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2008 Big 12 Recruiting - What It All Means
Colorado RB Darrell Scott
Colorado RB Darrell Scott
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 11, 2008


How does the 2008 Big 12 recruiting class really affect the college football world?

Recruiting 2007 ... Big 12
Ranking the Big 12 classes

Click on each team for the fill class list and top players
North Colorado | Iowa St | Kansas | Kansas State | Missouri | Nebraska
South Baylor | Oklahoma | Oklahoma State | Texas | Texas A&M | Texas Tech

- 2007 CFN Big 12 recruiting rankings
- 2006 CFN Big 12 recruiting rankings

1. Oklahoma
The class is heavy on ... Skill players. The running back tandem of Justin Johnson and Jermie Calhoun could be the best in America, while receivers DeJuan Miller, Jameel Owens and Josh Jarboe are all very big and very fast. Landry Jones is a terrific quarterback prospect, but he'll have to sit and wait through the Sam Bradford era. The biggest stars might be on the defensive line led by end R.J. Washington and tackle Stacey McGee.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... DE R.J. Washington
The player you might care about this year ... LB J.R. Bryant
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Don't expect the two-time defending Big 12 champions to fall off the map any time soon with the league's best recruiting class. There's a little something for every spot with elite talents coming in on the defensive line and at the skill positions to once again show that this is the league's best program. If you're good, you'll play right away for Bob Stoops, and that message has gotten through to the top guys. Last year's class was underwhelming, but this year's haul made up for it.

2. Texas
The class is heavy on ... Receivers and corners. Dan Buckner might be the star recruit of the bunch, but Desean Hales and Derrick Grant are pass catchers who can flat-out fly. Antoine Hicks would be a No. 1 target for most other teams. The secondary got some good safety prospects in Nolan Brewster and Blake Gideon, but the stars are at corner with Aaron Williams one of the best in the country and D.J. Monroe and Brock Fitzhenry speedsters who could play a role early on.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... CB Aaron Williams
The player you might care about this year ... WR Dan Buckner
What it all means to the real world of college football ... It's Texas, so it wakes up in the morning and gets a loaded recruiting class. Last year's haul was one of the best in the Mack Brown era, so this didn't need to be an epic class, but it was still fantastic with top star prospects from top to bottom. There might not be a ton of jaw-dropping top ten draft pick prospects, but there's no waste. Texas doesn't take fliers on players; all the recruits can play. While this was a good year, there would've been a lot more excitement if Brown didn't lose Darrell Scott to Colorado.

3. Texas A&M
The class is heavy on ... The lines. The first Mike Sherman recruiting class was mostly about fortifying the fronts with four offensive tackle prospects, two guards, including Brian Thomas, who should be a star in a few years, three defensive tackles in what might be the strength of the class, and four good ends led by JUCO transfer Matt Moss.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... QB Tommy Dorman
The player you might care about this year ... DE Matt Moss
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Everyone who assumed the recruiting would be mediocre with Sherman not getting a full year to operate turned out to be wrong. Most of the big recruits stuck around, while there's enough good talent to build a strong foundation to build around for the next few years. Next year will have to be more about the skill players, but this class is loaded up front to hopefully jell by 2010.

4. Nebraska
The class is heavy on ... Bodies. Head coach Bo Pelini  was able to keep most of Bill Callahan's recruits, and he got a lot of new prospects to try to change things around. While all the focus team-wise is on improving the defense, but the offense might have gotten the biggest boost at receiver with five decent, midrange prospects. The three running backs, Collins Okafor, Justin Rogers and Lester Ward, could all contribute in the next two years.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... LB Will Compton
The player you might care about this year ... TE Tyson Hetzer
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Basically, the coaching change didn't affect the recruiting class even with Pelini coming on late in the game. Callahan might have had his issues, but he did a fantastic job of recruiting. Now it'll be up to Pelini to coach up the talent that's in place, while establishing that the 2008 class is his and will be the one to change around the future. 

5. Colorado
The class is heavy on ... Linebackers. The buzz of the class was Darrell Scott, arguably the nation's best running back prospect, but the meat is in the linebacking corps led by Lynn Katoa and Jon Major, two players with 2011 All-Big 12 written all over them. JUCO transfer Shaun Mohler will see time right away on the weakside, while Doug Rippy and Will Pericak are also terrific prospects to get excited about.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... LB Lynn Katoa
The player you might care about this year ... RB Darrell Scott
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins has done a good job in his tenure of getting good live bodies, and now he's starting to get elite talents. Beating Texas for Scott was a major coup, keeping OT Bryce Givens at home was key, and getting Katoa and Major showed how the program is starting to generate more and more of a buzz. Last year's class was about making Colorado competitive again, this one is about challenging for the Big 12 title.

6. Missouri
The class is heavy on ... Offense. Last year was about boosting the defensive line, and this year's class brought in several prospects and bodies, and the secondary is loaded with good players, but the strength of the class is on the offense from QB Blaine Gabbert to TE Andrew Jones to a strong corps of receivers who want to be part of the high octane attack. 6-7, 315-pound OT Dan Hoch will be an All-Big 12 performer by the time he's done.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... QB Blaine Gabbert
The player you might care about this year ... WR Rolandis Woodland
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Top recruits aren't dumb. They go where they know they're going to shine and where they'll be featured, and after the numbers and the exposure Heisman finalist Chase Daniel received last year, getting Gabbert to sign became easier. Mizzou tight ends have been fantastic under Pinkel, and Jones certainly saw that. The Tigers have their go-to pitch-catch combination for the future.

