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Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Big 12 class rankings analysis

By William Wilkerson

The momentum train continues to roll right along in Lubbock, Texas, where first-year Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury has the Red Raiders off to a 4-0 start.

Their winning ways have benefited their recruiting efforts, too, as they have the No. 31 class overall in the latest ESPN RecruitingNation class rankings and have picked up three commitments in the last two weeks.

If they are to jump any of their conference foes in the rankings, it will have to be another week since there wasn’t any movement with the Big 12 schools.

Texas continues to lead the way with the No. 7 class, followed by Baylor at No. 17, Oklahoma at No. 22, Oklahoma State at No. 29 and West Virginia at No. 40.

Trending up: Texas Tech is off to a roaring start this season under the direction of first-year coach Kliff Kingsbury, and we’re not just talking on the football field. The Red Raiders have done an adequate job on the recruiting trail with 21 commitments to date, including three within the last two weeks. Three-star safety Connor Wilson (Argyle, Texas/Argyle) switched his commitment from Kansas State to Tech on Sept. 17, where he’ll join teammate Ian Sadler, the No. 53 wide receiver overall. The Red Raiders garnered a commitment from defensive tackle Keland McElrath (Clarksdale, Miss./Coahoma Community College) on Sept. 24, which will help given that Tech will lose three defensive linemen from its two-deep at season's end. The Red Raiders also picked up a commitment from junior college offensive tackle Drew Sarvary (Tyler, Texas/Tyler Junior College). Tech will continue to target defensive players moving forward since only seven of its commitments come from that side of the ball.

Trending down: Kansas State has some nice pieces in its 2014 recruiting class, but its early conference schedule could make it tough to acquire many more. The Wildcats lost their conference opener to Texas two weeks ago and now must travel to Oklahoma State to face a team angry after an upset loss at West Virginia. KSU then hosts Baylor, which is one of the hottest programs in the country right now. The Wildcats haven’t had a commitment since Aug. 7 and lost a commitment on Sept. 17 when Wilson switched to Texas Tech, which already had the commitment of his teammate, Sadler. Could their teammate, and current KSU commitment Sam Sizelove, be next?

One to watch: Four-star running back Corey Avery (Dallas/Carter) is one of the top uncommitted running backs left in the country. The No. 34 RB overall has plenty of suitor,s with Baylor, Iowa State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and West Virginia all tendering offers. Baylor and Texas Tech appear to be the two teams in the best position to land the versatile back, and a decision could come at any point now.

Bold prediction: ESPN 300 defensive back Nick Watkins (Dallas/Bishop Dunne) will end up at Texas. The Longhorns were the clear-cut leader for his commitment early, but things changed over time and Texas found itself on the outside looking in at schools such as Notre Dame, Alabama, Michigan, and a few others. The convenience of Austin only being a few hours from home will loom large for Texas, as will the heavy turnover the Longhorns are going to see in their secondary over the next couple of seasons. Early playing time could be in store for him.