Big 12: Michael Starts

Congrats to kdcaire, the leader among 723 in the Big 12 Blog Readers bracket pool. The bad news? The bracket had New Mexico in the Final Four. Ouch.

Checking in on the ESPN 150 in 2012

January, 1, 2013
1/01/13
2:00
PM ET
The ESPN 150 are the best of the best when it comes to recruits, but how do they really stack up on the field? We check in each season with the freshmen who made an impact and those who didn't in Year 1.

You can look back on the ESPN 150 in 2012 right here, but how did the guys who landed in the Big 12 do? So glad you asked.

Also, here's how the last few years of Big 12 ESPN 150 recruits shaped up: No. 2: Johnathan Gray, RB, Texas: Took over in midseason as the team's featured running back and led the team with 701 yards and three touchdowns. Had 22 more carries than any other Texas back.

No. 12: Malcom Brown, DT, Texas: Contributed as a reserve on Texas' strong defensive line. Made 19 tackles and two tackles for loss.

No. 54: Dominique Wheeler, WR, Texas Tech: Redshirted his first season for Texas Tech's deep receiving corps.

No. 57: Peter Jinkens, OLB, Texas: Started two games and played in every game this season. Made 27 tackles and three tackles for loss with a sack and an interception.

No. 58: Kennedy Estelle, OL, Texas: Missed five games with a shoulder injury but contributed as a reserve offensive lineman in three games.

No. 60: Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma: Was one of the league's most promising freshmen in Year 1. Emerged with a breakout game against Kansas State with seven catches for 108 yards and a score. He finished with 41 catches for 578 yards and three touchdowns.

No. 64: Durron Neal, WR, Oklahoma: Played sparingly and contributed in nine games. Caught four passes for 62 yards.

No. 70: Alex Ross, RB, Oklahoma: Redshirted in 2012.

No. 77: Torshiro Davis, LB, Texas: Goes by "Shiro" now and moved to defensive end. Played in the final six games of Texas' season and made three tackles, one tackle for loss and broke up a pass.

No. 78: Curtis Riser, OG, Texas: Redshirted in 2012.

No. 79: Bryson Echols, CB, Texas: Redshirted in 2012.

No. 87: Reginald Davis, WR, Texas Tech: Redshirted in 2012.

No. 92: Dalton Santos, LB, Texas: Played in 12 games and made 24 tackles, mostly contributing on special teams. Added 2.5 tackles for loss.

No. 97: Alex Norman, DT, Texas: Redshirted in 2012.

No. 120: Michael Starts, OT, Texas Tech: Moved to defensive tackle but played in just three games. Made three tackles with a sack against New Mexico. Missed time because of a blood pressure issue.

No. 126: Dominic Ramacher, LB, Oklahoma State: Moved to fullback and redshirted in 2012.

No. 130: Connor Brewer, QB, Texas: Redshirted in 2012.

No. 137: Derrick Woods, WR, Oklahoma: Redshirted in 2012.

No. 141: Daje Johnson, ATH, Texas: Speedster made an impact as a big-play threat at running back for Texas. Carried the ball 27 times for 203 yards and a touchdown and caught 19 passes for 287 yards and a score.

No. 147: Cayleb Jones, WR, Texas: Played in 12 games but caught two passes for 35 yards and carried the ball once for 10 yards.

No. 148: Ty Darlington, OL, Oklahoma: Earned starts late in the season at center and proved to be a valuable piece of the Sooners' offensive line that provided an opportunity for versatility and ability to move Gabe Ikard to guard.

Lunch links: 'Paddle People' silenced?

September, 28, 2012
9/28/12
12:00
PM ET
The Human Fund: Money ... for people.
DALLAS -- Scanning the list of the nation's top-25 recruiting classes unearths few surprises. The list is mostly national powers like Texas, Alabama, Notre Dame, LSU or USC. That, or growing programs at the height of recent success, like Stanford.

Every single team, though, won enough games to qualify for a bowl game, save sleeping giant Tennessee trying to rebuild under Derek Dooley.

One team sticks out.

Despite a 5-7 season, Texas Tech still signed the nation's No. 20 class, a second consecutive top-20 recruiting class over a span that's featured just 13 wins.

[+] EnlargeTommy Tuberville
Sue Ogrocki/AP Photo"You don't recruit these guys for 3-4 months," Tommy Tuberville said."You recruit these guys for two years."
"You don't recruit these guys for 3-4 months," coach Tommy Tuberville told ESPN.com on Thursday. "You recruit these guys for two years."

Texas Tech's top three signees, receivers Dominique Wheeler and Reginald Davis, as well as offensive tackle Michael Starts were all committed to the Red Raiders by June 2011, months before the season began.

Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt called the season "disappointing" and "unacceptable," but reiterated his vote of confidence in Tuberville on Thursday.

The difficult part was keeping players already committed while the Red Raiders suffered through seven losses in the final eight games of the season.

"You just show 'em the truth. You don't make excuses, because we're in a results-driven business," offensive coordinator Neal Brown said. "But you show 'em. Obviously, we were good enough to beat the No. 1 team in the country at their place and snap that home winning streak, and we were close."

