Big 12: Ashton Dorsey

As we close in on national signing day, it’s an appropriate time to look back at how the top Big 12 recruits from four years ago performed.

2010 was a banner year for the Big 12 in recruiting, as the league collectively landed 23 from the ESPN 150.

A few, such as Jackson Jeffcoat, Ahmad Dixon and Shaun Lewis, became stars. Others washed out before their careers ever got off the ground.

[+] EnlargeSterling Shepard and Jackson Jeffcoat
Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY SportsFormer five-star prospect Jackson Jeffcoat finished his career as the best defensive end in the Big 12.
Below is a closer look at what happened to ESPN 150 players who signed with Big 12 schools:

No. 2: Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas – Though he never reached a high level of team success, Jeffcoat had a great individual end to his career, earning Big 12 co-Defensive Player of the Year honors and leading the league with 13 sacks.

No. 4: Jordan Hicks, LB, Texas – Hicks has been good when he has played. Because of multiple injuries, that hasn’t been often. Hicks missed most of last season with a torn Achilles, just a year after also being knocked out with a hip flexor injury. After getting a medical redshirt from his 2012 season, Hicks has one more year of eligibility remaining.

No. 13: Mike Davis, WR, Texas – Davis finished in the Big 12’s top 10 in receiving the last two seasons, compiling 200 career catches and 18 touchdown receptions.

No. 14: Taylor Bible, DT, Texas – Bible never played a down at Texas, leaving after his redshirt freshman season because of issues with grades. Bible ended up at Carson-Newman.

No. 15: Ahmad Dixon, S, Baylor – Dixon had a tremendous tenure with his hometown school, earning All-Big 12 and All-American honors as a senior as Baylor captured its first Big 12 title in 2013.

No. 18: Demarco Cobbs, ATH, Texas – The Tulsa, Okla., native has appeared in 29 games on special teams and as a defensive reserve. He missed all of the 2013 season with a knee injury.

No. 20: Darius White, WR, Texas – After making just six catches his first two seasons, White transferred to Missouri. He caught just seven passes this season for the Tigers, but has another year of eligibility left.

No. 21: Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma – In his first season, Jefferson was the Big 12 co-Defensive Freshman of the year, and he was a three-year starter before leaving early to go pro.

No. 46: Ashton Dorsey, DT, Texas – After serving as a reserve throughout his career, Dorsey was projected to start this season, but he transferred out days before Texas’ season opener.

No. 48: Austin Haywood, TE, Oklahoma – After getting playing time as a third tight end early in his career, Haywood unexpectedly quit in the middle of the season, tried to earn his way back on the team, failed and ended up transferring to Central Arkansas. After getting suspended there, Haywood gave up football.

No. 62: Corey Nelson, LB, Oklahoma – Nelson shined early this season after finally getting a chance to be a full-time starter. That, however, was short-lived, as Nelson tore his pectoral muscle in an early October win over TCU and sat out the rest of his final season.

No. 65: Blake Bell, QB, Oklahoma – The “Belldozer” starred his first two seasons as a situational, short-yardage QB. But in the preseason, Bell was beaten out by Trevor Knight for the starting job. Bell, however, still had his moments this season because of injuries to Knight. He led OU to a win at Notre Dame, then quarterbacked OU’s game-winning touchdown drive at Oklahoma State.

No. 72: Reggie Wilson, DE, Texas – He appeared in 51 games as a defensive reserve. Wilson had 19 tackles and a sack as a senior.

No. 73: Chris Jones, WR, Texas – Jones transferred out after one year, and never played.

No. 75: Shaun Lewis, LB, Oklahoma State – Lewis made an immediate impact, earning Big 12 co-Defensive Freshman of the Year honors along with Tony Jefferson. Lewis was a four-year starter and a big piece in Oklahoma State’s defensive turnaround this season.

[+] EnlargeBrennan Clay
Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY SportsFormer ESPN 150 recruit Brennan Clay was a solid, not spectacular, tailback for the Sooners.
No. 77: Quentin Hayes, S, Oklahoma – After serving a year-long suspension, Hayes returned to win a starting job this past season. He has another year left.

No. 86: Tevin Jackson, LB, Texas – Jackson has been a backup linebacker for the Longhorns and will be part of the team’s great depth there in 2014.

No. 103: Adrian White, CB, Texas – Played in 17 games, then joined the mass transfer exodus from this Texas class.

