Big 12: T'Kevian Rockwell

All-Big 12 team: recruiting edition

February, 12, 2014
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Ranking recruits is an unscientific process. If it were, it would be easy to predict future all-conference teams. As an exercise, I’ve cobbled together what an All-Big 12 team would look like based exclusively on ESPN’s freshman recruiting rankings -- though chances are, actual All-Big 12 teams down the road will have a very different look.

Offense

QB: Justice Hansen, Oklahoma (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe)
RB: Joe Mixon, Oklahoma (Oakley, Calif./Freedom)
RB: Donte Thomas-Williams, West Virginia (Durham, N.C./Hillside)
WR: K.D. Cannon, Baylor (Mount Pleasant, Texas/Mount Pleasant)
WR: Armanti Foreman, Texas (Texas City, Texas/Texas City)
WR: Allen Lazard, Iowa State (Urbandale, Iowa/Urbandale)
TE: Carson Meier, Oklahoma (Tulsa, Okla./Union)
OT: Alec Ruth, Kansas State (Highlands Ranch, Colo./Valor Christian)
OT: Kenyon Frison, Oklahoma (West Valley City, Utah/Granger)
OG: Natrell Curtis, Oklahoma (Phoenix/Mountain Pointe)
OG: Dontae Angus, West Virginia (Philadelphia/Martin Luther King)
C: Jacob Bragg, Kansas (Nacogdoches, Texas/ Nacogdoches)
AP: Davion Hall, Baylor (Texarkana, Texas/Liberty-Eylau)

Defense

DE: Derick Roberson, Texas (San Antonio/William J. Brennan)
DE: Jordan Brailford, Oklahoma State (Tulsa, Okla./Booker T. Washington)
DT: Poona Ford, Texas (Hilton Head, S.C./Hilton Head)
DT: Courtney Garnett, Oklahoma (New Orleans/St. Augustine)
LB: Edwin Freeman, Texas (Arlington, Texas/Bowie)
LB: Kyron Watson, Kansas (East St. Louis, Ill./East St. Louis)
LB: Gyasi Akem, Oklahoma State (Broken Arrow, Okla./Broken Arrow)
CB: Nigel Bethel II, Texas Tech (Miami/Booker T. Washington)
CB: Jermaine Roberts, Texas (New Orleans/St. Augustine)
S: Steven Parker II, Oklahoma (Jenks, Okla./Jenks)
S: John Bonney, Texas (Houston/Lamar)

A few observations on this team:
  • Oklahoma leads the way with seven players. Underscoring their strong close, the Sooners landed four of those players after their Allstate Sugar Bowl win over Alabama. In December, Oklahoma’s class ranked 24th. But it finished ranked at the top of the Big 12 and 13th nationally.
  • The Big 12 didn’t have a class ranked outside the top 60 nationally, and this list highlights that with nine teams represented.
  • TCU is the only school without a player here, though running back Shaun Nixon (Austin, Texas/Lake Travis) was slotted only five running back spots behind Thomas-Williams, whom the Mountaineers snagged on signing day. Nixon, who flipped from Texas A&M, was a huge get for the Horned Frogs.
  • Charlie Weis and his staff really delivered a solid recruiting class, despite a lack of success on the field. The Jayhawks had two players on this team, and that doesn’t even include four-star running backs Traevohn Wrench (Gardner, Kan./Gardner Edgerton) and Corey Avery (Dallas/Carter).
  • Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, known for their high-powered offenses, didn’t have an offensive player make the team. They did, however, comprise three of the defensive spots with Brailford, Akem and Bethel II.
Best players at each position who didn’t make the list:

QB: Jerrod Heard (Denton, Texas/Guyer), Texas
RB: Devon Thomas (Broken Arrow, Okla./Broken Arrow), Oklahoma State
WR: Lamar Parker (Miami/Booker T. Washington), West Virginia
TE: Mark Andrews (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain), Oklahoma
OT: Orlando Brown Jr. (Duluth, Ga./Peachtree Ridge), Oklahoma
OG: Joseph Paul (New Orlean/St. Augustine), Oklahoma
C: Terrell Cuney (Jasper, Texas/Jasper), Texas
DE: Trey Carter (Dallas/Pinkston), Oklahoma State
DT: D.J. Williams (Lufkin, Texas/Lufkin), Kansas
LB: Davonte James (Springfield, Ohio/Springfield), West Virginia
CB: Chris Hardeman (Houston/Alief Taylor), Oklahoma State
S: Payton Hendrix (Dallas/Bishop Dunne), Texas Tech
AP: Michiah Quick (Fresno, Calif./Central East), Oklahoma

Most important targets: Big 12 

January, 28, 2014
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In eight days, many of the nation’s top athletes will seal their college futures with a signature. Between now and Feb. 5, college programs will look to do one of two things, either use a final official visit to sway an uncommitted target or do all it can to flip an already-committed player.

