Big 12: 2010 recruiting wrap

Texas Tech recruiting capsule

February, 4, 2010
2/04/10
2:57
PM ET
Texas Tech Red Raiders

Total class: 25

ESPN 150: 0

By position: CB 5, DE 5, S 4, OT 3, DT 3, OLB 2, WR 1, RB 1, QB 1.

By state: Texas 13, Florida 4, Louisiana 3, Oklahoma 2, Arkansas 1, Maryland 1, Hawaii 1.

Already enrolled in school: 2.

The big ones: Jackson Richards, the nation’s No. 31 defensive end prospect, should provide some help at an area where Coach Tommy Tuberville is desperately looking for an upgrade. Shawn Corker, the nation’s No. 47 wide receiver, left South Florida to come to Lubbock because of the program’s burgeoning reputation for developing wide receivers under Mike Leach. He stayed firm with his commitment even after Leach was fired.

Sleeper: DT Donald Langley originally committed to Tennnesse out of high school but ended up at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Mississippi as a non-qualifier. He's a 290-pound run stuffer – something the Red Raiders’ defense desperately needs.

Needs met: The Red Raiders needed to find some defensive linemen because of the turnover in the roster from four graduating players this year and losingn nose tackle Colby Whitlock after 2010. Seven additions keyed by Richards, Dartwan Bush and Coby Coleman will help. Keeping quarterback recruit Scotty Young was imperative as the Red Raiders will lose graduating seniors Steven Sheffield and Taylor Potts after one more season. Speedy, squat running back Delans Griffin looks like a prototypical Tech back because of his catching and running abilities.

Analysis: Considering he had only three weeks to keep the recruiting class together, Tuberville did a masterful job. He addressed the program’s defensive needs with a group heavily tilted to that side of the ball. It signals a change in thinking around the Tech program and one that likely would be necessary if the Red Raiders ever become consistent Big 12 title-game participants. Young seems to be similar to the long line of quarterbacks that Tech has always attracted under Leach. And Corker symbolizes the Red Raiders’ emerging national reach under Leach after players like Michael Crabtree have developed in the program. It will be interesting if that trend continues with Tuberville, or if his staff turns back to a more regionalized approach.

What Tommy Tuberville said: "It's been a tough situation that we've put our coaches in, but I'm proud of what they did and how they did it. We did keep a few that had previously committed . . . and some for obvious reasons went other directions. Looking at this, it's going to be a class that we can look back on and say, 'You know? For a three-week period of time, it was pretty dang good.’ This group is going to win a lot of games.”

Scouts Inc. grade/rankings: C-plus, eighth in Big 12.

Texas A&M recruiting capsule

February, 4, 2010
2/04/10
2:38
PM ET
Texas A&M Aggies

Total class: 22

ESPN150: 3

By position: OT 4, DE 4, RB 3, QB 3, DT 2, WR 2, OG 1, ATH 1, CB 1, OLB 1.

By state: Texas 18, Louisiana 3, Colorado 1.

Already enrolled in school: 4.

The big ones: Bookends Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews are two of the nation’s top seven offensive tackles with Joeckel ranked sixth and Matthews seventh. They are the kind of players that Coach Mike Sherman can build an offense around for the next few years. And Toney Hurd Jr., who decommitted from Notre Dame after the coaching change, is a ball-hawking cornerback who overcomes his lack of size with spectacular athleticism that helped him become the nation’s 11th-rated cornerback.

Sleeper: WR Malcome Kennedy was overshadowed while playing quarterback on his high school team because of the presence of RB Traylon Shead, a heralded Texas recruit. Kennedy moved to quarterback for his senior season, rushing for 25 touchdowns and 2,357 yards and passing for 1,515 yards and 22 more scores. He actually might be a better fit for the Aggies at safety because of the team's receiving depth. Kennedy had eight interceptions and four fumble recoveries last season along with his monster offensive numbers.

