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Thursday, November 21, 2013
Big 12 recruiting storylines: Nov. 21

By William Wilkerson

The beginning of the month didn't start out so hot for Oklahoma, who was routed in a highly-anticipated game at Baylor on Nov. 7. But the Sooners have rebounded well on the recruiting trail with a handful of commitments since the calendar turned.

We'll take a look at who exactly those recruits are as well as talk about the big weekend ahead in Stillwater in this week's edition of Big 12 recruiting storylines.

OU on a roll

The Sooners might not be clicking on all cylinders on the field, but they certainly are on the recruiting trail. Oklahoma has picked up five commitments this month, including three since Sunday. The first to commit in November was three-star athlete Dimitri Flowers (San Antonio/Churchill), who committed on Nov. 6. Next up was junior college tight end Jean Sifrin (Torrance, CA/El Camino College) on Nov. 11. Then three-star defensive end Dwayne Orso Jr. (Birmingham, AL/Homewood) and junior college tight end Isaac Ijalana (Woodland Hills, CA/Pierce College) both committed on Sunday. The success carried over to Monday when junior college outside linebacker Devante Bond (Roseville, CA/Sierra College) gave his verbal pledge to coach Bob Stoops. OU now has 19 commits in the Class of 2014.

Big weekend ahead in Stillwater

So you might have heard about this football game in Stillwater this weekend? No? Well, it features undefeated Baylor traveling to one-loss Oklahoma State in a game that could decide the Big 12 champion and have national championship implications. Given all that’s at stake, you can bet the Pokes are angling for this to be one of their biggest recruiting weekends of the season. But how big will it be? Two official visits are known: junior college DT Jeremiah Ledbetter, an OSU commit, and DE Trey Carter (Dallas/Pinkston). Others will be determined later in the week with state playoffs, weather and other things coming into play. Regardless, expect the list of visitors to be long and extensive. ESPN 300 safety Steven Parker (Jenks, Okla./Jenks) is certainly one recruit the OSU coaches hope shows up.

What will the fallout be from Texas' loss?

Repercussions from Saturday’s embarrassing loss to Oklahoma State have yet to rear their ugly head for the Longhorns. It’s not so much a matter of if that will happen, but when. Recruits are saying all of the right things for now, but that could be because coach Mack Brown still has a job. Should that change, Texas is going to have to work quickly to ensure that the new regime can keep those committed on board, and do so under the leadership of new athletic director Steve Patterson. Texas had a Christmas list of recruits on hand for its 38-13 loss to OSU with recruits such as Leonard Fournette, Jamal Adams and Tony Brown in town. Will this loss rule them out for these players? Will ESPN 300 defensive end Solomon Thomas, who has said he’d take an official to Texas, end up taking one now? Only time will tell.

What next for TCU?

It’s about quality over quantity for the Horned Frogs and their 2014 recruiting class. TCU only has 10 commitments and just one verbal pledge since Aug. 4. But big names could be in store despite the program’s struggles this season. One prospect the Horned Frogs continue to pursue is ESPN 300 offensive lineman Braden Smith (Olathe, Kan/Olathe South). Smith has long been connected with TCU for a number of reasons, including his sister’s place on the Horned Frogs track team. But there are several heavy hitters in pursuit like Alabama, Texas A&M, Notre Dame and several others that are making Smith’s decision a tough one.

WVU to turn focus to recruiting

West Virginia (4-7 overall) won’t use the month of December for bowl practice since it won’t be playing in a bowl this season. Instead the Mountaineers can turn their focus toward completing their 2014 recruiting class, which stands at 15 commitments.

The Mountaineers took 26 commitments in 2013 but could reach the 25-signee maximum even though it would put WVU over the 85-man scholarship limit.

“I’m comfortable with us being able to go out and get 25 because we’re three-quarters of the way there right now,” WVU ]coach Dana Holgorsen told West Virginia Metro News. A few players the Mountaineers would love to add to this class include ESPN 300 athlete Dravon Henry (Aliquippa, Pa./Aliquippa), ESPN 300 running back Donte Thomas-Williams (Durham, N.C./Hillside) and three-star safety DaeJuan Funderburk (Washington, D.C/Friendship Collegiate Academy).