Oklahoma Sooners: Dylan Harding

Big 12 ESPN 300 analysis 

October, 29, 2013
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With the release of the latest ESPN 300, some players saw jumps while others took slight falls. And then there were some, such as one particular Houston wide receiver still looking to make a name for himself as a varsity football player, who saw their rankings skyrocket.

Here’s an update on some of the highs and lows of players either committed to, targeted by or living near Big 12 programs:

Most important targets: Big 12 

October, 22, 2013
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Not surprisingly, Big 12 programs have filled their rosters with ESPN 300 recruits. But, as we’ve come to learn, success on the field doesn’t always come down to how many stars you acquire each recruiting cycle. It’s about filling needs with the types of players coveted by that particular program.

Here is a look at the most important target for each Big 12 school, which features some highly ranked recruits and other recruits with no ranking at all.


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Big 12 recruiting mailbag

October, 4, 2013
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In this week's Big 12 mailbag we take a look at Baylor's chances of landing a former NFL quarterback's son, if Texas' loan quarterback commitment will stick around, an underrated safety commitment for the Pokes and the Longhorns' odds on two ESPN 300 recruits.

Andrew Smith: Do you think Baylor will snag RCII?

"RCII," for those not aware, is the moniker given to Randall Cunningham II, the son of former NFL quarterback Randall Cunningham and a three-star 2014 quarterback out of Las Vegas Bishop Gorman. Cunningham (6-foot-5, 180 pounds) has an offer from Baylor as well as Arizona State, Kansas State, LSU, Mississippi State, Syracuse, UNLV, Utah and Yale.

I think the Bears have a great shot at landing him, personally. In fact, I think it will come down to the Bears and Oregon, which he unofficially visited over the weekend. Baylor has yet to garner a commitment from a quarterback in 2014 but did sign Chris Johnson, the No. 5 dual-threat quarterback in 2013.


Michael Molina: Why won't Texas use Tyrone Swoopes now? Win now and Jerrod Heard keeps his commitment to Texas. No matter what happens this year, Mack has got to go. I'd like to see Art Briles or Charlie Strong as head coach. Anyways do you think Heard stays with Texas? Thanks.

I believe that Heard will stick with the Longhorns, yes. Publicly he says all the right things and has never given me a reason to believe he won’t end up at UT. He always has been quick to defend Texas and has formed great relationships with most of the recruits in UT's class right now. I also think he sees how things are shaping up for him to see the field for a minimum of two seasons as the starter. I do believe Swoopes will burn his redshirt at some point this season, thus setting in motion the chain of events that will give Heard the opportunity to compete for the starting job in 2015.


Robert Thomas: @ESPNwilkerson How underrated is S Dylan Harding out of Jenks? Produces like a 4-star or ESPN300 prospect #AskBig12.

Count me a fan. I think he compares favorably to Erik Huhn, who signed with the Longhorns last season. Harding is a bit underrated in my book but certainly isn’t to college programs. Just look at his offers list. As his scouting report notes, he could see early PT on special teams, and situational playing time early in his career is a definite possibility. You wonder if he has the pull to get Steven Parker to OSU, as well. Would be a lethal secondary.


Chris Conaty: What ESPN 300 recruits should TCU fans be expecting the Frogs to sign?

The obvious one here is ESPN 300 offensive lineman Braden Smith (Olathe, Kan./South). TCU feels really good about their chances with him for numerous reasons. One, there are family ties there with his sister currently throwing for their track and field team. Two, early playing time looks likely, and he is very comfortable in Fort Worth. Another name to keep an eye on is the state of Texas’ top player Myles Garrett (Arlington, Texas/Martin). It’s going to be tough to keep him away from the SEC. But if he does stray away from that conference, I see him in the Big 12 at TCU. Work to be done there for sure.


Trey Briggs: Willie, who would win in a swimming race: Case McCoy or David Ash?

Wilkerson: Tough to say, but I’ll give the nod to Ash right now. For what reason, I have no clue.


Nathan Goldstein: Is Jamal Adams leaning toward one school? Is Texas in the mix? And is Solomon Thomas a likely Texas commit.

Let’s go last to first here. Texas has always felt comfortable with their positioning when it comes to Thomas. He has visited UT's campus more than any other but hasn't visited in a while. Stanford really appeals to him, so I will give the Cardinal a slight edge. But there are several other schools in the mix. Adams seems to really be feeling Florida and Texas A&M right now. Texas needs a good showing against Oklahoma State, when Adams could potentially be in attendance.


Alfio Randall-Veasey: Can Texas have the No. 1 class in recruiting again. Haven’t been since #99baby #HookEm.

It's going to be a while, Alfio but I do think it will happen again. You've got to put some things into perspective here. Texas is one of a few schools that can maintain the type of success in recruiting they have with the lack of success on the field over the last four years. Winning cures all.

Top Big 12 recruiting rivalries 

October, 1, 2013
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Recruiting rivalries. No matter if two teams are pushing for a national title or in a rebuilding stage, recruiting gets the people going. Nothing ruffles the feathers of recruiting fans more than monitoring the process of a player considering one school and its big rival.

Here are five of the better recruiting rivalries going right now in the Big 12.


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Big 12 recruiting mailbag

September, 20, 2013
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In this week’s Big 12 mailbag we take a look at the likelihood of an ESPN 300 defensive back ending up at Oklahoma State, some concerns in Longhorns country, the latest on Iowa State and plenty more.

@Cylights: Any #Cyclones news?

