The Big 12 Conference landed some elite talent during the 2013 cycle. However, there are always those recruits that don’t necessarily get the fanfare that end up being top-level players at the college level and beyond. The “sleepers” if you will.
Jaxon Salinas could turn out to be another great evaluation by Oklahoma State offensive line coach Joe Wickline.
Here’s a look at one potential sleeper in each Big 12 class for the 2013 cycle.
Taylor Young, LB, DeSoto (Texas) High – Young was a very late offer for the Bears as a lot of schools saw the 5-foot-10, 225-pound linebacker as simply being too short. However, all he does is make plays. He was the Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year for Class 5A, the largest in the state, and comes from one of the top programs in Texas – something that cannot be discounted. Though he is short, the Bears have shown in the past that playmakers will play.
Kamari Syrie, S, Hurst (Texas) L.D. Bell – The Cyclones went into the Lone Star State and picked up an underrecruited defensive back in the 5-foot-10, 190-pound Syrie. He ended up an Honorable Mention All-State selection his senior year and showed himself to be a big hitter. He is also not bad in coverage and could be another great evaluation from Texas for the former “Big 12 North” programs.
Ishmael Hyman, WR, Holmdel (N.J.) St. John Vianney – Kansas went way outside its standard recruiting footprint to grab Hyman from New Jersey. The 6-foot, 166-pound wide receiver had offers from more local programs such as Boston College, Rutgers and Syracuse but wanted to play for the Jayhawks and head coach Charlie Weis. Those from the Northeast swear by his talent and he was a standout at the Chesapeake Bowl in December.
Jacky Marcellus could see a similar role at West Virginia as Tavon Austin.
Cre Moore, CB, Broken Arrow (Okla.) High – The 6-foot, 173-pound cornerback comes from one of the top programs in the state of Oklahoma and has very good size for his position. He was a big win for the Wildcats over in-state rival Kansas. He has been coached well in high school and could end up being an early contributor in Manhattan. Moore was a top 10 prospect in the state of Oklahoma which means he is no slouch at all.
Christian Daimler, OT, Houston (Texas) Stratford – Daimler has been an Arizona State commit for a couple of months before the Sooners flipped him in December. Oklahoma then hung onto him when Texas A&M, a longtime favorite, came calling late in the process. At 6-foot-7, 260-pounds, the offensive tackle has a great frame to work with. He may not be as polished now as many of the other linemen in the class but his potential is through the roof.
Jaxon Salinas, OC, Irving (Texas) High – Though his high school offensive linemate Rami Hammad saw his stock soar with a strong postseason, the 6-foot-4, 285-pound Salinas has the same mean streak and also had the Irving staff raving about his abilities. Oklahoma State offensive line coach Joe Wickline has proven to be one of the best evaluators in all of college football so that bodes well for Salinas’ future. With his physicality and strength, he comes to Stillwater ready to challenge for early playing time.
Jermaine Antoine, ATH, Loreauville (La.) High – The 5-foot-9, 170-pound athlete first made his name by being named the MVP of the U.S. Army All-American Combine after his junior year. He spent time at both wide receiver and cornerback and was very good at both spots. Antoine picked up several offers early in the process but things slowed down since he did not commit early. TCU took a late flyer on him and could see the gamble pay off with either a very good cornerback or quick slot receiver.
Jacorey Warrick, WR, Houston (Texas) Cy Falls – The 5-foot-10.5, 170-pound wide receiver is a dangerous playmaker but saw his senior season cut short by a torn meniscus. Warrick is back to full health, though, and is already running track for Cy Falls. Texas took him with the idea that he could potentially play cornerback as well but he is so versatile on offense that he may be hard to keep away from there. He is already a very polished route runner and could play either inside or outside.
Kahlee Woods, ILB, Sherman (Texas) High – Woods is a thick inside linebacker prospect at 6-foot, 235 pounds. However, he can move incredibly well for his size. His film shows a player that is not afraid to come downhill and make a big hit. Texas Tech did not pursue him until new head coach Kliff Kingsbury took over and the Red Raiders could see the decision to target the North Texas standout pay off.
Jacky Marcellus, APB, Immokalee (Fla.) High – Marcellus was not as highly-recruited as some of his Immokalee teammates but the 5-foot-8, 175-pound speedster seems a perfect fit for West Virginia’s offense. Though it would not be fair to compare him, or anyone for that matter, to Tavon Austin, Marcellus could fill a similar role in being able to line up in the backfield or at wide receiver. He can also make some noise in the return game.