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2009 Big 12 Recruiting - What It All Means
Oklahoma CB Gabe Lynn
Oklahoma CB Gabe Lynn
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 5, 2009


How do the 2009 Big 12 recruiting classes really affect the college football world? From defensive backs (EVERYONE tried to get them) to a big year from Texas A&M to the emergence Baylor, yes, Baylor, the Big 12 had a strong recruiting season.

Recruiting 2009 ... 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 St | Texas | Texas A&M | Texas Tech

- CFN Recruiting 2009
- 2008 CFN Big 12 recruiting rankings
- 2007 CFN Big 12 recruiting rankings
- 2006 CFN Big 12 recruiting rankings

1. Texas   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 2
The class is heavy on ... defensive linemen. The Longhorns loaded up with elite players all across the board with the bulk of the star power coming on the defensive front. Alex Okafor will be a killer after he spends a few years in the weight room, and Calvin Howell and Derek Johnson will battle it out for the honor of being the next great Longhorn defensive tackle. Kyle Kriegel is a potential pass rushing terror, while Dominique Jones is a tweener who’ll see time on an All-Big 12 team before he’s through.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... QB Garrett Gilbert
The player you might care about this year ... RB Chris Whaley
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Mack Brown is at it again. The succession plan might have helped the stability, with the idea of Will Muschamp being ready to take over at some point a major plus, but Texas proved once again that it deserves to be considered in the discussion for the title of being the hot program on a national scale. Garrett Gilbert is the program’s next superstar quarterback, Greg Timmons is a good enough receiver to break through early on among a fantastic group of young targets, and OT Mason Walters will be a millionaire in five years.

2. Oklahoma   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 1
The class is heavy on ... defensive backs. Everyone in the Big 12 went heavy on the secondary, seeing it as a must after the offensive explosion of this year, but Oklahoma got the best ones of the bunch. Gabe Lynn might be the nation’s best corner, and Marcus Trice isn’t all that far behind. Javon Harris and Kevin Brent will be starting safeties by 2011, while Demontre Hurst and Marshall Musil are interesting prospects.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... CB Gabe Lynn
The player you might care about this year ... WR Cameron Kenney
What it all means to the real world of college football ... There was plenty of talk among the recruiting wonks that Oklahoma had a down year, relative to its ridiculously high recruiting standards. Don’t believe it. While there were a few top prospects here and there that slipped through the cracks, head coach Bob Stoops and his staff got their share of five-star talents like Lynn and LB Ronnell Lewis. DT Jamarkus McFarland will be playing on Sundays.

3. Texas A&M   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 3
The class is heavy on ... defensive backs. Eight players were brought in to help out the secondary, and head coach Mike Sherman got a slew of really good ones. JUCO transfer Coryell Judie might be penciled into a starting corner spot right away, while four safeties, Steven Campbell, Malcolm Johnson, Colton Valencia and Charlie Thomas are all good enough to challenge for playing time from the moment they set foot on campus.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... DT Stephen Barrera
The player you might care about this year ... RB Christine Michael
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Considering how tough a spot A&M is in, head coach Mike Sherman is doing a phenomenal job. It’s not enough that the program has to deal with Texas and Oklahoma when it comes to getting the top recruits, but Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, and even Baylor are upgrading their efforts. Worse yet, LSU all but owns sections of Texas. Even so, Sherman got his share of big-time talents with a second straight top-shelf class. Now it has to start bearing fruit, and while it might take one more year, the 2010 Aggies should be excellent if most of the talent starts to shine through.

4. Texas Tech   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 10
The class is heavy on ... defensive backs. Tech can’t beat Texas or Oklahoma without being able to slow down the pass, and it made sure the defense got plenty of attention to try to upgrade the secondary. D.J. Johnson and Yahshua Williams are very big corners who’ll get time to develop. Adding more size are safeties Will Ford and Terrence Bullitt, while Daniel Cobb will be in the starting mix in a few years.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... LB Brandon Mahoney
The player you might care about this year ... DT Myles Wade
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Mike Leach got a contract extension, proving he’s not going anywhere for a little while, and the recruits came through. This is one of the program’s best recruiting classes ever, especially after trying for a quick fix last year from the JUCO ranks. The offense gets all the attention, but Tech is getting more and more talent on defense with better prospects starting to make their way to Lubbock. The team might take a dip this year after last year’s breakthrough season, but it should be on its way back with a class this good.