There's no erasing the 5-7 record, the first losing season at Texas Tech in almost two decades. And as easy as it is to focus on embarrassing 34-, 32- and 60-point losses to teams that finished in the Top 25 late in the season, the Red Raiders were competitive early in the season in close losses to Texas A&M and Kansas State. A four-point November loss to Missouri, which would have given the Red Raiders a bowl berth, came on a tipped ball in the final minute inside Mizzou's 5-yard line.

So, "showing 'em" means filling them in on injuries. Offensively, the impact of running back Eric Stephens' dislocated knee in the fifth game was enormous. Brown noted that Stephens was the team's second-leading receiver at the time, and called him the best pass-blocking back he'd been around. It also forced the Red Raiders to rely on freshmen.

Defensively, injuries forced the Red Raiders to play even inexperienced players. In the season finale against Baylor, Texas Tech traveled with 52 players, compared to almost 100 for the Bears. Now, 15 players are expected to miss spring practice.

"We just kind of hit rock bottom," Tuberville said. "We lost the base of what we had, any kind of leadership on defense. When we lost the running back, that put tremendous pressure on the defense. That just devastated us."

Added Tuberville: "It's pretty unusual to go into the Oklahoma State game and have to put a receiver (Cornelius Douglas) on (Biletnikoff Award winner Justin) Blackmon."

So for top recruits, the sell is simple.

"Sell what you have," Tuberville said. "There's a lot of these guys that look at us and say, "Hey, I can go a lot of places, but I can go to Tech and play right now.' And they can. That's a big selling point because of the situation we're in. That's helped. It helped get certain players."

Tech signed nine juco players in its 2012 class, including seven defenders, in hopes of finding a quick fix for a defense in need of a lot more than a quick tune-up.

The talent has arrived for the Red Raiders. The wins haven't. When will they? The focus for now is clear. Tech has had two of the best recruiting classes in the Big 12 in successive seasons. It's also fielded two of the worst defenses.

"We've gotta balance this team up. There's no way you can go out there and put the kind of pressure on the offense that we did last year," Tuberville said. "'We're going to give up 50, so y'all gotta score 50.' It's just not going to happen. You're definitely not going to win championships doing that."
The big day is so, so close. National signing day will get started bright and early Wednesday morning, but it's time to take a look at where the Big 12 teams sit with one day left before players can officially sign.

This will change quickly in the next couple days, but here's how they look before things get real crazy. Here's how the rankings looked two weeks ago, when we last updated the Big 12 scorecard.

This scorecard is written in pencil. Tomorrow, players will sign in ink.

1. Texas Longhorns

National ranking: No. 3
Total commits: 27
ESPNU 150 commits: 11
Key commits: RB Johnathan Gray, DT Malcom Brown, WR Cayleb Jones, QB Connor Brewer
Latest news: Texas recently added the nation's No. 1 inside linebacker, former Tennessee commit Dalton Santos. That may help its national ranking, which fell from No. 2 to No. 3 since our last update. The Longhorns also added No. 14 ATH Daje Johnson, a former TCU commit. Both were ESPNU 150 prospects. Texas also added defensive end Bryce Cottrell, who had previously been committed to Oregon.

2. Oklahoma Sooners

National ranking: No. 10
Total commits: 20
ESPNU 150 commits: 5
Key commits: RB Alex Ross, WR Sterling Shepard, WR Durron Neal, OL Ty Darlington, WR Trey Metoyer
Latest news: Oklahoma surpassed Texas A&M since our last update, and added Sam Grant, the nation's No. 18 TE. David Smith, the nation's No. 124 ATH, also joined the fold for the Sooners. One of the nation's top juco offensive tackles, Will Latu also pledged to Oklahoma and could make an immediate impact. Oklahoma swiped Zack Sanchez on Monday, a cornerback who had been committed to Baylor since July.

3. Texas A&M Aggies

National ranking: No. 12
Total commits: 22
ESPNU 150 commits: 5
Key commits: OLB Jordan Richmond, RB Trey Williams, ATH Bralon Addison, QB Matt Davis
Latest news: The nation's No. 33 defensive end, Polo Manukainiu, became a late addition to the Aggies' class, and the nation's No. 30 safety, Edward Pope, also gave new coach Kevin Sumlin a commitment.

4. Texas Tech Red Raiders

National ranking: No. 17
Total commits: 26
ESPNU 150 commits: 3
Key commits: WR Reginald Davis, WR Dominique Wheeler, OT Michael Starts, QB Clayton Nicholas
Latest news: The Red Raiders added juco cornerback Ola Falemi to their class, but look out for Tuberville on signing day. Switches on the big day are no surprises with him at Tech.

5. Baylor Bears

Total commits: 22
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: ATH Corey Coleman, OT Kyle Fuller, DT Javonte Magee, OLB Brian Nance
Latest news: Baylor swiped Kansas QB commit Seth Russell, No. 47 nationally at the position, to make a big wave across the Big 12. It also grabbed cornerback Patrick Levels out of Dallas. Nance and Magee both pledged to Baylor after the new year.

