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Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Big 12 class rankings analysis

By William Wilkerson

Things remained relatively quiet in the Big 12 in the latest ESPN class rankings, released Wednesday. Texas stayed put at No. 7, as did Baylor at No. 17. Oklahoma (No. 21) and Oklahoma State (No. 29) each dropped a spot. Texas Tech stayed put at No. 30 but could be on the verge of bigger things with the addition of its first linebacker pledge last week. A look at that and a few more storylines from the Big 12:

Trending up: Texas Tech stayed put at No. 30 in the latest class rankings but could make a move because of the potential for what’s to come after the commitment of its first linebacker Dakota Allen (Houston/Summer Creek). Allen, the No. 23 inside linebacker, committed on Friday. He is the Red Raiders’ top defensive recruit so far in the class. He gives Kliff Kingsbury a solid foundation to let other potential recruits know that that these types of defenders are making their way to Lubbock and that it’s not all about offense in west Texas.

Trending down: Being able to keep ESPN 300 wide receiver Allen Lazard (Urbandale, Iowa/Urbandale) in state was absolutely huge for Paul Rhoads at Iowa State. But fact of the matter is, the Cyclones haven’t been able to piggyback that commitment with the type of talent that will help Lazard thrive. They’d better in the next few months or they could see him jump ship to a bigger program.

One to watch: Keep an eye on West Virginia and how the Mountaineers handle the early part of the season. They’re a particularly hot program right now in that they’ve picked up 11 of their 13 verbal pledges since June. Will they be able to carry that momentum into the season? They’ve got some marquee games early (at Oklahoma on Sept. 7; vs. Oklahoma State on Sept. 28) that could be game-changers for them in the eyes of recruits.

Bold prediction: Alabama and Texas A&M are coming on strong, but TCU will end up with ESPN 300 offensive guard Braden Smith (Olathe, Kan./Olathe South). Having his sister on the track and field team in Fort Worth will really pay off for Gary Patterson and his team.