5. Nebraska   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 4
The class is heavy on ... defensive backs. It was a common theme for teams throughout this recruiting season after everyone’s defense got ripped apart … get better against the pass. Nebraska was no exception with five good defensive backs to go along with DE Jason Ankrah and linebackers Eric Martin and Chris Williams for the front seven. JUCO transfer Dejon Gomes is a big, fast corner, while Lazarri Middleton and Andrew Green have good size and excellent speed.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... QB Cody Green
The player you might care about this year ... WR Brandon Kinnie
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Bo Pelini did a big-time job last year of keeping most of Bill Callahan’s recruits while bring in several above-average live bodies. Now it’s about upgrading the quality on a national scale getting in eight players from Texas, six from California, and even getting a player from Maryland. While the Huskers were in the hunt for several other prospects, and didn’t get them, Pelini has shown he isn’t afraid to go after any player from anywhere in the country.


6. Missouri   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 7
The class is heavy on ... offensive reinforcements. The defense was hardly ignored with DT Sheldon Richardson a sure-thing All-Big 12 talent and JUCO transfer Josh Tatum is a plug-n-play linebacker, but with all the superstars gone off the offense, head coach Gary Pinkel had to find a new wave of offensive prospects to develop. Blaine Dalton is a smallish quarterback who can move, while RB Kendial Lawrence and receivers Jaleel Clark and Kerwin Stricker are going to be counted on to shine by 2011.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... DT Sheldon Richardson
The player you might care about this year ... LB Josh Tatum
What it all means to the real world of college football ... The offense should be up and humming again soon even with Chase Daniel, Chase Coffman, and Jeremy Maclin gone. Pinkel loaded up on the offense over the last two years, and while it’s asking a lot for these young players to step in right away and replace a Heisman finalist, a Mackey Award winner, and a possible top ten draft pick, there are several options to choose from and work with.


7. Oklahoma State   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 7
The class is heavy on ... pass rushers. The Cowboys weren’t bad at getting into the backfield over the last few years, but they weren’t good at closing. Getting to the quarterback in the pass-happy Big 12 South is a must, and OSU put a priority on bringing in players who can do that. David Paulsen will be a starter on the outside within the next three years, while Anthony Rogers could be special with a little seasoning. Linebackers LeRon Furr and Jordan Barnes can move and will be excellent blitzers.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... RB Dexter Pratt
The player you might care about this year ... OG Anthony Morgan
What it all means to the real world of college football ... It’s always hard for OSU to get as many stars as Oklahoma and Texas, but it got its share. Safety Daytawion Lowe, guard Anthony Morgan, and running backs Jeremy Smith and Dexter Pratt are all good enough to play anywhere in the Big 12 and will be key starters in the near future. Last year brought several good JUCO transfers to play right away. This class will be more about staying power.

8. Baylor   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 12
The class is heavy on ... the passing game. Being in the Big 12 South with all the big-time passing attacks, head coach Art Briles wasted no time in going hard after defensive backs, bringing in several decent safeties, but his reputation as a top offensive head coach helped land a ton of really good, really surprising prospect. Do the receivers want to play with star sophomore QB Robert Griffin? Oh yeah. Darius Jones is a smallish, quick playmaker who could be a No. 1 target right away, but Skyler Scott, Tevin Reese, Willie Jefferson and Glasco Martin are all good enough to emerge as future stars in the system. QB Bryce Petty will be a superstar in a few years.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... QB Bryce Petty
The player you might care about this year ... OT Marquise Franklin
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Baylor? Baylor?! Yeah, Briles did a great job of bringing in talented players, and not just bodies, and while the South title isn’t anywhere on the horizon, the weapons are being stockpiled to be able to keep up in more shootouts. Considering that last year’s class was the worst by far, mostly because Briles didn’t have a full recruiting season to work, this was a glimpse of what the future might be in Waco.


