The Big 12 has undergone a seismic shift and a total identity makeover with the departures of Texas A&M and Missouri to the Big 12. Still, here we are after signing day and the same two schools are sitting at the top of the Big 12 recruiting standings: Texas and Oklahoma.
Toshiro Davis was a signing day surprise for Texas.
With signing day behind us, we take a look at the Big 12 classes and some of the less routine occurrences for the 2012 cycle.
Best class: Texas
Typical of Mack Brown, the Longhorns were fast out of the gates in the class of 2012 but what we’re not used to seeing is them close strong down the homestretch as well. Texas landed the No. 2 ranked class in the nation behind great additions along the offensive and defensive lines (five-star Malcom Brown), a pair of quarterback prospects in Connor Brewer and Jalen Overstreet as well as the most productive running back in Texas high school history (five-star Jonathan Gray).
The strong close was highlighted by four-star Dalton Santos flipping from Tennessee to Texas, three-star Bryce Cottrell flipping from Oregon and the signing day shocker of Shreveport’s Torshiro Davis chosing Texas over LSU.
Surprise class: Baylor
Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised by Baylor anymore. After the season that Art Briles put together in Waco, the Bears are proving that they are for real. They finished No. 3 in the Big 12 team rankings and the class featured star-power that is completely foreign to Baylor classes of old.
Five-star Javonte Magee led the way, committing to Baylor just a couple of days after dominating all week at the US Army All-American Bowl. But the big DT was far from the only national standout. Corey Coleman, Brian Nance and Kiante Griffin all joined Magee in the Top247. Nance also had a great week at linebacker at the US Army All-American Bowl and Coleman showed that he is one of the elite athletes in the nation with his summer performance at Nike’s elite camp The Opening.
Disappointing class: Oklahoma State
Trey Metoyer put up huge numbers at Whitehouse High School in Texas.
Whether you’re looking at its middling 5th place finish in the Big 12 or its 34th place finish nationally, Oklahoma State’s class can be described as ‘good’ but not much more than that. Most years, a good class is probably all folks in Stillwater are really hoping for but with the raised expectations that come with a third place finish in the final college football polls, Oklahoma State wants more.
Wes Lunt is quietly one of the top quarterbacks in the country and Blake Jackson joins Calvin Barnett as a pair of junior college prospects that should be instant impact guys but the Cowboys missed on some of the top in-state players like Sterling Shepard (Oklahoma) and Barry Sanders Jr. who shunned his father’s alma mater for an opportunity out West at Stanford.
Immediate impact players
WR, Trey Metoyer, Oklahoma
Take your pick really between Metoyer and junior college wide receiver Courtney Gardner for the Sooners. Both will likely make an instant impact in Norman but Metoyer is the pick here because he’s an incredibly polished prospect. The kid has massive hands, he’s strong, runs crisp, fluid routes and attacks the football in the air.
Landry Jones will benefit from having a couple of new faces on campus in Gardner and Jones that aren’t your typical newcomers. Both will come in physically mature with the size and toughness to impact the passing game immediately.
OT, Donald Hawkins, Texas
It doesn’t get much more immediate or impactful than starting on the offensive line. That is exactly what could happen with the arrival of Northwest Mississippi Junior College offensive tackle Donald Hawkins in Austin. Hawkins is a massive kid that is already enrolled early at Texas and will have all spring to learn the offensive system and prepare for the fall. For Hawkins at 6-5, 308 pounds, the physical side is already there.
DT, Javonte Magee, Baylor
Baylor doesn’t often land five-star caliber players but Javonte Magee is a no-doubt kind of talent. He has the size to play from day one at 6-6, 265. He has the demeanor to play from day one as well, showcasing a physicality and a competitive mind-set throughout a week of practice at the talented All-American Bowl. He also has the talent. One look at his high school film illustrates that.
Magee may start out initially at defensive end for Baylor but with his size and frame, don’t be surprised if he finished his career on the interior as an athletic one-gap defensive tackle.