No. 109: Ivan McCartney, WR, West Virginia – McCartney never became a No. 1 receiver, though he did contribute on West Virginia’s explosive offenses in 2011-12. He only had 12 catches this past season as a senior, however.

No. 114: Aaron Benson, LB, Texas – The cousin of former Texas running back great Cedric Benson has only been a contributor on special teams.

No. 122: Carrington Byndom, S, Texas – One of the few players from this Texas class to pan out. Byndom made 39 career starts and was a second-team All-Big 12 selection this past season.

No. 129: Brennan Clay, RB, Oklahoma – Clay proved to be a reliable and steady force in the OU backfield. He finished his career with 1,913 rushing yards, including 957 in 2013.

No. 134: Adrian Philips, ATH, Texas – Phillips settled in the Texas secondary, collecting 28 career starts there. He was second on the team this past season with 82 tackles.

No. 141: Trey Hopkins, OG, Texas – Hopkins became a stalwart up front, making 42 career starts along the offensive line. He was a two-time, second-team All-Big 12 selection.

No. 142: Justin McCay, ATH, Oklahoma – McCay transferred to Kansas after two years in Norman. He had nine receptions and a touchdown, which also was the first scoring catch by a Kansas wide receiver in almost two full seasons.

Big 12's lunchtime links

August, 28, 2013
He's not heading to the Big 12, but any football fan would love this run... stop it, Jabrill, just stop it.
AUSTIN, Texas -- Manny Diaz's first mistake, the one that would lead to 112 more in the form of missed tackles, was believing, or at the very least not tempering, the hype.

"The mistake I made last year was that I was aware that expectations were higher for our team than they should have been," the Texas defensive coordinator said. "I think there were too many assumptions made. We said, 'Well, this guy is bigger and faster than the guy who graduated, so he must be better.'

[+] EnlargeManny Diaz
Patrick Green/Icon SMIManny Diaz believed in the hype of Texas' defense last season. He won't make the mistake again.
"The mistake I made is I should have said, 'Forget about it, it’s your turn now,' " Diaz said.

Their turn is coming up again; most of the same players in all of the same positions. And that is where the worry lies. Not much appears to have changed at Texas. Same players. Same coach. Oh, wait a minute: There has been some change. The two best players on a defense that was the worst in school history in 2012 are off to the NFL. So the team is without its leading tackler from a year ago, Kenny Vaccaro, and without Alex Okafor, who took over the Alamo Bowl and led Texas in sacks. And now there is supposed to be some excitement about the "turn" this group is about to take? Try hand-wringing worry.

"Understandably, we will have lost trust from people from our performance last year, and we understand that," Diaz said. "There’s nothing we can do until we go back out and play in the fall to regain that trust. Our job right now is to get these guys as good as they can be to become a physical, hard-nosed defense."

The first step in doing that is remembering, not who they were collectively a season ago, but who they were when they were at their best, when they were freer, faster and more fearless on the field.

"We can’t carry around the ghost of last year," Diaz said.

(Read full post)

Offseason to-do list: Texas Longhorns

January, 25, 2013
Every year, there's lots of turnover and change for every college program. What do the Big 12 teams need to do before next fall? Let's continue our look with the Longhorns down in Austin.

1. Figure out the offensive identity. Bryan Harsin is gone, and he's probably taking most of his pre-snap shifts with him. Will Major Applewhite still look to run a power offense? Texas has recruited and developed its offensive line really well lately, but David Ash has matured, and even with a wealth of backs in Malcolm Brown, Johnathan Gray, Joe Bergeron and Daje Johnson, Texas hasn't been able to keep them healthy or get consistent production out of one for an entire season. Will Applewhite put more responsibility in Ash's hands? He was good at times last season, but the rising junior was inconsistent. His ceiling is probably a legitimate Heisman campaign. His floor is probably getting benched in favor Connor Brewer or Jalen Overstreet -- or maybe even incoming freshman Tyrone Swoopes. Where will he fall on the spectrum? Will Texas continue to try to pound the trenches?

2. Plug up the middle of the defense. Texas' defense made no sense last season. The personnel is absolutely there to be great up front. The defensive tackles are deep and talented, led by guys like Malcom Brown, Ashton Dorsey, Desmond Jackson and Chris Whaley. The linebackers were solid, even without Jordan Hicks, who should be back next season. Peter Jinkens is a rising star and a few others have potential. Coordinator Manny Diaz didn't take another job, electing to stay in Austin and attempt fix the most underwhelming unit in the Big 12. It all starts with the ability to stop the run, something Texas never did consistently last season. Fix that, and the rest of this defense comes around, I say.

