With the 2018 recruiting classes in the books, those Big 12 teams that ranked at the top (Texas, Oklahoma) hope their classes meet expectations, while the classes near the the bottom (Kansas State, Kansas) hope their classes exceed expectations. Some will, some won’t. We went through the recruiting classes from 2012-2017 and analyzed recruiting ranks vs. wins over that period of time.
Well last year, we re-ranked the 2014 Big 12 recruiting classes. After three years, you have a very good idea as to where a class stands and whether or not it was a success, failure, exceeded expectations or did not meet them.
So here we go with the 2015 recruiting classes.
1. Texas Longhorns (2015 247Sports Big 12 ranking: 1)
Malik Jefferson, Deshon Elliott and Connor Williams are off to the NFL Draft and were very solid contributors. Other top recruits who have had success include LB Anthony Wheeler, CB’s Holton Hill and Kris Boyd, plus linebacker Breckyn Hager and Ray Guy Award winner Michael Dickson. There were also no obvious busts near the top of this class as players like Patrick Vahe, John Burt and Davante Davis have all contributed on at least a fairly meaningful level. Granted, this class underachieved in the win column based on the amount of talent it has, but as a recruiting class and the players living up to expectations, several have, or at least been very solid contributors.
2. Kansas State Wildcats (2015 247Sports Big 12 ranking: 8)
Hey, this is what Bill Snyder does. Over recruit. Every stinkin’ year. Look at how much depth this class has that provided and will continue to provide next season. Cornerback Duke Shelley, defensive end Reggie Walker, RB Alex Barnes, offensive lineman Scott Frantz, WR Isaiah Zuber, DT Trey Dishon… the list goes on and on and on. Then there’s QB Alex Delton, who could be the starter next season. We’ve come to expect this though. So should we really be shocked? The top-ranked player in the class was LB Elijah Sullivan, who had his best game of the season in the Cactus Bowl with six tackles.
3. West Virginia Mountaineers (2015 247Sports Big 12 ranking: 4)
This class for the Mountaineers was loaded at wide receiver with Gary Jennings, David Sills V (although he came in as a QB), and Jovon Durante. Defensively, the best of the group was cornerback Rasul Douglas, who was picked by, and played for, the Eagles this past season. Also, there were guys like linebacker David Long, who could become a top linebacker in the Big 12 next season, cornerback Ka’Raun White, and defensive end Adam Shuler, who have proven to be useful players.
4. Baylor Bears (2015 247Sports Big 12 ranking: 5)
This class from Art Briles exceeded expectations thanks to the likes of Jarrett Stidham (now at Auburn), WR Blake Lynch, RB JaMycal Hasty, OL Mo Porter and LB Clay Johnston, just to name a few. Lots of the top players hit in this class that was ranked 36th in the nation. Even the second tier of guys like Tony Nicholson (2016 All-Big 12 first-team punt returner), Pooh Stricklin and Henry Black have been very solid contributors.
5. Oklahoma Sooners (2015 247Sports Big 12 ranking: 2)
Wow. This class was a huge letdown by OU standards. The top recruit, Neville Gallimore played sparingly as a redshirt sophomore this past season, while Ricky DeBerry, the second-highest ranked recruit, has asked to transfer. P.J. Mbanasor and Will Sunderland are also highly-touted recruits no longer with the team. The class did include running back Rodney Anderson and Dede Westbrook, two obvious successes, along with Bobby Evans and Austin Seibert. But for a class that was ranked 15th in the nation, it left a lot to be desired, in hindsight.
6. Kansas Jayhawks (2015 247Sports Big 12 ranking: 10)
This class actually turned out to be pretty darn good. It had WR Steven Sims Jr., along with productive running backs Ke’aun Kinner and Taylor Martin. But the star of the class was DE Dorance Armstrong Jr., who led the Big 12 in sacks in 2016, disappointed a bit in 2017 and is now off to the NFL Draft. QB Ryan Willis was the top recruit in the class and he’s transferred to Virginia Tech. CB Tyrone Miller has been a solid contributor in the secondary as well. Well done, Kansas.
7. Iowa State Cyclones (2015 247Sports Big 12 ranking: 9)
There were some solid contributors on this team in DT Demond Tucker, OL Julian Good-Jones, RB Sheldon Croney, and possibly a budding star in WR Hakeem Butler. Croney and Butler could really blossom in 2018, while a player like Jomal Wiltz was signed and spent time on the Eagles this past season. Also at the top of this class was OL Bryce Meeker, who started seven games this past season and has a good chance to be a starter next season. There were no obvious busts near the top of the class and some surprises near the bottom.
8. TCU Horned Frogs (2015 247Sports Big 12 ranking: 6)
This wasn’t a very good class. The top recruit was CB Deshawn Raymond, who transferred last offseason. The second-best recruit was WR Jarrison Stewart who only played in two games in 2017. Other top recruits included LB Semaj Thomas and OT Sam Awolope, who have done little to nothing. WR Jaelen Austin has been a solid pick up, while other successes include KaVonte Turpin and Niko Small. But most of this class left plenty to be desired in Fort Worth.
9. Texas Tech Red Raiders (2015 247Sports Big 12 ranking: 3)
Well, what was the best class, in terms of rankings, that Kliff Kingsbury has recruited, was a total dud. Most of the top players in this class transferred including DT Breiden Fehoko (LSU), RB Corey Dauphine (Tulane) and WR Jonathan Giles (LSU). OT Conner Dyer and Linebacker D’Vonta Hinton have also left the team. That’s a total of three of the top four players recruited no longer a part of the program. Keke Coutee, off to the NFL, is the brightest spot of this group that was supposed to help redefine Kingsbury’s program. Unfortunately, it never did.
10. Oklahoma State Cowboys (2015 247Sports Big 12 ranking: 7)
The Pokes’ top recruit, DT Darrion Daniels has been a role player with 26 tackles as a junior in 2017, and he has 1.5 sacks for his career. QB John Kolar hasn’t done a thing, while RB Chris Carson’s career never lived up to expectations and cornerback Kevin Henry showed promise in 2016 before an injury suffered before the 2017 season. Jalen McClesky is one of the few bright spots in this class that was ranked No. 40 in the nation.