The highest-ranked signee ever for each Big 12 program
Highly-ranked recruits are a big deal for any fan base, so we thought it would be interesting to take a look at the highest-ranked high school signee for each Power Five school in Rivals.com history and see how they panned out.
Today, we finish the weeklong series with the Big 12.
Mark Pszonak contributed to this report.
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Baylor: KD Cannon (2014, WR, #34)
The skinny: Cannon trimmed his list of top schools to Baylor, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Ole Miss and Florida before committing to the Bears prior to his senior season. He did take an official visit to Norman, but stuck with Baylor on National Signing Day. Cannon set Baylor freshman records with 58 receptions and 1,030 receiving yards, then enjoyed a huge junior season with 87 receptions for 1,215 yards and 13 touchdowns. Despite his impressive collegiate career, he went undrafted after foregoing his senior season. He spent time with San Francisco, Dallas, the New York Jets and Los Angeles Rams, but never made an active roster. He is currently in the CFL playing for Saskatchewan.
Farrell’s Take: Cannon was a dynamic talent out of high school who lacked great size but was beyond explosive and was a long ball threat. It was surprising when he wasn’t drafted because he had a very solid career at Baylor in that dynamic offense. Cannon was impossible to check at camps with his slot receiver ability and his change of direction.
Iowa State: Allen Lazard (2014, WR, #47)
The skinny: Lazard surprised many by making a commitment to Iowa State during his junior season. While he did take an official visit to Notre Dame during his senior season, he stayed firm with the Cyclones. Lazard spent a very productive four seasons in Ames, totaling 241 receptions, 3,360 yards and 26 touchdowns, but went undrafted in 2018. He signed as a free agent with Jacksonville, where he was a part of the practice squad all season, before being signed by Green Bay to its practice squad. He is currently with the Packers at their training camp.
Farrell’s Take: Lazard was a huge receiver who didn’t have great speed but had excellent body control and strong hands. He was in the five-star discussion and was a huge get for Iowa State as a legacy recruit. His career at Iowa State was a very good one but that lack of speed held him back from being drafted.
Kansas: Corione Harris (2018, DB, #105)
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, finishing with 44 tackles, one interception and five pass break-ups. He is expected by many to take the next step toward becoming one of the top cornerbacks in the Big 12 this fall.
Farrell’s Take: Kansas received a few big-time commitments from Louisiana early in the 2018 class but Harris was the one who stuck and he’s panning out quickly. Kansas isn’t known for recruiting a ton of blue-chippers so holding onto Harris was a big deal and I think he has a nice NFL future ahead of him.
Kansas State: LaMark Brown (2007, ATH, #71)
The skinny: Brown made a spring commitment to Kansas State, and despite rumors that he may be looking around, he stuck with the Wildcats. In Manhattan, Brown never hit his mark. He was moved from wide receiver to running back and then back to wide receiver before transferring to Division II Minnesota-Mankato. After going undrafted in 2012 he signed with Atlanta, followed by practice squad time with Minnesota, Tampa Bay and Buffalo. He has since played in Canada and with several Arena League teams. He currently plays for the Atlantic City Blackjacks in the AFL.
Farrell’s Take: You’d think Josh Freeman would be the guy for Kansas State but Brown was rated higher overall. He was a massive bust for the Wildcats after trying a few positions but out of high school he was a dynamic athlete and thought to be a can't-miss because he could do so much.
Oklahoma: Adrian Peterson (2004, RB, #1)
The skinny: Peterson committed to Oklahoma over Texas A&M, USC, Arkansas, Texas, Miami and UCLA. With the Sooners, Peterson was an instant star. He finished his three-year collegiate career with 4,041 yards and 41 touchdowns. Selected with the seventh overall pick in 2007 by Minnesota, Peterson spent 10 memorable seasons with the Vikings before splitting time with Arizona and New Orleans in 2017. He found the fountain of youth in 2018 in Washington, when he rushed for his eighth 1,000-yard season, which put him at 13,318 yards for his career.
Farrell’s Take: The best running back in Rivals.com history? Likely so. Peterson was an upright runner with good size, great vision and excellent speed. He bounced off tackles and could run inside or outside. He lived up to expectations in every way possible.
