The Big 12 seems to take early recruiting to a different level than other conferences which can be seen in the fact that every program has at least one commitment already.
After running back Traevohn Wrench committed to Kansas, every Big 12 team had at least one pledge.
247Sports takes a look at the latest developments in the conference as well as some possible news in the near future.
WHAT HAS HAPPENED
-When Kansas received a pledge from 247Composite four-star running back Traevohn Wrench earlier this month, the Jayhawks became the final Big 12 team to gain their first commitment of the class of 2014. It was a big one as well. Though the 6-foot, 180-pound in-state prospect had always spoken highly of KU, other programs such as Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma had extended offers.
After quite a few down ones, it is a strong year in the state of Kansas. While the Jayhawks will not likely land five-star offensive lineman Braden Smith, they are in good position with several other in-state prospects such as offensive lineman Austin Chambers, athlete Joe Dineen, cornerback Andre Maloney and defensive lineman Fred Wyatt. The latter is the son of Kansas defensive line coach Buddy Wyatt.
-As usual, Texas is off to a fast start and the Longhorn class is currently ranked first in the conference and second in the country. However, head coach Mack Brown and company have done things a little differently this year. After years of not extending offers to junior until after the previous class’ national signing day, they changed tactics this year and took multiple commitments before that time.
Texas currently has eight commitments and all but linebacker Cameron Hampton came prior to February of this year. It has the makings of another very strong class but Longhorn fans are cautiously eying teammates Demetrius Knox and Daniel Gresham as both have taken other visits since their commitments and Knox will be heading to Ohio State soon. The Buckeyes were Texas’ biggest competition for him before he committed.
-Oklahoma got back to its roots a bit in the class of 2013 by hitting the state of Texas quite hard. The Sooners are keeping it up with this current class as well. All three of their commits – wide receiver Armanti Foreman, safety Vontre McQuinnie and running back Samaje Perine – hail from the Lone Star State. OU also looks to be in good position with a few other Texans such as defensive tackle Trey Lealaimatafao, wide receivers Keenen Brown and Dorian Leonard and linebacker Christian Sam,
-Baylor finished with a Top 25 class a year ago and could be well on its way to doing so again this year. The Bears were the first to offer four-star running back Terence Williams and were rewarded with an early commitment from the 6-foot-2, 218-pound bruiser. Several school came in afterwards with offers but he is solid is his commitment. Willis wide receiver Chris Platt is one of the fastest players in the state and a lot of schools will likely offer him this spring.
Sophomore defensive tackle Daylon Mack will be in Austin this weekend. He is the only sophomore currently with a Texas offer.
The Bears’ biggest get thus far, though, is athlete Davion Hall. The nation’s No. 95 overall prospect committed to Baylor in February over quite a few other offers. However, lots of schools are still making a run at him and it will be tough to hold on to his pledge.
WHAT’S COMING UP
-Texas and Texas A&M have already had several head-to-head battles in the state with the Aggies coming out on top of many of them such as linebacker Hoza Scott, defensive back Nick Harvey, defensive tackle DeShawn Washington, safety Dylan Sumner-Gardner and linebacker Josh Walker. Mack Brown is not used to this happening and he can fire a few shots himself in the near future.
-Speaking of Texas, the Longhorns are hosting a pair of sophomore days over the next two weekends. Most of the top prospects for the class of 2015 from across the state have been invited and confirmed attendees include the likes of cornerback Kendall Sheffield, defensive tackle Daylon Mack and quarterback Chason Virgil.
Mack holds the earliest offer in the history of the Mack Brown tenure and it will be interesting to see if any of the other sophomores leave Austin with offers or if the Longhorns decide to wait a little bit before offering players that are over two years away from graduation.
-Like the state of Kansas, the state of Oklahoma is exceptionally talented in the class of 2014. The Sooners have offered many of the top in-state players and could see commitments from quite a few of them. Oklahoma looks like a longshot for the state’s No. 1 prospect, quarterback David Cornwell, and the No. 2 player, running back Devon Thomas, was briefly committed to the Sooners before switching to Oklahoma State.
Oklahoma is still in it for several others though. It will be a battle with Texas A&M for quarterback Justice Hansen and safety Steven Parker while the Sooners are in a lot better shape for the likes of linebacker Gyasi Akem and wide receiver Jeffery Mead.
-Linebacker Justin Phillips became the first defensive commitment for Oklahoma State when he pulled the trigger on Sunday evening. The Cowboys could add to that haul soon with Louisiana defensive lineman Joyan Williams, who almost committed to Oklahoma State a few weeks back.