6. Missouri Tigers

Total commits: 18
ESPNU 150 commits: 1
Key commits: OG Evan Boehm, QB Maty Mauk, ILB Donavin Newsom, OLB Torey Boozer
Latest news: Missouri may be in the lead in the DGB sweepstakes after hosting the nation's No. 1 receiver on a visit on the final weekend of the recruiting season. The nation's No. 105 ATH John Gibson and No. 151 DT, Harold Brantley, are the latest additions to Mizzou's class.

7. Oklahoma State Cowboys

Total commits: 21
ESPNU 150 commits: 1
Key commits: TE Dominic Ramacher, OLB Jeremiah Tshimanga, OT Michael Wilson, QB Wes Lunt
Latest news: OSU has added five commits since our last update, including Wilson, the nation's No. 22 offensive tackle. Receiver Chance Allen (No. 141) joins the squad as well. CB Kevin Peterson came to OSU after originally committing to Oklahoma. OSU also added receiver Jhajuan Seales. Juco offensive tackle Chris Grishby committed on Jan. 22.

8. Iowa State Cyclones

Total commits: 21
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: OT Daniel Burton, WR P.J. Harris, WR Quan West, ATH Damien Lawry
Latest news: The Cyclones have two fewer commits than the last time we checked in, but added Devlyn Cousin, the nation's No. 154 defensive tackle.

9. Kansas State Wildcats

Total commits: 18
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: WR Vernon Vaughn, DT Travis Britz, RB Jarvis Leverett, QB Tavarius Bender
Latest news: Kansas State added five commitments in the last two weeks, highlighted by Demonte Hood, the nation's No. 111 DT. RB Charles Jones is headed to Manhattan via Louisiana, too. S Donovan Starks is coming from Crosby, Texas, and receiver Judah Jones is a Wildcat after wrapping his high school career at power Evangel Christian in Louisiana. OT Ellwood Clement gave K-State five juco players in this class, low by Bill Snyder's standards.

10. Kansas Jayhawks

Total commits: 18
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: TE Jordan Smith, OG Brian Beckmann, S Gregg Allen, DT Tyler Holmes
Latest news: New coach Charlie Weis has added four commits since our last update. QB Seth Russell, the team's top commit, is gone, but the Jayhawks have the QB spot settled for the next three years with transfers Dayne Crist and Jake Heaps. Greg Allen (No. 89 safety) is the top new addition, and Charles Brooks gives the class a second tight end. The Jayhawks also added a pair of juco defensive tackles that figure to have immediate impacts, Chaquil Reed and Jordan Tavai.

Updated 2012 Big 12 recruiting scorecard

December, 20, 2011
12/20/11
9:00
AM ET
So, the season gets, you know, kind of crazy. It's unrelenting, and recruiting plummets in priority. Thus, we haven't had a recruiting update since before the season.

Time to update.

Signing Day is less than two months away, and here's where each Big 12 team sits as we hit the recruiting home stretch before the big day in February.

All commit totals, rankings and stars via ESPN Recruiting, which updated its national recruiting rankings this week.

1. Texas Longhorns

National ranking: No. 1
Total commits: 25
ESPNU 150 commits: 10
Key commits: RB Johnathan Gray, DT Malcom Brown, WR Cayleb Jones, QB Connor Brewer
Class notes: Four of Texas' top five commits are skill position players, a huge need for the Longhorns. They're one of a handful of schools still chasing one of the nation's top recruits, too, receiver Dorial Green-Beckham. Gray will come to Texas as the Gatorade National Player of the Year. Texas also has two juco transfers coming next year, OT Donald Hawkins and DT Brandon Moore, a rarity for the Longhorns.

2. Texas A&M Aggies

National ranking: No. 8
Total commits: 22
ESPNU 150 commits: 4
Key commits: OLB Jordan Richmond, RB Trey Williams, ATH Bralon Addison, QB Matt Davis
Class notes: Texas A&M's class is being spearheaded by Davis, who's spreading the "Agg Swagg Movement" via social media, and Texas A&M will enter the SEC with one of its best classes in recent history. It's a deep class, too. Eleven of the 22 commits earned four-star status on ESPN.

3. Oklahoma Sooners

National ranking: No. 9
Total commits: 17
ESPNU 150 commits: 5
Key commits: RB Alex Ross, WR Sterling Shepard, WR Durron Neal, OL Ty Darlington
Class notes: The Sooners are after DGB, too, but may have a sudden big need at running back after a handful of transfers over the past few months. ESPNU 150 signee from 2010 Trey Metoyer, a receiver, is expected to be in Norman next year after spending a year at Hargrave Military Academy. He'll offer some nice help, but will Landry Jones be throwing him the ball?

4. Texas Tech Red Raiders

National ranking: No. 17
Total commits: 22
ESPNU 150 commits: 3
Key commits: WR Reginald Davis, WR Dominique Wheeler, OT Michael Starts, QB Clayton Nicholas
Class notes: The Red Raiders added five commits since our last update, but Davis, Wheeler and Starts should all be nice pickups and additions to an offense that lacked a big-play threat this year when Darrin Moore was battling injuries. Tech is also adding five juco transfers, including two more receivers and a pair of pass-rushers.

