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February 5, 2009

Signing Day Blitz: Ranking the Big 12

More Conferences: ACC | Big East | Big Ten | Pac-10 | SEC

Rivals.com breaks down every class and takes a look at the headliners and sleepers each school signed in the special Signing Day edition of the Big 12 Blitz.

Baylor | Colorado | Iowa State | Kansas | Kansas State | Missouri
Nebraska | Oklahoma | Oklahoma State | Texas | Texas A&M | Texas Tech

Signing Day Blitz: Ranking the Big 12
1. Texas

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Orangebloods.com
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Headliner: Garrett Gilbert. Gilbert heads to Austin as the career passing leader in Texas high school history.
Sleeper: Kenny Vaccaro. Vaccaro fell under the radar with a senior season injury, but he is an absolute missile to the football and he has ball skills to boot.
Overview: Texas landed three five-stars from within the state in Gilbert, Mason Walters and Alex Okafor. Further bolstering that in-state dominance, the Longhorns landed one of the state's best defenders in Calvin Howell, a great possession receiver in Greg Timmons, a jumbo athlete in Chris Whaley and a shutdown corner in Marcus Davis. Texas also added depth to the offensive line beyond Walters with Thomas Ashcraft, Garrett Porter and Paden Kelley, and two of the nation's best tight ends in Barrett Matthews and Trey Graham. After Oklahoma snatched up some of the state's best in 2008, the Longhorns locked down the state in 2009.
2. Oklahoma

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SoonerScoop.com
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Headliner: Jamarkus McFarland. One of the top prospects in the nation, McFarland's recruitment made headlines for several reasons. Most important, he chose OU over regional powers Texas and LSU.
Sleeper: Drew Allen. Much like former three-star and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford, Allen has all the tools and intangibles to be a superstar under center for the Sooners.
Overview: There are a lot of strengths in the 2009 class for Oklahoma, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. The defensive backs the Sooners are bringing in include a physical safety in Kevin Brent, a versatile big corner in Gabe Lynn, four-star cornerback Demontre Hurst and one of the top true cover men and pure athletes in the country in Marcus Trice. Moving up to linebacker, Oklahoma has one of the best duos in the country coming in with a headhunter named Tom Wort and Ronnell Lewis, who could be the player with the most upside in this class. Throw in future NFL lineman Justin Chaisson along with McFarland and the defense is in good shape for the future.
3. Texas A&M

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AggieYell.com
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Headliner: Christine Michael. A five-star prospect, Michael can step in and add an immediate home-run threat to the Aggies' backfield with speed, strength and a hard-working attitude.
Sleeper: Ryan Swope. An athlete who can do it all, Swope could project in a number of different roles for the Aggies and should find a way to make an impact in some capacity.
Overview: With the exception of Michael, Texas A&M didn't clean up with the most highly rated players from within the state, but it did pick up a laundry list of quality players from within the state of Texas and a few great ones from outside. Four-star Patrick Lewis is an undersized offensive lineman who is tenacious on the inside and could be an option at either guard or center. Jonathan Stewart, another Louisiana native, is a huge, physical linebacker who will add toughness to the defense from day one. Also on defense, Chris Henderson is a disruptive interior lineman, and Steven Terrell adds size and athleticism to the secondary.
4. Nebraska

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HuskersIllustrated.com
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Headliner: Cody Green. After being injured most of his junior season, Green threw for 3,226 yards and 36 touchdowns as a senior and rushed for more than 1,500 yards. Think that doesn't have Nebraska fans excited?
Sleeper: Andrew Green. Three-stars turn into five-star talents all the time, and Green has that kind of upside. Few cornerbacks nationally are as physical as Green.
Overview: If there is one thing the 2009 Nebraska recruiting class has going for it is production. Aside from Green's massive numbers at quarterback as a senior, the Cornhuskers are adding Rex Burkhead, one of the most versatile and productive backs in the state of Texas. Another good get was Chris Williams, a tackling machine and Parade All-American. Nebraska's top prospects aren't limited to midland recruits either. Jason Ankrah is a physical phenom at defensive end out of Maryland, and Dijon Washington is a steal of a defensive back out of California. The Huskers even dipped into North Dakota for what could be one of the sleepers of the class in offensive tackle Brent Qvale.
5. Kansas