3. Discover and develop leadership. Texas was still a pretty young team last season after rebooting on both sides of the ball after the 2010 season. The freshmen and sophomores who contributed in 2011 are juniors and seniors now, but the team is losing guys like Alex Okafor and Kenny Vaccaro, players who had been around awhile and served as role models for younger guys. Look for Jackson Jeffcoat and David to fill the role this year, but other players, like Malcolm Brown or Jaxon Shipley, might emerge, too. We'll see who steps up in the spring.

More offseason to-do lists:
Every now and then, a Mailbag question necessitates its own post. You can email me here to make an appearance on Friday's mailbag, but let's tackle an intriguing question:
Tas in Houston writes: Hey David, what are the chances that the Big 12 will implement a policy where we can trade players within the conference? My Pokes have 3 of the best QBs in the conference. Do you think UT would trade Malcolm Brown for Clint Chelf straight up?

I assume you're kidding, of course. This would never happen in real life, but it's always fun to speculate. I think Oklahoma State might make that trade, but I doubt Texas would, even though it probably should. The Longhorns believe in David Ash, but if I were Texas, I'd probably make that trade. Oklahoma State gets a big-play running back, and Texas gets another solid option, and perhaps the starter, at quarterback.

A couple other trades I'd make?

Texas defensive tackle Ashton Dorsey for Oklahoma State receiver Charlie Moore: Texas has tons of depth at defensive tackle, and could fill Dorsey's void with other guys like Malcom Brown and Chris Whaley. Meanwhile, Texas has almost zero experience at receiver behind Jaxon Shipley and Mike Davis. A third receiver would help Ash out a lot, but the loss up front wouldn't hurt. Meanwhile, Oklahoma State would have a sick front four with Dorsey and Calvin Barnett, and losing Moore wouldn't be all that tough. Mike Harrison is likely coming back, and Blake Jackson will be there, too.

Oklahoma quarterback Drew Allen for Iowa State linebacker Jeremiah George: Allen is a big quarterback with a big arm, and exactly what Iowa State needs to make the jump. We've only seen a little of him, but he's still going to offer a lot of upside for Iowa State at the quarterback spot. Meanwhile, Oklahoma has to fill a whole lot of spots on its defense, and George is a heady fill-in for Tom Wort. It's a big loss for Iowa State, but I'd make this trade because I believe the drop-off from George to Jevohn Miller wouldn't be quite as large as the possible upside to having Allen at quarterback for the Cyclones.

I won't lie, coming up with these is tough. What others would you propose?
Big 12 defensive linemen, we need to have a talk. This isn't getting it done. This position may be the weakest of any in the league. The top five is solid, though there's a little bit of a dropoff after the top three. Beyond the top five, though? A whole lot of question marks, and not a lot of truly impressive talents.

I had some trouble even finding 10 guys who deserved spots on this list. This could be a banner year for quarterbacks. The only thing shallower than the defensive ends in the league this year is the defensive tackles. Sheesh. Unless we see some stars emerge from nowhere this year, this position's going to look a little raw all season long.

More position rankings:

Anyway, here goes.

One final note: No freshmen or newcomers allowed. Sorry, Brandon Moore.

[+] EnlargeJackson Jeffcoat
Jody Gomez/US PresswireJackson Jeffcoat is not only the top defensive end in the conference, but is one of the best in the nation.
1. Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas: Jeffcoat is a freak and leads this list as the most talented linemen in the league. He's not as experienced as his teammate who also made this list, but the 6-foot-5, 245-pounder could play his way into the top 10 of next year's NFL Draft.

2. Alex Okafor, DE, Texas: Okafor may be a first-rounder, too. He's moved around along the line during his career, but he's found a home at end. He won the league's preseason Defensive Player of the Year honors after making six sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss last season.

3. Stansly Maponga, DE, TCU: Maponga was extremely productive last season, and we'll see how he does against bigger and better offensive lines in the Big 12. He had nine sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss, and forced five fumbles. He's the most talented player on TCU's defense.

4. Meshak Williams, DE, Kansas State: I'm a bigger proponent of Williams than most, but he's yet another fantastic juco find from Bill Snyder. Last year, he made 10 tackles for loss and seven sacks to tie for sixth in the Big 12 and earn second-team All-Big 12 honors.

