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Ranking Big 12 recruiting over the past decade

CeeDee Lamb
 
 
 
 
CeeDee Lamb (AP Images)
tvgymi1x01xg8nweihozMike Farrell • Rivals.com
 

Mark Pszonak contributed to this report.

With the 2020 class wrapping up in February, we thought it would be interesting to see which programs in the Power Five conferences have done the best job of recruiting over the last decade. We finish with the Big 12.

RELATED: Ranking the Big Ten's past decade | SEC | ACC | Pac-12

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals100 | Position | Team | State

 

 

1. OKLAHOMA 

Average national ranking: 11.2

The skinny: After finishing with the No. 7 class in 2010, the Sooners surprisingly didn’t have another top ten class until 2017. Since then, three straight top eight finishes have Oklahomarecruiting at a new level. With this high level of success, there has been no shortage of star power making their way through Norman since 2010. 

,  ,  ,  ,   and   are just a few of the elite recruits who impressed.

Farrell’s take: It’s surprising to see Oklahoma ahead of Texas, simply because the Sooners have such an in-state disadvantage compared to the Longhorns. However, the results on the field have shown. Lincoln Riley has proven to be a great recruiter and replacement for Bob Stoops and the OU brand is national. The Sooners do a great job in Texas and also spot recruit very well in California. As they continue to have success on the field they will only get more dangerous.

2. TEXAS 

Average national ranking: 11.4

The skinny: Compared to what the Longhorns are used to with recruiting, the program had its fair share of struggles during the decade. This included a No. 31 finish in 2017. However, they also had five finishes in the top four, including a conference-best No. 2 finish in 2012. And while the on-field production didn’t always meet expectations, top recruits like 

,  ,   and   did not disappoint.

Farrell’s take: The Charlie Strong years dropped this average down a bit, but things are rolling under Tom Herman now and Texas has become not only a regional recruiting power like it was under Mack Brown but a national recruiting power as well. The Texas-Oklahoma battle will be a great one to follow.

3. TCU 

Average national ranking: 34.1

The skinny: The Horned Frogs have quietly established themselves as a consistent recruiting threat in the conference and the state of Texas. Their decade included five finishes in the top 30, including a best of No. 20 in 2016. While elite recruits such as 

 did excel, a lot of the Horned Frogs’ success was based on building up mid-tier recruits such as  ,   and  .

Farrell’s take: There is a huge drop down from the big two in the Big 12 and TCU ,which has done a good job pushing its way to No. 3. Gary Patterson does a good job landing quality players and evaluating prospects as well. However, TCU needs to step this up a bit and it will be hard with OU, Texas, LSU, Texas A&M and others doing so well in the area.

4. OKLAHOMA STATE 

Average national ranking: 34.8

The skinny: Recruiting consistency has been the name of the game for the Cowboys during the decade. This is even more true if you disregard their No. 45 finish in 2016, which would put their remaining nine classes between No. 27 and No. 40. Similar to TCU, the Cowboys had top recruits shine, such as 

, but overall it was three-star recruits such as  ,  ,   and   who excelled.

Farrell’s take: Mike Gundy is a great coach and a very good talent evaluator and he’s done a very nice job in a state where he overshadowed by Oklahoma. He goes outside the traditional geographical region to find some talent but also lands a few key locals every year. He also coaches them up.

5. WEST VIRGINIA 

Average national ranking: 39.4

The skinny: While the wins have come pretty consistently in Morgantown during the decade, recruiting has been more of a roller coaster. With two classes in the 20s, three in the 30s, four in the 40s and a decade-worst No. 51 in 2017, the Mountaineers hope that new coach Neal Brown can bring more recruiting stability to the program. When it comes to success stories, two of the more successful elite recruits the Mountaineers brought in during the decade were 

 and JUCO  .

Farrell’s take: West Virginia has a horrible home-state disadvantage and must hit so many different areas to be successful that it is doing a solid job overall when you consider this factor. At WVU it’s about talent evaluation and player development, as those are the keys to winning.

 

6. BAYLOR 

Average national ranking: 39.5

The skinny: Considering the program was mired in a scandal during a portion of the decade, the Bears’ program did a surprisingly good job keeping recruiting above water. While they did dip as low as No. 58 in 2016, there were also six classes between No. 31 and No. 39. The solid recruiting brought in and produced top-level recruits such as 

 and  , while former two-stars such as   and   continue to excel in the NFL.

