|ESPN.com: Big 12||[Print without images]|
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Breakdown: 18 high school, five junior college.
Positions: 5 WR, 5 DB, 3 LB, 3 OL, 2 DE, 2 RB, 1 QB, 1 DT, 1 ATH.
Where they came from: Texas 6, Florida 6, Iowa 3, California 2, Oklahoma 2, Georgia 1, Pennsylvania 1, Virginia 1, Wisconsin 1.
The stud: T Aaron Moore, Frisco Texas (Centennial) -- Ranked by Scouts Inc. as the nation's 40th best offensive tackle, he projects to be able to bulk up and become a more imposing player after arrival at college.
Recruiting-class sleeper: ATH Darius Reynolds (Reedley College) -- An original commitment under Gene Chizik, Reynolds was kicked off his college team earlier this season. He paid his own way to Ames to meet with coach Paul Rhoads' staff and convince him he still wants a chance to play with the Cyclones - -either as a quarterback or wide receiver.
The one who got away: LB Larvez "Pooh Bear" Mars, Apopka, Fla. -- There wasn't anything cuddly about this hitting machine, ranked as the nation's 79th best outside linebacker by Scouts Inc. Instead, Mars chose to stay close to home where he became one of Florida International's most noted national recruits.
Needs addressed: Wide receiver, secondary.
Still lacking: Defensive tackle, offensive line, tight end.
Scouts Inc. grade: C- (11th in the Big 12, fifth in North Division).
My take: Rhoads got a late start, but still was able to convince 13 of Chizik's 16 original recruits to stay true to the Cyclones. Rhoads will need more playmakers at every position, but getting his current recruiting class together on short notice with a reduced staff and lessened recruiting visits ranks as a major accomplishment as he starts his program.