5. Toben Opurum, DE/LB, Kansas: Opurum's unbelievable story is about to start its final chapter in 2012. He's played under three different coaches and transitioned from KU's leading rusher in 2009 to one of the league's best along the defensive line in 2012. Nobody else on this list has done anything like that, and he'll be a captain in Year 1 under Charlie Weis.

6. Nigel Nicholas, DT/DE, Oklahoma State: Nicholas sounds like he's moving to defensive end this season, but he's played both throughout his career. The 6-foot-3, 269-pounder is needed at end for the Cowboys, and made 10 tackles for loss last season and two sacks.

7. R.J. Washington, DE, Oklahoma: Washington's got the pedigree and the physical skills, but it's time to see the production after a disappointing 2011 season. He broke up five passes and had five sacks last season, but made just 16 tackles as a member of the DE rotation behind stars Ronnell Lewis and Frank Alexander.

8. Ashton Dorsey, DT, Texas: Dorsey has plenty of experience and is pushing 300 pounds in the middle of Texas' line. Jeffcoat and Okafor will attract plenty of double teams, but Dorsey's got the talent to be a wrecking ball in the middle. He had seven tackles for loss and a sack last year.

9. Jamarkus McFarland, DT, Oklahoma: McFarland's been a part-time starter the past two seasons, and could finally break through with a big year as a senior. The 6-foot-3, 288-pounder made 3.5 tackles for loss and had 20 tackles last season.

10. Jake McDonough, DT, Iowa State: McDonough holds down the nose tackle spot for Iowa State, and made 34 tackles with 4.5 tackles for loss last season. The 280-pounder needs a big year to help out his talented set of linebackers.

Texas tops Big 12 defensive lines

August, 2, 2012
Colleague Travis Haney continued our series at on college football's best position units Insider by ranking the nation's top 10 defensive lines.

Only one Big 12 team made his list, and it's the Texas Longhorns.

No question here. Texas is in a league of its own in the Big 12 when it comes to the defensive line. Ends Jackson Jeffcoat and Alex Okafor are the league's two best, and Okafor was named Big 12 Preseason Defensive Player of the Year by the media.

The Longhorns checked in at No. 3 on Haney's list, behind only Florida State and LSU.

The kicker for Texas? Jeffcoat and Okafor get plenty of attention, but the depth at defensive tackle might take this line to the next level.

Ashton Dorsey returns along with sophomore Desmond Jackson, but juco transfer Brandon Moore and incoming freshman Malcom Brown could have a big impact. If that rotation starts collapsing pockets up front, flushing quarterbacks into the flats, Jeffcoat and Okafor are going to be racking up big, big numbers this year. Look out for former running back Chris Whaley on the line, too.

Texas is going to have a fearsome front four all season, regardless of who's on the field, well-deserving of a spot in the national top three.

TCU and Oklahoma may have the next-best defensive lines in the league, but nobody's got one like Texas does this year. We'll see how much damage the Longhorns do.
We've tackled every other spot, and now we'll wrap up out Big 12 position rankings with the defensive lines across the Big 12.

Here are the rest of the position rankings.
Now that we've finished ranking the complete units, we'll start ranking the top 10 at each position very soon leading into the 2011 season.

This is a decent position for the Big 12 this season, and the top half of the league should feel pretty good about their group. There aren't many studs in this group, but there are a whole lot of solid players.

Brad Madison
AP Photo/Pat SullivanMissouri has one of the Big 12's best pass rushers in Brad Madison.
1. Missouri -- Missouri has the Big 12's best returning pass rusher and a Defensive Player of the Year contender in Brad Madison, but its depth is what lands it on top of the list. Jacquies Smith is solid at the opposite defensive end spot, and Michael Sam and Kony Ealy provide great depth at DE. Dominique Hamilton's absence last season hurt after breaking his ankle against Oklahoma, but he's back, alongside Terrell Resonno. Sheldon Richardson, who may be transferring from junior college, is a wildcard that could be anywhere between a complete game changer, irrelevant or absent.

2. Oklahoma -- Oklahoma's defensive tackles are somewhat suspect, but the defensive end combo of Ronnell Lewis (provided he is eligible come fall camp) and Frank Alexander is on par with the best in the Big 12. Both were preseason All-Big 12 selections, but Jamarkus McFarland needs to make good on his potential. Stacy McGee and Casey Walker should both get time at the other tackle spot.