5. Oklahoma State Cowboys

Total commits: 16
ESPNU 150 commits: 1
Key commits: TE Dominic Ramacher, OLB Jeremiah Tshimanga, QB Wes Lunt
Class notes: Texas swiped CB Kendall Sanders with a late recruiting push, following a few high-profile former OSU commits to go elsewhere. This year's class won't make many headlines, but it'll be interesting to see if the 2011 Big 12 title pays off in the 2013 recruiting class. OSU knows definitively now that it can be better than OU and Texas. Lunt, an Illinois native, is an uber-productive dual-threat. Former blue-chipper Calvin Barnett, a DT from Tulsa, spurned OSU for Arkansas on Signing Day 2010, but he's committed this year via junior college.

6. Baylor Bears

Total commits: 19
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: ATH Corey Coleman, OT Kyle Fuller, CB Terrell Burt, WR Kiante' Griffin
Class notes: Baylor added a handful of recruits just before the season to reach 18 commits, and added just one commit over the course of the season. Baylor's grabbed big-time recruits like Ahmad Dixon and Kendall Wright in the past that have been productive, but there's no big name in this class just yet.

7. Missouri Tigers

Total commits: 15
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: DT Donald Hopkins, QB Maty Mauk, ILB Donavin Newsom
Class notes: Missouri is chasing DGB too, but the story this season has been class attrition for the Tigers. They were in the top 20 but lost ESPNU 150 commit Evan Boehm, who decommitted. The Tigers fell out of the top 25 and fell behind Oklahoma State and Baylor. Running back Jonathan Williams took his four stars to Arkansas and OT Germain Ifedi moved to fellow future SEC member Texas A&M. Mauk, Hopkins and Newsom are the only remaining four-star recruits in the class.

8. Iowa State Cyclones

Total commits: 20
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: OT Daniel Burton WR P.J. Harris, WR Quan West, QB Grant Rohach
Class notes: The Cyclones added 11 commits since our last update. Three of the Cyclones top four commits are offensive skill position players, but Burton is the class' top commit. He committed on Sept. 29. A second QB, Luke Knott, committed way back in April. His older brother, Jake Knott, is a star linebacker for the Cyclones. Paul Rhoads' 10-year contract extension could help on the recruiting trail next year, too, offering parents some security that he'll still be coaching their sons for their whole careers. ISU has no four-star commits, but eight three-stars.

9. Kansas State Wildcats

Total commits: 11
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: WR Vernon Vaughn, DT Travis Britz, RB Jarvis Leverett, QB Tavarius Bender
Class notes: Kansas State added four commits since our preseason update. Seven of the commits are three-stars and just one is committed via junior college. Two commits are unranked.

10. Kansas Jayhawks

Total commits: 8
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: QB Seth Russell, TE Jordan Smith, OG Brian Beckmann
Class notes: ATH Bilal Marshall and DE De'Jon Wilson are no longer committed and new Kansas coach Charlie Weis has his work cut out for him. He says he doesn't want to be under scholarship numbers, but he doesn't want to offer guys just to fill scholarships with bodies. It'll be a tough balance. He's got catching up to do. WR Tre Parmalee and DT Keon Stowers are Weis' first two commits.

The Big 12 recruiting scorecard for 2012

August, 18, 2011
8/18/11
10:00
AM ET
It's mid-August. The season starts in two weeks and signing day is a little more than five months away. We are more than halfway through the recruiting season and here's how the Big 12 classes for 2012 look.

We'll try to offer a monthly scoreboard update between now and signing day next February. There hasn't been a ton of shifting and activity since our last update in July, but here's a look at where we stand now.

All numbers are courtesy of ESPNU Recruiting. You can see them by clicking on each team for more on each class. The teams are ranked below.

Very nice showing for the Big 12 so far, with six of the 10 teams in the league ranked in ESPN's top 25 class rankings, including fish-in-barrel shooters Texas, which tops the national recruiting rankings.

1. Texas Longhorns
National ranking: No. 1
Total commits: 18
ESPNU 150 commits: 9
Key commits: RB Johnathan Gray, DT Malcom Brown, WR Cayleb Jones, QB Connor Brewer
Personnel notes: Seven of the Longhorns' commits are offensive players, nine are on defense and another is designated as an athlete. Four of the top five commits, however, are skill-position players. Texas also has kicker Nick Jordan (No. 8 nationally) committed.

2. Texas A&M Aggies
National ranking: No. 8
Total commits: 21
ESPNU 150 commits: 4
Key commits: OLB Jordan Richmond, RB Trey Williams, ATH Bralon Addison, QB Matt Davis
Personnel notes: The Aggies swiped Addison from Oklahoma State and gave themselves four commits who are designated as athletes. Eight of their other commits are on defense and nine play offense. Davis was recently added to the ESPNU150 as the nation's No. 7 quarterback.