You’re in luck. The Cyclones picked up their first commitment since July 25 on Monday with three-star athlete Dedric Brinson. Brinson (6-foot-1, 175 pounds) had plenty of other offers, including from Duke, Indiana, Marshall, Massachusetts, Central Florida, Wake Forest and Wisconsin. But he chose to travel out of state to play for Paul Rhodes and gives ISU another playmaker. The Cyclones already have commitments from ESPN 300 wide receiver Allen Lazard (Urbandale, Iowa/Urbandale), three-star running back Tommy Mister (Chicago, Ill./Saint Rita), three-star RB Martinez Syria (Houston/Nimitz), three-star WR Orion Salters (Dallas/Jesuit), three-star tight end Scott Schaffner (Peculiar, Mo./Ray-Pec)and three-star WR Jauan Wesley (Harvey, Ill./Thornton Township).




@Roberrttthom: It feels like Steven Parker is slightly favoring Oklahoma State right now, what are the chances that they land him?

They’re good. But I do believe OU and Texas A&M are just as much in the mix as they have been over the past few months. A few things to take into consideration regarding OSU’s chances: 1. Playing time at safety should be up for grabs with the upcoming graduation of Shamiel Gary and Daytawion Lowe. 2. He’s constantly hearing about OSU from current Pokes commitment and teammate Dylan Harding. It’s going to be Bedlam for his commitment. See what I did there?




@todd_spurgin: Do you think OU's recruiting is going to continue to be such a struggle getting big nasties/linebackers?

For the foreseeable future? Possibly. But I do think the Sooners will get it figured out by the time it’s all said and done. They missed out on a few guys who I thought they’d have right now in Ty Barrett and Frank Kee.




@JC22101022: What are recruits (who are considering Texas for this year and the future) saying about Texas current program state?

There are a few major concerns, which are completely understandable. The first, and obvious one, is Mack Brown’s future. If he goes you could see Texas recruiting take a hit if it doesn’t hire a home-run replacement. If he does stay, will the program have improved by year’s end? These recruits want to see if Texas can win like these players saw while they were growing up. You’ve got to remember, when these players were growing up, Texas was winning 10-plus games a season. There is also concern about Greg Robinson and the direction of this defense. Will he be the defensive coordinator long term? How will he relate to recruits if he is?




@msturdy51: Who do you see the Sooners getting in the upcoming weeks?

A few names to keep an eye on are Rowlett (Texas) defensive tackle Cedric Johnson, and Arizona linebacker commitments Jamardre Cobb and Marquis Ware. Johnson visited in the spring and one more visit could seal the deal. As for the LBs, they are committed to Arizona but are still going to take an official visit to OU on Oct. 4. That will be the Sooners’ best chance to add another California linebacker to their 2014 class.




@LundbergLance: My Horns haven’t been so hot as everyone knows the last few years. When will recruiting take a big hit because of that?

In some ways, it’s already affected them. You saw that during the 2013 recruiting cycle when numerous players decommitted. That never used to happen at UT under Mack Brown. You’ve seen two players decommit already in 2014. But where it could really hurt Texas is in 2015. The state is loaded with players who have high interest in the Longhorns but won’t commit unless they see improvement. Texas needs to win or risk losing out on a big opportunity in 2015.

ESPN 300 DB Parker talks potential visits 

September, 16, 2013
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The Backyard Bowl, the game pitting Oklahoma high school football powers Jenks and Tulsa Union, is one of the biggest football attractions of the Sooner State -- on any level. More than 19,000 fans were in attendance Friday to watch the two teams play at the University of Tulsa's Chapman Stadium.

ESPN 300 safety Steven Parker (Jenks, Okla./Jenks) did his part to help his team beat Union, 20-16. In addition to offering his normal defensive back duties, Parker also finished the game with four catches for 89 yards, including a 47-yard reception early in the game.

Parker showed his versatility in the win, and that versatility is going to make one college program very happy next season.

For which school? That’s for Parker to announce -- at a later date.


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Weekend recruiting wrap: Big 12 

September, 9, 2013
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The talk of the Big 12 circled around the meltdown of the Texas defense, which ultimately led to the dismissal of defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. While that went on, Baylor put up 70 points and a school-record 781 total yards against Buffalo, and Oklahoma topped West Virginia in the only interconference battle of the week.

While Big 12 teams had their storylines, a few conference recruiting targets also managed to make headlines. Here are some of the highlights from the weekend.


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Big 12 recruiting storylines: Sept. 5 

September, 5, 2013
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College football is in full effect, but high school football opened with a bang as well. From SportsCenter-worthy catches to conflicting reports about a Big 12 commit -- or decommit, depending on which side you believe -- the weekend is expected to provide a lot of enthusiasm and excitement.

Here’s a look at some of the Big 12 storylines:


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Weekend wrap: Big 12 recruiting 

August, 5, 2013
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It was a busy weekend for commitments around the Big 12 with over half of its universities garnering commitments. Here is a look at some of the bigger names that gave their verbal pledges and some key developments in the recruitment of an ESPN 300 safety.


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When Oklahoma needs help, it often dips into the remaining in-state talent. The Sooners can do that for the Class of 2014. There are plenty of options.

In the last three weeks, SoonerNation has profiled the OKPreps 14 for ’14, but there are definitely even more targets out there if OU chooses to pursue them.


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Five from Friday: Rodriguez's big day 

September, 3, 2012
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Every week through football season, SoonerNation writer Bob Przybylo will reveal five things he learned while out on the road watching the best prospects in the Midlands area play football:

1. The maturation process of 2014 QB Justice Hansen continues. The Edmond (Okla.) Santa Fe quarterback took another step Thursday in the season opener. Edmond Santa Fe trailed 27-8 at Midwest City, Okla., only to rally to a 50-42 victory. Hansen was 19-of-29 for 287 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. He also rushed for two scores. “We just had to get our focus back. It’s a little different this season because everybody is gunning for us,” Hansen said. “This was a good first step. We definitely wanted this one.”


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