With national signing day less than three weeks away (Feb. 6), here’s a look at five intriguing storylines around the Big 12 to keep an eye on.
Texas could make a move on four-star Baylor offensive line commit Rami Hammad. The Longhorns have spots to fill heading down the stretch run of the 2013 cycle.
How will Texas finish?
The Longhorns are not used to doing much work late as they’ve usually had the class almost complete close to a year before signing day. However, with the struggles on the field and a change in philosophy by Mack Brown, Texas is still looking to fill several spots. Texas ideally needs another offensive lineman and has junior college tackle Desmond Harrison at the top of the board. Look for Baylor commit Rami Hammad to get an offer should Harrison go elsewhere. The Horns have been offering some receivers as of late and would love to steal five-star Robbie Rhodes from Baylor as well. Texas is also in a battle with the Bears for defensive tackle Andrew Billings and the Longhorns are also in the market for a running back. Another quarterback in addition to Tyrone Swoopes is also a possibility. With only 13 commitments at the moment, for the first time in a while Texas fans are in for an exciting final three weeks.
Will Texas Tech make up the losses?
When Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville left for Cincinnati, the Red Raiders were sitting at a lot more than their current 10 commitments. Tuberville actually stole three of their midterm junior college enrollees. A few prospects such as Devin Lauderdale have decommitted while Tech cut ties with others like Aneas Henricks. Now, new head coach Kliff Kingsbury needs to fill out a class with a ton of holes. The Red Raiders are desperate for offensive linemen and are scouring both the junior college and high school ranks. Players such as Salesi Uhatafe and Dionte Savage have emerged lately as top targets. Old Dominion wide receiver commit Carlos Thompson was also recently offered and is likely to flip his pledge and former Texas A&M commit Quincy Adeboyejo has Tech on top at the moment. The Red Raiders’ class is currently ranked dead last in the Big 12 and, while quality would be preferred, is in desperate need of quantity at this point.
Oklahoma State’s big weekend
This coming weekend, Oklahoma State will play host to close to 20 official visitors. Almost all of the Cowboys’ 20 current pledges will be in town and that could help them land the other visitors as well. Though Oklahoma State took a hit when Washington four-star defensive end pledge Daeshon Hall decided to head to Texas A&M this weekend instead of Stillwater, there are still at least two priority visitors scheduled to be in town. New running back offer Rennie Childs has seen his stock soar as of late and the Cowboys would be considered the current leader. Receiving a pledge from him this weekend is not out of the question. Oklahoma State is also hosting former Texas Tech four-star wide receiver commit Devin Lauderdale too. Five-star wide receiver Laquon Treadwell was in town last weekend but this weekend will likely be more productive as Treadwell is ending his recruitment this afternoon with a likely commitment to Ole Miss.
Will somebody steal Hill?
Texas A&M quarterback commit Kenny Hill has been committed to the Aggies since late April. However, the high three-star prospect and state of Texas Gatorade Player of the Year has been looking around a bit as of late. Though he maintains he is still a solid pledge to the Aggies, Hill visited Baylor this past weekend. He was upfront with the A&M staff and is still a priority recruit for Kevin Sumlin and company but that trip was not his last. This weekend he will visit Kansas State. Two other Big 12 programs could get involved as well. With Kingsbury now at Tech, many expect the Red Raiders to pursue his former quarterback pledge. Hill’s name is also one that has come up a lot with Texas fans as they try to figure out who the Longhorns will pursue but so far he has not been in contact with Texas. If Hill does not end up at Texas A&M, he will play somewhere in the Big 12.
Kansas is in the thick of things to land Reeve Koehler, but can they hold off Arkansas?
Another elite national pledge for Kansas?
Kansas surprised a lot of schools across the country when head coach Charlie Weis and company received a commitment from the No. 3 overall junior college recruit in the country, defensive tackle Marquel Combs. He held offers from nearly every school, including almost the entire SEC. However, he spurned the traditional powers and chose the Jayhawks. Now, Kansas is in a position to land its first-ever U.S. Army All-American. Hawaiian offensive guard Reeve Koehler is a huge target of the Jayhawk staff. He was actually set to announce on television during the Army Bowl but his family did not want him to. Koehler will now take a trip to Arkansas as his lead recruiter from Tennessee – Sam Pittman – took a job with the Razorbacks under new head coach Bret Bielema. Arkansas is certainly going to be really tough competition for Kansas and many predict Koehler will end up there. However, the Jayhawks have his high school linebacker teammate Colton Goeas committed and that helps their cause quite a bit.
Brian Perroni is a National Recruiting Analyst for 247Sports with an emphasis on the Big 12 and junior colleges. Follow him on Twitter @Perroni247