3. Oklahoma Sooners
National ranking: No. 10
Total commits: 12
ESPNU 150 commits: 4
Key commits: RB Alex Ross, WR Sterling Shepard, WR Durron Neal, OL Ty Darlington
Personnel notes: The Sooners are still after Dorial Green-Beckham, the nation's No. 1 receiver and No. 3 overall prospect. Oklahoma's class has just two defensive players and one athlete, Daniel Brooks. The other seven commits play offense. The Sooners swiped Neal from Missouri, where the in-state Tigers were hoping to add him to their 2012 fold. OU missed out on QB Gunner Kiel to former coordinator Kevin Wilson, who convinced Kiel to commit to in-state Indiana.

4. Texas Tech Red Raiders
National ranking: No. 15
Total commits: 17
ESPNU 150 commits: 3
Key commits: WR Reginald Davis, WR Dominique Wheeler, OT Michael Starts, OT Christian Okafor
Personnel notes: Davis and Wheeler could offer a big talent upgrade at the skill positions in the future. Nine commits play offense, two are athletes and six play defense.

5. Missouri Tigers
National ranking: No. 18
Total commits: 15
ESPNU 150 commits: 1
Key commits: OG Evan Boehm, DT Donald Hopkins, QB Maty Mauk, OT Germain Ifedi,
Personnel notes: Hopkins was a top addition for the class, which would get a huge boost with the addition of Green-Beckham. The class includes seven defenders (four linebackers) and five offensive players, with two of the top four commits being offensive linemen. Mauk and Boehm allowed the Tigers to jump into the top 25 class rankings and leapfrog Oklahoma State over the summer.

6. Oklahoma State Cowboys
Total commits: 11
ESPNU 150 commits: 1
Key commits: TE Dominic Ramacher, CB Kendall Sanders, OLB Jeremiah Tshimanga, OT Timothy Hines
Personnel notes: Oklahoma State added four commitments since our last update to a class that features four defenders, four offensive linemen and three offensive skill position players.

7. Baylor Bears
Total commits: 18
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: ATH Corey Coleman, CB Terrell Burt, WR Kiante' Griffin, LB Kendall Ehrlich
Personnel notes: Baylor's seen the biggest jump in the past month, adding six commits to its class. Art Briles' 2012 class currently has three athletes, 10 defenders and five offensive players.

8. Iowa State Cyclones
Total commits: 9
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: WR P.J. Harris, WR Quan West, DE Mitchell Meyers, QB Grant Rohach
Personnel notes: The Cyclones added a string of a couple players earlier this month with a handful of commits in just a few days. The class now consists of two receivers, two quarterbacks (including Luke Knott, the younger brother of LB Jake Knott), a running back and four defenders.

9. Kansas State Wildcats
Total commits: 7
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: WR Vernon Vaughn, DT Travis Britz, QB Tay Bender, OG Aderius Epps
Personnel notes: Kansas State added two commits since our July update. The Wildcats have three defensive commits, and four offensive commits.

10. Kansas Jayhawks
Total commits: 6
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: QB Seth Russell, ATH Bilal Marshall, DE De'Jon Wilson, OG Brian Beckmann
Personnel notes: Kansas added three commits since our July update, including Russell, a quarterback. The class now consists of two athletes, two offensive players and two defenders.

Big 12 recruiting -- 2012 classes take shape

July, 18, 2011
7/18/11
9:00
AM ET
It's mid-July. The season starts in six weeks and signing day is a little more than six months away. We are now almost halfway through the recruiting season and here's how the Big 12 classes for 2012 look.

We'll try to offer a monthly scoreboard update between now and signing day next February. There's been plenty of shifting and activity since our last update in June.

All numbers are courtesy ESPNU recruiting pages. You can see them by clicking on each team for more on each class. The teams are ranked below.

Very nice showing for the Big 12 so far, with six of the 10 teams in the league ranked in ESPN's top 25 class rankings, including fish-in-barrel shooters Texas, who top the national recruiting rankings.

1. Texas Longhorns
National ranking: No. 1
Total commits: 18
ESPNU 150 commits: 9
Key commits: RB Johnathan Gray, DT Malcom Brown, WR Cayleb Jones, QB Connor Brewer
Personnel notes: Seven of the Longhorns' commits are offensive players, nine are on defense and another is designated as an athlete. Four of the top five commits, however, are skill-position players. Texas also has kicker Nick Jordan (No. 8 nationally) committed.

2. Texas A&M Aggies
National ranking: No. 4
Total commits: 20
ESPNU 150 commits: 3
Key commits: OLB Jordan Richmond, RB Trey Williams, ATH Bralon Addison, ATH Matt Davis
Personnel notes: The Aggies swiped Addison from Oklahoma State and gave themselves four commits that are designated as athletes. Eight of their other commits are on defense, and nine play offense. Quarterback Trevor Knight recently switched to Oklahoma, but Davis is expected to play QB for the Aggies.

