NCF On The Trail: Keenen Brown

Big 12 recruiting storylines: Nov. 14 

November, 14, 2013
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Can Texas pull one of the biggest trifectas in college football this weekend? Will Baylor land a 2014 quarterback? Kansas got out of a recruiting slump, but can it add more players? And what’s the word on one of the nation’s fastest-rising wide receivers?

Here’s a look at this week’s Big 12 storylines:

Oklahoma State an uncelebrated success 

November, 14, 2013
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A potential conference champion is rarely considered an under-the-radar team. But in a Big 12 loaded with all kinds of attractive storylines, 8-1 Oklahoma State -- the team chosen as the preseason conference champion -- has taken a back seat to the other conference spectacles.

While the nation focuses on Baylor’s outstanding season, Oklahoma’s struggles and Texas’ resurgence from what once was called a tormented season, Oklahoma State plays the role of silent assassin.

The Cowboys might have been counted out after a loss to West Virginia, but they’ve won five straight and head into their game with Texas very much alive in the Big 12 race.

And recruits are noticing. Oklahoma State has a top-30 recruiting class for 2014, and it's hoping to land a couple more players to crack the top 25.


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Oklahoma State commits in full support 

September, 11, 2013
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Hours after Sports Illustrated released a report on Tuesday alleging that former Oklahoma State players received improper funding from coaches and boosters, ESPN 300 running back Devon Thomas (Broken Arrow, Okla./Broken Arrow) delivered welcome news to the Cowboys faithful.

“Pokes, ride or die,” Thomas said.


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B1G High school games of the week 

September, 5, 2013
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Each week Big Ten recruiting reporters Tom VanHaaren and Brad Bournival outline a few big high school games involving Big Ten recruits and commits. Here is this week’s list:


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Big 12 recruiting mailbag

August, 30, 2013
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This week’s Big 12 recruiting mailbag takes a look at one of the nation's top defensive ends, the thoughts of a possible Sooner State connection with Texas' largest city and more. We encourage all to send questions each week, either via Twitter to @DamonSayles or @ESPNWilkerson or via email at dsaylesespn@gmail.com or wilkerson.espn@gmail.com.

From @taylormidkiff: How realistic is it that TCU lands Myles Garrett?

While TCU is high on Garrett’s list, I don’t know if the Horned Frogs are high enough on the totem pole. The nation’s No. 7 player is planning on visiting Alabama, Texas A&M, Florida State and Ohio State before making a final decision. If TCU can lure Garrett away from those four powerhouses, it'll be one of the program’s biggest moves in recruiting in years. At 6-foot-5 and 247 pounds, Garrett is the real deal and could be a valuable member of the defensive line. The one advantage the Horned Frogs have is that they’re very close to Garrett’s home in Arlington, Texas.

From @Roberrttthom: What will the addition of Chris Hardeman, Keenen Brown and Josh Mabin do for the Cowboys recruiting in the Houston area?

First off, Oklahoma State scored three power players in Hardeman, Brown and Mabin, and all three can see playing time early in their college careers. The commitments can do nothing but help Oklahoma State’s popularity in the Houston area. The Cowboys have done fairly well in the Dallas and San Antonio areas in previous years, but Houston has belonged to other programs. Assistant coaches like Van Malone, Tim Duffie and Glenn Spencer can help to change that.

From @MichaelW_OKST: Does it appear that OSU is surpassing OU as the football school on Oklahoma?

Our own Tom Luginbill likes to talk about programs having a “cool factor.” Right now, Oklahoma State has the cool factor over Oklahoma. Offensive players want to play in a fast-paced, high-scoring offense, and defensive players want to make their names in a Big 12 conference loaded with high-octane opponents. I think Oklahoma is still the place where many players -- particularly within the state -- lean to first. The conference championships and learning under coach Bob Stoops is reason enough. However, keep an eye out on the Cowboys for the next couple of years. Mike Gundy has this team on a mission.

From Jeff Martin: What is Solomon Thomas going to do? Does Texas have a shot?

