Baylor won a big battle against both TCU and Texas for the services of Andrew Billings.
What things stood out on National Signing Day in the Big 12 Conference? 247Sports gives our take in this breakdown of Big 12 Superlatives.
Best Class at Filling Needs –
TCU always seems to find diamonds in the rough and this class likely has a few but the Horned Frogs also signed several highly-rated recruits. However, what is even more impressive is that every position seemed to be addressed. Running back was a need and TCU stole Kyle Hicks from Texas and held off Oregon for Trevorris Johnson. Linebacker Dac Shaw and cornerback Ranthony Texada should both challenge for immediate playing time as true freshmen.
Biggest Surprise Class –
Kansas finished this past season with a 1-11 record but the Jayhawks have a Top 50 national signing class. That just plain shouldn’t happen. Head coach Charlie Weis and company hit the junior college ranks hard and landed the nation’s No. 3 prospect in defensive tackle Marquel Combs. With nine early enrollees that will be able to go through spring ball, this class will likely make a huge impact in the 2013 season.
Best Recruiting Battle Won –
The day before signing day, Waco (Texas) defensive tackle Andrew Billings chose to stay home and play for Baylor over TCU and Texas. The nation’s No. 158 overall prospect was seen as a longtime Texas lean but the Bears made up significant ground over the past couple of weeks. Billings family wanted him close to home and, in the end, that paid off for Baylor.
Best Down the Stretch –
Baylor. The Bears have a Top 25 class and are No. 3 in the Big 12 – and not that far behind Oklahoma and Texas. A big reason is the fact that Art Briles closed very strong. In addition to beating TCU and Texas for Billings, the Bears also flipped longtime Texas Tech commit and Top247 offensive tackle Maurice Porter this week. Junior college defensive tackle Terell Brooks also committed to Baylor on Tuesday over Kansas State and Miami. Taylor Young was also a very late commit. Though undersized, the linebacker was named the Class 5A defensive player of the year in the state of Texas.
Most Significant Flip –
Five-star defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson was a longtime Texas commit and, even though he never fully shut things down, the Longhorns still felt good about their chances. Initially USC was thought to be the team to worry about but a late school and in-home visit by Nick Saban made Alabama a serious contender. Robinson let the Texas coaches know this past weekend that he would be signing with the Crimson Tide instead. It left the Longhorns without a single signee on the defensive line.
Biggest Obstacle Overcome –
There was only one head coaching change in the conference and it came as a surprise when Tommy Tuberville left Texas Tech for Cincinnati. The Red Raiders immediately lost a couple of commits to the Bearcats and pretty much had to start the class from scratch late in the game. All seemed to be lost until close to double-digit players committed over the past two weeks.
Top Impact Recruit –
Baylor wide receiver signee Robbie Rhodes is the highest-ranked player to ink with any Big 12 school. The five-star prospect and No. 21 overall recruit in the country has blazing track speed as well as good size at 6-foot-1, 189 pounds. With the Bears losing All-American wide receiver Terrance Williams to graduation, it opens up a spot for Rhodes to come in and contribute right away. After averaging over 30 yards per reception in his high school career, he should be ready for the big stage.
Top Impact Sleeper –
TCU cornerback signee Ranthony Texada is incredibly slight of frame but one would be hard-pressed to find a more polished cover corner than the Frisco (Texas) Centennial standout. He saw his stock soar this spring as seemingly almost every college that came through the school offered him. He could very well be a freshman starter and is similar in build and skillset to Texas A&M corner DeVante Harris, who started as a freshman for the Aggies this year.
Biggest Disappointment –
It’s hard to call any top 20 class a disappointment but Texas has been used to dominating the Big 12 and the rest of the schools in the state. The Longhorns are used to Top Five finishes in recruiting so this year has to be considered a big letdown for both the coaches and fans. Though the offensive line class is loaded, Texas did not sign a single defensive lineman and missed out on key targets such as Billings and Dontre Wilson let. The Longhorns also suffered quite a few decommitments in this class including Robinson, Ricky Seals-Jones (Texas A&M), Daeshon Hall (Texas A&M), Kyle Hicks (TCU) and Durham Smythe (Notre Dame).