Farrell’s take: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Matt Rhulehas done an amazing job, considering the mess he inherited at Baylor. However, this ranking still needs to increase and the Bears need to land some of the big names that Art Briles landed to be competitive in the Big 12.

7. TEXAS TECH 

Average national ranking: 44.6

The skinny: The good news during the decade came early, with two classes in the top 26, including No. 20 in 2011. However, the bad news is the current state of affairs, with finishes at No. 73 and No. 62 during the last two years. New head coach Matt Wellsis hoping to start trending recruiting in a positive direction again. Texas Tech is also another Big 12 program that has done a better job of developing three-star recruits such as 

,  ,   and most notably  .

Farrell’s take: Texas Tech is up against it with so many power programs recruiting its home state, but it does a good job of developing players and it can use Mahomes as an example at quarterback forever. This is a solid average ranking but not one that will take the Red Raiders to the next level.

 

8. IOWA STATE 

Average national ranking: 58.0

The skinny: While finishing the decade with a No. 58 average is far from positive, the Cyclones have now put together four consecutive classes that have been in the top 54, including a decades-best No. 44 in 2017. With only seven four-star recruits being signed during the decade, 

 was the one who met all expectations, while former two-stars like   and   have experienced success that surprised many.

Farrell’s take: Matt Campbell is a good coach and does a really good job evaluating talent, but the Cyclones need to be more consistent on the field to make this number jump. They land some guys that play above their ranking for sure, and get the occasional four-star here and there, but to win the conference this needs to improve.

9. KANSAS 

Average national ranking: 60.3

The skinny: Annually one of the worst programs in the country on the field, the Jayhawks did have a couple of bright spots during a decade filled with recruiting disappointment. This included a No. 34 finish in 2011 and a more-recent No. 48 finish in 2018. However, a conference-worst No. 95 finish in 2016, plus a disappointing No. 74 finish in 2019, shows how difficult the job that new coach Les Miles has in front of him. While the Jayhawks had a dozen four-stars make their way to Lawrence, only a couple of mid-tier recruits, such as 

 and  , made an impact in college and beyond.

Farrell’s take: Things are improving under Miles in 2020 and they should beyond that because he’s a good recruiter. Wins such as the one over Boston College will only help, but for Kansas to make any kind of splash in the Big 12 the Jayhawks need to really improve quite a bit.

10. KANSAS STATE 

Average national ranking: 60.7

The skinny: Considering the Wildcats made eight bowls and had only two losing seasons during the decade, their recruiting struggles are a head scratcher. Coach Bill Snyder did a marvelous job of plugging players into his system, especially from junior college, so it will be interesting to see what new coach Chris Klieman’s recruiting philosophy will be. A few of Snyder's three-star recruits who continue to impress in the NFL are 

,   and  .

Farrell’s take: Snyder was a genius at getting the most out of players, as evidenced by the success on the field he had and such a horrible recruiting ranking. But to be behind Kansas? That’s inexcusable, and something Klieman will need to improve.

 

https://n.rivals.com/news/ranking-big-12-recruiting-over-the-past-decade

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There's a 500 lb gorilla in the room so I'm going to go ahead and point to it.

Is CTH and staff giving Eaton some leash intentionally? He's at OU this weekend. Princely is, too, however, he's not viewed as a flip possibility. Eaton has family in OKC. And if CTH and staff are indeed letting go of Eaton, is that some indication of where things sit with Ringo?

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45 minutes ago, Sirhornsalot said:

There's a 500 lb gorilla in the room so I'm going to go ahead and point to it.

Is CTH and staff giving Eaton some leash intentionally? He's at OU this weekend. Princely is, too, however, he's not viewed as a flip possibility. Eaton has family in OKC. And if CTH and staff are indeed letting go of Eaton, is that some indication of where things sit with Ringo?

🤔

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17 hours ago, Sirhornsalot said:

There's a 500 lb gorilla in the room so I'm going to go ahead and point to it.

Is CTH and staff giving Eaton some leash intentionally? He's at OU this weekend. Princely is, too, however, he's not viewed as a flip possibility. Eaton has family in OKC. And if CTH and staff are indeed letting go of Eaton, is that some indication of where things sit with Ringo?