3. Oklahoma Sooners
National ranking: No. 12
Total commits: 11
ESPNU 150 commits: 4
Key commits: RB Alex Ross, WR Sterling Shepard, WR Durron Neal, OL Ty Darlington
Personnel notes: The Sooners recently added Knight, a quarterback, but would still love to add receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, the nation's No. 1 receiver and No. 3 overall prospect. Oklahoma's class has just two defensive players and one athlete, Daniel Brooks. The other eight commits play offense. The Sooners swiped Neal from Missouri, where the in-state Tigers were hoping to add him to their 2012 fold.

4. Texas Tech Red Raiders
National ranking: No. 14
Total commits: 16
ESPNU 150 commits: 3
Key commits: WR Reginald Davis, WR Dominique Wheeler, OT Michael Starts, OT Christian Okafor
Personnel notes: Wheeler is the class's top commit, but David and Starts are the other two ESPNU 150 prospects. Nine commits play offense, two are athletes and five play defense.

5. Missouri Tigers
National ranking: No. 19
Total commits: 12
ESPNU 150 commits: 1
Key commits: OG Evan Boehm, QB Maty Mauk, OT Germain Ifedi, ILB Donavin Newsom
Personnel notes: The Tigers beat out Oklahoma for in-state prospect Boehm, and would like to do the same with Green-Beckham. But for now, the class includes seven defenders (four linebackers) and five offensive players, with two of the top three commits being offensive linemen. Mauk (No. 14 QB nationally) was a recent addition. Mauk and Boehm allowed the Tigers to jump into the most recent top 25 class rankings and leapfrog Oklahoma State.

6. Oklahoma State Cowboys
National ranking: No. 24
Total commits: 7
ESPNU 150 commits: 1
Key commits: TE Dominic Ramacher, CB Kendall Sanders, OLB Jeremiah Tshimanga, OT Timothy Hines
Personnel notes: OSU has had a rash of decommitments, including two from ESPNU 150 listers Dalton Santos and Bralon Addison. The current class is headlined by Ramacher, one of four offensive players in the class. Two of the three defenders are cornerbacks. OSU also added a quarterback since our last update, 6-foot-4 Wes Lunt of Rochester (Ill.).

7. Baylor Bears
Total commits: 12
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: ATH Corey Coleman, CB Terrell Burt, WR Kiante' Griffin, ATH Terrence Singleton
Personnel notes: The Bears have three athletes in the group, five offensive commits and four defenders, including three defensive backs. Quarterback Jared Johnson was a high-profile recent pickup.

8. Iowa State Cyclones
Total commits: 6
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: WR Quan West, DE Mitchell Meyers, QB Grant Rohach, RB Barkley Hill
Personnel notes: The Cyclones have a second QB in Luke Knott, the younger brother of star linebacker Jake Knott, and four of the six commits are skill position players. The Cyclones also have a pair of defenders, with no offensive linemen currently committed.

9. Kansas State Wildcats
Total commits: 5
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: WR Vernon Vaughn, DT Travis Britz, QB Tay Bender, ILB Will Davis
Personnel notes: The Wildcats have three defensive commits, and both offensive commits are skill position players.

10. Kansas Jayhawks
Total commits: 3
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: CB Daniel Gray, OG Brian Beckmann, ATH Derek Keaton
Personnel notes: Turner Gill set the bar high with his first full class in Lawrence, and will need a late charge to surpass a fantastic effort in 2011 on the recruiting trail.

Big recruiting weekend in the Big 12

June, 20, 2011
6/20/11
9:00
AM ET
Lots of recent action in the Big 12 on the recruiting trail.

Here's a chance to catch up...

Red Raiders add another ESPNU 150 commit

Dominique Wheeler, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound receiver, gave Texas Tech its third ESPNU 150 commit in a class that added five players in just the past few days.

Wheeler, a native of Crockett, Texas, is ranked as the nation's No. 6 receiver and No. 45 overall recruit. Here's what our scouts had to say about him:
For being such a long and lean prospect, Wheeler displays terrific explosiveness, speed and body control and still has plenty of frame development to come. He is tall and lanky, but very coordinated and quick. He is one of the few tall receivers that is a significant threat to make something happen when he gets into space. He also sees some time as a Wildcat QB for his open field run skills. He is a wonderful athlete with fluid overall change-of-direction. A long strider that comes off the ball with tremendous burst and gets downfield quickly. Can stem and weave and his ability to cut and stop on a dime give him excellent separation skills given his size. He does a very nice job extending away from his frame to snag balls on the run; tucks quickly and immediately is looking to make someone miss and usually does.

Making plays with the ball in their hands is integral for Texas Tech receivers, and the ability to turn those 4 or 5-yard catches into 10 or 11-yard catches is what moves the sticks in the Red Raiders offense.

It sounds like Wheeler can do that, and he's now Texas Tech's highest-rated commit from the 2012 class, joining fellow ESPNU 150 commit Michael Starts.

Texas Tech also added receiver Marcus Johnson, DT Anthony Smith, C Jared Kaster, and LB Ryan Flannigan. The Red Raiders' 2012 class now has 15 commitments.

Dorial Green-Beckham makes a stop in Austin

Dorial Green-Beckham, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound receiver that sits at No. 3 on the ESPNU 150, made a visit to a third Big 12 team this weekend: Texas.

