National Signing Day preview: Big 12
Many of the bigger names in recruiting have either made up their minds or are likely considering teams outside of the Big 12, but a number of the teams in the conference have plenty of spots left to fill in their classes.
With National Signing Day right around the corner, the final sales pitches are being made to a few top recruits looking to make their final decisions.
PREDICTIONS ON MAJOR TARGETS
The latest: Rogers is arguably the top defensive tackle on the market in Texas behind the nation’s No. 2 player, Marvin Wilson. He wraps up his official visits this weekend with a trip to Ole Miss after previously visiting Houston, Oklahoma and Texas A&M. The feeling has been that it’s been a two-horse race between the Aggies and Sooners for some time, and Oklahoma wasted little time coming to see him in person on the heels of his official visit to A&M. The Aggies are seemingly only interested in making room for Rogers and Levi Jones if he were to commit at this point, so they likely pulled out all the stops selling him on the program.
Prediction: Texas A&M
The latest: The Louisiana product has been hopeful to land an offer from LSU and has taken an official visit there despite not having an offer or taking one home afterwards. With a couple of defensive ends already committed in this class, it’s likely the Tigers are waiting to see what happens with one or two other recruits before giving Harris the opportunity to jump aboard. Meanwhile, new Baylor head coach Matt Rhule - who had offered Harris during his time at Temple - has been working hard on adding him to the Bears’ rapidly growing class. The more time that passes without an offer from LSU, the more opportunity Rhule has to play up how much more Baylor wants him.
The latest: Fields has long been the top defensive back on Kansas State’s recruiting board, and there has seemed to be a healthy amount of mutual interest between the two. He’s actually looking to commit just ahead of Signing Day on January 30, but if he chooses the Wildcats, he’d essentially be the crown jewel of their class. Notre Dame and UCLA have entered the picture as major players for his commitment late in the game, and he’s taken visits to each in January. The recency of those visits, coupled with the opportunity to play with other top recruits, might snatch him from Kansas State’s grasp.
Prediction: Notre Dame
The latest: Like Rogers, Bethley has been closely linked to Oklahoma and Texas A&M. TCU has been a major player for his commitment as well, and with some moving parts in play - including Rogers’ presumed decision between the Aggies and Sooners - could actually be in the best spot to land him. Oklahoma is also hot after current Horned Frogs commit and in-state recruit Tyreece Lott. Should Lott flip to the Sooners, that would make the logical move for Bethley to land at TCU.
The latest: Washington State is looking to squeeze in one more visit with Roberson ahead of his official trip this weekend to West Virginia. The Cougars are looking to get Mike Leach in front of him to make the final push for his commitment, but he told Rivals.com this week that his favorite official visit was to Utah. Mountaineers' coaches were the last to pay him a visit thus far. Illinois has a strong case to land Roberson as well, but Dana Holgorsen and company are playing up his future as the featured wide receiver for them in this class.
Prediction: West Virginia
TEAM THAT COULD SURPRISE: TEXAS
If the Longhorns can close out the class by roping in the trio of Rivals250 prospects Chevin Calloway, K’Lavon Chaisson and Kary Vincent, it would be a huge finish for new head coach Tom Herman. Add in a possible commitment from four-star offensive lineman Stephan Zabie, and that would give the Longhorns a very exciting class with top talent at some key positions. Herman quickly doubled the number of commits Texas had at the time of his hiring, including a couple of former Houston pledges, and has done a good job finding value. If everything falls into place, Longhorns fans will be very happy with what the new staff will have been able to do in a short period of time.
TEAM THAT COULD DISAPPOINT: TEXAS
Longhorns fans may just as easily feel unfulfilled if Vincent sticks with his LSU commitment and his relationship with Chaisson is more indicative of adding him to the Tigers’ class rather than the two of them choosing Texas. The Longhorns recently offered Amik Robertson, who has been a recently hot name out of Louisiana - and that seems like a contingency plan for missing out on both Calloway and Vincent, but even Robertson may choose to commit to LSU. Add in the previous miss on five-star offensive lineman Walker Little and a possible flip from Taquon Graham to Oklahoma or perhaps TCU, and Herman might be left wondering what could have been in this class.
CONFERENCE CHAMP: OKLAHOMA
Even with the recent flip of five-star linebacker Jacob Phillips to LSU, the Sooners have a lot to be excited about with this class. Oklahoma slid back to fifth in the Rivals team recruiting rankings following Phillips' decision, but after the previous four years of hovering around 15th - which is nothing to sneeze at - a top-five class is a very positive move. Eyes will be kept on Rivals100 wide receiver Charleston Rambo, who is raising some questions about his commitment after choosing to take a visit to Florida this weekend, but if he stands pat the sting of Phillips’ flip will pass and it won’t be long before the 2017 class will start to pay dividends for the Sooners.