NCF On The Trail: Big 12

Best of the visits: Big 12

September, 21, 2014
Sep 21
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Collectively, it was a slow week in the Big 12, as only four of the 10 teams competed in three combined games. One of those teams, Kansas State, played in a Thursday-night thriller against Auburn.

From a quality standpoint, the only game pitting Big 12 foes -- Oklahoma at West Virginia -- was one of the best games of Saturday. The Sooners topped the Mountaineers, but there were several recruits who left Morgantown with a positive outlook on the West Virginia program.

ESPN 300 cornerback Jordan Whitehead was on an official visit, and it’s almost a guarantee the Pennsylvania standout was getting positive feedback not only from the coaches and his player hosts, but also 2016 quarterback and fellow Pennsylvanian Jeremiah Jones, who committed to West Virginia nearly two weeks ago.

 

Three players who also took in the rowdy environment in Morgantown were ESPN 300 defensive tackle Tim Settle, ESPN Junior 300 quarterback Dwayne Haskins and rising 2017 defensive back Damani Neal. Tennessee, Penn State and Clemson are frontrunners for Settle, the nation’s No. 3 defensive tackle in the 2015 class, while Haskins, the nation’s No. 2 pocket-passing quarterback in the 2016 class, is nearing 30 offers. Both would admit the West Virginia atmosphere was hard to ignore.

 

Big 12's top recruiting visits 

September, 19, 2014
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It's a super-slow week of football for the Big 12.

How slow? Only three games were on tap this week, and one of those -- Kansas State hosting Auburn -- was played on Thursday.

Weeks like these are rare, but it gives both West Virginia and Kansas the opportunity to put on a show -- for the recruits in attendance and for those who will be watching on TV. West Virginia gets a huge test in a home game and conference opener against Oklahoma. Additionally, Kansas will look to improve to 2-1 as it hosts Central Michigan.

Numbers tell us it’s USC that rules the roost over the years with the top-ranked prospects in California. Plus, UCLA has officially signed Josh Rosen, the Bruins’ most important recruit in years, to a financial aid agreement.

1. Since ESPN started ranking players in 2006, only four different schools have signed the top player in California. Those four schools are USC, Colorado, Washington and Notre Dame. You could say five if you count Eddie Vanderdoes as a Bruin signee in the 2013 class, but he did ink with Notre Dame on signing day and later transferred to UCLA. During that timeframe, though, USC has signed the top California player in the 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2014 classes. The Trojans have a good shot at doing it again in 2015 as many insiders believe five-star cornerback Iman Marshall is USC’s to lose.

[+] EnlargeDeon Cain
Tom Hauck for Student SportsClemson commit Deon Cain has 184 yards passing yards and 197 yards rushing in two games.
2. There was never, ever any doubt about how solid No. 1 ranked pocket-passing quarterback Josh Rosen was to UCLA. But Rosen, the No. 19 player in the country, took his commitment to the next level on Monday when he signed a financial aid agreement with the Bruins. Rosen remains the top-ranked prospect to commit to a Pac 12 program, and in my opinion, he is also the most important recruit in the conference with the Bruins’ quarterback race next season expected to be wide open since most UCLA observers believe Brett Hundley will depart for the NFL after his junior season.

3. How good has Clemson commit Deon Cain been in Tampa Bay (Florida) Tech’s first two games of the season? Cain, the nation’s No. 25 player, has been so good that Tech coach Jayson Roberts said he’s going to have to find somebody else to help do something on offense because he’s afraid he’s going to “break Deon’s back” from carrying the load. “Deon has been about 90 percent of our offense,” Roberts said. “The good thing is that he’s doing exactly what we want him to do, but the bad thing is that somebody else on the team is going to have to step up to help him out. But he’s been doing a tremendous job for us.” So far, Cain has 184 yards passing and 197 yards rushing in two games. He’s also caught a few passes and is returning punts and kickoffs. “He’s doing everything but driving the bus for us,” Roberts said.

Social Studies
There’s little doubt as to which school ESPN 300 quarterback Sheriron Jones is committed to. Check out the picture he posted Tuesday on his birthday.



Schools tweet posts like this one sent out by Baylor Tuesday and fans think they’re meant for them. Wrong. Tweets like these are meant to impress recruits and what’s scary is that the Bears have another good receiver in the 2015 class heading to Waco. Don’t forget about ESPN 300 receiver longtime Baylor commit Devontre Stricklin. He’s got the talent to be a huge impact player for the Bears.