3. Texas -- Defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat is loaded with potential as the nation's former No. 1 recruit. He had a big impact early last season before being slowed by an ankle injury. Alex Okafor moved outside from defensive tackle just before spring and had five sacks in the spring game. Inside, Kheeston Randall is an All-Big 12 favorite, but Ashton Dorsey had a strong spring and could help out with Reggie Wilson opposite Randall.

4. Texas A&M -- The Aggies have one of the best linemen in the league in Tony Jerod-Eddie, but Jonathan Mathis, Eddie Brown Jr. and Ben Bass have a lot to prove around him after the loss of Lucas Patterson, who was outstanding in 2010.

5. Texas Tech -- Sam Fehoko has moved to defensive end from middle linebacker, and should provide some good speed to the front line. Scott Smith looked on his way to an All-Big 12 campaign last season, but was suspended for the remainder of the season by coach Tommy Tuberville and has yet to be officially reinstated. For now, Dartwan Bush and Aundrey Barr will help out at defensive end, outside of Donald Langley, Kerry Hyder and Pearlie Graves. The Red Raiders did snatch a big pickup from departed UNC signee Delvon Simmons, a defensive tackle that could have an impact immediately.

6. Oklahoma State -- Defensive line is the biggest weak spot for the Cowboys, who have a decent set of ends in Jamie Blatnick and former heralded recruit Richetti Jones, but an even bigger question mark at defensive tackle where Christian Littlehead and Nigel Nicholas enter fall camp as starters.

7. Kansas -- Top rusher turned defensive end Toben Opurum came on strong late last season and should be one of the most exciting Jayhawks to watch in 2011, but the rest of the line leaves a bit to be desired. Keba Agostino has the other starting spot at defensive end ahead of Pat Lewandowski, who had a great spring. Patrick Dorsey and John Williams enter fall camp as starters at defensive tackles.

8. Kansas State -- K-State recruited this position hard in its 2011 class. For now, defensive end Brandon Harold will try to bounce back from a disappointing 2010 after a promising 2009. Lance Dunbar and Taylor Martinez think this group is ranked too high, but Meshak Williams could start opposite Harold, while Ray Kibble and Raphael Guidry should be the tackles inside.

9. Baylor -- Tevin Elliott was limited this spring because of offseason shoulder surgery, and Terrance Lloyd exited spring practice as the starter, but I'd expect Elliott to regain the spot by the time the season arrives. Phil Taylor, a first-round pick, is a big loss, but Gary Mason Jr. will try to fill his spot next to Nicolas Jean-Baptiste.

10. Iowa State -- Having a pair of linebackers combine for 241 tackles is a good and bad thing. They've got outstanding linebackers, but the defensive line was the Big 12's worst last season for a unit that ranked 10th in rush defense and had just 11 sacks. That was the fewest sacks in the Big 12 and more than just three teams in all of college football. The good news is all four starters return, but for now, this is where the Cyclones start. Stephen Ruempolhamer has some promise, but Cleyon Laing, Jake McDonough and ends Patrick Neal and Roosevelt Maggitt have a lot to prove. Jacob Lattimer ran into offseason trouble, but re-appeared atop the depth chart released by the Cyclones on Wednesday.
ESPN The Magazine had a fascinating feature looking back at the past 25 No. 1 high school recruits Insider, where they are now and what the ranking meant to them. With apologies to Vince Young, there aren't a ton of Big 12 talents on the list, but there have been plenty of great recruits to come through the Big 12. We took a look on Thursday at how the All-Big 12 team stacked up as recruits, and you saw quite a mixed bag.

Well, it's the same for the recruits who came to campus with high rankings and high profiles. Going back to 2006, here's how every Big 12 commit from the ESPNU 150 turned out. We'll eventually get to the current class in 2011, around signing day, but here's how the 2010 class breaks down. This class is only a year into their careers, so while some have shown more potential than others, it's ridiculous to be too discouraged by anyone on this list, or make any truly meaningful judgments. No. 2: Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas. Got off to fast start in 2010 before being sidelined and slowed by ankle injury. Finished with 13 tackles, five tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and one fumble recovery. Only three tackles after season's first four games.

[+] EnlargeMike Davis
AP Photo/Eric GayTexas freshman wide receiver Mike Davis finished with 47 receptions this past season.
No. 4: Jordan Hicks, LB, Texas. Ohio prospect chose the Longhorns over in-state power Buckeyes. Played in 11 games, including seven at linebacker. Finished with 21 tackles in first year, including 11 in a win against Nebraska.