Needs met: Von Miller will be around for another season at defensive end, but the Aggies still need some help and got it with four players including projected standouts Nehemiah Hicks and Damontre Moore. Sherman is a stickler for depth in the offensive line so it’s no surprise the Aggies added four tackles and made it a huge priority. The Aggies also prepared for life without Jerrod Johnson by adding Matt Joeckel, Jameill Showers and Clay Honeycutt to battle for the backup job.

Analysis: The Aggies attracted a solid class that lost a little when Corey Nelson jilted them for Oklahoma and Jarrett Fobbs signed with LSU on the final day of the recruiting season. Sherman thinks that three of his offensive linemen will be contending for playing time next season. Despite the Aggies' struggles on defense and the arrival of new coordinator Tim DeRuyter, this class is heavily skewed with adding offensive help.

What Mike Sherman said: “We're not recruiting against Timbuktu U. We're recruiting against some pretty dang good universities. We're going to win some and lose some. We don't lose sleep over that, I promise you."

Scouts Inc. grade/rankings: B, third in Big 12.

Texas recruiting capsule

February, 4, 2010
2/04/10
2:27
PM ET
Texas Longhorns

Total class: 25

ESPN 150: 15

By position: WR 5, DE 3, DT 3, OLB 3, ATH 2, QB 2, CB 2, G 1, RB 1, C 1, S 1, K 1.

By state: Texas 22, Ohio 1, Oklahoma 1, Louisiana 1.

Already enrolled in school: 3.

The big ones: Jackson Jeffcoat, the nation’s top player at his position and No. 2 player overall, is a dominant speed rusher who should only get better as he fills out. Jordan Hicks, the nation’s top outside linebacker and No. 4 player overall, shows the kind of burst and tackling ability that leads me to think he could win a college Butkus Award to go along with the high school version he picked up last season.

Sleeper: DE Greg Daniels might get lost amongst all of the publicity surrounding Jeffcoat, Hicks and the others on the defense. But he’s a strong, active pass rusher who should challenge for playing time while with the Longhorns.

Needs met: With Sergio Kindle departing and Eddie Jones and Sam Acho both entering their senior seasons, the Longhorns needed defensive ends. They addressed the deficiency by attracting three of the nation’s top 23 defensive ends. Texas coaches were specific about their offensive line needs and attracted Army All-Americans in center Dominic Espinosa and guard Trey Hopkins. And with Garrett Gilbert seemingly entrenched as the starting quarterback, the Longhorns attracted Case McCoy and Connor Wood to battle for depth at the position. Both graduated from high school early and will begin practice with the Longhorns later this month.

Analysis: Texas won the mythical Big 12 recruiting title with a typical strong early spurt and two monster late additions in Jeffcoat and Hicks. It should give Will Muschamp a lot of defensive building blocks to tinker with for the next several seasons. Help was needed at wide receiver and the Longhorns addressed those needs with five players, including potential standouts Mike Davis and Darius White. And look for Demarco Cobbs to challenge for playing time at running back. All of these elements help to make it one of Mack Brown’s top two recruiting classes, ranking with his 2002 class for his very best group.

What Mack Brown said: “I've been asked over the last couple of days, 'Is this the best class that we've ever had?' We feel like it definitely has the potential to be because from top to bottom it covers every position and that's a very difficult thing to do." … On Texas' consistent recruiting success: “Obviously, we had 25 official visits and we got 25 kids. We're not into offering guys that we don't want. We're really not into recruiting guys that don't have interest.”

Scouts Inc. grade/rankings: A-plus, first in Big 12.

Oklahoma State recruiting capsule

February, 4, 2010
2/04/10
2:19
PM ET
Oklahoma State

Total class: 27

ESPN 150: 1

By position: S 6, ATH 3, DT 3, QB 2, WR 2, OT 2, G 2, OLB 2, ILB 2, LB 1, DE 1, CB 1.

By state: Texas 20, Kansas 2, Oklahoma 2, Arkansas 1, Florida 1, California 1.

Already enrolled in school: 4.

The big ones: Undersized OLB Shaun Bell, OSU's only recruit in the ESPNU150, has shown marvelous instincts and should grow into a key contributor. ILB Caleb Lavey has good size and is an explosive player between the tackles who has been compared to former standouts like Rocky Calmus and Teddy Lehman.

Sleeper: OT Dan Koenig might not play for a couple of years, but has the bloodlines that suggest he will be a big contributor. Two older brothers preceded him as key OSU players.

Needs met: With both starting cornerbacks graduating, the Cowboys needed immediate contributors and appeared to have gotten them with junior college transfer Malcolm Murray, Devin Hedgepeth and three other arriving high school products. All three starting linebackers are leaving, but the added talent at the top of the class should help. And with four departing starters in the offensive line, the Cowboys attacked that need with developing projects like Koenig and Eli Dickerson.

Analysis: Despite some big losses on defense, the Cowboys appear to have restocked with some productive players who should help immediately. It was a big loss when Calvin Barnett signed with Arkansas on Wednesday. The arrival of quarterbacks Johnny Deaton and Nate Sorenson immediately starts a quarterback competition. It will be interesting to see how much the offense changes and if the Cowboys will have the kind of linemen to flourish in new coordinator Dana Holgorsen’s pass-heavy attack.

What Mike Gundy said: “Everyone is excited on signing day. We are no exception. We won't truly know about this class for a couple of years, but we obviously hope it turns out to be an exceptional group. … “We obviously like our class. It's a testament to our program, and to our current student-athletes, that we can sign a class of this caliber. We think we have helped ourselves in a number of areas.”

Scouts Inc. grade/rankings: B-minus, fourth in Big 12.

Oklahoma recruiting capsule

February, 4, 2010
2/04/10
2:12
PM ET
Oklahoma

Total class: 29

ESPN 150: 7

By position: ATH 6, DE 4, WR 3, OT 3, OLB 3, RB 2, S 2, DT 2, TE 1, QB 1, G 1, C 1.

By state: Texas 17, Oklahoma 4, California 3, Kansas 3, Florida 1, Missouri 1.

Already enrolled in school: 4.

The big ones: QB Blake Bell, a tall player with surprising athleticism for his size, was the Big 12’s top quarterback recruit. LB Corey Nelson was a late snatch from Texas A&M who should provide playmaking ability as a nimble, roving run-stuffer.

Sleeper: S Aaron Colvin missed his junior season with an injury but had a strong senior season. Oklahoma coaches feel like they are getting a steal because of his lack of national notoriety.

Needs met: Chris Brown is gone and DeMarco Murray has one more season of eligibility. But the Sooners added a couple of immediate contenders for playing time in Brennan Clay and Roy Finch. Austin Haywood adds immediate depth at tight end with Jermaine Gresham leaving. And Sam Bradford’s departure is lessened with the arrival of Bell, who appears ticketed to redshirt during 2010.

Analysis: Offense was the target in this recruiting class and the Sooners appear to have filled most of their needs. The late addition of Corey Nelson was huge for Oklahoma’s defense, particularly after losing Jackson Jeffcoat to Texas a few days earlier. Receivers Justin McCay and Kenny Stills should help provide pop in the offense. It’s a strong, solid class, dotted by playmakers, that was ranked as high as second nationally by one recruiting service.

What Bob Stoops said: “We met every one of our needs by position the way we needed to with the number of guys, the number of signees, at each of those positions and addressed just the graduation and guys departing through the year. I felt like we really got great talent in all of those positions.” On Blake Bell: “He's a talented guy when you look at his ability to throw the football. He's an excellent pocket quarterback, which is a staple of what we do.”

Scouts Inc. grade/rankings: A, second in Big 12.

Nebraska recruiting capsule

February, 4, 2010
2/04/10
12:00
PM ET
Nebraska Cornhuskers

Total class: 21

ESPN 150: 1

By position: DT 3, DE 3, ATH 2, QB 2, OT 2, CB 2, S 2, RB 1, WR 1, TE 1, OLB 1, G 1

By state: Texas 5, Nebaska 4, Florida 2, Colorado 2, California 2, Missouri 1, Illinois 1, Ohio 1, Minnesota 1, Louisiana 1, Mississippi 1.

Already enrolled in school: 3.

The big ones: Massive 298-pound guard Andrew Rodriguez, the nation's seventh ranked player at his position and the Cornhuskers’ only player on the ESPNU 150, looks like he could develop into a dominant player in the trenches. Safety Corey Cooper, a late decommittment from Illinois and the nation's No. 20 rated safety, arrives at Nebraska’s biggest defensive position of need.

Sleeper: WR/KR/DB Ken Bell, son of former Denver Broncos player Ken Bell, struggled with injuries during his senior season in high school. But he has played well at a variety of positions and has been clocked at 4.29 in the 40-yard dash.

Needs met: With the loss of Ndamukong Suh and Barry Turner to graduation and Pierre Allen entering his senior season, the Cornhuskers filled a gap with six defensive linemen. Corey Cooper and Harvey Jackson should fill the biggest defensive need at safety. But the Cornhuskers still are looking for offensive firepower and added only one wide receiver.

Analysis: The Cornhuskers added a couple of late additions when Cooper and QB Brion Carnes joined on Wednesday. But they missed on the really big recruit when Owamagbe Odighizuwa decided to go to UCLA. Coach Bo Pelini doesn’t agree with the perception that this class is lacking on offensive playmakers. But there's no debate that he addressed most of the Cornhuskers' most pressing needs with a typically wide-ranging class with players attracted from 11 states.

What Bo Pelini said: On recruiting ratings: "I don't pay that much attention to it, other then when I'm down and I really want to get a good laugh." On not attracting Owamagbe Odighizuwa: “It’s his mistake. Honestly, I don’t get all caught up in all that. I don’t get all stressed out about whether they’re going to come. I thought he was a pretty good player. But in my mind, the kids that don’t choose to come here I don’t believe do themselves a service because I believe we’ll develop them better than the other guy. That’s just the confidence I have.”

Scouts Inc. grade/rankings: C-plus, seventh in Big 12.

Missouri recruiting capsule

February, 4, 2010
2/04/10
11:45
AM ET
Missouri Tigers

Total class: 23

ESPN 150: 0

By position: OT 3, WR 3, S 3, CB 3, RB 2, QB 2, ATH 2, DE 2, TE 1, DT 1, ILB 1.

By state: Texas 9, Missouri 6, Kansas 1, Michigan 1, Arkansas 1, Iowa 1, Oklahoma 1, Florida 1, Illinois 1, North Carolina 1.

Already enrolled in school: 4.

The big ones: Bookend OTs Nick Demien and Mitch Morse both could develop into standout pass-blockers with proper seasoning and development. Demien is a four-star recruit who is the No. 17 offensive tackle in the class. And Morse is the No. 19 tackle in the nation. DE Kony Ealy is a rangy, 6-foot-5, 230-pound pass-rusher who is ranked No. 49 among defensive ends and shows plenty of room for growth. He could blossom into a pass-rushing beast.

Sleeper: Darvin Ruise is a converted high school quarterback who likely will be a running back, receiver or a returner because of his athletic ability. Missouri coaches love his explosive speed and running ability with the ball.

Needs met: The Tigers added three receivers and a couple of athletes who could help bridge the loss of Danario Alexander and Jared Perry. Running back Greg White would appear to have a shot at eventually breaking into the logjam at the position. And Gary Pinkel appears to have addressed next season’s loss in the secondary with quantity as the Tigers attracted three safeties and three cornerbacks.

Analysis: This is the best recruiting class that Pinkel has attracted in his 10 seasons at Missouri. Surprisingly, he almost admitted it at his news conference on Wednesday. It’s a class of depth that answered almost every need for the Tigers, with heavy emphasis at wide receiver and the secondary. The Tigers had the best class in the North Division and should have the personnel to keep them in the mix for the Big 12 North title for the next few years.

What Gary Pinkel said: "I think the consistency of winning in our program and the great results we're having academically make Missouri a place a lot of kids look at now rather than five or six years ago. … “In our evaluation system, this is significantly a higher level of total recruits than we’ve had since we’ve been here. I don't know about anybody else's system, but that's the way ours reads, and we're excited about that."

Scouts Inc. grade/rankings: B-minus, fifth in Big 12.

Kansas State recruiting capsule

February, 4, 2010
2/04/10
11:30
AM ET
Kansas State Wildcats

Total class: 28

ESPNU 150: 0

By position: CB 4, DT 3, OT 3, QB 3, ATH 2, RB 2, G 2, S 2, OLB 2, WR 2, TE 1, ILB 1, DE 1.

By state: Kansas 11, Texas 8, Florida 3, California 2, Maryland 1, Oklahoma 1, Colorado 1, Georgia 1.

Already enrolled in school: 6.

The big ones: RB Demarcus Robinson, ranked as the nation's No. 49 running back, has been favorably compared by coach Bill Snyder to Darren Sproles. DE Adam Davis, a productive pass-rusher at Hutchinson Community College, could immediately challenge for a starting position.

Sleeper: OL Manase Foketi, a mammoth 350-pounder from Mount San Antonio College, will add some much-needed beef in the trenches for the Wildcats.

Needs met: Four defensive linemen were added who could potentially challenge for immediate playing time. And with the loss of cornerback Joshua Moore to the NFL draft, any of the four arriving cornerbacks headed by Matthew Pearson and Darious Thomas will be useful for needed help. And underrated prospect Billy Cosh, son of KSU assistant Chris Cosh, will add more competition at the logjam at quarterback.

Analysis: Snyder has a typically heavy mix of junior college players and five players who were on the roster last season but whose scholarships will kick in this season. The most important part of this class is that important depth was added along both the offensive and defensive lines. The Wildcats could have used quarterback Cameron Newton, who decided last month to attend Auburn. Instead, Snyder added three quarterbacks for what is a position heavy on personnel but a big question mark heading into spring practice.

What Bill Snyder said: “It is kind of the way of the world and it is just the way of recruiting today. It’s different for me and I’m still trying to get my arms around it. I am not sure that I’m fully comfortable with it.” … [on the needs that the 2010 recruiting class satisfied]: “It relates to offensive and defensive line help more than anything else. We can build young guys up, but we need big guys to come in and make a contribution in the early stages of their career.”

Scouts Inc. grade/rankings: D, 12th in Big 12.

Kansas recruiting capsule

February, 4, 2010
2/04/10
11:15
AM ET
Kansas Jayhawks

Total class: 18

ESPNU 150: 0

By position: DE 3, ATH 2, RB 2, WR 2, S 2, ILB 2, WR 1, TE 1, OT 1, QB 1, DT 1.

By state: Texas 8, Missouri 3, Kansas 1, Illinois 1, Iowa 1, Virginia 1, Florida 1, New Jersey 1, Utah 1.

Already enrolled in school: 1.

The big ones: Brandon Bourbon, the nation's No. 104 running back, is projected as a featured running threat after decommitting from Stanford for Kansas several days ago. WR Keeston Terry is a tall, skinny athlete who coaches feel will develop into a potent breakaway threat. He's listed as the nation's No. 129 athlete.

Sleeper: ATH Jake Farley could be a producer on offense and defense, although he’s expected to end up at safety where his heady play and physicality should help the Jayhawks’ secondary.