9. Kansas   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 9
The class is heavy on ... defensive backs. The Jayhawks went out to get better on defense, and it did with LB Huldon Tharp, three JUCO defensive ends, end Kevin Young, and tackle Randall Dent all coming in to form the foundation for the future of the defense, but it’s the secondary that got the most help with six prospects led by corner Prinz Kande, a speedy, big coverman, while the safeties are all terrific led by JUCO transfer Calvin Rubles and true freshmen Bradley McDougald and Darian Kelly. 
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... CB Prinz Kande
The player you might care about this year ... DE Travis Stephens
What it all means to the real world of college football ... While there might not be a slew of big-time names, there’s a whole bunch of above-average options for several spots including quarterback, with Jordan Webb and Christian Mathews coming in to get some seasoning for a year before Todd Reesing graduates. For Kansas, this is a solid class that’ll shows that things are improving and that the recent success might not be fleeting.

10. Colorado   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 5
The class is heavy on ... receivers. Head coach Dan Hawkins and his staff brought in a few nice safeties, signed two good quarterbacks, and landed superstar DE Nick Casa, but the spotlight will mostly be on the three receivers who’ll be asked to contribute early on. JUCO transfer Andre Simmons has the size and the potential to be a No. 1 target from the start, while Terdema Ussery and Jarrod Darden both very big, very good targets.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... DE Nick Casa
The player you might care about this year ... WR Andre Simmons
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Hawkins was able to win with the non-five star talent at Boise State, but it isn’t working at Colorado. Like last year, when he was able to pull off a major coup and get RB Darrell Scott, he got a phenomenal talent that everyone wanted in Casa, but there wasn’t much else to get excited about. Last year’s class was fantastic, so there weren’t many holes to fill this year, but coming off yet another disappointing season, a splash would’ve been nice. It didn’t happen.

11. Iowa State   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 11
The class is heavy on ... receivers. New head coach Paul Rhoads might be a defensive coach by nature, but he and his staff went after offense with the passing game getting the most help. Running backs James White and Beau Blankenship will be a major part of the attack soon, but the goal is to get the new receivers into the mix as soon as possible. Five wide receivers and tight end Willie Scott were added, with Donnie Jennert the best prospect with 6-6 size and good speed, while JUCO transfer Josh Bellamy has field-stretching wheels.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... LB A.J. Klein
The player you might care about this year ... WR Josh Bellamy
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Former head man Gene Chizik was never afraid to put true freshmen into key roles, partly because he had to. Rhoads will put the best players in the starting spots no matter what the seniority, and there are just enough decent prospects in this class to find a few immediate starters. No one’s expecting much out of the Cyclones, but Chizik did a decent job of recruiting and Rhoads will benefit.

12. Kansas State   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 8
The class is heavy on ... defensive backs. If you’re going to try to compete in the Big 12, you need good defensive backs. Kansas State didn’t exactly break the recruiting bank on star prospects, but the secondary got the most help with safeties Thomas Ferguson and Carlton Callendar the best in the class. Throw in JUCO transfer Troy Butler and corner Courtney Thompson, along with safeties Joseph Bonugli and Torrell Miller, and the Wildcats are thinking defense first with this class.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... S Thomas Ferguson
The player you might care about this year ... S Troy Butler
What it all means to the real world of college football ... This class was a total disaster, but that was expected. It’s not like Bill Snyder ever came up with elite recruiting classes and he was able to succeed, but with no time to work, he wasn’t able to bring in anyone who’ll make the rest of the Big 12 worry. Unlike what the program usually does, there weren’t a lot of JUCO transfers with only a few coming in. Considering former head man Ron Prince brought in 20 last year, this season is about getting some young player to build for the future.