No. 13: Mike Davis, WR, Texas. No catches in the season opener, and missed the Red River Rivalry with an ankle injury, but ranked second on the team with 47 catches for 478 yards and two touchdown catches, tied for most on the team.

No. 14: Taylor Bible, DT, Texas. Redshirted.

No. 15: Ahmad Dixon, S, Baylor. Waco native forced a fumble and had 16 tackles.

No. 18: DeMarco Cobbs, ATH, Texas. Played special teams in 10 games, and appeared at defensive back in one game. Made four tackles.

No. 20: Darius White, WR, Texas. Played in seven games at wide receiver and one at special teams. Caught one pass for five yards against Florida Atlantic.

No. 21: Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma. Won the starting nickelback job, finishing the season with 65 tackles, two interceptions and two sacks. Named co-Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year.

No. 46: Ashton Dorsey, DT, Texas. Played in seven games, made one tackle.

No. 48: Austin Haywood, TE, Oklahoma. Appeared in 11 games, mostly on special teams. Made three tackles.

No. 62: Corey Nelson, LB, Oklahoma. Switched to the Sooners from Texas A&M on Signing Day 2010. Appeared in all 14 games, making 21 tackles, including 2.5 for loss. Blocked a punt vs. A&M.

No. 65: Blake Bell, QB, Oklahoma. Redshirted.

No. 72: Reggie Wilson, DE, Texas. Played in 10 games. Made five tackles.

No. 73: Chris Jones, WR, Texas. Redshirted.

No. 75: Shaun Lewis, LB, Oklahoma State. Became a starter and made 58 tackles and eight tackles for loss. Intercepted three passes, including two against Oklahoma, returning one for a touchdown. Named co-Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year.

No. 77: Quentin Hayes, S, Oklahoma. Redshirted.

No. 83: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M. Enrolled early and was the Aggies' starting left tackle by the spring game. Earned All-Big 12 honorable mention.

No. 86: Tevin Jackson, OLB, Texas. Kept off the field by eligibility issues and appeal is still pending.

No. 90: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M. Became Aggies' starting right tackle midway through the season.

No. 114: Aaron Benson, LB, Texas. Redshirted. Cousin of former Longhorn Cedric Benson.

No. 122: Carrington Byndom, CB, Texas. Played in 10 games at defensive back and special teams. Made 11 tackles, all solo.

No. 125: Toney Hurd Jr., CB, Texas A&M. Appeared in 12 games and made nine tackles.

No. 129: Brennan Clay, RB, Oklahoma. Carted off field as a precaution in win against Florida State and missed next two games. Finished with 127 yards on 36 carries.

No. 134: Adrian Phillips, ATH, Texas. Played in 10 games, including five at defensive back. Made eight tackles.

No. 141: Trey Hopkins, OG, Texas. Played in 11 games and made three starts at left guard.

No. 142: Justin McCay, ATH, Oklahoma. Redshirted.

No. 147: Andrew Rodriguez, OG, Nebraska. Appeared in five games as a backup left guard, becoming the first true freshman Nebraska lineman to play since 2006.

Sooner QB commit Bell fires four TD passes

October, 19, 2009
Posted by's Tim Griffin

Here are some recruiting nuggets provided by Tom Luginbill, the national recruiting director for ESPN's Scouts Inc., about some Big 12-related prospects.

QB Blake Bell
  • Wichita, Kan.
  • Bishop Carroll H.S.
  • Scouts Grade: 81
  • ESPN150 Rank: 66
  • Position Rank: 3
Under Armour All-American Blake Bell, Bishop Carroll, trounce West

ESPNU 150 quarterback Blake Bell (Wichita, Kan./Bishop Carroll) completed 17 of 27 attempts (63-percent) for 245 yards, four first-half touchdowns and no interceptions in Thursday night's 55-0 shutout win over West (Wichita, Kan./West), the Wichita Eagle reports.

DE Jackson Jeffcoat
  • Plano, Texas
  • Plano West H.S.
  • Scouts Grade: 88
  • ESPN150 Rank: 1
  • Position Rank: 1
Jeffcoat watched Texas-Oklahoma game in Red River Rivalry

Five-star defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat (Plano, Texas/West) was set to take in this year's Red River Shootout between Oklahoma and Texas, ESPN's Gerry Hamilton reports.

USC and Houston are also seriously in the mix for the nation's No. 1-rated overall prospect in the Class of 2010.

His father, Jim Jeffcoat was an All-American defensive end at Arizona State before moving on to the Dallas Cowboys. He is currently an assistant coach at Houston.