Needs met: Kansas added four potential receivers -- all of whom will provide the “breakaway ability” that coach Turner Gill has deemed so necessary. Junior college transfer quarterback Quinn Mecham is already in school and will push Kale Pick during spring practice. And Bourbon and James Sims should add pop to Kansas’ running game.

Analysis: Gill did a nice job of keeping the class together and adding a couple of impressive late gets in Bourbon and cornerback Dexter McDonald in the last days of recruiting. The loss of pass-rushing specialist Geneo Grissom was disappointing, but the Jayhawks regrouped and finished strong. They only signed one offensive lineman, but the Jayhawks have a lot of across-the-board young talent already in place.

What Turner Gill said: “I think the recruiting class has speed and length and playmakers. That’s the type of things we are looking for. We feel really good about the guys who are signing with us. We also feel good about the players who are here. We are trying to mesh together the talent that we have now, and then the talent that we bring in to make sure we move forward.”

Scouts Inc. grade/rankings: C-minus, 11th in Big 12.

Iowa State recruiting capsule

February, 4, 2010
2/04/10
11:00
AM ET
Here's a look at Iowa State's 2010 recruiting class.

Iowa State Cyclones

Total class: 28

ESPNU 150: 0

By position: OT 5, RB 3, S 3, OLB 3, TE 2, DE 2, CB 2, ATH 2, G 1, QB 1, WR 1, DT 1, ILB 1, K 1,

By state: Florida 8, Texas 8, California 5, Iowa 4, Oklahoma 1, South Dakota 1, Minnesota 1.

Already enrolled in school: 3.

The big ones: OLB Jeremiah George, a converted high school tailback who is expected to become a prime defensive contributor and is ranked as the nation's No. 53 outside linebacker. RB Shontrelle Johnson was late decommitment from Northwestern before accepting the Cyclones’ offer. He’s expected to flourish as a runner and receiver in Tom Herman’s offense and is the No. 66 running back nationally.

Sleeper: WR Albert Gary, a late addition from Butler (Kan.) Community College, should boost athleticism at the position. He signed with Arkansas out of high school, failed to qualify, redshirted at junior college and sat out last season. He’ll have four years of eligibility.

Needs met: The Cyclones have added the most talented and largest recruiting class since 2002. The across-the-board talent infusion has been seen. Johnson fills a big need at running back and the Cyclones added one true receiver in Gray and two athletes in T.J. McCullough and Jevoury Wedderburn who could develop into producers.

Analysis: Coach Paul Rhoads was able to capitalize on the momentum of the Cyclones’ Insight Bowl victory by adding five late commitments after that triumph. The Cyclones attracted 28 of the 32 players who were brought in for official visits – a huge percentage unmatched by ISU in recent seasons. It's interesting that prospects from outside the state are starting to take notice. That's coming because of the diverse makeup of Rhoads' coaching staff and the program's success last season. It's a class stacked with seven three-star players and seven junior-college players who should immediately contend for playing time.

What Paul Rhoads said: “We filled needs at every position group … “When we recruit someone, we recruit the individual, the family and the high school coach. There are some individuals who treat signing day the same way they make reservations at a hotel. They act like they can cancel up to signing day with no penalty.We are comprehensive and selective about who we invite to be Cyclones and that impacts the level of commitment from our newest Iowa Staters.”

Scouts Inc. grade/rankings: C-minus, 10th in Big 12.

Colorado recruiting capsule

February, 4, 2010
2/04/10
10:45
AM ET
Colorado Buffaloes

Total class: 21

ESPN 150: 0

By position: TE 3, RB 3, ATH 2, WR 2, OT 2, G 2, LB 2, DE 2, QB 1, CB 1, K 1

By state: California 8, Colorado 2, Texas 2, Hawaii 1, Ohio 1, New Jersey 1, Louisiana 1, Arizona 1, Alabama 1, Florida 1, North Carolina 1, Maryland 1.

