- Damon Sayles, RecruitingNation
Spring practice is finished, and the recruiting cycle for the 2015 class is underway. With the first quarter of the recruiting calendar behind us, here's a look at how the Big 12 is faring, first with a scout's take on the entire conference and then a team-by-team breakdown.
Scout's take on Big 12 recruiting
Many will be watching Texas closely, as Charlie Strong works to assemble his first full class as the head coach. At this point, Texas is at the top of the pack in the conference with nine commits, all from in-state, and five of those are among the ESPN 300, led by top-five safety DeShon Elliott.
The gap is small at the top, however, as reigning Big 12 champ Baylor has eight commits and is loaded with potential offensive weapons for its high-powered attack. West Virginia has the most commitments in the conference at 10, with two among the ESPN 300. Oklahoma State still has a smaller class, but among its four commitments are No. 3 RB Ronald Jones II and No. 3 QB-PP John Kolar. Oklahoma, which signed the top class in the conference for 2014, recently lost a pair of commitments, dropping its total to three, but all those prospects reside in the initial ESPN 300. TCU has landed nine commitments, and among the Red Raiders half-dozen verbals is No. 2-rated QB-DT Jarrett Stidham. Iowa State, Kansas and Kansas State are off to slow starts, and it again will likely be tough for them to contend for one of the top spots in the conference class rankings. -- Craig Haubert
Who they have: With a top-15 national recruiting class, Baylor is matching quantity with quality. The Bears have eight commitments in the 2015 class, and six are ESPN 300 players. Art Briles and his offensive coaching staff are excited about the future. With names like WRs John Humphrey Jr. and Devontre Stricklin, RB Ja'Mycal Hasty and ATHs Chad President, Louis Brown and Blake Lynch, there's plenty of reason to feel excitement around Waco, Texas.
Who they want: Baylor has great skill-position guys to work with. What the Bears need is the big men who put in work near the line of scrimmage. Offensively, Baylor has three-star OL/DL Sam Tecklenburg and junior college OT Maurice Porter committed, while players like ESPN 300 DE James Lockhart, four-star DT Darrion Daniels and high-rising OL Madison Akamnonu could provide depth to the lines. ESPN 300 RB Chris Warren III could provide a nice thunder complement to Hasty's lightning in the backfield as well.
Bold prediction: The Bears love players with speed, and they have plenty to work with in that area. Expect Baylor to land more elite-level names as the spring progresses and the summer approaches.