WR Tai-ler Jones
  • Gainesville, Ga.
  • Gainesville H.S.
  • Scouts Grade: 81
  • ESPN150 Rank: 77
  • Position Rank: 13
Under Armour All-American Tai-ler Jones drops Cardinal for Irish

ESPNU 150 wide receiver Tai-ler Jones (Gainesville, Ga.) has decommitted from Stanford and is now set to sign as part of Notre Dame's Class of 2010, ESPN affiliate Web site reports.

Jones was also offered by Alabama, Auburn, Oregon, Miami-FL, Oklahoma, Ohio State, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, UCLA, Tennessee, Clemson, Vanderbilt, Michigan, Michigan State, Florida State, Georgia Tech, USC, Maryland, Arkansas, Kansas, Ole Miss, West Virginia, N.C. State and Kentucky.

Jones made an official visit to South Bend and took in Notre Dame's close loss to USC Saturday. His father, Andre Jones, was a member of the Irish's 1988 national championship team before moving on to the NFL.

Last fall, he caught 81 passes for 979 yards (12.1 average) and 12 touchdowns. Jones also registered 28 tackles and two interceptions, earning all-state recognition.

T Bob Graham
  • Jenks, Okla.
  • Jenks H.S.
  • Scouts Grade: 77
  • Position Rank: 61
Cyclones invade Oklahoma for Jenks blocker Bob Graham

A 6-foot-4, 280-pound offensive lineman, Bob Graham of Jenks, Okla., has accepted an offer from Iowa State.

He chose the Cyclones over Kansas, Louisville and Colorado State. Among his other offers were Kansas State, Air Force, North Texas, Toledo, Wyoming and Western Kentucky.

Iowa State has 11 commitments for the Class of 2010.

RB Lache Seastrunk
  • Temple, Texas
  • Temple H.S.
  • Scouts Grade: 83
  • ESPN150 Rank: 20
  • Position Rank: 5
Temple, Lache Seastrunk lose heartbreaker in overtime

Uncommitted ESPNU 150 running back Lache Seastrunk carried 15 times for 114 yards (7.6 average) and two touchdowns but Temple (Texas) lost to Heights (Killeen, Texas) on a successful two-point conversion in overtime, the Killeen Daily Herald reports. Among the schools that Seastrunk is considering include Texas, Oklahoma, Auburn, Florida, LSU and USC.

WR Chris Hawkins
  • Channelview, Texas
  • Channelview H.S.
  • Scouts Grade: 78
  • Position Rank: 50
Minnesota reels in highly-recruited receiver Chris Hawkins

Rated a three-star wideout, Chris Hawkins of Channelview, Texas, has pledged to the Gophers for the Class of 2010 over more than 20 other offers.

The 6-foot-1, 165-pound standout was also sought by Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Houston, Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky, Nebraska, TCU, Tulsa and Utah, among others.

Minnesota has 21 commitments.

ATH Cortez Davis
  • Daytona Beach, Fla.
  • Mainland H.S.
2011 standout athlete Cortez Davis commits to Clemson

ESPNU 150 Watch List prospect Cortez Davis Mainland (Daytona Beach, Fla.) has accepted a Class of 2011 scholarship offer from the Tigers.

The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Davis, who was recruited as a defensive back, also holds offers from Miami-Florida, West Virginia, LSU, Florida State, Texas Tech and Oregon.

As a sophomore he collected 43 stops and four interceptions.

He joins teammate running back Marlin Lane as early pledges for Clemson. The Tigers now have four 2011 ESPNU 150 Watch List prospects.

DE Reggie Wilson
  • Haltom City, Texas
  • Haltom H.S.
  • Scouts Grade: 81
  • ESPN150 Rank: 99
  • Position Rank: 11
Texas commit Wilson helps Haltom to a shutout

Texas-bound DT Reggie Wilson registered a sack for a safety for Haltom (Haltom City, Texas) in its 16-0 victory over Weatherford (Texas), according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

DT Ashton Dorsey
  • Tyler, Texas
  • John Tyler H.S.
  • Scouts Grade: 82
  • ESPN150 Rank: 44
  • Position Rank: 2
DT Dorsey applies pressure off D-line for Tyler

Texas commit Ashton Dorsey recover a fumble and pressured the quarterback three times for Tyler (Tyler, Texas) in its 52-17 win over Mesquite (Texas), according to the Tyler Morning Telegraph.