Oklahoma State: Bobby Reid (2004, QB, #41)
The skinny: Reid committed to Oklahoma State prior to his senior season, but LSU, Florida State, Ohio State and Kansas State continued their pursuit until he signed his National Letter of Intent. After redshirting as a true freshman, Reid won the starting job in 2005. However, an injury saw his season cut to only five games. He returned in 2006 and led the Cowboys to a 7-6 season, but then lost his starting job in 2007 to Zac Robinson. Reid would transfer to Texas Southern after the season, before going unselected in the 2009 NFL Draft and playing one season in the Arena League.
Farrell’s Take: This should have been Dez Bryant as we should have made him a five-star but let academic questions get in our way. Reid, though, was no slouch. He was a very athletic quarterback with a strong arm and it’s surprising he didn’t pan out. He was overshadowed by some other Texas quarterbacks in that era but could hold his own in high school.
Texas: Vince Young (2002, QB, #1)
The skinny: Young committed to Texas during his official visit to Austin in January. Miami was considered the other serious threat at that time. Young had two promising seasons in Austin, and then a legendary third season which saw him pass for 3,036 yards and 26 touchdowns, and rush for 1,050 yards and 12 touchdowns, while leading the Longhorns to the national championship.
He was the third overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft by the Tennessee but Young had an inconsistent NFL career. In six seasons, he finished with 8,964 yards with 46 touchdowns and 51 interceptions.
Farrell’s Take: Young was an amazing athlete who could have been a safety at the college and NFL level if he wanted to be. His throwing mechanics were poor but it didn’t matter because he was such a great dual-threat and so dangerous the second the ball was snapped. He’s one of the best players overall in Rivals history and obviously lived up to that in college and with his first-round NFL grade.
TCU: LaDarius Brown (2011, ATH, #53)
The skinny: With TCU long being rumored as his leader, Brown finally committed to the Horned Frogs in early December. Texas A&M and Baylor were the other rumored finalists. After redshirting in 2011, Brown totaled 63 receptions for 778 yards and seven touchdowns before being dismissed from the program following an arrest for marijuana possession. He found a new home at Sam Houston State, where during his two seasons he added 99 receptions for 1,645 yards and 16 touchdowns. Despite a solid collegiate career, Brown failed to make any impact at the professional level.
Farrell’s Take: Brown was a huge commitment for TCU as it beat out some big names and he was off to a promising start before being dismissed. He could do a ton of things out of high school, could have played offense or defense, and was deemed too versatile to miss. His off-field issues hurt him.
Texas Tech: Jace Amaro (2011, TE, #52)
The skinny: After two somewhat underwhelming seasons in Lubbock, Amaro burst onto the national scene in 2013 with 106 receptions for 1,352 yards and seven touchdowns during his unanimous All-American final season. Selected by the New York Jets in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Amaro had a promising rookie season before having the sit out his second season due to a torn labrum. He was then cut in the days leading up to the start of the 2016 season. He did see limited action with Tennessee that season, and then had tryouts with both Kansas City and Jacksonville last summer. Amaro currently is not at a summer camp.
Farrell’s Take: Amaro was a great pass-catching tight end out of high school and an athletic kid who could work after the catch. His athleticism at the position was what allowed him to be such a highly ranked prospect. He was like a big receiver at the tight end position.
West Virginia: Noel Devine (2007, RB, #15)
The skinny: Devine took official visits to West Virginia and Alabama, and also considered Florida State and Florida, before signing with the Mountaineers nearly two months after his National Signing Day. He was committed to West Virginia prior to this delay. Devine was a dynamic playmaker during his time in Morgantown, rushing for 4,315 yards, adding 710 yards receiving and totaling 31 touchdowns. However, he went undrafted in 2011. He spent minimal time with Philadelphia, before making his way to the CFL, UFL and Arena League.
Farrell’s Take: Devine was the most exciting player I’ve ever scouted when talking about a kid who could make something out of nothing. His freshman high school highlight tape is still the thing of legend and to this day I can’t understand how Miami didn’t go on him (he grew up a ‘Canes fan). He had a very solid career at West Virginia and I’m surprised he never made the NFL. Devine is a Rivals.com legend.