One recruiting cycle is in the books. Another one is well under way.
Wide receiver KD Cannon is a big target for Texas Tech.
Today we take a look at the Big 12 Conference and identify what each of its teams' top needs is for the 2014 class.
Biggest Need – The Bears have been looking everywhere, from the in-state high school ranks and out-of-state junior colleges, trying to find defensive tackles in this class. Though they signed three in 2013, including Top247 prospect Andrew Billings, there is still a need for interior linemen in Waco.
Top Target – DT Cedric Johnson, Rowlett (Texas) High
Biggest Need – The Cyclones signed a couple of sleeper cornerbacks from the state of Florida in the class of 2013 so Iowa State could use some big-time playmakers at the position. They do not have out a ton of offers at the spot, or at any position for that matter, but they have thrown their hats into the ring for a few top prospects.
Top Target – CB D'Andre Payne, Washington (D.C.) Friendship Collegiate Academy
Biggest Need – The Jayhawks did not sign a running back in the class of 2013 and current starter James Sims will be a senior this season. Head coach Charlie Weis and company need a spread offense back that can take his place and, though there are contenders on campus, a new addition will add to the competition and the team can sell early playing time.
Top Target – RB Traevohn Wrench, Gardner (Kan.) Gardner-Edgerton
Biggest Need – The Wildcats have a glaring need at offensive tackle. Though the team signed a trio of offensive linemen in 2013, none project to be able to play on the outside. Though Bill Snyder can use his tried and true method of going the junior college route to find a stopgap solution, a high school prospect can bring more continuity to the offense.
Top Target – OT Braden Smith, Olathe (Kan.) South
Biggest Need – Like several other schools in the conference, the Sooners are desperately looking for help at defensive tackle. After striking out on several top targets in the 2013 class and signing a few grade risks, it becomes important for the Sooners to sign a few in 2014. They already saw two of their early targets come off the board this weekend in Zaycoven Henderson (TCU) and Tashon Smallwood (USC).
Top Target – DT Khairi Clark, Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade Madonna
Biggest Need – The Cowboys signed one linebacker in February and it was a very late offer in sleeper Dawson Bassett. Because of that, the Oklahoma State staff has clearly made the position a priority in 2014. There have been several offers extended, especially in the state Texas and the Cowboys are in good position with a few of them.
Top Target – LB Gyasi Akem, Broken Arrow (Okla.) High
Biggest Need – TCU only signed two defensive backs in the 2013 class and only one of those could possibly end up at safety. Because of that, the Horned Frogs are looking for big, athletic safeties that can play against spread offenses in the Big 12. Luckily for them, it is an incredibly deep year at the position in the state of Texas.
Top Target – S Jamal Adams, Lewisville (Texas) Hebron
Biggest Need – While the in-state crop of defensive backs may be the deepest ever and the Longhorns will sign a few for sure, Texas’ biggest need is on the defensive line. After not signing a single player at tackle or end in 2013, the Horns need to land some playmakers capable of making an immediate impact once they arrive.
Top Target – DE Solomon Thomas, Coppell (Texas) High
Biggest Need – With new head coach Kliff Kingsbury bringing a very high-tempo offense to Lubbock, the Red Raiders are going to need plenty of playmakers at the wide receiver position. Many of the current contributors will be seniors this season so the team is looking to restock the cupboard. They already have Jakari Dillard committed but need a few more to go with him.
Top Target – WR KD Cannon, Mount Pleasant (Texas) High
Biggest Need – West Virginia has no proven quarterback on campus now that likely first-round draft pick Geno Smith has graduated. After targeting a couple of junior college prospects a year ago, the Mountaineers failed to sign one in the 2013 class. That makes a signal caller a very pressing need this go round.
Top Target – QB William Crest, Baltimore (Md.) Dunbar