NCF Nation: Phillip Payne

ESPN the Magazine had a fascinating feature looking back at the past 25 No. 1 high school recruits, 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 look at 2006 in this post before eventually reaching 2010 and the current class, 2011, by signing day.


No. 6: DeMarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma. Murray set the school records for touchdowns (64) and all-purpose yards (6,498) as a Sooner. He's projected to be drafted on the first day of this year's NFL Draft.

No. 7: Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texas. Kindle was a finalist for the Butkus and Hendricks Awards and was a two-time All-Big 12 performer with 176 career tackles. He was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the second round last year's NFL Draft, but missed his rookie season after fracturing his skull in a fall on the stairs at his home.

No. 13: Jevan Snead, QB, Texas. Lost a quarterback battle to Colt McCoy following the 2005 season. Played sparingly as a freshman before transferring to Ole Miss. Went undrafted in 2010. Now plays for Arena League's Tampa Bay Storm.

No. 21: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma. McCoy was a Lombardi finalist, a three-time All-Big 12 performer, a two-time All-American who left Oklahoma after his junior season and was selected No. 3 overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2010 NFL Draft.

No. 22: Eddie Jones, DE, Texas. Jones just finished his career at Texas with an All-Big 12 honorable mention year in 2010. Finished his career with 111 tackles and 13.5 sacks.

No. 34: J'Marcus Webb, OT, Texas. Webb played one year at Texas before transferring to Navarro College and eventually West Texas A&M. He was drafted in the seventh round of the 2010 draft and spent the season with the Chicago Bears.

No. 36: Adron Tennell, WR, Oklahoma. Tennell finished his four-year career at Oklahoma with 40 catches, 505 yards and five touchdowns.

No. 42: Dustin Earnest, LB, Texas. Earnest finished his career in 2010 with 84 tackles and a sack for the Longhorns.

No. 45: Mike Goodson, RB, Texas A&M. Goodson was the Big 12 Freshman of the Year in 2006 with his career high 847 yards. He finished with 1,966 yards and 13 TDs in three seasons before being drafted in the fourth round by the Carolina Panthers.

No. 67: Phillip Payne, WR, Texas. Caught his first career pass in 2009, his third year at UT, before transferring after the season.

No. 75: Derek Burton, DE, Oklahoma State. Started 15 games in four years for the Cowboys, recording 67 career tackles.

No. 82: Ben Alexander, DT, Texas. Made four career starts, with 51 tackles and half a sack in 38 career appearances.

No. 104: Terrance Anderson, CB, Oklahoma State. Made 96 tackles in four years with the Cowboys. Had four career interceptions.

No. 110: Jonathan Nelson, CB, Oklahoma. Started all 14 games in 2010 for the Sooners after earning All-Big 12 honorable mention as a junior in 2009. Finished career with 155 tackles and five interceptions.

No. 111: Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma. Caught 111 passes for 1,629 yards and 26 touchdowns in three seasons, including an All-American season in 2008. Missed all of 2009 with knee injury. Drafted No. 21 overall in the 2010 draft by Cincinnati Bengals.

No. 137: Jeremy Beal, DE, Oklahoma. Had 224 tackles, 58.5 tackles for loss, and 29 sacks in four seasons, including three All-Big 12 seasons, an All-American season and was a Hendricks Award finalist in 2009. Projects as middle-round pick in 2011 NFL Draft.

No. 141: Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas State. Threw for 8,078 yards and 44 touchdowns and 34 interceptions in 35 career games. Also ran for 404 yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior. Drafted No. 17 overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Lunchtime Links

October, 26, 2010
It's Tuesday, so that means it's game day. Louisiana Tech travels to No. 3 Boise State in a game that will air on ESPN2. Who you got? Give me Boise State 49, Louisiana Tech 17.

Now on to some links:

Idaho senior linebacker JoJo Dickson broke his leg against New Mexico State and is out for the season, ending his college career.

Brandon Burton is a lockdown corner for Utah.

Fresno State is gearing up for a tough stretch.

The race is on for the second guaranteed bowl berth in the Sun Belt.

The numbers don't tell the full story for East Carolina.

A loss to East Carolina would likely knock UCF out of the Conference USA race.