Hope that has some merit to it but I don’t think so and u know where the Zona 3 sit in my heart, especially Ringo and Bijan who are the ventricles. I just don’t think things have changed drastically in 3-4 weeks. We always were in the picture with Ringo and still are. We need to win out and win the big 12. I always thought taking Eaton early was something I wasn’t in favor of but really like Alford and there were/are ties there. 

Again , I hope ur right. 

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31 minutes ago, TFloss32 said:

 

 

Watching his clips, one thing that stands out to me is how he ALWAYS keeps the ball in the opposite arm. If he's moving right, he has the ball in his right arm. If he is running left, he keeps it in the left. Ball protection, a lesson he won't have to learn at Texas. 

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Take Two: Should Horns, Sooners worry about Aggies' recruiting?

Jimbo Fisher
 
 
 
 
Jimbo Fisher (AP Images)
Adam Gorney, Mike Farrell, Sam Spiegelman
Rivals.com

Take Two returns with a daily offering tackling an issue in the college football landscape. Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Adam Gorney lays out the situation and then receives takes from Rivals.com national recruiting director Mike Farrell and an expert from the Rivals.com network of team sites or a regional analyst.

When Jimbo Fisher took the job at Texas A&M, a new age of recruiting battles between the Aggies, Texas and Oklahoma was started and it looks like Fisher is getting a big-time edge in the 2020 class.

Texas A&M is on the verge of doing something it never has done before in the Rivals era dating back to 2002 and that is land the top three players in the state.

The Aggies already have commitments from five-star receiver 

 and four-star defensive back  . The only one remaining is the top player in the state - Houston North Shore five-star running back  .

Evans’ recruitment has taken many twists and turns over the past few months. He looked like a Georgia lock for a long time and the Bulldogs are definitely not out of it, but the rumor now is that A&M is the leader and could definitely land his commitment soon.

If that happens, Texas A&M would have commitments from the three best players in Texas and it would make a statement that Fisher is building something super special in College Station. Although Oklahoma has had incredible success and Texas is becoming more of a national player, it would definitely be a shot across the bow from Fisher & Co.

Can Fisher get it done and should his regional opponents - namely Texas and Oklahoma - be concerned?

FIRST TAKE: SAM SPIEGELMAN, TEXAS & LOUISIANA ANALYST

“Texas is undoubtedly the team garnering the most praise on the recruiting trail, but as October nears, Texas A&M is projected to sign the state's top three prospects for 2020. That's unprecedented, and it says a lot about the way Fisher and his staff have kept things afloat from a recruiting standpoint despite an up-and-down start to the 2019 football season.

“Demas and Jones are locked in to their Texas A&M pledges. Demas is already a five-star and, if he played his senior season, would have a chance to battle for the No. 1 receiver spot in the nation. Jones is on the cusp of a fifth star and certainly could finish as a five-star before the cycle ends.

"Evans is trending in the Aggies' direction, though it's a very fluid situation with Georgia, Alabama and LSU all still involved. Should Fisher and Texas A&M pull that off, they deserve a ton of credit for landing elite prospects and battling college football heavyweights for them and holding off a rash of other teams in the process. It also says a lot about where recruits and the coaches believe this team is heading.

“I'm not sure it places too much pressure on Texas' Tom Herman or Oklahoma's Lincoln Riley. Both coaches have enjoyed a tremendous amount of success, especially with prospects that they really zeroed in on. It comes down to which prospects each program prioritizes and then how they close with them. Texas A&M may very well wind up with Texas' top three prospects in 2020, but Texas and Oklahoma have also enjoyed a ton of success in their own right with their guys.”

SECOND TAKE: MIKE FARRELL, NATIONAL RECRUITING DIRECTOR

“Texas is recruiting very, very well in-state. They have a top recruiting class nationally. I don’t worry about them at all. If Jimbo gets the top three players in the state of Texas then that’s good but Texas A&M looks like it’s a long way from being a program that’s going to compete in the SEC West.

“If I’m Herman, I’m not too worried about it. If I’m Oklahoma, I’m not worried about it because they just have to keep winning and that will be the end of that. It would be great for Jimbo to brag on that and he’s a great recruiter but I don’t think it’s anything Herman or Riley will worry about.

