crop of defenders, especially defensive backs. Cornerbacks Allen Chapman and Nigel Malone were teammates at the vaunted City College of San Francisco in California.
With 15, Kansas State and Oklahoma State tied for the most commitments on defense.
9. Paul Rhoads: Iowa State Cyclones
I'd rank Iowa State's class ahead of Missouri because the Cyclones signed RB Robert Standard from Chaminade High School near St. Louis.
The Tigers, though, are loaded at running back for the next two to three years.
The Cyclones signed the outstanding quarterback and wide receiver combination of Steele Jantz and Aaron Horne from the C.C. of San Francisco.
Standard is a speedster, who was recruited by Mizzou, Nebraska and Kansas to name a few schools.
Iowa State also wanted him, and they got him.
8. Gary Pinkel: University of Missouri Tigers
His raid on Texas' talent continued with the signing of 5A All-State offensive lineman Brad McNulty from Allen High School.
Quarterback Corbin Berkstresser from Lee's Summit High School (Mo.) could fill the void of Blaine Gabbert's departure.
Berkstresser is rated the No. 16 quarterback in the nation by Rivals.com.
According to Rivals.com, Mizzou's recruiting class ranked No. 47 in the nation—the last Big 12 Conference entry in the top 50.
7. Art Briles: Baylor University Bears
They got some tall, fast defensive backs, especially cornerbacks. I like JeMarcus Johnson, a speedy 6'1" cornerback from Lago Vista High School in Texas.
Briles and his staff didn't mind going the junior college route for help at the defensive back position. A 6'2" cornerback from Iowa Western C.C., David Whitmore too has outstanding potential.
Texas 5A All-State defensive lineman—Suleiman Masumbuko—could be one to watch going forward.
6. Turner Gill: University of Kansas Jayhawks
Judging by the signees, things could be looking up at the University of Kansas.
Anthony Pierson, Dreamius Smith and Darrian Miller are all very good tailbacks. Miller is being called the jewel by some, but Pierson was named All-Metro Sophomore of the Year by the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
By Rivals.com, the Kansas recruits were ranked No. 34 in the nation—higher than Missouri, Baylor, Kansas State and Iowa State's recruiting classes.
5. Tommy Tuberville: Texas Tech University Red Raiders
The Big 12 placed four teams in the top 15 running backs classes, according to Yahoo/Rivals.com. Three running backs rated four-star quality by Scout.com signed with Texas Tech.
I'm guessing the Red Raiders want to run the ball more. Fresh tailbacks Bradley Marquez, Deandre Washington and Kenny Williams will help them.
Texas, Oklahoma and Texas Tech—in that order—also did a nice job in recruiting talented wide receivers.
4. Mike Gundy: Oklahoma State University Cowboys
Oklahoma State had perhaps its best season ever last year, and their recruiting class shows it. The facilities T. Boone Pickens has helped finance must be working wonders.
Rivals.com ranks OSU's prospects as No. 28 out of 50 schools. Scouts.com ranked OSU No. 21—ahead of Nebraska.
Five-star running back Herschel Sims is the jewel of the class.
3. Mike Sherman: Texas A&M University Aggies
A&M signed Johnny Manziel, the No. 1 rated quarterback in Texas according to Dave Campbell's Texas Football.
At Tivy High School in Kerrville near San Antonio, Manziel was a Parade All-American, District 28-4A MVP (unanimous selection), 4A Offensive Player of the Year, 4A First Team All-State (AP) and two-time SA Express-News Offensive Player of the Year.
Full of Houston-area recruits, it seems Sherman and his staff have secured their turf from invading staffs.
In my opinion, they signed the best set of prospects at linebacker as any school in the nation. They also signed some huge offensive and defensive linemen.
LaMarc Strahan from Humble, Texas was the biggest of them all. At 365 pounds, he is bench-pressing 450.
No relation to Michael Strahan, who played at Texas Southern in Houston.
2. Bob Stoops: University of Oklahoma Sooners
The No. 13 ranked recruiting class this year according to Rivals.com, the Sooners get five-star recruits almost every year. This one was no exception.
A total of four of them inked with the Sooners, including a defensive end, a defensive tackle and a wide receiver.
Considering the other signees, the Sooners' defensive line could be the nation's best for the next three years.
Texas and Oklahoma both signed five-star tailbacks—Brandon Williams (Royal High School in Pattison, Texas) in OU's case.
Who did Texas get? Please continue.
1. Mack Brown: University of Texas Longhorns
The Longhorns dominated the four-star recruits with 11 commitments to Oklahoma’s four. Texas also got eight top 100 players to commit—twice as many as OU. Both schools had almost perfect balance between the number of recruits on offense and defense.
Texas got commitments from one five-star and two four-star defensive linemen.
Ranked No. 3 by Rivals.com, the Texas class includes the No. 1 tailback prospect in the nation—according to Rivals—Malcolm Brown (Cibolo Steele High School).
By far, the University of Texas had the highest ranked recruiting class. How that plays out on the field will be determined over the next three or four years.
Thanks for playing out the Big 12 recruiting scenario with me. I hope you were all entertained.