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Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Big 12 class rankings analysis

By Damon Sayles

Spikes by Arizona and North Carolina didn’t do much damage to Big 12 teams in the latest ESPN class rankings, but two teams did drop one spot.

Arizona skyrocketed from No. 32 to No. 23, and No. 20 North Carolina rose three spots to crack the top 20. While Texas and Baylor stayed put at the No. 7 and No. 17 spots, respectively, Oklahoma (No. 22) and Texas Tech (No. 31) each fell one spot. Oklahoma State remained at No. 29.

Here’s a more in-depth analysis at how the Big 12 is faring in the class rankings.

Trending up: Texas remained at No. 7, but a move into the top five could happen with a couple of big-time potential pickups. Still on the market are ESPN 300 prospects in cornerback Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen), safety Jamal Adams (Lewisville, Texas/Hebron) and defensive end Solomon Thomas (Coppell, Texas/Coppell), who all have expressed high interest in the Longhorns. While it’s uncertain when the trio will announce, landing at least one of the three would be huge for Texas.

Trending down: As good as Baylor’s class is, it ironically may be the school to watch in the rankings. When a school has 23 commitments, the head gets a lot closer to the ceiling compared to other schools in the conference. Baylor has an outstanding crop of talent, led by ESPN 300 receiver K.D. Cannon (Mount Pleasant, Texas/Mount Pleasant) and athlete Davion Hall (Texarkana, Texas/Liberty-Eylau), but landing one or two more equally talented players that will give Baylor a bump in the rankings gets even tougher.

One to watch: This weekend is the perfect opportunity for TCU to make an impact in the class rankings. The Horned Frogs will face LSU at AT&T Stadium (formerly Cowboys Stadium) in Arlington, Texas, and a strong showing -- coupled with a rowdy fan base -- could sway some players expected to be in attendance. TCU has made defense its staple, and there are several defensive stars still available. One player the Horned Frogs can land is defensive end Myles Garrett (Arlington, Texas/Martin), the No. 7 player in the ESPN 300.

Bold prediction: ESPN 300 safety/linebacker Edwin Freeman has Texas, Texas A&M and TCU high on his list, but LSU has come on strong in his process. When it’s time for Freeman to make an ultimate decision, look for him to stay in the Big 12. He’ll either choose Texas, one of his longtime favorites, or TCU, the school where his former head coach Kenny Perry now serves as director of high school relations.