West Virginia

2017 Big 12 Recruiting & National Signing Day Class Rankings

2017 Big 12 Recruiting & National Signing Day Class Rankings


How did the Big 12 teams stack up with their respective recruiting classes? Who had the strongest-looking haul of talent, and who struggled a bit?


Contact @PeteFiutak

2017 Big 12 Recruiting Class Rankings

Ranking recruiting classes is always a tricky job, since no one knows just how any of them will pan out until a few years from now, but it’s as much about the process as it is the actual players and scouting. Most of the recruits are still maturing, but it’s possible to make a few calls based on needs, bulk talent, and overall prospects. So what’s the criteria?

1) Bulk. Recruiting is a contact sport. Getting two five-star guys might be nice, but as history has proven, getting eight four-star players is probably better. The more good prospects, the more chances that a few of them can play.

2) Superstars. Okay, talent matters, too. Who got the most really, really good guys that everyone else wanted?

3) Who loaded up in key areas for what the program needs? Again, chances are that the more prospects you sign, the more opportunities will be there to find real players. So, in general, the big classes are going to get ranked a lot higher than the smaller ones, especially if the prospects fit the team’s profile.

Horseshoes and hand grenades – just get it close. That’s the goal of the rankings.

2017 Big 12 All-Recruiting Team
2017 Big 12 Schedule Analysis

10. Kansas Jayhawks

Kansas needs to start winning immediately, and bringing in a slew of JUCO transfers shows it. Can Washington State QB Peyton Barber step in and be a factor early on? Will Hasan Defense lock down one corner spot? The Jayhawks need to upgrade the overall talent level, and the hope will be for the freshmen to be factors in the rotation right away, along with the JUCO types. Everyone will get their shot to make an early mark.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

9. Kansas State Wildcats

Don’t get into a twist over any low rankings when it comes to Kansas State recruiting – there are few programs that do the recruit-to-a-type thing better. Bill Snyder stepped up the lines, crushing it on the defensive ends with several prospects to rise up and shine over the next few years. Interestingly enough, there aren’t a ton of JUCO transfers to produce right away – this is a class for down the road, not to try getting Snyder a Big 12 championship this season.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

8. TCU Horned Frogs

2016 was the big year for the TCU recruiting world, meaning there weren’t too many massive needs with this year’s class. Even so, the Horned Frogs a good group of wide receivers with a potentially devastating pair in Jalen Reagor and Omar Manning, and a nice haul of good defensive backs. Can Shawn Robinson be the quarterback of the near future? If so, and it he’s as good as some think he could be, then that’s the recruiting class. Again, considering what TCU got last year, nothing else will really matter if Robinson and the new receivers shine in 2019.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

7. West Virginia Mountaineers

It’s a fun class that might not quite be what the major recruiting services like, but it should be effective. This is a business-like haul of players to combat the rest of the Big 12, going heavy on defensive backs to try doing something, anything to hold serve in shootouts. With lots of holes to fill on the depth chart, head coach Dana Holgorsen went big on JUCO transfers with options for several key areas.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

6. Iowa State Cyclones

Head coach Matt Campbell came up with a nice haul with defensive linemen the main focus overall. With the defensive front a problem going into the season, the Cyclones got a few JUCO transfers for the interior, and was able to load up for the future on the ends. Considering it’s Iowa State, and it’s never going to get the superstar of superstar talents, this is a terrific class of good-enough prospects to join last year’s good haul to provide the base for the next several years.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

5. Texas Tech Red Raiders

Finding players to run the Kliff Kingsbury offense is never a problem. Finding good defensive players is always going to be the issue, but this class addresses that starting with a loaded group of defensive backs. JUCO transfers are coming in to try making a splash right away for the secondary, but the future is getting its share of players to develop for down the road. The O is getting in on the fun, too, with Jack Anderson one of the nation’s top prospects for the interior, and McLane Carter an interesting prospect to battle for the vacant QB gig.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

4. Baylor Bears

It helps that the rest of the Big 12 recruiting classes aren’t all that great, but give Matt Rhule credit for stepping into a tough situation and keeping the recruiting class from becoming a total disaster. All things considered, it’s a terrific class with several January gets to build on an already not-that-miserable recruiting season. Give it a year and Rhule should be stronger in 2018, but he and his coaching staff did a nice job.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

3. Oklahoma State Cowboys

Mike Gundy did a really, really good job after a rough 2016 recruiting season. This year’s class is loaded with top-shelf wide receivers who want to be part of the fun, while a few key JUCO transfers – Fua Leilua for the line and Patrick Macon for the linebacking corps – should be a big part of the equation right away. There might not be the top-shelf talent compared to Texas or Oklahoma, but in terms of bulk options, this group is strong.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

2. Texas Longhorns

Not only did Tom Herman walk into a heater of a team thanks to the past Charlie Strong recruiting classes – especially last year’s great class – but he’s getting even more help now. With the coaching situation settled, on-the-fence prospects started to come in, with lots of good skill players who want to be a part of the fun – helped by WR Jordan Pouncey on National Signing Day – and a strong JUCO transfer in Gary Johnson for the linebacking corps. More than anything else, Herman’s class is good enough for the moment, and now he can rock next year.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

1. Oklahoma Sooners

Boomer. This is the class Oklahoma has been pushing towards for a while, with the next-level stars for across the board thanks to a buzz about the fun and exciting offense, and with the Big 12 championships being a big part of the equation. Get ready for the passing attack to keep on humming for the next several years, with an emphasis on baller quarterbacks along with excellent receiver options. More than anything else, though, Oklahoma is bringing in more all-star talent than anyone else in the Big 12 – by far.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown