Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Big 12 class rankings analysis
By Damon Sayles
With the help of ESPN 300 prospects announcing their verbal commitments, two Big 12 schools saw a slight rise in the latest ESPN class rankings. Because of one Big 12 school’s rise, another Big 12 school took a slight fall in the rankings. Here’s a closer look at the rankings as it pertains to the conference.
Trending up: Oklahoma State saw the biggest rise of the conference -- and of the nation -- by jumping from No. 33 to No. 28. Only Oklahoma State and Florida saw ranking spikes of that caliber during the week. The Cowboys’ success stemmed from landing ESPN 300 CB Chris Hardeman (Houston/Alief Taylor) and three-star WR and high school teammate Keenen Brown. Both committed on Aug. 11. Hardeman, a former LSU commit, is a top-25 cornerback nationally, and Brown, at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, can be used as a reliable outside threat in Mike Gundy’s potent offense.
Trending down: Iowa State has 12 commitments but has still yet to pick up a second four-star commitment. ESPN 300 WR Allen Lazard (Urbandale, Iowa/Urbandale) was the Cyclones’ first commitment of the 2014 class, but he is the only four-star pledge thus far. There are still several big-name athletes to keep an eye on -- both high school and junior college -- and the Cyclones could use some help on the defensive line and at linebacker.
One to watch: Keep an eye on Oklahoma. In past years, the Sooners have been the team to start slow and finish strong in the recruiting process. With the summer almost over, this is around the time the world sees Oklahoma’s rise. Currently, the Sooners have 12 commitments -- the latest coming from Mark Andrews (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain), the nation’s No. 8 tight end -- but they are in the running for quite a few big-name recruiting targets. What really makes Oklahoma one to watch is how well it can recruit in and out of state. Nine of its 12 commits are out-of-state pledges, and four of those nine are not from the neighboring state of Texas.
Bold prediction: Baylor is sitting pretty with 23 commitments -- but there is room for the Bears to pick up one more big name. The Bears have six four-star commits, including ESPN 300 players in WR K.D. Cannon (Mount Pleasant, Texas/Mount Pleasant), ATH Davion Hall (Texarkana, Texas/Liberty-Eylau) and ILB James David (Rockdale, Texas/Rockdale), but the 2014 class is still without a quarterback. Three-star dual-threat QB Randall Cunningham II (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman) would fit in the system well. The 6-5, 180-pound quarterback has offers from Baylor, LSU, Kansas State and UNLV -- his famous father’s alma mater. Cunningham also is an outstanding track and field athlete. Some may say his athletic résumé resembles a former Baylor star -- 2011 Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III.