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Three-Point Stance: Big 12 snapshot, must-gets, surprising players

National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s Three-Point Stance is here with a breakdown of Big 12 recruiting, the most important OL commitments over the last four recruiting cycles and 10 players who are already surprising me this season.

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FACT OR FICTION: Billy Bowman will end up at Oklahoma

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2022 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

COVERAGE: Rivals Transfer Tracker | Rivals Camp Series

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1. BIG 12 RECRUITING SNAPSHOT

Caleb Williams
Caleb Williams (Rivals.com)

It’s time to wrap up the Power Five conference snap shots with the Big 12 where OU is on the rise and Texas is trending the wrong way.

Dominant Team: Oklahoma — The Sooners are tops in the Big 12 this year and are set up for an amazing finish with prospects like Billy Bowman, Bryce Foster and Camar Wheaton interested down the stretch. Oklahoma should run away with the Big 12 this year.

Biggest Recruiting Get: QB Caleb Williams, Oklahoma — The nation’s No. 3 prospect brings a lot to the table and replaces former Sooner commit Brock Vandagriff, who decommited to stay home at Georgia.

Biggest Recruiting Get II: DE Ja’Tavion Sanders, Texas — This is the type of elite pass rusher and difference-maker the Longhorns need to keep at home and add to their defense. He’s an early starter for sure.

Biggest Recruiting Loss: OT Tommy Brockermeyer, Alabama — The Longhorns legacy and his four-star brother James left Texas to go play for Alabama. That’s bad for Tom Herman in a big way.

On The Come Up: West Virginia — I like that the Mountaineers are recruiting some old hot spots and keeping top players in the area. They are doing a very good job under Neal Brown, better than the previous regime.

Slowing Down: TCU — This is going to be a small class for Gary Patterson, but we rarely see the Horned Frogs down at the bottom of the conference recruiting rankings.

Steady Eddie: Iowa State — The Cyclones have been steady in recent years with a star average close to three and are always in the middle of the conference rankings.

As Expected: Texas — The Longhorns are still in the national top 20 despite losing some key recruiting battles and this is as good as can be expected without winning and with Herman on the hot seat.

Must Keep: RB Camar Wheaton — The best running back prospect in Texas has to stay in the conference as Oklahoma battles a few SEC programs for him.

Out of State Grab: WR Mario Williams, Oklahoma — A Florida five-star skill player who commits sight unseen to the Sooners? That’s big.

Out-of-State Grab II: RB Jaylen Anderson, West Virginia — Ohio is one of those states that West Virginia should be hitting every year and Anderson is a four-star home run at a needed position.

In-State Keep: OT Wyatt Milum, West Virginia — You can’t let the rare in-state four-stars go away and West Virginia locked him down. Milum has the potential to be a franchise left tackle.

In-State Keep II: QB Behren Morton, Texas Tech — Morton is a big-time talent and the only four-star in the Texas Tech class so he was a must get for the Red Raiders.

New Coach Crootin’: Baylor head coach Dave Aranda has done a very good job filling some big shoes left by Matt Rhule and he has the Bears up near the top of the conference.

Hot Seat Recruiting: Herman’s seat at Texas is very hot and things aren’t going well with recent decommitments from Bowman and QB Jalen Milroe. But 2022 five-star quarterback commit Quin Ewers is a huge get.

2. THE BIGGEST MUST-GET OL RECRUITS OVER THE LAST FOUR YEARS

Amarius Mims
Amarius Mims (Rivals.com)

Amarius Mims has finally announced his decision, with Georgia winning out despite a big run from Tennessee. But where does he rank as far as a must get offensive line commitment over the last four recruiting cycles (2018-21)?

1. OT Penei Sewell, Oregon — It’s rare when an offensive lineman becomes the face of your franchise, but that’s how good Sewell has been in his two short years.

2. OT Amarius Mims, Georgia — The best offensive tackle prospect in a decade? He could be, but he has some stiff competition in his own class. Losing him to Tennessee would have been a disaster.

3. OT JC Latham, Alabama — Wait, why is Latham so high as a four-star? Because he’s ridiculously underranked and it’s a debate between the big man from Wisconsin and Mims in this years class for No. 1 soon. And he looked like an Ohio State lock.

4. OT Jackson Carman, Clemson No one thought Dabo Swinney could pull Carman away from Urban Meyer and out of Ohio, but he did and it was a message to the rest of the country.

5. OT Darnell Wright and Wanya Morris, Tennessee — I’m combining them as a cheat because they are equally important gets for the Vols in the same class and have been early contributors.

6. OT Tate Ratledge and Broderick Jones, Georgia — Same as the Vols, these two were massive gets last year for UGA as it fought off many suitors.

7. OT Evan Neal, Alabama — Neal was a massive get literally and figuratively for Alabama from Florida and will be a first-rounder down the line.

8. OT Nolan Rucci, Wisconsin — A Penn State legacy, Rucci chose to play with his brother at Wisconsin in a huge Big Ten recruiting win for the Badgers.

9. OT Tommy Brockermeyer, Alabama — A legacy, this one from the Texas Longhorns, heads out of conference to the best team in the SEC.

10. OT Daniel Faaelele, Minnesota — The massive tackle from IMG Academy in Florida was a huge recruiting win for PJ Fleck and the Gophers.

11. OG Jamaree Salyer, Georgia — One of the best guards I’ve seen in a long time stayed home to play at UGA and is finally making an impact at tackle.

12. OC Clay Webb, Georgia — Webb, from Alabama, was yet another big recruiting win for Kirby Smart over Nick Saban.

13. OG Kardell Thomas, LSU — The strong and aggressive Thomas didn’t surprise many when he stayed in state, but he was still a key commit for LSU nonetheless.

14. OT Turner Corcoran, Nebraska — The Huskers need to win Midwest battles for elite players and Corcoran was a massive get for them.

15. OT Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State — Everyone expected Johnson Jr. to stay home but after Carman, you never know. He’ll move up on this list with his play as he is getting early rave reviews.

3. TEN PLAYERS WHO HAVE SURPRISED SO FAR THIS SEASON

Breece Hall
Breece Hall (AP Images)

Finally, here are 10 players who have surpassed my expectations early this season.

RB Breece Hall, Iowa State — Never heard of him? He was one of the highest-ranked prospects in the Cyclones' 2019 class and is one of the nation’s leading rushers.

WR Elijah Moore, Ole Miss — Moore was a big-time recruit but became more known for blowing the Egg Bowl than his talents. This year is his year to shine.

WR Zay Flowers, Boston College — The three-star from Florida is a steal for BC and one of the nations leaders in touchdowns for wide receivers.

LB Isaiah McDuffie, Boston College — An under-the-radar three-star back in 2017, he’s emerged as one of the top tacklers in the country for the surprising Eagles.

QB Kenny Pickett, Pitt — Pickett was hyped up last year and this year and he’s finally starting to show his abilities by leading the nation in passing yards.

QB Chase Brice, Duke Trevor Lawrence’s backup is now one of the most prolific passers in the country at Duke. As a former four-star I shouldn’t be surprised, but somehow I am.

DE Patrick Jones II, Pitt — The former two-star has plenty of national attention but even I didn’t see seven sacks this early, did you?

DB Asante Samuel, Florida State — A big-time recruit out of high school, Samuel is one of only a few Seminoles playing well and has three picks.

LB Mikel Jones, Syracuse — Syracuse gets little attention but Jones is one of the nation’s leaders in interceptions — as a linebacker.

WR Jaelon Darden, North Texas — And a shout out beyond the Power Five as Darden has become an insanely difficult slot receiver to check and has an impressive nine touchdowns.