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Monday, January 27, 2014
Weekend recruiting wrap: Big 12

By Damon Sayles


As expected, this was one of the busiest weeks in the Big 12 from a recruiting standpoint. Teams were looking to fill in last-minute vacancies, and players were looking to finalize their college plans. TCU proved to be the big winner in the conference, landing six 2014 commits and two more commits from the 2015 class. Kansas wasn’t far behind, as the Jayhawks got verbal commitments from five three-star players for the 2014 class.

Here are some of this past week’s highlights:

Biggest commitments: With all of the commitments that happened in the Big 12, three-star tackle D.J. Williams (Lufkin, Texas/Lufkin) choosing Kansas and three-star cornerback Mike Johnson (Clearwater, Fla./Countryside) choosing Iowa State may have been the most important of the week. Defensive tackles are always important, and Williams brings an edge that could be beneficial in helping Kansas turn things around. He has good size and strength at 6-foot-3 and 270 pounds, and he plays with a mean streak. Johnson, a shade under 6 feet tall and 180 pounds, has great size at cornerback. He had offers from Florida State, Louisville, Arizona and others, so many feel Iowa State scored a major upset in landing a player with all-conference potential.

Biggest offer: He may be only a 2017 commit, but linebacker Dylan Moses (Baton Rouge, La./University Laboratory School) has what it takes to establish a recruiting class. A 6-foot-2, 219-pound linebacker, Moses was in attendance for Baylor’s junior day on Sunday, and he left the campus with a scholarship offer. Moses is committed to LSU, but he’s making visits all over the country. Moses has nearly a dozen offers as a freshman, and he is in a good spot to be considered a top-10 player in the ESPN 300 for the Class of 2017.

Most important visit: Junior days were happening all over Big 12 country, but TCU not only helped its 2014 class but also scored big for its 2015 class. Wide receiver Jarrison Stewart (Mesquite, Texas/Horn) and cornerback P.J. Mbanasor (Pflugerville, Texas/Hendrickson) verbally committed to the Horned Frogs following TCU’s junior day on Sunday. Stewart and Mbanasor became the fourth and fifth commits, respectively, for TCU’s 2015 class -- one that is expected to grab some key players this spring.

Adoree Jackson
Adoree' Jackson to the Big 12? He is still considering Oklahoma.
Biggest answer: Are any more ESPN 300 commits considering playing in the Big 12? The answer is yes. Cornerback Adoree' Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Serra), No. 9 in the ESPN 300, is still considering Oklahoma, while offensive lineman Braden Smith (No. 127; Olathe, Kan./Olathe South) is considering TCU. Running back Donte Thomas-Williams (No. 138; Durham, N.C./Hillside) has West Virginia high on his list, and safety Steven Parker II (No. 139; Jenks, Okla./Jenks) could choose Oklahoma or Oklahoma State. Defensive tackle Poona Ford (No. 266; Hilton Head, S.C./Hilton Head) has Texas high and could join coach Charlie Strong after decommitting from Louisville.

Biggest question: Now that Texas has lost ESPN 300 outside linebacker Otaro Alaka (Houston/Cypress Falls) to Texas A&M, who will the Longhorns find to replace him? Texas may not need to go after another linebacker, as it has ESPN 300 Edwin Freeman (Arlington, Texas/Bowie), four-star Cameron Hampton (Dallas/Carter) and three-star Andrew Beck (Tampa, Fla./Plant) committed, but the vacancy could be used to land a couple more last-minute studs. Ford is still a prime target, and the Longhorns are hoping to flip ESPN 300 athlete Nick Harvey (Richmond, Texas/Travis), a Texas A&M commit.