 

https://n.rivals.com/news/take-two-should-horns-sooners-worry-about-aggies-recruiting-

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1 hour ago, Drb522 said:

Let them sign the top 3 in state.  Texas’ class overall will be much better.  Evans has drama and locker room issues written all over him.  Texas has cleaned up in state on the OL and DL.  That’s where recruiting matters to me

A&M has done well with some of the in state elite and has 3 of the top 5 in the 247 composite and could have 4/5 with Evans. After that, you have to go all the way down to number 37 in state for their next commit. Texas has 12 (13 with Collins) between number 5 and 37. So, while A&M hit on some elite players, the top to bottom quality isn't quite the same. 

We would love to have Jaylon Jones and Demas but I don't think any Longhorn is worried about replacing Evans with Bijan or having Card and Jackson at QB instead of Haynes King. 

I agree with the article, No, Texas isn't worried about A&M in recruiting.

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2 hours ago, BWilk55 said:

A&M has done well with some of the in state elite and has 3 of the top 5 in the 247 composite and could have 4/5 with Evans. After that, you have to go all the way down to number 37 in state for their next commit. Texas has 12 (13 with Collins) between number 5 and 37. So, while A&M hit on some elite players, the top to bottom quality isn't quite the same. 

We would love to have Jaylon Jones and Demas but I don't think any Longhorn is worried about replacing Evans with Bijan or having Card and Jackson at QB instead of Haynes King. 

I agree with the article, No, Texas isn't worried about A&M in recruiting.

IMO, King is a mid-level 4-star. Some times, he doesn't play to that ranking, either.

Aggy might be the only large school prepared to take Evans' commitment right now.

If that happens, the two aggy five stars will have both missed their senior seasons for different reasons. Not sure what that says, but its strange.

Jaylon Jones might be the only one I'd want.

 

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2 hours ago, Sirhornsalot said:

IMO, King is a mid-level 4-star. Some times, he doesn't play to that ranking, either.

Aggy might be the only large school prepared to take Evans' commitment right now.

If that happens, the two aggy five stars will have both missed their senior seasons for different reasons. Not sure what that says, but its strange.

Jaylon Jones might be the only one I'd want.

 

i want Demas also, think he is a great XWR but agree. Bijan is just as good a RB(different styles) as Evans but the off field issues makes me think Evans will have other issues in college wherever that might be. At Aggie its ok to an extent bc they will sweep it under the run but he wont let it stay there long. i dont know what his issue is but things are great with him. Demas is a transfer issue and obviously living with a Aggie booster thing but that shouldnt stop him from being a productive college player. 

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2 hours ago, TheContractor said:

i want Demas also, think he is a great XWR but agree. Bijan is just as good a RB(different styles) as Evans but the off field issues makes me think Evans will have other issues in college wherever that might be. At Aggie its ok to an extent bc they will sweep it under the run but he wont let it stay there long. i dont know what his issue is but things are great with him. Demas is a transfer issue and obviously living with a Aggie booster thing but that shouldnt stop him from being a productive college player. 

Evans was suspended for arguing with the coaches. Not really what you are looking for. I'll take Robinson any day and his receiving abilities are off the chart. We have too many WRs to put a safety on a RB often so I like our chances with a quick RB that can high point a football or run after catch. 

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18 hours ago, BWilk55 said:

A&M has done well with some of the in state elite and has 3 of the top 5 in the 247 composite and could have 4/5 with Evans. After that, you have to go all the way down to number 37 in state for their next commit. Texas has 12 (13 with Collins) between number 5 and 37. So, while A&M hit on some elite players, the top to bottom quality isn't quite the same. 

We would love to have Jaylon Jones and Demas but I don't think any Longhorn is worried about replacing Evans with Bijan or having Card and Jackson at QB instead of Haynes King. 

I agree with the article, No, Texas isn't worried about A&M in recruiting.

Of those top 3, two isn’t even playing right now.  One could say its saving their body from wear and tear, but there’s something to be said about game reps.  I don’t see how the recruiting services would keep them atop the rankings since they aren’t showing they can follow up on previous years performances.  I don’t eat the King hype.  He’s never impressed me, in fact he reminds me of case McCoy in everything he does.  Texas is doing just fine with who they’ve got committed

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