Monday, February 3, 2014
Weekend recruiting wrap: Big 12
By Damon Sayles
The final week of official visits didn’t disappoint, as four Big 12 schools combined for eight commitments going into Wednesday’s signing day.
TCU was the big winner, landing four players in the 2014 class. Here are some of this past week’s highlights:
Getting the commitment of four-star defensive tackle Courtney Garnett was big for Oklahoma in several ways.
Biggest commitments: There were several good commitments -- among them, four-star receiver Corey McBride (Geismar, La./Dutchtown) to TCU and ESPN Junior College 50 offensive tackle Dominique Robertson (Riverside, Calif./Riverside Community College) to Texas Tech -- but Oklahoma picking up defensive tackle Courtney Garnett (New Orleans/St. Augustine) might be the biggest of the week. A four-star prospect, Garnett filled a major need for a strong defensive lineman commit. Prior to Garnett’s pledge, the Sooners had only two defensive lineman commits, and one of those is expected to attend junior college next season. Additionally, Garnett was once a Texas commit, so it’s a recruiting battle win against an archrival.
Biggest offer: The Sooners hosted their first junior day on Saturday, and Bob Stoops handed out three offers. Arguably the biggest of the three went to ESPN Junior 300 offensive lineman Conner Dyer (Mesquite, Texas/Horn), the nation’s 12th-ranked offensive guard. Dyer had previous offers from TCU, Stanford, UCLA, Texas A&M and several other programs, but an offer from the Sooners holds a lot of weight to the 6-foot-4, 276-pound lineman. Ranked No. 141 in the ESPN Junior 300, Dyer is a physical lineman who makes it a priority to play every snap with a chip on his shoulder.
Most important visit: ESPN 300 offensive lineman Braden Smith (Olathe, Kan./Olathe South) was in Fort Worth, Texas, over the weekend for an official visit to TCU. Per sources close to the situation, Smith had a very productive visit. The No. 127 prospect in the ESPN 300 and the top-ranked player in Kansas, Smith has TCU, Auburn and Texas A&M as his top three, but having the last official visit could be a huge advantage for the Horned Frogs as he prepares to announce on Wednesday.
Biggest answer: So many people were expecting offensive lineman Ty Barrett (Dallas/Skyline) to completely eliminate TCU from his recruiting process after decommitting from the Horned Frogs on Jan. 21. Barrett insisted that he wanted to reopen his process but TCU still was a contender, but many didn’t listen. He won a lot of friends back when he recommitted to the Horned Frogs six days later. A high three-star athlete, Barrett is a versatile offensive lineman who can play offensive tackle and center at the next level.
Biggest question: Four-star running back Corey Avery (Dallas/Carter) had a great time in Lawrence, Kan., for his official visit to Kansas. But will Avery ultimately choose the Jayhawks? Early last week, Kansas landed three-star prospect De'Andre Mann (Salinas, Calif./Hartnell Community College), the No. 5 junior college running back in the country. Mann was the second running back to commit to Kansas, joining four-star Traevohn Wrench (Gardner, Kan./Gardner Edgerton). Avery also has Nebraska and Texas high on his list and said he will announce either on signing day or the night before.