In the last week of recruiting, here is a look at some of the most important remaining targets who could find a home in the Big 12.


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Baylor’s memorable 2013 season ended with a 52-42 loss to Central Florida in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, but not all was lost in the new year. The Bears won a school-record 11 games and claimed their first Big 12 championship.

The Bears now shift their attention on improving an already-stellar 2014 class, as well as adding weight to a budding 2015 class.


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Most important targets: Big 12 

October, 22, 2013
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Not surprisingly, Big 12 programs have filled their rosters with ESPN 300 recruits. But, as we’ve come to learn, success on the field doesn’t always come down to how many stars you acquire each recruiting cycle. It’s about filling needs with the types of players coveted by that particular program.

Here is a look at the most important target for each Big 12 school, which features some highly ranked recruits and other recruits with no ranking at all.


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Best Big 12 recruiters 

October, 15, 2013
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Editor's note: For a look at the national recruiter power rankings based only on Class of 2014 success, click here.

The best college football coaches will tell you that when it comes to recruiting, their business is an art. It’s a craft you must perfect if you want to have the best players commit and ultimately sign. Recruiting isn’t for everybody, but those who are good at it -- particularly for building the 2014 class -- should be recognized, as the business is extremely competitive.

Here are 10 of the top recruiters from the Big 12.


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Weekend recruiting wrap: Big 12 

September, 30, 2013
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Texas Tech continues to impress on the field and recruits are taking notice. The Red Raiders added some beef to their 2014 class and also offered one of the top 2015 defensive tackles in the state of Texas. We’ll take a look at those two players, how Kansas State’s future quarterback shined on Friday, and plenty more in this edition of the Big 12 weekend wrap.

Biggest commitment: That goes to Texas Tech and the verbal pledge it received from junior college defensive tackle Keland McElrath (Clarksdale, Miss./Coaoma Community College) on Tuesday. This is another piece to the puzzle for Kliff Kingsbury to better his chances of turning things around on defense, which will graduate three defensive linemen on its current two-deep. McElrath is the second DT to commit to the Red Raiders in 2014, along with Ivan Thomas (Lawton, OK/Lawton), the No. 65 DT overall. McElrath (6-foot-5, 290 pounds) also had offers from Kentucky, West Virginia and Western Kentucky. He is scheduled to take his official visit to Texas Tech on Nov. 9.

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It’s another week of college football, and eyes will be focused on several different things. Can Texas get out of its defensive funk? Will Baylor add more firepower to its already-loaded class? Can Kansas State return to its Big 12 champion ways? Will the world hear commitment announcements from any ESPN 300 players following official visits?

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

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On Monday, Baylor welcomed linebacker James David into its 2014 recruiting class. The Rockdale, Texas, native is the nation's No. 10 inside linebacker, but he also holds another distinction: He's Baylor's eighth commitment since May 31. That's a little less than one a day, but a heck of a run for the Bears.

It's also the Bears' 15th commit since May 1.

David's commitment gives Baylor 19 commits, making the Bears' class the biggest in the nation so far by four commits. Texas, Tennessee and Louisville all had 15 players committed as of Tuesday, but Baylor could be getting its dirty work on the recruiting trail done early.

Here's what our scouts say about David:
David is an explosive, rangy linebacker prospect who can be very disruptive when set free to attack. This is a pressure linebacker who plays the game fast and flows to the football with athletic movements. He looks for contact and is extremely tough and physical. He plays bigger than his sub-220-pound frame would indicate. Lacks ideal length and flexibility on the outside and might continue to bulk-up and play inside in college. He runs really well -- shows good sideline-to-sideline range and even better closing burst.

Most interesting to me? Three of Baylor's top five commits are defenders. Art Briles' reputation for offense is obvious, but upgrading the talent defensively is a huge key to continuing to build his program at Baylor. It's been the glaring weakness for most of his time there. That changed late last season and I see it continuing this year, but the Bears added ATH Davion Hall, the second commit of the class and No. 73 on the ESPN 150.

Only five of Baylor's 19 commits are ranked by ESPN.com at their position, but the Bears are currently No. 22 in our class rankings.

Here are the eight players who have joined the Bears' fold in the past two weeks:
Not a bad haul. The Bears' run of pure numbers is unlike anything we've seen in awhile in the Big 12. Eight commits in 10 days, including a pair of high-ranking players like David and Rockwell, is a welcome sign for any staff.

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