The Springfield, Mo. native is being chased by everyone, and some recruiting services have the athlete as the nation's best recruit. Until this weekend, Missouri and Oklahoma were the only schools to host him on an unofficial visit, but according to multiple reports, he made the trek to Austin to get a closer look at the Horns. He'll be one to watch as he moves toward making his decision, but it seems likely that he'll keep his talents somewhere in the Big 12.

Our scouts are particularly high on the soon-to-be high school senior:
This guy is a hybrid of Julio Jones and Calvin Johnson and what makes Green-Beckham unique from other big wide receivers is he is a flexible athlete with fluid movements and quick-twitch athleticism. He is big, strong, rangy and deceptively quick for his size. Possesses a mammoth wingspan and plays the game like a basketball player on grass (he is actually a very good basketball player, not surprising). He is an imposing figure off the line with a combination of quickness and strength to gain ground and position off the ball.

Can Texas, who brings in very few players from outside state lines, swoop in and steal one from the Show-Me State?

Kansas adds a pair

Turner Gill's class, which had just one commitment heading into last week, tripled in size with the addition of two more commits.

Offensive tackle Brian Beckmann and running back Derek Keaton are the newest Jayhawks.

Beckmann is a 6-foot-5, 280-pound guard from Randolph, Kan. Keaton is a 5-foot-9, 160-pound athlete from Camden, Ark.

Oklahoma State picks up a QB

Oklahoma State also got a commitment from a quarterback, its first of the 2012 class.

Wes Lunt, a 6-foot-4, 185-pound native of Rochester, Illinois, is the nation's No. 39 quarterback.

Five Big 12 teams in 2012 recruiting top 25

June, 10, 2011
6/10/11
12:58
PM ET
You saw the first version of the ESPNU 150 earlier this week, and now, we've released our class rankings as well Insider.

Four Big 12 teams made the cut.

Here they are.

1. Texas
Nine ESPNU 150 commits headline Texas' well-stocked early class. Adding five-star RB Johnathan Gray (Aledo, Texas/Aledo), No. 8 in the ESPNU 150, to join 2011 five-star RB Malcolm Brown is a huge step in the right direction. Cayleb Jones (Austin, Texas/Stephen F. Austin) and Thomas Johnson(Dallas/Skyline) are top 35 players overall and the top two wideouts in the state. The pair of Under Armour All-Americans can run, and Jones is a big target while Johnson is a home run threat.
My take: It's not surprising to see the Longhorns here, despite the 5-7 year in 2010 and resulting shakeup.

"You're not going to see too much of a significant change in Texas recruiting, unless you see successive losing seasons," ESPN national recruiting director Tom Luginbill told me last month. "I think you'd have to see a minimum of, not counting last year, another two after this. If you count last year, three total before you see a significant drop."

The Longhorns have nine ESPNU 150 commits, two more than anyone else, which make up over half its class. Having the most historic success in the state that produces the second-most top-flight prospects has its advantages. Texas is reaping those benefits, despite the successes of others around on the recruiting trail. Players love playing for Mack Brown, and infusing his staff with younger coaches full of energy that are even more skilled at relating to his players won't change that.

4. Texas A&M
20 commits, the most in the country. RB Trey Williams (Houston/Andy Dekaney) is undersized, but a water bug of a runner who is tough to keep up with. OLB Jordan Richmond (Denton, Texas/Billy Ryan) is rangy, athletic and should have plenty in front of him to keep blockers occupied in the future with five D-linemen also on board, including four-star DE Michael Richardson (DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto). ATH Bralon Addison (Missouri City, Texas/Hightower ) is an electrifying threat on offense.
My take: As previously predicted, the Aggies' class debuts in the top 5. Luginbill says the strength of the class is in its middle, not its top. That will pay off.

"If you took an 85-man roster and spread it over the course of four years and you have 3-4 classes with 20 guys in each class and the top 4-6 were five-star guys, that's only making up a quarter of those 85 guys, if that," Luginbill said.

Texas A&M is now charged with the task of holding together the class, while trying to add to it. It lost a very good commit in Louisiana native Davante Borque earlier this week, but the coaches will have to keep in touch with those committed to prevent others from following.

"I think that's going to be more of a challenge for Texas A&M than it's going to be for the Texas Longhorns," Luginbill said. "Not only fulfilling the rest of the class, but the challenge of maintaining this level of a class over an extended period of time could be one of their greatest recruiting challenges.

"It's a long way between now and February."

11. Oklahoma
The Sooners added three potential difference-makers at the offensive skill positions and retained the top two in-state prospects. RB Alex Ross (Jenks, Okla./Jenks) is a top-five back in the country with his great combination of size and speed. He could be the next big-load back in Norman. Receiver Sterling Shepard (Oklahoma City, Okla./Heritage Hall) may lack ideal measurables, but this guy simply makes plays and can move the chains from a variety of positions.
My take: Oklahoma has eight commitments after adding St. Louis receiver Durron Neal earlier this week, giving them three ESPNU 150 commits.