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JayhawkSlant.com
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Headliner: Prinz Kande. One of the top players from one of the top programs in the country, Kande is a hard-hitting defensive back with the ability to cover as well.
Sleeper: Deshaun Sands. The son of former Jayhawks running back Tony Sands, Deshaun may be the most exciting and explosive player in the 2009 class for Kansas.
Overview: The Jayhawks did a good job of capitalizing on another successful season by bringing in a group of players who fill needs at almost every position. They picked up two quarterbacks, one an athletic dual-threat (Christian Matthews) and one more of a true passer (Jordan Webb). They loaded up on quality defensive backs with Kande, Dexter Linton and Darian Kelly. They got a power back in Toben Opurum, a huge wide receiver target in Chris Omigie and a player with loads of potential off the edge in defensive end Jacoby Thomas.
6. Texas Tech

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RedRaiderSports.com
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Headliner: Eric Stephens. There may be players in the Texas Tech 2009 class who have generated more hype, but Stephens may be one of the most versatile and complete backs in the country. He's untouchable in space, catches the ball well and will be a great fit in Lubbock.
Sleeper: E.J. Celestie. Celestie committed to Texas Tech early and didn't get a whole lot of recruiting attention, but he is exactly the type of explosive player who excels in coach Mike Leach's wide-open system.
Overview: If nothing else, Texas Tech is bringing in an athletic and exciting group in 2009. In addition to Stephens and Celestie, Eric Ward is an amazing athlete who can do it all at wide receiver. Aaron Fisher is a big, speedy, sure-handed threat who will thrive under Leach, and Jacob Karam was one of the most productive quarterbacks in Texas over the past two seasons and a proven winner and leader. There are also some real upside prospects to be excited about as well. Romario Cathey is raw but athletic, Terrance Bullitt has tremendous length and huge upside, and Jarvis Phillips may have been one of the best pure athletes in the Dallas Metroplex in 2009.
7. Oklahoma State

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OState.com
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Headliner: Dexter Pratt. Pratt was one of the real steals of LSU's recruiting class until some clearinghouse issues got in the way of an early enrollment. LSU's loss quickly became Oklahoma State's gain. Pratt is one of the best out of the state of Texas.
Sleeper: Anthony Rogers. Slightly undersized at defensive end at around 235 pounds, Rogers is powerful and quick off the edge and plays much bigger than he looks.
Overview: Oklahoma State continues to raise its talent level and is now consistently competing with the best in the Big 12 for major prospects. In the class of 2009, Pratt is joined by four-star prospects like Oklahoma natives Daytawion Lowe and versatile running back Jeremy Smith. Also from within the state, Brandon Webb adds elite talent to the offense with the ability to play multiple positions along the line. Anthony Morgan adds much more than depth. The offensive guard is one of the top junior college prospects in the nation regardless of position and should vie for a starting spot immediately.
8. Missouri

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PowerMizzou.com
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Headliner: Sheldon Richardson. Richardson is Missouri's second five-star prospect in two years and he is an athletic freak, running a 4.7 40 at more than 290 pounds.
Sleeper: L'Damian Washington. Previously a Louisiana Tech commit, this big receiver prospect saw his recruitment pick up extremely late and will wind up being the steal of the class out of Louisiana.
Overview: Starting with the five-star Richardson, Mizzou has a lot about which to be excited. The Tigers landed one of the nation's top junior college prospects, Joshua Tatum, an inside linebacker out of California. The offense should be in good hands with Kendial Lawrence at running back. Lawrence rushed for nearly 2,700 yards as a senior and scored 43 touchdowns. Brayden Burnett is a very productive force on the defensive line and he'll be joined on defense by players like Ty Phillips, who is another under-the-radar prospect poised to explode. Coach Gary Pinkel also has two options for his quarterback of the future in Blaine Dalton and Ashton Glaser.
9. Colorado

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BuffStampede.com
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Headliner: Nick Kasa. Any time you can steal a recruit from the defending national champions that is huge, and that's exactly what happened with Kasa, a Florida commitment until a few days after the Gators' national championship win.
Sleeper: Derrick Webb. Webb doesn't have the size or measurables of some of the elite southeastern linebackers, but he does have a playmaker's instincts and could be very productive in the Big 12.
Overview: Colorado followed up a fantastic 2008 class with some more high-profile players, starting with Kasa. With his size and speed off the edge, Kasa will add an immediate impact on the line. Also from within the state, Jack Harris is a big offensive tackle prospect who is still growing into his frame and should be a force down the road. Adding to the defensive line haul, Edward Nuckols is a big, bruising lineman out of California. Texas wide receiver Jarrod Darden has a lot of upside because of his size and length, and coach Dan Hawkins was also able to add a quarterback of the future in Clark Evans.
10. Baylor

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SicEmSports.com
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Headliner: Glasco Martin. Martin continued to impress every chance he got as a senior, and he could project in college as a running back, wide receiver or defender. He is a special athlete.
Sleeper: Skyler Scott. Scott is a talented receiver who never really had a quarterback to get him the ball effectively in high school, which may have limited his recruitment.
Overview: Though it may be near the bottom of the Big 12, Baylor has put together what may be the sleeper class of the conference. Ivory Wade and Danny Watkins are both highly recruited prospects who will immediately help out on the offensive line. Bryce Petty, a last-minute pickup, has a good frame and tools to work with as he develops into a future quarterback. Versatile players like Chance Casey and Darius Jones provide athleticism and excitement to the group, and wide receiver Josh Gordon may have as much upside as any wide receiver in Texas.
11. Iowa State

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CycloneReport.com
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Headliner: Darius Reynolds. The junior college prospect has a background at quarterback, but he has the size and athleticism to play almost anywhere on the field.
Sleeper: Jeremy Reeves. Take one look at this diminutive defensive back's highlights and you'll see what kind of ability he has with the ball in his hands. Reeves could step in and be a star on special teams.
Overview: Faced with a daunting task after the departure of Gene Chizik, new coach Paul Rhoads has done an admiral job of salvaging a solid class for Iowa State. If not for his status as a top baseball prospect, Princeton Jackson would likely be a national recruit. With his recruitment to the Cyclones, Iowa State gets one of Houston's top linebackers. Donnie Jennert is a 6-foot-6 target at wide receiver with terrific hands. James White is an all-purpose back out of the talent-rich program of Dallas Skyline who should offer immediate speed in the backfield, and Aaron Moore was formerly committed to Auburn before following Rhoads to Iowa State.
12. Kansas State

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GoPowercat.com
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Headliner: Timothy Flanders. Running back was a major need in the 2009 class for Kansas State and Flanders offers immediate impact at that position as a player that rushed for over 2,000 yards as a senior on over 11 yards per carry.
Sleeper: Angelo Pease. A quarterback for his high school team, Pease is an athlete who may play under center for Kansas State.
Overview: With Snyder's return to the college football game, he hit the recruiting trail hard and found some gems in some diverse locations. Out of Louisiana, Snyder pulled a 6-3 safety with cornerback cover skills in Torell Miller and a huge offensive tackle with some unbelievable upside in Cornelius Lucas. Defensive backs Courtney Thompson and Carlton Callender bring that famous Florida speed to the Big 12. Right down the road in Texas, Thomas Ferguson at safety and John Hubert at running back may be the prospects who make the biggest impacts of all.

More Conferences: ACC | Big East | Big Ten | Pac-10 | SEC




 

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