Already enrolled in school: 2.

The big ones: QB Nick Hirschman, the nation’s No. 26 quarterback, has already enrolled in college with hopes of getting a head start at playing time. WR Harold Mobley, the nation’s No. 64 wide receiver, is the physical kind of pass-catcher who will mesh well with Marques Simas as a pair of bookend receivers.

Sleeper: K Justin Castor will receive the chance to contend for immediate playing time as he battles slump-ridden Aric Goodman for playing time.

Needs met: After losing Darrell Scott and Demetrius Sumler, the Buffaloes needed depth at running back and met it with the addition of underrated Tony Jones and sleepers Trea Jones and Justin Torres. Six tight ends or H-backs graduated from the team last year and coach Dan Hawkins addressed the need with three players keyed by three-star recruit Justin Favors, the nation's No. 38 tight end. Hirschman will help at quarterback, but the Buffaloes missed out on Munchie Legaux, a late defection to Cincinnati.

Analysis: The critics are out after Hawkins’ class, which featured no recruits with more than three stars and only two players from Colorado. It was the first time in Hawkins’ tenure the Buffaloes failed to crack the top 50 nationally in recruiting rankings. And they were hurt by the defection of RB Mister Jones (Texas A&M) and QB Danny Spond (Notre Dame), two top in-state prospects who both chose to go elsewhere after originally committing to the Buffaloes.

What Dan Hawkins said: "Athletically, top to bottom, they might be the most-athletic class we have had. ... There are a ton of guys you miss on. There are always guys that you don't get and that's the nature every year. ... Everyone around America is fired up on signing day with optimism. I think with this class, there is just a tremendous amount of quality there and I am very impressed by the kind of people they are."

Scouts Inc. grade/rankings: C-minus, ninth in Big 12.

Baylor recruiting capsule

February, 4, 2010
2/04/10
10:20
AM ET
Here's a look at Baylor's 2010 recruiting class.

Baylor Bears

Total class: 25

ESPNU 150: 1

By position: WR 4, DE 3, OT 3, CB 3, LB 2, DT 2, QB 2, G 2, S 2, ATH 1, RB 1

By state: Texas 20, Oklahoma 2, California 1, Florida 1, Georgia 1

Already enrolled in school: 4

The big ones: S Ahmad Dixon: The nation’s No. 3 safety is the best defensive recruit ever attracted by Art Briles. CB Prince Kent: Prep school transfer is formerly No. 5 national cornerback before spending season at Hargrave Military Academy.

Sleeper: LB Bryce Hager: Son of former Texas LB Britt Hager turned down a chance to walk on for the Longhorns to accept a scholarship offer from the Bears.

Needs met: The Bears added five defensive linemen after losing starters Jason Lamb and Trey Bryant and having Phil Taylor and Earl Patin enter their senior season. They added five players, including Dixon and Kent, in the secondary where they lost starters Jordan Lake and Jeremy Williams. And they added quarterbacks Bryce Petty and Tyrell Jenkins despite having Robert Griffin apparently for three more seasons.

Analysis: This was the best talent haul in Art Briles’ coaching tenure and arguably the best in the Bears’ Big 12 history. A massive infusion of help in the secondary should enable the Bears to better stand up against the passing barrage in the Big 12. The Bears added some much-needed depth in the trenches. The most important factor in getting the Bears into Big 12 contention will be Robert Griffin’s health. Adding the bigger second version of Robert Griffin to the program as an offensive lineman should help that in the future.

What Art Briles said: “Last year’s recruiting class was kind of about the offensive line and the receivers. This year the strength of the class is definitely the defense. Top to bottom this is a class that really fills a lot of needs for us. We feel real good about the way that the numbers fell for us this year.

Scouts Inc. grade/rankings: C-plus, sixth in Big 12.

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