The Under Armour All-America jersey tour continued on Tuesday with Auburn offensive line commitment Bailey Sharp receiving his jersey on Tuesday. To read more about the tour check out RecruitingNation’s coverage.


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Weekend recruiting wrap: Big 12 

September, 16, 2014
Sep 16
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The upcoming week for the Big 12 will be quiet, as only three games featuring conference teams will take place -- one of those occurring on Thursday. Fortunately, the conference is coming off a dynamic week of football that featured big-time commitments for Oklahoma.


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Early Offer: Could LSU lose RB pledge? 

September, 15, 2014
Sep 15
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Should LSU fans be worried that Tigers running back commit Nick Brossette plans to take official visits to other schools, and South Carolina's defense is about to get even better thanks to JUCO linebacker Davon Durant?


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Big 12 recruiting scorecard

September, 15, 2014
Sep 15
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Not many new commitments to break down this time around in our weekly check-in on Big 12 recruiting, but that doesn't mean these coaching staffs haven't been busy. Here's the latest on who's taking visits and who's impressing so far in their senior seasons:

BAYLOR
Total commits:
12
ESPN 300 commits: 3
The latest: Blake Lynch is making the Bears look awfully smart for accepting his early commitment in 2013. The Gilmer, Texas, four-star athlete wowed this weekend against Tatum with 93 rushing yards, 115 receiving yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winning score. He played quarterback as a junior but has transitioned into a true offensive weapon since transferring to Gilmer.

IOWA STATE
Total commits: 10
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: No commitments came in this weekend, but it'll be interesting to see how Iowa State's last-second win over Iowa impacts their in-state recruiting battles going forward. For example, could that win and some positive momentum help ISU's chances with 2016 linemen John Raridon and Jake Heinrich? No doubt Paul Rhoads and his coaches will be talking about that game for the next year while recruiting.

KANSAS
Total commits:
13
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: KU has not landed a new commitment in almost a month and a half, and a blowout loss to Duke isn't going to help its efforts on the trail much either. One commit whose season is off to a nice start: three-star RB Taylor Martin has racked up 323 rushing yards and seven TDs this year at Fort Worth (Texas) Dunbar.

KANSAS STATE
Total commits: 10
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: A Thursday night game, no matter how gigantic the opponent, isn't necessarily ideal for bringing in a bunch of official visitors. K-State is reportedly expecting to have three-star RB Alex Barnes and junior college DT Deonte Reynolds in the house when Auburn comes to the The Little Apple. Both are taking midweek official visits, and they're critical targets for the Wildcats on what should be a pressure-packed week.

OKLAHOMA
Total commits:
13
ESPN 300 commits: 6
The latest: The Sooners hosted their biggest official visit weekend of the season and secured two pledges Saturday, from ESPN 300 safety Will Sunderland Jr. and junior college lineman Jamal Danley. The long-awaited pregame commitment from Sunderland was huge, but so was getting ESPN 300 studs Keisean Lucier-South, Kendall Sheffield, Ricky DeBerry and Neville Gallimore and four-stars Kahlil Haughton and Anthony McKee on campus.

OKLAHOMA STATE
Total commits: 12
ESPN 300 commits: 3
The latest: The Pokes added to a promising offensive line class last week with 6-foot-7 offensive tackle Deya Mhiesen, a junior college lineman who can enroll in January. Mhiesen took an official visit to Baylor's season opener, then attended OSU's 40-23 win over Missouri State and decided to pull the trigger. He'll have three years of eligibility at OSU.

TCU
Total commits:
16
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: The Horned Frogs had several commits in the stands Saturday for their 30-7 beatdown of Minnesota, including WR Jarrison Stewart and DT Joseph Broadnax, along with Baylor commit CB Ke'Shawn Somerville, DE Andrew Fitzgerald and several more intriguing recruits in the 2016 class.

TEXAS
Total commits: 15
ESPN 300 commits: 7
The latest: Texas hosted some big-time recruits at AT&T Stadium for its 20-17 loss to UCLA, including top ESPN 300 targets Malik Jefferson and Ryan Newsome, ESPN Junior 300 WR Reggie Hemphill and commits DeShon Elliott, Charles Omenihu and Connor Williams. Two attendees who could end up in this class: three-star center Tyler Moore and Purdue three-star cornerback commit Isaac Warren.

