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February 6, 2008

Signing Day Blitz: Ranking the Big 12

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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. Oklahoma

Commit List
SoonerScoop.com
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Headliner: R.J. Washington. The top player in Texas, Washington is a dynamic pass-rusher with a devastating first step.
Sleeper: Daniel Franklin. He may not be as physically imposing as some other prospects, but Franklin has a nose for the ball and is a very good tackler.
Overview: The Sooners went into Texas and pulled out the top three players in the state in Washington, Stephen Good and Jermie Calhoun, all five-star prospects. They added two big pickups from within the state lines in Muskogee teammates Stacey McGee and Jameel Owens. However, perhaps the biggest boom or bust prospect came out of Atlanta, Ga. Joshua Jarboe has the potential and tools to be another great receiver at OU. However, he needs to play with more consistency. Meanwhile, Rivals100 safety Joseph Ibiloye can add immediate depth to the secondary and Landry Jones could step in as the quarterback of the future.
2. Texas

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Orangebloods.com
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Headliner: Aaron Williams. Williams is a fierce competitor that has the size and length of a safety but the cover skills of a corner.
Sleeper: Antoine Hicks. Hicks is a fluid athlete with good size and versatility. He performed well at the Under Armour All-Star practices.
Overview: Texas is picking up two elite defensive backs in Williams and the small but speedy D.J. Monroe. Add safety Nolan Brewster, and you've got the makings of Texas' secondary of the future. The Longhorns are also getting help in the receiving corps with Rivals100 member Dan Buckner and four-star prospect D.J. Grant. Both receivers have good size and will be dangerous red zone threats. The defensive line should also get a big boost with the addition of late-riser Kheeston Randall and Rivals100 member Jarvis Humphrey. The icing on the cake may be the highlight-producing slot receiver DeSean Hales. He is very good with the ball in his hands, but must polish his route-running ability.
3. Colorado

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BuffStampede.com
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Headliner: Darrell Scott. The Buffalos have found their feature back in Darrell Scott. He may end up being the face of Colorado's resurgence.
Sleeper: Curtis Cunningham. Cunningham is a 6-foot-2 bundle of power that uses his strength to bully bigger offensive linemen.
Overview: Before Wednesday afternoon, Dan Hawkins had a great class already in the fold. However, the addition of the top running back prospect in the nation really put this group over the top. The strength of the class is the phenomenal linebacking corps. It is led by four-star prospects Lynn Katoa and Jon Major, both of whom have all-conference potential. The Buffs also got two terrific offensive line prospects in Max Tuioti-Mariner and Bryce Givens.
4. Texas A&M

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Websider.com
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Headliner: Cyrus Gray. Gray rushed for nearly 2,000 while playing quarterback for DeSoto as a senior and gives the Aggies an exciting performer in the backfield.
Sleeper: Trent Hunter. Size is the only thing Hunter has working against him. He's a headhunter and a playmaker that flies around the field.
Overview: In Mike Sherman's first year recruiting at Texas A&M, he has managed to hold on to a good chunk of the commitments already in place from the previous staff. He also landed some big pieces of his own. One of those big pieces was wide receiver Jeff Fuller. With his size and body control, Fuller is one of the top players in the class and one of the top wide receivers in the nation. Two sleeper safeties will be heading to College Station in Hunter and Keon Furtch. They will be joined on the defensive side of the ball by three impact linemen: Rod Davis, Tony Jerod and Andrew Wolridge.
5. Missouri

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PowerMizzou.com
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Headliner: Blaine Gabbert. Gabbert has one of the strongest arms and is arguably the best pure passer in the class of 2008.
Sleeper: Taylor Davis. At 6-foot-5, Davis has the frame and he also has the athleticism that could allow him to develop into a very good Big 12 lineman.
Overview: Missouri's high-octane offense will get another nice dose of talent. Gabbert is the name that really sticks out, and he is the foundation of Missouri's success in the 2008 class. Along with Gabbert, the Tigers will be picking up Drew Temple and Gahn McGaffie, two players that fit the wide-open offensive scheme well. The wide receiver position also gets re-stocked with the addition of two very big targets in Wes Kemp and Rolandis Woodland. If you include four-star tight end Andrew Jones, the 2008 class could be a glimpse of the entire offensive skill group of the future.
6. Oklahoma State

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OState.com
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Headliner: Kye Staley. Staley is a thick sturdy athlete that can do damage in a lot of different ways. He rushed for more than 9 yards/carry as a senior and scored 31 touchdowns.
Sleeper: Jeremy Gray. At 6-foot-7, Gray will be a disruptive presence in the quick passing game that is so heavily used in the Big 12.
Overview: Mike Gundy did some work in the JUCO ranks in the 2008 class and was able to land some players that should earn some immediate playing time. Beau Johnson is a big back who can be effective and durable early in his career. Lucien Antoine also has good size at safety and will add a real physical presence on the defensive side of the ball. From the high school ranks, Staley is the top player. But the Cowboys can expect some solid production out of Adrian Richards at wide receiver as a tall and athletic deep threat. Defensively, Victor Johnson is the safety of the future and one of the top players in the state of Texas.
7. Nebraska

