How top-ranked 2018 signees from the Big 12 are faring
We are deep into the offseason, so recruiting is on our minds. Here’s a look back at the highest-ranked 2018 recruit for each Power Five team and how those prospects are panning out. We finish with the Big 12.
Mark Pszonak contributed to this report.
CLASS OF 2022: Top 100
The skinny: Landry committed to Baylor during the spring after his junior season over offers from Nebraska, Arizona State, Texas Tech, Iowa State, Indiana and others. A couple of offseason visits to Waco put the Bears over the top.
After redshirting in 2018, Landry played in seven games in 2019, accumulating only two tackles. With the Bears losing their entire defensive line, Landry will be given every opportunity to make an impact this season.
Farrell’s take: This should be Landry’s year because he is a terrific edge rusher and a guy who caused a lot of problems in the defensive backfield out of high school. He was big and active and had a good work ethic.
The skinny: Scates kept his process very quiet, but Louisville and Iowa State always seemed to be in the picture. An official visit to Ames the weekend before National Signing Day put the Cyclones over the top.
After a true freshman season that saw him suspended twice and in which he eventually redshirted, Scates played in 10 games in 2019, totaling two receptions for 25 yards and one touchdown. Possessing a great deal of natural talent, much more is obviously expected from him in 2020.
Farrell’s take: This was a huge commitment for Iowa State as it rarely lands a Rivals250 prospect out of Ohio, or any other state for that matter. This will be a big year for him to see if he has his focus back and whether he can utilize his impressive skills.
The skinny: Harris surprised many with a commitment to Kansas a year before his National Signing Day. Despite offers from many of the country’s elite programs he stuck with the Jayhawks throughout the process.
Harris contributed immediately as a true freshman in 2018, but then saw his production level decrease last fall. The downward trajectory continued in January, when he was suspended indefinitely from the team after being charged with felony drug and weapons offenses.
Farrell’s take: Harris was the lone big name that stuck with Kansas out of Louisiana in this class and he was off to a very promising start. His future is now up in the air.
The skinny: Pickle committed to Kansas State over offers from UCF and several FCS schools during the spring after his junior season. He redshirted in 2018 and only saw action in one game during the 2019 season. Pickle will have an opportunity to earn increased playing time this offseason because the Wildcats will need to replace both starting defensive tackles from 2019.
Farrell’s take: Kansas State had a couple of JUCO prospects ranked higher in the 2018 class, but this is a high school focus and Pickle was a big kid with upside. This should be the year he impacts with his athleticism and size.
The skinny: Radley-Hiles was initially committed to Nebraska but re-opened his process in November. He had already taken an official visit to Oklahoma, and then added additional visits to Clemson, UCLA and Florida State before committing to the Sooners at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Radley-Hiles has impressed since his arrival in Norman, having totaled 85 tackles, five tackles for loss, two interceptions and six pass breakups in 25 career games. He returns this season as one of the unquestioned leaders of the defensive unit.
Farrell’s take: Radley-Hiles reminded me of Jamal Adams a bit out of high school because he was such a leader and high-energy defensive back who lacked ideal size. He’s been very good so far, but this will be the season he busts out on a national stage.
The skinny: Moore trimmed his list of top schools to Oklahoma State, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Ole Miss and Oregon during the spring after his junior season before committing to the Cowboys in May.
After redshirting in 2018, Moore only totaled four receptions for 81 yards and two touchdowns in 2019 before announcing his decision to enter the transfer portal in January. At this point, he has yet to choose his next school.
Farrell’s take: This is disappointing, because I liked Moore a ton out of high school as a tall, rangy receiver and I thought he’d be a star at OSU. He still has a lot of upside for someone out of the portal, but this kid was made for the Big 12.
The skinny: Rogers was mainly focusing on TCU, LSU, North Carolina and Oregon when he surprised some with a commitment to the Horned Frogs in late May. Before he made his way to Fort Worth, Rogers sustained a serious knee injury that continued to slow him down after a redshirt season in 2018.
He was never able to get his foothold in Fort Worth, which led to his decision to transfer to UNLV in January. He is still waiting to hear if he will be eligible for the 2020 season.
Farrell’s take: Rogers had injury issues in high school and again in college, so it’s unclear how effective he can still be, but he always had a live arm and a good feel for the game.
The skinny: Sterns initially committed to LSU during his junior season, but then flipped to Texas during the spring. The flip came only a few days after Sterns had taken a visit to Austin to take a closer look at the Longhorns’ program.
Since his arrival in Austin, Sterns has performed like a veteran. He totaled 121 tackles, seven tackles for loss, two sacks, four interceptions and five pass breakups and was named the Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2018. The NFL will be keeping a close eye on him this fall to see if he can take his game to the next level.
Farrell’s take: Sterns was a five-star out of high school for a reason, and he was a kid who not only had great instincts but also loved to hit. He was injured a bit this past year, but based on what we’ve seen on the field, he’s a three-and-out prospect.
The skinny: Marshall committed to Texas Tech over offers from Colorado, Missouri, Illinois, Kansas State and others during the summer leading up to his senior season after a visit to Lubbock. He redshirted in 2018 and then did not see any action in 2019. While he still has time, he will have to begin to raise his level of play if he hopes to make an impact at Texas Tech during his collegiate career.
Farrell’s take: Marshall was a massive kid out of high school who needed to lose some weight but could rag-doll opponents with his strength. It’s odd he hasn’t made an appearance yet.
The skinny: Stills committed to the home-state Mountaineers over Oklahoma and Florida in late August. This decision was far from a surprise, as his father played in Morgantown and his brother, Darius Stills, was already on the roster.
Stills showcased the potential that many at West Virginia expected during his freshman season. He followed that up with a breakthrough performance, as he totaled 26 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and eight sacks while earning All-Big 12 Second Team honors. This could be the season that he makes a statement nationally.
Farrell’s take: Stills was a huge in-state keep for West Virginia as a kid who could play defensive end or defensive tackle. He should be one of the top interior linemen in the nation next year.