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Big 12 Spotlight: Biggest storylines to follow for the Late Signing Period

Ryan Williams
Ryan Williams (Caleb Jones/

We are in the final stages of the 2024 recruiting class. In just a few weeks we will put a bow on this class after the traditional National Signing Day. Let’s take a look at some key storylines in the Big 12 for the Late Signing Period.

RELATED: Biggest Big Ten storylines to follow for the Late Signing Period


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Ryan Williams is a five-star receiver who looked like one of the prize recruits in Alabama’s recruiting class but in recent weeks a lot of changes happened and Williams reopened his recruitment.

Position coach Holmon Wiggins left for Texas A&M. Coach Nick Saban retired. And after those two newsworthy events, Williams is now looking at Auburn (where he’s a legacy), Texas, Texas A&M and he’s still serious about the Tide. After a weekend visit to College Station, Williams was back in Tuscaloosa in recent days.

Can Texas slide in there and steal him? It feels like a long shot right now but the Saraland, Ala., standout who was awesome at the Under Armour All-America Game is still planning to visit Austin. That could swing things in the Longhorns’ favor but it still very much feels like a long shot at this point.



The rumor ever since former Texas position coach Bo Davis left for LSU is that D'antre Robinson wanted out of his letter of intent and that culminated yesterday in the Longhorns releasing him from the class.

Florida is believed to be the clear front-runner now for the four-star defensive tackle from Orlando (Fla.) Jones. After missing out the first time around it looks like the Gators could land Robinson after a coaching change dissuaded him from going to Texas.

It has been a wild few weeks of commitments, decommitments and more especially with the Alabama and Washington coaching situations but other programs have not been immune to other major news happening as well.



Lance Leipold
Lance Leipold (© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh interviewed with the Los Angeles Chargers earlier this week as his years-long flirtation with a return to the NFL continues but there is also a decent chance he can return to the college sidelines next season.

If Harbaugh does head back to the NFL, though, there are some coaches in the Big 12 that could take that leap to the Wolverines. It would be at least interesting to watch.

Michigan could easily promote offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore or defensive coordinator Jesse Minter but KansasLance Leipold could be a top target and maybe even Iowa State’s Matt Campbell. His star isn’t as bright as it once was but he still has six of eight winning seasons in Ames and prior to his arrival the Cyclones had one winning campaign in a decade.



Dante Cephas
Dante Cephas (© Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports)

The Early Signing Period is so jam-packed with almost the entirety of recruiting classes that it’s slim pickings once February rolls around. That is also true across the Big 12 as there are not many major recruiting storylines left.

So, we go to the gift that keeps on giving – the transfer portal – because that is a never-ending source of news and information.

Oklahoma could have the biggest news awaiting word on former five-star offensive lineman Zalance Heard as the Sooners look to be the team to beat.

Safety and receiver are the main positions being pursued by Oklahoma State in the portal. Kansas State missed on Alabama WR transfer Shazz Preston (he picked Tulane) but Penn State’s Dante Cephas is one to watch there.

Kansas could go after an offensive lineman but that’s probably it. Any remaining scholarships at UCF are reserved for portal players at this point and Iowa State is waiting on a wide receiver and an offensive lineman in the portal.

The new rule of thumb in recruiting is that almost exclusively after December, it’s portal time.