TEXAS TECH
Total commits: 9
ESPN 300 commits: 3
The latest: The Red Raiders were not able to get Tyron Johnson, the nation's No. 2 receiver prospect, in town this weekend for his official visit due to a scheduling conflict, but he's expected to make it out to Lubbock on Oct. 11 when Tech hosts West Virginia. Tech did have ESPN 300 QB signee Jarrett Stidham, four-star commit OG Conner Dyer and three-star DE Jalen Bates in attendance.

WEST VIRGINIA
Total commits: 17
ESPN 300 commits: 2
The latest: With Oklahoma coming to town this weekend, expect a lot of talent on the West Virginia sideline before Saturday's big game. Among those reportedly expected to attend on official visits are ESPN 300 CB Jordan Whitehead and four-star ATH Tim Irvin.

Early Offer: Sunderland a key get for OU 

September, 14, 2014
Sep 14
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Oklahoma landed two high-profile recruits this weekend, but scoring a pledge from ESPN 300 safety Will Sunderland Jr. is about as big as it gets. Plus, Boston College will be able to use its victory over then top-10 USC as a big selling point on the recruiting trail.


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Best of the visits: Big 12

September, 14, 2014
Sep 14
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Last week was an atrocious week, results wise, for the Big Ten, and college football fans were wondering if the Big 12 would be next in line to suffer a similar week from top to bottom. Turned out, the week wasn’t as bad as some anticipated.

Seven of the 10 conference teams played against Power 5 opponents, and Oklahoma, TCU, West Virginia and Iowa State all walked away as winners. Additionally, Oklahoma State beat a UTSA team that is earning its stripes with each week.

Oklahoma’s game against Tennessee may have been the most anticipated throughout the conference. The Sooners hosted a large group of recruits and ultimately landed two big-time commits in ESPN 300 DB Will Sunderland Jr. and highly touted junior college OT Jamal Danley.
While the Sooners added to their 2015 class, their performance against Tennessee also aided in garnering added interest from the 2016 class. ESPN Junior 300 QB Shane Buechele was in Norman and took to Twitter to show his love for the environment. TCU scored a win against Minnesota, and three-star DT Joseph Broadnax was one of the athletes in attendance. Broadnax also is being courted by Baylor, North Texas and several other schools, but he's been a solid Horned Frogs commit since February. AT&T Stadium was the host of a competitive affair between Texas and UCLA. The event featured several visitors. One of the most popular was ESPN 300 LB Malik Jefferson, who not only took time to take pictures with multiple fans ... ... but also had one of the best seats in the house. Texas didn't get the win, but it still has the support of two important commits on the defensive side in ESPN 300 DB DeShon Elliott and three-star DE Charles Omenihu both were in attendance letting fans know their commitments are strong.

Early Offer: OU's big chance to impress 

September, 11, 2014
Sep 11
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Oklahoma is the place to be this weekend as the Sooners are bringing in a number of elite recruits for what is shaping up to be the biggest recruiting weekend by any program so far, and despite losing last week to Virginia Tech it looks like Ohio State is still in good shape with prospects.


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To win at the highest level in the SEC, Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze knows he has to recruit well in Memphis, Tennessee, and Charlie Strong's job of returning Texas to the top just got more difficult after the loss to BYU this past weekend.


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Weekend recruiting wrap: Big 12 

September, 9, 2014
Sep 9
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It was a relatively slow week in regards to big-game matchups between Big 12 opponents, but Oklahoma State and Texas each landed commits last weekend. The Cowboys picked up a big commit -- figuratively and literally -- who could help the offensive line immediately next season.


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Big 12 recruiting scorecard

September, 8, 2014
Sep 8
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After a one-week hiatus, the Big 12 recruiting scorecard returns to keep you up-to-date with what’s happening on the recruiting trail for your favorite Big 12 squad. Here is the latest around the Big 12 on the recruiting trail during the past two weeks:

BAYLOR
Total commits: 12
ESPN 300 commits: 3
The latest: Baylor landed another player likely to end up among its scoring leaders with a verbal from kicker Drew Galitz (Rowlett, Texas/Rowlett). The three-star prospect is the nation’s No. 3 kicker and picked the Bears over an offer from Miami (Fla.).

IOWA STATE
Total commits: 10
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: The Cyclones had several unofficial visitors over the weekend including Urbandale (Iowa) offensive guard Caleb Bright, a Class of 2016 prospect.

