Altogether, the Big 12 signed 188 high school players on signing day three weeks ago.
For the third straight year, we conducted an examination of which states those Big 12 signees came from. And once again, the state of Texas was the lifeblood of Big 12 recruiting. All told, 49 percent of Big 12 high school signees came from the Lone Star State.
The data, however, revealed some other interesting information and trends.
Even though the state of Texas remains the backbone of Big 12 recruiting, the number of Texans that signed to Big 12 schools is down. Two years ago, the Big 12 signed 108 Texans. Last year, it was 115. This year, only 92. Why is this number down? There could be multiple reasons. But one for sure is that more tentacles from outside the Big 12 are reaching into Texas than ever before. In fact, the Big 12 only got five of the state's top 15 players; the SEC, by contrast, snagged eight. That is a major problem for the Big 12, and it's forced the league to have to look elsewhere to collectively fill out its classes.
One Big 12 school unaffected is Baylor. Outside of three jucos, the Bears filled out their 17th-ranked class entirely with Texas players.
After messing around in Florida last year, Texas inked a terrific class more entrenched this time around in its own region. In their 10th-ranked class, the Longhorns signed 19 from Texas and four from Louisiana, while adding an ESPN 300 WR from California.
Oklahoma is one of the major reasons the Texas count was so low this year. The Sooners signed just three players from the state. That's as many as they got from Lackawanna College in Pennsylvania. OU filled out its high school class from nine different states.
In somewhat of a surprise, Ohio tied for the fourth-biggest state for Big 12 recruits. West Virginia hammered the Buckeye State this year. The Mountaineers, who only signed one Texas player this year, have not been able to make inroads into Texas since joining the Big 12. But they've done a fine job developing pipelines elsewhere, including Pennsylvania and Ohio, where there are a bunch of good players. Iowa State also added three players from Ohio in Ohio native Matt Campbell's first recruiting class. With Campbell's ties to the state, Ohio could develop into a much-needed mini-pipeline for the Cyclones, who inked only one player from their home state.
While the SEC has encroached into Texas, the Big 12 has quietly gotten more and more players from the SEC state of Louisiana. The Big 12 reeled in seven players from Louisiana two years ago, 11 last year and then 15 this time around. Kansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas and Texas Tech all picked up players from Louisiana.
K-State might have a reputation of relying mostly on in-state players. But the Wildcats' top five high school signees were from Missouri, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Georgia and Nebraska.