Texas has a very good shot at the nation’s No. 5 defensive end. That’s the good news for Longhorns fans; the bad news, however, is that Stanford, Alabama and several other schools have a good shot, as well. Right now, Thomas is focused on doing his part to win football games for his team. Look for Thomas to finalize some official visits soon, and don’t be surprised if Texas is in his final two or three schools. Whether or not the Longhorns will land the 6-3, 256-pound bookend still remains something of a mystery.
Three of the best offensive weapons the state of Texas has to offer, regardless of class, committed to three different Big 12 programs this past week. Those recruits, as well as a look at a startling number of big-time uncommitted prospects left in the state, highlight this week’s top Big 12 storylines:

Baylor has 'it'

“It” at Baylor can stand for a few things. It could be the new football stadium being constructed on the banks of the Brazos River or the offense that has annually become one of the nation’s most prolific.

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Big 12 class rankings analysis 

August, 14, 2013
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With the help of ESPN 300 prospects announcing their verbal commitments, two Big 12 schools saw a slight rise in the latest ESPN class rankings. Because of one Big 12 school’s rise, another Big 12 school took a slight fall in the rankings. Here’s a closer look at the rankings as it pertains to the conference.

Trending up: Oklahoma State saw the biggest rise of the conference -- and of the nation -- by jumping from No. 33 to No. 28. Only Oklahoma State and Florida saw ranking spikes of that caliber during the week. The Cowboys’ success stemmed from landing ESPN 300 CB Chris Hardeman (Houston/Alief Taylor) and three-star WR and high school teammate Keenen Brown. Both committed on Aug. 11. Hardeman, a former LSU commit, is a top-25 cornerback nationally, and Brown, at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, can be used as a reliable outside threat in Mike Gundy’s potent offense.


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Weekend Wrap: Big 12 

August, 12, 2013
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A somewhat-slow weekend turned into a definite weekend to watch for the Big 12 early Saturday afternoon. By the end of Sunday, and six players -- including two ESPN 300 players -- had committed to play in the conference.

Here is a look at the weekend wrap on Big 12 recruiting.


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Oklahoma State lands Houston duo 

August, 11, 2013
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Oklahoma State had a nice day on the recruiting trail Sunday, nabbing a pair of prospects from the Lone Star State.

The Cowboys picked up commitments from a pair of Houston Alief Taylor teammates, ESPN 300 cornerback Chris Hardeman and three-star receiver Keenen Brown, according to Alief Taylor recruiting coordinator Cedric Hardeman.

Chris Hardeman, a four-star prospect who is No. 285 in the ESPN 300, is a former LSU commitment who parted ways with the Tigers just a week ago. Brown, the 61st-ranked receiver in the country, had 20 offers, including ones from Florida, LSU, Oklahoma and Oregon.

The pair gives the Cowboys 19 commitments in their 2014 class, and Hardeman is their fourth ESPN 300 prospect. Oklahoma State's class is currently ranked 33rd in ESPN's class rankings.

The duo traveled north and visited both the Oklahoma and Oklahoma State campuses Saturday. The started their day around 7:30 a.m. at Oklahoma, toured the campus and watched the Sooners' scrimmage, then left shortly after lunchtime for Stillwater, Okla. They went through a similar experience at Oklahoma State and flew back to Houston on Sunday before making their commitments.


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ESPN 300 DB decommits from LSU 

August, 4, 2013
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For the first time in nearly 13 months, ESPN 300 cornerback Chris Hardeman (Houston/Alief Taylor) is an uncommitted prospect.

Hardeman had been committed to LSU since July 16, 2012, but decommitted on Sunday, according to his father, Cedric Hardeman.

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Tales From The Road: Oklahoma 

May, 15, 2013
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Every Wednesday, the SoonerNation staff will take a quick-hit look at some of the top recruits and storylines facing Oklahoma recruiting for the week.

This week’s targets: OU will never be hurting at wide receiver as long as Jay Norvell remains the wide receivers coach. OU already has the commitment of one four-star wideout in Dallis Todd (La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada), but Norvell is going after some big guns in Texas. He is visiting ESPN 150 receiver K.D. Cannon (Mount Pleasant, Texas/Mount Pleasant) and four-star WR Nick Alexander (Lancaster, Texas/Lancaster). Both have visited the campus multiple times, but both are going to be incredibly tough to land. Norvell, though, is never afraid to aim high, and OU is squarely in the mix for them.

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