KANSAS
Total commits: 13
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: Three-star quarterback Ryan Willis of Shawnee Mission, Kansas/Bishop Miege remains the lynchpin of this class after picking the Jayhawks over Illinois and Kansas State.

KANSAS STATE
Total commits: 10
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: Quarterback Alex Delton has officially signed with the Wildcats, inking his financial aid agreement in late August. The three-star prospect from Hays, Kansas is the lone quarterback in Bill Snyder’s class of 2015.

OKLAHOMA
Total commits: 11
ESPN 300 commits: 5
The latest: The Sooners are looking at arguably their biggest recruiting weekend when Tennessee visits on Saturday. Current commits P.J. Mbanasor and John Humphreys along with linebacker target Cassius Peat are among the list of prospects expected to visit for the primetime matchup.

OKLAHOMA STATE
Total commits: 11
ESPN 300 commits: 3
The latest: The Cowboys have been on a roll in recent days with Covington (Louisiana) St. Pauls receiver Jalen McCleskey picking the Pokes over offers from Air Force, South Florida, Southern Mississippi and others.

TCU
Total commits: 16
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: Manvel (Texas) quarterback D’Eriq King reported a TCU offer last week. The No. 196 player in the ESPNJr300 has offers from Texas Tech, Clemson, Michigan State, UCLA and others.

TEXAS
Total commits: 15
ESPN 300 commits: 7
The latest: The Longhorns added a commitment from Coppell (Texas) offensive tackle Connor Williams. The three-star prospect picked UT over OU, Kansas State, TCU, Texas Tech, Ohio State, UCLA and others.

TEXAS TECH
Total commits: 9
ESPN 300 commits: 3
The latest: The Red Raiders began their serious pursuit of Clemson commit J.C. Clark, a Class of 2016 prospect from Argyle, Texas. The three-star tight end also boasts offers from Arizona State, Duke and Colorado State.

WEST VIRGINIA
Total commits: 17
ESPN 300 commits: 2
The latest: Mountaineers’ commitment Kevin Williams (Pompano Beach, Florida/Blanche Ely) made his official visit to Morgantown, West Virginia over the weekend. The three-star safety prospect picked WVU over Florida and Syracuse.

Best of the visits: Big 12

September, 7, 2014
Sep 7
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The Big 12 saw Texas take one of its worst home losses in nearly 20 years, Kansas State struggle with Iowa State, Texas Tech narrowly pull off a win against UTEP and Kansas hold off Southeast Missouri State.

Yikes.

Fortunately for the Big 12 conference, Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and West Virginia all cruised to easy wins. When the smoke clears after all of the close calls, seven of the nine schools competing Saturday will have victories, and several recruits were on hand to check out the various campus environments.

Oklahoma State, which beat Missouri State, 40-23, had ESPN 300 OL Joshua Wariboko in attendance, along with his brother, 2016 CB Max Wariboko. They were with 2015 teammate, DB Gary Woods II, and 2015 CB Robert Charlton.


West Virginia rolled in a 54-0 win over Towson, and several athletes were in attendance. Among those were 2016 DE/OLB commit Logan Thimons and 2016 QB Elijah Cunningham, who took in the game with Springboro, Ohio, teammates.


Saturday was a chance for Texas to make a major statement, but BYU had other plans. ESPN 300 TE Will Gragg was scheduled to be in Austin, but he changed his official visit plans to visit Texas in October. He didn't get to see BYU's 41-7 win against the Longhorns. DT commit Du'Vonta Lampkin, however, was in Austin for the game. While he wasn't pleased with the result, he showed on social media that one loss wouldn't allow him to waver.

Big 12's top recruiting visits 

September, 5, 2014
Sep 5
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The marquee matchups of college football aren’t in the Big 12 this weekend. Many will be watching Texas to see if it can gain revenge against a BYU team that rushed for 550 yards against the Longhorns last season. Others will be watching Iowa State host Kansas State in the first conference game of the year. Additionally, Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, West Virginia and Kansas all will be looking to score home victories.

Here are three visit weekends to keep an eye on.


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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting news across the country. Today’s offerings: George Campbell is one of the most highly sought after players in the country, but the five-star athlete will announce his decision Friday on ESPN.com’s RecruitingNation. Plus, we now know when No. 5 cornerback Tarvarus McFadden will announce his decision, and the battle to land him involves five of the best recruiters in the country. We also continue our tour of the top recruiting happenings on social media.


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