UT, OU off to fast early starts in 2010 recruiting rankings

October, 1, 2009
Posted by's Tim Griffin

ESPN's Scouts Inc. unveiled its latest recruiting rankings and three Big 12 teams are ranked among the nation's top 11 teams in the 2010 class.

Texas and Oklahoma -- as usual -- are high in the rankings with Texas at No. 2 and Oklahoma at No. 8.

The Longhorns have picked up 10 commitments among ESPNU's top 150 among their 19 commitments. It's a typical Texas class, heavy on defensive help keyed by top defensive tackle prospects Taylor Bible of Denton, Texas (Guyer High School) and Ashton Dorsey of Tyler, Texas (John Tyler High School).

Quarterback Blake Bell of Wichita, Kan. (Bishop Carroll High School) is the key prospect in Oklahoma's 23-player list that includes five top 150 commitments. The Sooners' reach has been truly national with key prospects like running back Roy Finch from Niceville, Fla., and heralded running back Brennan Clay from San Diego (Scripps Ranch High School).

But the Big 12's biggest early surprise in recruiting has been Texas A&M. Coach Mike Sherman has intensified his recruiting interest and it's paid off with three top 150 commitments among his 20-player class. The key recruit is tackle Jake Matthews of Missouri City, Texas, (Elkins High School), the son of NFL Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews and the younger brother of current A&M starting center Kevin Matthews.

Oklahoma State is listed among the teams "on the cusp" of the top 15.

It's still early and the grades for teams will continue be shuffled. But it appears that the Big 12 South has another big edge in this year's recruiting.

You can check out the complete recruiting scorecard to see how all of the Big 12 teams rank.

Texas snags national-best 10 commits in ESPNU 150

August, 5, 2009

Posted by's Tim Griffin

The ESPNU 150 for the Class of 2010 has been released and Big 12 schools have fared well in early commitments.

Texas has snagged 10 early commitments to lead the country, followed by nine for Florida and seven by LSU.

The South Division's domination over the North has continued into early recruiting with 18 of 19 Big 12 commitments headed to South schools.

Oklahoma has four commitments, Texas A&M has three and Baylor and Nebraska have one apiece.

The Baylor commitment of Waco native Ahmad Dixon, the nation's No. 15 player who turned down Texas to stay at home, indicates the growing recruiting prowess of Coach Art Briles.

Here's a look at the Big 12 representatives on the list:

Texas: No. 14 Taylor Bible, DT, Denton (John H. Guyer), Texas; No. 44 Ashton Dorsey, DT Tyler (John Tyler), Texas; No. 51 Aaron Benson, OLB, Cedar Hills, Texas; No. 73 Chris Jones, WR, Daingerfield, Texas; No. 100 Reggie Wilson, DE, Haltom City, Texas; No. 104 Adrian White, CB, DeSoto, Texas; No. 105 Tevin Jackson, OLB, Garland, Texas; No. 121, Carrington Byndom, CB, Lufkin, Texas; No. 128 Adrian Phillips, ATH, Garland, Texas; No. 141, Trey Hopkins, G, Houston (North Shore).

Oklahoma:  No. 67 Blake Bell, QB, Wichita (Bishop Carroll), Kan.; No. 80 Quentin Hayes, S, Lancaster, Texas; No. 124 Sheldon McClain, WR, Cibolo (Byron M. Steele), Texas; No. 125 Brennan Clay, RB, San Diego (Scripps Ranch), Calif.

Texas A&M: No. 46 Corey Nelson, OLB, Dallas (Skyline); No. 66 Jake Matthews, OT, Missouri City (Lawrence E. Elkins), Texas; No. 87 Luke Joeckel, OT, Arlington, Texas.

Baylor: No. 15 Ahmad Dixon, S, Waco (Midway), Texas.

Nebraska: No. 109 Andrew Rodriguez, G, Aurora, Neb.

Both Texas and Oklahoma hope to improve their classes as they remain in the hunt for several other top prospects.

The Longhorns and Sooners are among the finalists for the No. 1 ESPNU 150 prospect, Jackson Jeffcoat, a defensive end from West High School in Plano, Texas, and the No. 2 prospect, Jordan Hicks, an outside linebacker from West Chester, Ohio.

And the Sooners are also among the finalists for the No. 4 prospect, Seantrel Henderson, a massive tackle from Cretin-Durham High School of St. Paul, Minn., and No. 6 prospect Michael Dyer, a running back from Little Rock Christian Academy.