Print and Go Back ESPN.com: On The Trail: Midlands Region [Print without images]

Thursday, September 12, 2013
Big 12 recruiting storylines: Sept. 12

By William Wilkerson

Corey Avery
Corey Avery won't be in Lubbock for Thursday's game, but he could make a visit soon.
Change is happening in the Big 12. Some is good, and some is questionable. The good, it appears, is taking place in Lubbock, Texas, which will be the center of the college football world on Thursday. The questionable is happening in Austin, Texas, where a former Longhorns defensive coordinator has been summoned in to a second stint. Will it work and appeal to recruits? A look at these topics and more in Big 12 recruiting storylines.

All eyes on Lubbock
The stage couldn’t be set any more perfectly for Kliff Kingsbury to make his Big 12 debut as the head coach of his alma mater. Not only does Texas Tech host TCU to begin conference play, but it will also do so on Thursday. So you can bet all eyes will be on Lubbock to see what kind of atmosphere the Red Raiders can drum up for their fans, players and recruits who might be in attendance. It is a Catch 22 of sorts for Tech, though. Being that it’s a Thursday game, and Lubbock isn’t exactly a leisurely drive for many of their targets, there might not be as many recruits on campus as you’d think. Most have games on Friday, but that shouldn’t stop several recruits from making the trip. One name that won’t be in town but who Red Raider fans should certainly keep an eye on is four-star running back Corey Avery (Dallas/Carter). He is extremely high on Tech and could commit the next time he visits Lubbock, but it’ll have to be another weekend since Carter plays on Saturday.

Big week for new UT DC
Greg Robinson has his work cut out for him. Not only does Texas’ new defensive coordinator have to figure out a game plan to stop Ole Miss this weekend (he’ll have been on the job less than a week come kickoff), but he’ll have to do so knowing that recruits are going to be watching very closely to see if his schemes are something that interest them. That includes three-star Texas commitment Andrew Beck (Tampa, Fla./Plant), who plans on taking his official visit to Texas this weekend. He’s staying firm with his verbal pledge despite Manny Diaz being relieved of his defensive coordinator duties. But he needs answers to plenty of questions to keep it that way. Other players like ESPN 300 defensive end Solomon Thomas (Coppell, Texas/Coppell) have also expressed their desire to see the new defense before they can make a decision on the Longhorns.

Henderson mulling options
Keep an eye on three-star defensive tackle Zaycoven Henderson (Longview, Texas/Longview). He recently decommitted from TCU and several news outlets have reported that Texas is in the lead for his verbal pledge. We’ll have to see how Texas’ shift at defensive coordinator will affect him. He announced on Twitter that he was going to take visits to Florida, Ole Miss, Texas, South Carolina, Baylor and TCU. So the Horned Frogs aren’t out of it by any means.

TCU QB commit dominating
Foster Sawyer (Fort Worth, Texas/All Saints) could have gone to Alabama if he wanted. He could have headed up to Stillwater, Okla., Arizona State, Houston or Missouri. But he chose TCU and the Horned Frogs couldn’t be happier. Sawyer, the No. 13 pocket passer overall, has absolutely lit it up so far in 2013. In All Saints’ latest victory, a 64-7 win over Fort Worth Carter-Riverside, he completed 13-of-18 passes for 232 yards and five touchdowns in the first half. Through six quarters this season, Sawyer has completed 31-of-41 passes for 572 yards and 10 touchdowns. And he’s yet to throw an interception.

ESPN Junior 300 RB off to hot start
There’s a reason ESPN Junior 300 running back Chris Warren (Rockwall, Texas/Rockwall) is rated as the No. 10 RB in the country. He’s that good. Through two games this season, Warren has rushed 55 times for 525 yards (9.55 yards per carry average) and has eight touchdowns. Those touchdowns aren’t always of the short variety either. They’ve come on runs of 38, 35, 75, 75, 2, 53, 6 and 3 yards. Warren already has offers from Alabama, Baylor, Clemson, Mississippi State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, SMU, Texas, Texas Tech and Tulsa.