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February 2, 2012

Signing Day Blitz: Ranking the Big 12

MORE: Top 25 teams | Signing Day Central

More Conferences: ACC | Big East | Big Ten | Pac-12 | SEC

The Texas recruiting class, led by five-star running back Johnathan Gray, finished on top of the Big 12 and No. 2 nationally.

We break down and rank the classes in the Big 12.

Baylor | Iowa State | Kansas | Kansas State
Oklahoma | Oklahoma State| TCU | Texas | Texas Tech

Singing Day Blitz: Ranking the Big 12
1. Texas

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Orangebloods.com
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Headliner: Johnathan Gray heads to Austin as arguably the most-decorated high school running back ever and a lot of eyes will be on the five-star next year.
Sleeper: When the Longhorns needed depth at quarterback they added a commitment from Jalen Overstreet, but the talented athlete could end up at a number of positions on the field.
Overview: The class finished as the No. 2 overall class in the entire country. Unlike in most years past, Mack Brown saved room for some late commitments and the move really paid off when the Longhorns were able to steal Torshiro Davis from LSU, Dalton Santos from Tennessee, Daje Johnson from TCU, Bryce Cottrell from Oregon, Marcus Johnson from Texas A&M and Adrian Colbert from Baylor. Texas also broke another trend when it signed two junior college prospects in Donald Hawkins and Brandon Moore. This class seems to fill the needs in Austin and should end up making an early impact on the field.

2. Oklahoma

Commit List
SoonerScoop.com
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Headliner: The Sooners signed five-star wide receiver Trey Metoyer out of high school a year ago but he was forced to go the prep school route before finally enrolling in Norman this spring.
Sleeper: Oklahoma picked up two cornerbacks late in Zack Sanchez and Gary Simon, passing over other highly-ranked defenders in favor of them.
Overview: What looked like it could be a disappointing class just a week before signing day turned into anything but. The class is very heavy on offensive players with the wide receiver haul one of the best in recent memory. Four-star junior college prospect Courtney Gardner was a big steal from Arkansas on signing day as was junior college running back Damien Williams, a big need with the lack of depth at the position on campus. The Sooners also sorely needed tight ends and ended up inking four of them. While the class could have used more defenders it is still a top 10 haul nationally.

3. Texas Tech

Commit List
RedRaiderSports.com
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Headliner: A high school offensive lineman, the Red Raiders signed U.S. Army All-American Michael Starts to make a difference on defense.
Sleeper: Defensive tackle Anthony Smith is one of the most athletic prospects at the position this year and is only held back by his lack of height.
Overview: Texas Tech actually signed more junior college transfers than any other program so it is clear that Tommy Tuberville felt like there were some immediate needs to fill. The Red Raiders landed two very good wide receivers in Rivals250 prospects Dominique Wheeler and Reginald Davis and a very good junior college pass-catcher in Javon Bell. A lot of eyes will be on quarterback Clayton Nicholas as well since the Red Raiders have lost two passers to transfers recently.

4. Oklahoma State

Commit List
OState.com
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Headliner: The Cowboys finished the class out strong by grabbing four-star linebacker Seth Jacobs from California late in the evening on Wednesday.
Sleeper: Wide receiver Jhajuan Seales was a late addition to the class after switching from Houston and he has all the physical tools to be very good.
Overview: Two of the top prospects in the class were late switches from other schools as cornerback Kevin Peterson flipped from Oklahoma and offensive tackle Michael Wilson from Texas A&M. The Cowboys lost wide receiver Chance Allen to Oregon on signing day but added a few sleepers to make up for him. Junior college defensive tackle Calvin Barnett was a U.S. Army All-American out of high school a few years ago and he has a chance to make an early impact. The Cowboy class may have not have been as highly-ranked as one would think after a top five finish on the field but Mike Gundy and company filled a lot of needs.

5. TCU

Commit List
PurpleMenace.com
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Headliner: The Horned Frogs look to have their quarterback of the future already on campus as U.S. Army All-American Tyler Matthews was a spring enrollee.
Sleeper: Linebacker A.J. Hilliard flipped to the Horned Frogs after a coaching change at Arizona and turned down quite a few other schools late to sign with TCU.
Overview: Moving into the Big 12 Conference paid big dividends on the recruiting trail for head coach Gary Patterson as the Horned Frogs finished with their highest-ranked class ever. Two Army All-Americans in Mathews and Ethan Perry signed with TCU as did Under Armour All-American Devonte Fields. TCU grabbed two very good defenders from the same high school late in the game in James McFarland and Terrell Lathan. The combination of Fields and Lathan could prove to be very fruitful along the edge of the defensive line in the coming years.

6. Baylor

Commit List
SicEmSports.com
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Headliner: Defensive end Javonte Magee was one of the most impressive prospects at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and he selected the Bears over offers from almost every major program in the country.
Sleeper: Terrence Singleton is a high school quarterback that could be a star at a number of positions at the next level.
Overview: Though it usually takes a year for success on the field to pay off on the recruiting trail, The Bears still managed to land three four-star prospects in Magee, linebacker Brian Nance and wide receiver Corey Coleman. Hanging onto Coleman late despite overtures from other schools was a big win for Art Briles. Baylor did lose a couple of commitments late in the process but managed to steal a few as well when quarterback Seth Russell switched from Kansas and running back Rashodrick Linwood from TCU.

7. Kansas State

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GoPowercat.com
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Headliner: Four-star wide receiver Marquez Clark set all kinds of junior college records and should make an immediate impact in Manhattan.
Sleeper: Though offensive guard Aderius Epps is on the short side he plays with an incredible mean streak and could be a multi-year starter.
Overview: Though he still signed his fair share, head Bill Snyder did not go as heavy on junior college prospects this year. He did sign two defensive tackles from the ranks, though, in Wesley Hollingshed and Chaquil Reed that should fight for early playing time with a need at the position. Speed seemed to be a big focus of the class and the Wildcats landed some very fast prospects in wide receiver Judah Jones and athlete Donovan Starks in the last week. Quarterback Tavarius Bender was one of the earliest commits and has a lot of Kansas State fans excited about his upside.

8. Kansas

Commit List
JayhawkSlant.com
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Headliner: Florida linebacker Schyler Miles was a big grab when he committed to the Jayhawks on signing day.
Sleeper: Wide receiver Tre Parmalee instantly brings an upgrade in speed to the roster.
Overview: Charlie Weis did not have a lot of time to put together a class after arriving in Lawrence but his two biggest recruits don't count in the rankings. A pair of former five-star quarterback recruits in Dayne Crist and Jake Heaps transferred from Notre Dame and BYU, respectively. Kansas looked to solidify immediate needs by signing quite a few junior college transfers with defensive tackle Ty McKinney and tight end Charles Brooks both looking like they can gain early playing time next year.

9. Iowa State

Commit List
CycloneReport.com
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Headliner: The Cyclones held off a late charge from Missouri to keep athlete Damien Lawry, who could play receiver or cornerback, in the fold.
Sleeper: Mitchell Meyers did not receive too much publicity but the talented Texan could play either defensive end or defensive tackle in Ames.
Overview: For the second year in a row, Iowa State saw a few of its top commits come from the state of Florida in Patrick Harris, Darius White and Duaron Williams. The Cyclones also made a push into Texas and Quan West has the potential to be a very good wide receiver of flex tight end. The Cyclone class lacks the top recruits but it seems to address several needs on the team, especially on the offensive and defensive lines.

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