Western Michigan defensive backs Damond Smith and Doug Wiggins say their on-fight disagreement was blown out of proportion.

Bowling Green and Central Michigan are desperate for a win.

Hawaii punt returner Ryan Henry is out for the season with a torn ACL.

Since joining FBS in 1987, Akron has never gone winless. The Zips are 0-8 with four games left.

UNLV has reinstated WR Phillip Payne.

Lunchtime Links

October, 8, 2010
We are here to help you get to the weekend with some links:

Boise State athletic director Gene Bleymaier understands why Utah canceled its series with the Broncos. "They’re saying, ‘OK, we’re going to play a Pac-10 schedule and we’re going to play BYU, why would we play Boise State?’ he told the Idaho Statesman. "And if you think about it, you can understand."

Southern Miss will be without top rusher Desmond Johnson for Saturday's game against East Carolina for violating team rules.

UNLV receiver Phillip Payne has been suspended for Saturday's game against West Virginia, possibly for a tweet critical of coach Bobby Hauck.

Brothers Ryan and Neil Basford face off when Navy plays Wake Forest.

Houston receiver Tyron Carrier had to hide his early football career from his mom, who refused to let him play following a severe asthma attack when he was 8.

BYU coaches haven't lost faith in Jake Heaps.

North Texas quarterback Chase Baine is ready for his chance to start.

FIU's top receiver, T.Y. Hilton, is struggling this season.

Central Michigan must now face Virginia Tech off a humbling loss.

Posted by's Ted Miller

If Oregon State's season had only started the second week of October the previous three years, who knows what might have happened?

The Beavers are 22-3 after Oct. 8 the past three seasons. And are 6-9 before.

After Oct. 8, they have three bowl wins. Before, they have nonconference road losses by 28, 31 and 31 points.

The Beavers probably feel ahead of the game starting 1-0, but they also did that in 2006 and 2007.
 Gene Lower/Getty Images
 The UNLV offense, led by Omar Clayton, was tied for first last season in red zone efficency.

Up next is a visit to UNLV on Saturday.

While many Oregon State fans are probably thinking, "Whew! That's not Penn State or even Boise State," the Rebels are not a gimme. They have 15 starters back -- seven on both sides of the ball plus their kicker -- and lots of other returners who saw action during a 5-7 season in 2008, which included a win at Arizona State. And recall that the Mountain West Conference wasn't too shabby last year, either.

Of most particular concern: The Rebels have an experienced quarterback in junior Omar Clayton -- who threw 18 touchdown passes a year ago with just four interceptions -- and a pair of receivers who are Pac-10 quality in Ryan Wolfe and Phillip Payne.

Clayton & Co. were particularly potent in the red zone. Get this: The Rebels tied Ohio State for No. 1 in red zone offense. Twenty-nine of 37 red zone opportunities ended in touchdowns, so we're not just talking about a bunch of field goals, either.

And, as mentioned a few times, the Beavers have four new starters in their secondary and just three starters back on defense.

"They are productive receivers and there's some experience there and in the spread offense," Oregon State coach Mike Riley said. "It's a lot of one-on-one coverage as you get going. They either run the ball or run the option or fake all that stuff and get you into one-on-one pass coverage. It's going to be a big challenge that way."

So this is a test of your Beavers Don't Start Slowly Again Network.

There's a second level of intrigue. Riley and UNLV coach Mike Sanford are tight. As in darn near best friends tight.

"I think he's the greatest guy in the world," Riley said.

(Riley was exaggerating. Everyone knows you are the greatest guy in the world. Or woman).

They have a long history working together, too. Sanford, a former USC quarterback, coached under Riley at USC and with the San Diego Chargers.

Sanford got his opportunity at UNLV in 2005 after a highly successful run as Urban Meyer's offensive coordinator at Utah. After a slow start, things seem to be trending up in Las Vegas.

"I see that improvement -- I know personally how hard it is to make those jumps," Riley said.

Friendship notwithstanding, the Beavers would like to make a jump to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2005 and see how that might affect the rest of the season.

Of course, that 2-0 start in 2005 was a prelude to a 5-6 finish, one of only two losing seasons that program has posted since 1999.