7. Oklahoma State
The class is heavy on ... Players. Lots of them. Outside of quarterback, there's a little something for everywhere with the strength coming in numbers. Last year's class was big on getting smaller, quicker players, and now this year's group is about getting size, speed, and various talents for almost all positions; there's a lot to choose from. With four wide receivers coming in and four tight ends, there will be more than enough pass catchers to open things up even more.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... LB Alfred Dupree
The player you might care about this year ... RB Beau Johnson
What it all means to the real world of college football ... There might not be another class in the Big 12 outside of Kansas State's that'll make a more immediate impact. This group will be expected to provide immediate depth, while the eight JUCO transfers will be in the mix to start from day one; they're that good. Basically, head coach Mike Gundy and his staff went out to plug holes, and did it.

8. Kansas State
The class is heavy on ... JUCO transfers. After the way the team went into the tank last year, head coach Ron Prince went after immediate help, and got it, but loading up on fantastic JUCO transfers from OT Wade Weibert to receivers Attrail Snipes and Aubrey Quarles to punter George Pierson. In all, a whopping 20 JUCOs were brought in to provide a quick fix.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... DT Tony Gillespie
The player you might care about this year ... DE Grant Valentine
What it all means to the real world of college football ... For the second straight season, KSU is going for the immediate help to try to jump-start the team while all but ignoring the high school ranks. If the staff doing enough to woo the top high school stars? If the team improves this year, Wildcat fans aren't going to worry much about the future. Generating more of a buzz in a division with Kansas and Missouri growing into stars is a must, and this class needs to do it.

9. Kansas
The class is heavy on ... Defensive line and guard. There were some big-time pickups in key areas, particularly at quarterback getting Kale Pick and tight end in Tanner Hawkinson, but the strength is on the lines where John Williams, Ben Leuken, and JUCO transfer Nathan D'Cunha will beef up the offensive interior and ends D.J. Marshall and Duane Zlatnik should be players in the near future. 325-pound DT Darius Parish was literally a huge get.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... QB Kale Pick
The player you might care about this year ... RB Tanner Hawkinson
What it all means to the real world of college football ... The program built off last year's success. No, there aren't the five-star household recruits that other Big 12 programs are getting, but Kansas hasn't needed them as Mark Mangino has always found pluggers to fit the system and fill roles. Now he's getting a better overall class of player, and while the margin for error might not be there without as many top prospects, the top shelf prospects have improved.

10. Texas Tech
The class is heavy on ... Instant help for the defensive line. Three terrific JUCO transfers, DT Broderick Marshall and ends Brandon Sesay and McKinner Dixon, give the Red Raiders instant depth and options to rotate up front. JUCO CB Jarell Rout could end up being a key nickel back or third corner from day one. High school prospects Joey Fowler and Ryan Haliburton are the future on the ends.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... RB Harrison Jeffers
The player you might care about this year ... DT Broderick Marshall
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Where's the buzz? Considering the success the program has had, top quarterbacks and receivers should be beating down the door to get to Lubbock, and they're still not. Mike Leach rarely brings in top-notch recruiting classes, but this one is light even by Red Raider standards. If the JUCO transfers don't pan out, the potential is there for this to be a lost year with no real stars for the offense, outside of possibly RB Harrison Jeffers, and not enough overall numbers to sustain a hit if some of the top high schoolers bust.

11. Iowa State
The class is heavy on ... Future Big 12 caliber starters. Last year was about trying to improve right away by going the JUCO route just to get new bodies into the mix, but this year Gene Chizik and his staff went after top talents to build around, and they got a few. Snagging powerful RB Jeremiah Schwartz was a coup, QB Jerome Tiller has the potential to become a major player, and receivers Sedrick Johnson and Jason Carlson will start sooner than later. Chizik has his ends and corners to develop in Jake McDonough and Chase Harper up front and Ter'Ran Benton and Leonard Johnson in the secondary.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... WR Sedrick Johnson
The player you might care about this year ... WR Jason Carlson
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Iowa State became competitive as last year went on, and now the talent-level is undergoing an upgrade. Don't expect major changes right away, the Cyclones aren't winning the Big 12 title any time soon, but Chizik wasn't afraid to play a few true freshmen in key spots last year and won't hesitate to unleash some of the new talent this year. The overall rating might not be high, but this was a nice class.

12. Baylor
The class is heavy on ... Offensive options. This was an interesting class for new head coach Art Briles considering last year's haul was all about the wide receivers to run the Texas Tech-like spread passing attack, and with QB John David Weed the future star of the show. Obviously everything is open with three quarterbacks coming in, including speedy JUCO transfer Jeremy Sanders and raw but talented Robert Griffin, who originally was set to play for Briles at Houston. Five wide receivers were brought in; the program is loaded with young targets.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... QB Robert Griffin
The player you might care about this year ... WR T.J. Scranton
What it all means to the real world of college football ... The coaching staff has changed, but the overall philosophy hasn't. Baylor knows it's Baylor and is going to continue to try to outbomb teams to get wins. It didn't work under Guy Morriss, but Briles is a coach more prepared to turn this into another Texas Tech. The defense wasn't completely ignored, but it'll have to be a focus going into next year. Considering how woeful the running game was under Morriss, it would've been nice if more running back prospects were brought in.