The Sooners 2012 class won't be big one, but Oklahoma is in on a number of big-name recruits, namely the nation's No. 1 quarterback (Gunner Kiel) and No. 1 receiver (Dorial Green-Beckham). Expect to see Oklahoma crash the top 10 as usual by next February.

14. Texas Tech
The Longhorns and Aggies are off to very hot starts in the state of Texas, but Tommy Tuberville's Red Raiders are enjoying some early success on the recruiting trail, as well. The class features two ESPNU 150 prospects led by wide receiver Reginald Davis (Tenaha, Texas/Tenaha), a speedy and athletic playmaking prospect. The other 150 member of this class is offensive tackle prospect Michael Starts (Waco, Texas/La Vega), a physically good-looking player with the athleticism for the tackle position.
My take: Texas Tech is fresh off the best class in school history. Starts was a big pickup for the Red Raiders, but could Tommy Tuberville's 2012 class be even better? The Red Raiders are on track to make it happen.

22. Oklahoma State
The Cowboys' class may have come in a little higher in the initial class rankings if ESPNU 150 LB Dalton Santos (Van, Texas/Van), the top ILB in the country, didn't decommit, but despite that the class is still off to a good start. It has three four-star prospects, highlighted by ESPNU 150 TE Dominic Ramacher (Denton, Texas/John H. Guyer). He is a big, ultra-versatile throwback player who can line up at just about any offensive skill position.
My take: Mike Gundy has built up Oklahoma State's recruiting year-by-year since he came to Stillwater, and the Cowboys look headed for another top 25 finish after a very solid class in 2011. He has just six commits in this class, including one ESPNU 150, but snagging Barry Sanders Jr., the son of the legendary Cowboys Heisman winner, would add a sure fan favorite to his future teams.

Texas leads the way in ESPNU 150

June, 8, 2011
6/08/11
12:35
PM ET
ESPN Recruiting has released its annual ESPNU 150, the nation's top 150 recruits. No more watch lists. No more guesses. The list can shift, but here's how the full list looks.

Committments are non-binding, and players won't be able to sign letters of intent until next February, but upon the list's release today, here's who is committed where:

And which players are committed where in the Big 12.

Texas (9 of 17 commits)
Texas A&M (3 of 22 commits)
Oklahoma (2 of 7 commits)
Texas Tech (2 of 8 commits)
Oklahoma State (1 of 6 commits)
Notes from the group:
  • Texas' nine commits are the most in the nation, leading Florida State (7) and Alabama (6). Texas A&M, with its three commits, is tied for seventh-most in the nation.
  • Oklahoma and Texas Tech's two commits have them tied for 12th most.
  • Of the ESPNU 150, 82 still remain uncommitted with about eight months to go before signing day.
  • Counting up the members of the list by state, Florida leads the way with 28 natives. Twenty of the players on the list call Texas home.
  • Six positions had more than 10 players on the list. Offensive tackles (21) were the largest group, followed by athletes and receivers (19), defensive tackles (16), defensive ends (14) and outside linebackers (11).

Recruiting in Texas heating up early

June, 3, 2011
6/03/11
10:00
AM ET
Texas Tech already reeled in what the program called its best recruiting class ever last February, and the Red Raiders are on pace for another great class in 2012.

Tommy Tuberville's team added another big piece on Thursday when it got a commitment from ESPNU 150 Watch List member Michael Starts, a 6-foot-4, 282-pound lineman from Waco, Texas that wanted to play defensive line at Tech, but was offered by others as an offensive lineman.

Regardless of the exact reasons for Starts' decision, he chose the Red Raiders over in-state rivals Texas and Texas A&M and also held reported offers from Auburn and Notre Dame.

Starts, who was recruited by Big 12 Recruiter of the Year Robert Prunty, should offer another nice option along the defensive line for the Red Raiders, who focused on bringing in pass rushers in the 2011 class as well.

Starts' commitment, though, is more evidence that the recruiting scene in Texas is getting even more crowded for Texas and Oklahoma. Texas Tech and Texas A&M have begun loading up for big classes in 2012, not to mention TCU, who will soon have easier access to the BCS in the Big East.

Here's how those schools sit in 2012 recruiting, along with Oklahoma. The official ESPNU 150 is scheduled for release next Wednesday, which will narrow down these classes a bit and better define how next year's classes will rank.

Texas
  • Commits: 16
  • Top ESPNU 150 Watch List members (16): RB Johnathan Gray, DT Malcom Brown, WR Cayleb Jones, QB Connor Brewer
Texas A&M
  • Commits: 22
  • Top ESPNU 150 Watch List members (11): RB Trey Williams, LB Jordan Richmond, ATH Bralon Addison, ATH Matt Davis
Texas Tech
  • Commits: 8
  • Top ESPNU 150 Watch List members (4): WR Reginald Davis, OT Michael Starts, OT Christian Okafor, QB Clayton Nicholas
Oklahoma
  • Commits: 6
  • Top ESPNU 150 Watch List members (4): RB Alex Ross, WR Sterling Shepard, OT Kyle Marrs, CB Devante Harris

SPONSORED HEADLINES