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Thursday, October 3, 2013
Big 12 recruiting storylines: Oct. 3

By Damon Sayles




Is this the week for Oklahoma? The numbers will be there for the Sooners to have a huge recruiting weekend as Oklahoma hosts several big targets for its game against TCU. And speaking of TCU, will one of its top commits switch positions in college?

Here are some of the Big 12 recruiting storylines for the week:

For Sooners, a chance to clean up

Exactly how big is this weekend for Oklahoma? In looking at how far its 2014 class could skyrocket, it could be epic.

Adoree Jackson
Adoree' Jackson, who is No. 6 in the ESPN 300, is expected to visit Oklahoma this weekend along with several other California players.
Oklahoma is expected to host several uncommitted ESPN 300 players from California this weekend, including five-star cornerback Adoree’ Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Serra), four-star athlete Michiah Quick (Fresno, Calif./Central East) and four-star running back Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif./Freedom), three players ranked in the top 100 of the ESPN 300. The Sooners could have double-digit prospects attend Saturday’s game against TCU, and as many as six ESPN 300 players -- all from the Golden State -- could be watching.

In addition to Jackson (No. 6 in the ESPN 300), Quick (No. 43) and Mixon (No. 100), outside linebacker Dwight Williams (Gardena, Calif./Serra) and defensive tackles Ainuu Taua (Lompoc, Calif./Lompoc) and Tashon Smallwood (Fresno, Calif./Central East) -- Nos. 177, 214 and 222, respectively --are planning on making the trip to Norman, Okla.

Keep an eye on the Serra duo of Jackson and Williams and the Central East duo of Quick and Smallwood. Some high-profile teammates like to consider committing as unofficial package deals.

Oklahoma, a team that recruits the West Coast arguably better than any other Big 12 program, currently is No. 22 in the latest ESPN class rankings. Landing any of these elite athletes could vault the Sooners into the top 20. Landing multiple athletes could escalate the team into the top 15 or -- and it’s possible -- the top 10.

TCU commit: Still considered an OT?

High three-star offensive lineman Ty Barrett (Dallas/Skyline) is considered a top-40 tackle nationally. He was recruited by several big-name BCS programs because of his skills at the position, and he chose to play for TCU back in August.

With the 2013 season in full swing, the big question now is: Will Barrett play tackle in college?

At 6-foot-5 and 310 pounds, Barrett has a tackle’s frame. But this season, Skyline has been using him predominantly as a center -- and it’s a switch that has been welcomed by Barrett.

“It was just the best [move] for the team,” Barrett said. “I really volunteered, just being a leader.”

The volunteer move now is being considered as the move of the future. Barrett said he’s spoken with TCU coach Gary Patterson, and while he’s penciled in as a tackle, playing center against Big 12 defensive linemen is still a possibility.

“Coach P was like they would try me out at it if that’s what I want to play,” Barrett said. “I like it. I mean, it’s a bit easier than tackle, and I have a little more control of the game.

“Pretty much, everything is off of me. I don’t have to chase people all around anymore; they have to come to me or run themselves out of the play.”

Texas Tech four-star RB: ‘I’m solid’

Four-star running back Justin Stockton (Cibolo, Texas/Steele) has had an interesting week. He went from being the subject of a rumor to the subject of a math problem.

Stockton, a lightning quick running back who also can run north to south, said he had been hearing rumors that he was considering decommitting from Texas Tech to explore other options. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound back said the rumors are not true.

“I’d been hearing that, but I’m solid,” Stockton said. “Why would I leave a place I’m so comfortable with? I mean, they’re 4-0 now, and their coaching staff … what they’re doing right now is unbelievable. I think it’s outstanding with Coach [Kliff] Kingsbury and his staff have put together. They’re on the road to be doing something great, and I want to be a part of it. God’s blessed me with that offer.”

Stockton committed to Texas Tech in January and was recruited by then-new running backs coach Mike Jinks -- the same Jinks who was Stockton’s high school coach at Steele. Stockton calls Jinks a “mentor” and “a father figure.”

Stockton’s services will be welcomed at Texas Tech. He’s a running back who has been clocked in the 40-yard dash in 4.33 seconds (laser time) and 4.29 (hand-held time). Although very humble, Stockton couldn’t help but smile when he found out that he was good enough to be a question on a school test.

How many elite high school athletes can say they were this kind of problem?

Some are elite, but how many can say they are a math problem? S/O to #GunsUp RB commit Justin Stockton (@ReBiRth_4): pic.twitter.com/JO9tpjJqCq

— Damon Sayles (@DamonSayles) October 2, 2013
Before KU, Wrench setting high school records

Through four games this season, four-star running back and Kansas commit Traevohn Wrench (Gardner, Kan./Gardner-Edgerton) has rushed for 895 yards and 12 touchdowns. While that might be impressive, his career numbers will boggle the mind.

Wrench, the Sunflower State’s third-ranked player, has more than 5,500 rushing yards and more than 70 touchdowns for his career. He has Gardner-Edgerton’s rushing records -- and the running back before him was multisport star Bubba Starling, who was selected by the Kansas City Royals as the No. 5 overall pick of the 2011 Major League Baseball draft.

Wrench’s latest highlight-reel effort came Sept. 27 in a 56-51 victory over previously undefeated Bishop Miege (Shawnee Mission, Kan.). Wrench rushed for 343 yards and four touchdowns. Jayhawks fans were doing cartwheels when the 6-1, 190-pound back committed in March.

Wrench rushed for 2,424 yards and 33 touchdowns as a sophomore. He followed that with a junior year that included 2,269 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns, and he was limited because of nagging injuries. Wrench chose Kansas over offers from Kansas State, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa.

2015 QB looking for first Big 12 offer

Class of 2015 quarterback Nathan Elliott (Celina, Texas/Celina) has offers from North Carolina and Army, and he’s considering a verbal to the Tar Heels -- if a Big 12 program doesn’t offer.

While Elliott said he’s a big fan of North Carolina and its staff, he added that he would like to play close to home. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound dual-threat quarterback said he’s been hearing from Baylor and TCU, as well as Vanderbilt and Notre Dame.

“I like both of them. I like their offenses,” Elliott said of the two Big 12 schools interested. “I think I can fit well in either of them.”

Elliott has thrown for 911 yards and 13 touchdowns and he’s rushed for 221 yards and four touchdowns this season. Celina is undefeated through five games.

“I kind of thought I might pick up an offer or two by now, but I’m not too worried,” Elliott said. “I’m just focusing on our team and will let those coaches figure out who they want.”