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.
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 2017 recruiting classes.
1.Oklahoma Sooners (2017 ranking: 1st in Big 12)
What a class. And the biggest stars from this class weren’t the top recruits. CeeDee Lamb and Kennedy Brooks were studs the past two years. Trey Sermon in the mix as well. Creed Humphrey is one of the top offensive linemen in the conference. Oh and this guy named Marquise Brown, currently in the NFL, was a JUCO product in this class, plus a fella named Kenneth Murray, who will be joining Lamb in doing serious damage in the NFL in 2020. Sure there were some swings and misses at the top. Justin Broiles hasn’t lived up to the hype and Addison Gumbs is long gone. But there was plenty to love about this class, it just mostly all came on one side of the ball.
2. Baylor Bears (2017 Big 12 ranking: 5th)
This was Matt Rhule’s first class after being hired and thankfully for him the new early signing period was not in effect so he had time to pound the recruiting trail, which he did incredibly effectively. QB Charlie Brewer leads this class that helped turn Baylor from a one-win team in 2017 to an 11-win team in 2019. The 2019 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year James Lynch was a three-star prospect in this class. Wide receivers RJ Sneed and Gavin Holmes were two of the top prospects and lineman Xavier Newman was actually the highest-rated recruit of the class. John Lovett and Trestan Ebner became really solid contributors as well. Terrell Bernard was arguably the best linebacker in the Big 12 for the second half of the 2019 season and was an unheralded three-star prospect. This class will be forever known as the one that revived Baylor football and it far exceeded most’s expectations.
3. Oklahoma State Cowboys (2017 Big 12 ranking: 4th)
When you have Tylan Wallace and Chuba Hubbard in the same class, you’re going to get some love. But this class also includes LB Malcolm Rodriguez, who was the team’s leading tackler in 2019. Brendon Evers, Tre Sterling and Brock Martin have all been really solid contributors for this team as well. For all the grief we give Mike Gundy for his seemingly mediocre recruiting classes, this one was anything but in hindsight.
4.Texas Longhorns (2017 Big 12 ranking: 2nd)
Sam. Ehlinger. That’s where you start. Texas got its first program-defining quarterback since Colt McCoy in this class, which means it took the Longhorns, yes, the Longhorns nearly a decade to find his replacement. But after Ehlinger, there is a drop off. Daniel Young, Gary Johnson, Cade Brewer and Samuel Cosmi have all had or are having nice careers, but by Texas standards, not outstanding. Toneil Carter and Ta’Quon Graham did not reach their potential, while others like Reese Leitao never came close to expectations.
5. TCU Horned Frogs (2017 Big 12 ranking: 3rd)
This class is highlighted by Jalen Reagor, whose individual talent has far exceeded the numbers he’s put up in Fort Worth due to quarterback troubles. QB Shawn Robinson was in this class and he did not pan out as many hoped for, but defensive tackle Corey Bethley is a stud, the Big 12’s leading tacklers in Garrett Wallow was a three-star safety prospect in this class. Other starters or contributors included Lakendrick Van Zandt, Omar Manning and Kennedy Snell.
6. Iowa State Cyclones (2017 Big 12 ranking: 7th)
This class was loaded with players who helped Iowa State become one of the best defenses in the Big 12 the last couple of seasons. Ray Lima was one of the top recruits at defensive tackle. Also in this class, O’Rien Vance, Matthew Eaton, Jake Hummel, Josh Knipfel and Charlie Kolar. That’s quite a few diamonds in the rough who produced at a high level for Campbell in recent seasons.
7. Texas Tech Red Raiders (2017 Big 12 ranking: 6th)
This class was probably better than many expected it to be at the time. Jack Anderson has lived up to the hype as one of the best offensive linemen in the Big 12 Conference. Octavious Morgan was the second-best recruit in the class and while he was a JUCO player with a brief stint, he had a solid career. But go down the list and Dakota Allen was in this class, along with Riko Jeffers, two very good linebackers in Lubbock. Adrian Frye became one of the better, young cornerbacks in the conference as well in recent years. This was not a half-bad class that Kliff Kingsbury put together three years ago.
8. Kansas State Wildcats (2017 Big 12 Ranking: 9th)
The Wildcats did a good job at the top of this class, with Daniel Green, Eli Walker and Wyatt Hubert all becoming really good contributors on the team the past couple of seasons. But after that…. not much. Landry Weber? That doesn’t move the needle, but he certainly was an overachiever!
9. West Virginia Mountaineers (2017 Big 12 Ranking: 8th)
The top recruit in this class was Derrek Pitts, who ended up transferring to Marshall. But there were some good players in this class, most notably David Sills (the second time around), Tevin Bush, Ezekiel Rose, Kenny Robinson and Darius Stills, who is turning into a stud on the defensive line. But there also was a lot of “average” or just flat out misses in this class.
10. Kansas Jayhawks (2017 Big 12 Ranking: 10th)
Well there are a lot of players in this class you will know who saw significant playing time, but what does that mean considering how poorly the team has played? Dominic Williams, Hasan Defense, JJ Holmes, Peyton Bender, and Quan Hampton have all seen the field… but what’s been accomplished?
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