- Jeremy Crabtree, RecruitingNation
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Inspired by Florida's "#ComePlayWRFortheJoker" campaign, our recruiting writers looked at other ways schools can sell themselves on the trail. Here's a look at recruiting pitches for the Big 12:
What they’re selling: The new 45,000-seat, $250-million on-campus stadium that will open in 2014. Recruiting is an arms race, and players like fancy stadiums and locker rooms, and Baylor’s upgrade puts them finally on the same level playing field as everybody else in the Big 12.
What they're missing: Help on defense -- specifically at defensive line and defensive back.
What they’re selling: Paul Rhoads. He grew up miles from the campus and has helped turn around Iowa State with a physical and fundamentally sound style of football.
What they're missing: A true home-run threat at receiver.
What they’re selling: Charlie Weis. He’s taken risks (juco infusion), repaired relationships with area high school coaches and widened KU’s recruiting pool.
What they're missing: Wins. When you’ve won only one conference game in three years, a little bit of everything is missing.
What they’re selling: Bill Synder. The plan has worked for years in Manhattan. K-State doesn’t care how many stars a player has attached to his name, a player only earns an offer from K-State unless Snyder personally signs off on it after a lengthy review. It’s a plan that produced a No. 1 BCS ranking and a Big 12 championship in 2012.
What’s missing: I’ve been told by coaches for years that the most difficult position to recruit is defensive tackle. That’s why you often see even average defensive tackles rack up double-digit offers, and finding good depth at defensive tackle has been very difficult to do at K-State.
What they’re selling: Oklahoma is proud of its football tradition, and few schools can match the Sooners’ track record for success, facilities and ability to prepare you for the next level.
What they're missing: A renewed focus on evaluating players. It’s what differentiated Bob Stoops’ staff when they started, and it’s how they found players like Sam Bradford, Josh Heupel, Juaquin Iglesias and Donald Stephenson. All at the time were considered to be three-star recruits but wound up being impact players for the Sooners.
What they’re selling: Their ability to evaluate and develop offensive talent.
What they're missing: Elite players in the Lone Star State. With the best facilities in the conference, it might be just enough to get kids to visit.
What they’re selling: Few in the nation can offer up the type of atmosphere, fan base, tradition and total student-athlete package like Texas can.
What they're missing: A true a difference-maker at quarterback. The last two Heisman Trophy winners have come from Texas high schools, and the Longhorns didn’t recruit one heavily and recruited the other as an athlete.
What they’re selling: The Horned Frogs recruit to their style of smash-mouth play on both sides of the ball and don’t care how many stars a recruit has. It hurts them some in the recruiting rankings, but it helps them win a lot of ball games.
What they're missing: BCS conference depth. Heading into their second season in the Big 12 after a 7-6 season, the biggest thing the Horned Frogs need to do is to build the roster to be able to compete year in and year out in the BCS conference.
What they’re selling: The Red Raiders went through a transition that brought Kliff Kingsbury to Lubbock, and the early reception has been nothing short of positive.
What they're missing: The Red Raiders have never had issues putting up points on people, but under Tommy Tuberville and Mike Leach there was little defense being played.
What they’re selling: WVU is a force in the Atlantic region, can recruit well in Pennsylvania and is arguably one of the best schools at identifying offensive talent in the JC ranks.
What they're missing: The 2014 class will have to be all about rebuilding in Morgantown, as the needs are mounting while several impact players have moved on.