Big 12 Spotlight: Grading the 2022 class
With National Signing Day in the books, we take a look at how each team in the Power Five performed and give them a grade. Today, we move to the Big 12:
Note: Transfer portal additions are not included in these team rankings.
ONE-ON-ONE COACH INTERVIEWS: Oklahoma's Brent Venables | Rutgers' Greg Schiano | Clemson's Dabo Swinney | Vanderbilt's Clark Lea | Illinois' Bret Bielema | West Virginia's Neal Brown | Virginia's Tony Elliott | Indiana's Tom Allen | Utah's Kyle Whittingham | South Carolina's Shane Beamer | Arizona's Jedd Fisch | Stanford's David Shaw | Notre Dame's Marcus Freeman | Florida State's Mike Norvell | Michigan State's Mel Tucker | Missouri's Eli Drinkwitz
BAYLOR (T-No. 5 Big 12, No. 30 overall)
Analysis: Despite the success this season, Baylor had no four-star commitments until late in the Early Signing Period when receiver Armani Winfield picked the Bears and then in the late period, four-star defensive back Alfonzo Allen from Miami (Fla.) Central picked Baylor. The major focus for Baylor this cycle was with in-state prospects which is not a surprise but there will be some players who outplay their ranking and one could be high three-star defensive end Devonte Tezino, who at 6-foot-5 and 244 pounds could be special.
IOWA STATE (No. 4 Big 12, No. 29 overall)
Analysis: Four-star quarterback Rocco Becht is a big win for Iowa State in South Florida and he could be a star for the Cyclones as he’s one of four four-star prospects in the class out of 23 signees. That number is not ideal but we all know coach Matt Campbell can maximize his talent there as four-star receiver Gregory Gaines III will be a weapon and then four-star defensive linemen Hunter Deyo and Domonique Orange could be special as well. The three-star running back duo of Cartevious Norton and Quaron Adams could give the Iowa State offense some impressive weapons.
KANSAS (No. 10 Big 12, NR overall)
Analysis: Kansas is hitting the transfer portal hard and taking other measures to ramp up the talent on its roster but there’s no sidestepping the fact that the Jayhawks signed just seven prospects in their recruiting class. For comparison sake, Oklahoma State signed seven four-stars. Oklahoma had 15. Texas led the conference with 18 four-stars. While understanding its a different measure with transfer additions, Kansas still needs a strong high school class to accomplish its goals of returning to competitiveness and relevancy consistently in the Big 12. Landing former Auburn commit three-star DB Brian Dilworth was a welcome addition in late January.
KANSAS STATE (No. 9 Big 12, No. 58 overall)
Analysis: There were some wins and some losses along the way in the transfer portal but Kansas State was only one of two teams in the conference (along with Kansas) to sign no four-star prospects. Chris Kleiman and his staff always squeeze out every ounce of talent from the staff and there is lots to work with here especially with getting high three-star QB Adryan Lara in the class late. Three-star DE Donovan Rieman did not have all the big-time offers but the Wildcats’ coaches saw something in him.
OKLAHOMA (No. 2 Big 12, No. 8 overall)
Analysis: A coaching change that shocked college football and completely changed the landscape of large swaths of the Oklahoma roster could not deter first-year coach Brent Venables from signing a top-eight class nationally. For so many schools, the February signing period was a slow day where little news happened but the Sooners kicked it into high gear landing four-star DL Gracen Halton and then three-stars R Mason Thomas, a flip from Iowa State, Kevonte Henry (essentially a flip from Michigan) and former Florida commit Jamarrien Burt. Long, athletic receiver Jayden Gibson, another former Gators pledge, is the highest-ranked player in the class.
OKLAHOMA STATE (No. 3 Big 12, No. 21 overall)
Analysis: A flurry into National Signing Day helped Oklahoma State finish with a top-25 class as the Cowboys landed signing day pledges from former Oregon commit Stephon Johnson and junior college defensive end Seleti Fevaleaki. A few days before, Oklahoma State got three-star OL Davis Dotson in the class. Flipping four-star WR Talyn Shettron from Oklahoma was big but four-star RB Ollie Gordon is arguably the biggest prize in this recruiting class.
TCU (No. 8 Big 12, No. 56 overall)
Analysis: The Horned Frogs have utilized the transfer portal heavily to jumpstart this recruiting class which will not yet be reflected in their conference ranking but should be considered when looking at only 13 signees from the high school ranks. Out of 13, three are four-star prospects though with the new staff having success in the state by signing four-star wide receiver Jordan Hudson, who has the talent to play anywhere in the country, along with defensive players Chace Biddle and Michael Ibukun-Okeyode.
TEXAS (No. 1 Big 12, No. 5 overall)
Analysis: Only Texas A&M, Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State had higher-ranked classes nationally so Steve Sarkisian and his staff loaded up and landed some elite talent to turn things around in Austin. Five-star Devon Campbell leads the way and he’s the highest-ranked offensive lineman in the country. Other big wins including flipping high four-star Terrance Brooks from Ohio State, landing high four-star OL Kelvin Banks after his Oregon decommitment and keeping great-looking QB Maalik Murphy even though the Longhorns added Quinn Ewers in the transfer portal.
TEXAS TECH (No. 7 Big 12, No. 37 overall)
Analysis: Maybe more than any coach in the conference, first-year coach Joey McGuire has high school connections across the state of Texas that he’s going to leverage and utilize to build Texas Tech into his vision. It will just take time. Four-stars DE Joseph Adedire (a former TCU commit) and four-star ATH Maurion Horn from Broken Arrow, Okla., lead the way. But there are also a bunch of three-stars that could outplay their ranking and one we really like is under-recruited Tavares Elston, Jr., from Gulf Shores, Ala.
WEST VIRGINIA (T-No. 5 Big 12, No. 30 overall)
Analysis: Tied for fifth place in the Big 12 rankings with Baylor is West Virginia, which has three four-star commitments in QB Nicco Marchiol and JUCO prospects LB Lee Kpogba and DB Hershey McLaurin. The Mountaineers utilized the junior college ranks for players and Marchiol has special abilities not only throwing the ball but leading the team so he could earn playing time soon in Morgantown. West Virginia loaded up at linebacker and defensive back and a lot of these three-stars could outplay their rankings in the coming years.