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HuskersIllustrated.com
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Headliner: Baker Steinkuhler. Steinkuhler is the type of blue-collar kid that Husker fans will love. He will be a staple up front whether he plays offense or defense - for years to come.
Sleeper: Alonzo Whaley. Whaley played fullback and middle linebacker in high school and never left the field. He is a workhorse that will get the most out of his ability.
Overview: Nebraska added a strong finish to an already impressive class. Though they only secured commitments from three players rated at four stars or higher, the Cornhuskers pulled in a great group of three-star players that have some superstar potential. Courtney Osborne and Steven Osborne have big frames into which they can grow. P.J. Smith of John Curtis High School in Louisiana could be a huge steal at safety. The Huskers were the beneficiaries of quarterback Kody Spano's decommitment from Oklahoma State, and they were also able to convince running back Justin Rogers to leave SEC country for Nebraska.
8. Kansas State

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GoPowercat.com
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Headliner: Daniel Calvin. The 6-foot-3, 322-pound defensive tackle has great athleticism and will be a huge run-stopper for the Wildcats.
Sleeper: Kenny Session. One of the few high school prospects in the class, Session was slowed by injury as a senior but rushed for 2,400 yards as a junior.
Overview: With the 2008 recruiting class, Ron Prince made it very clear how he thinks he can build the Kansas State program: junior college prospects. Of the 33 Wildcat signees, 19 of them will be joining the program with only two years of eligibility remaining. Of those JUCO prospects, the three that have a chance to make the biggest impact are linebacker Ulla Pomele, future running back Daniel Thomas and defensive tackle Daniel Calvin. The experience of the JUCO players will be supplemented by some very good high school products such as St. Petersburg (Fla.) Northeast DT Javonta Boyd and Jenks, Okla.,product Tony Gillespie.
9. Kansas

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JayhawkSlant.com
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Headliner: Jocques Crawford. Crawford was named NJCAA's offensive player of the year after rushing for 1,935 yards in 10 games.
Sleeper: Corrigan Powell. As Powell continues to grow into his frame he could be the next great cornerback at Kansas.
Overview:After a season in which the Jayhawks shot up to the top of the Big 12 standings and beat Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl, Mark Mangino is capitalizing on the recruiting trail. One strength of the class is along the offensive front, where Mangino picked up four players of three-stars or better to add. Four-star Trevor Marrongelli out of Round Rock, Texas, leads the group. Kansas was also able to get a quarterback of the future that will fit nicely in the Jayhawk offense with Dodge City, Kan., standout Kale Pick.
10. Texas Tech

Commit List
RedRaiderSports.com
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Headliner: Brandon Sesay. The No. 11 ranked player in the junior college ranks is 6-6 and 273 pounds. He has that good size plus nice athleticism to boot.
Sleeper: Joey Fowler. The Oklahoma City prospect has great strength and could play at end or move inside.
Overview: Though Mike Leach will not be bringing in big numbers with this group of recruits, he will be addressing some key needs. Sesay and McKinner Dixon are two of six defensive line commits that will be joining the Red Raiders. The other side of the line was a key emphasis as well. Texas Tech added three offensive linemen in Deveric Gallington, Joe King and Terry McDaniel. At the skill positions, Leach signed quarterback Seth Doege and running back Harrison Jeffers. On the down side, Tech missed out on top receiver Julio Jones and didn't sign any wideouts.
11. Baylor

Commit List
SicEmSports.com
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Headliner: Robert Griffin. Griffin is one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation and will immediately be one of the most talented players on the Baylor roster.
Sleeper: Nick Florence. The less-heralded of the two quarterback commits, Florence is a winner and a leader. He could evolve into the starter in time.
Overview: Immediately following Art Briles' hiring as head coach, he made a big splash with the signing of four-star quarterback Robert Griffin. Griffin gives the class a premiere talent. He is joined by a very strong supporting cast. Griffin will have four receivers to throw, led by Lanear Sampson out of North Mesquite, Texas. Gary Mason out of Waxahachie, Texas, is the star of the class on defense. The 6-foot-5, 211-pound end has the athleticism to be a star for the Bears.
12. Iowa State

Commit List
CycloneReport.com
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Headliner: Sedrick Johnson. Johnson is a big and smooth receiver who has the size to catch balls over the middle and the athleticism to make plays after the catch.
Sleeper: Chase Harper. A star on the hardwood as well as the football field, Harper has the versatility to be a standout at several different positions.
Overview: They Cyclones got the steal of the nation when Texas A&M commit Sedrick Johnson made a last minute switch to sign with Gene Chizik and Iowa State. While Johnson is the star on offense, Chizik was able to bring in a load of defensive prospects that he will be able to develop in his system. Jake McDonough is one of four defensive linemen that will be enrolling, and three-star Ter'Ran Benton will get a chance to be the next great defensive back under Chizik's tutelage.

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