Midlands: Class Overviews
De'Vante Harris
De'Vante Harris
National Recruiting Analyst
Posted Jan 24, 2012


If you are big-time a fan who has not had the chance to keep up with your favorite team's 2012 recruiting efforts then check out the Midlands overview for a quick breakdown. Scout.com breaks down 11 recruiting classes in Texas and Oklahoma.

Texas

The Longhorns have assembled what is going to possibly go down as the best recruiting class in the Mack Brown era and with a couple of key commits down the stretch they could end up with the number one class in the country. On offense the best signee is going to be two-time Tom Landry Award winner RB Johnathan Gray from Aledo High, who scored 70 touchdowns as a senior. On the defensive side of the ball keep an eye on Brenham High star Malcom Brown, powerful interior defensive lineman. From top to bottom the Horns have locked up key players at every spot on the field and Coach Brown and the Horns will now have the talent on campus to possibly make a final national championship run.

Oklahoma

The Sooners have taken a new national approach to recruiting in 2012, But they find themselves in familiar territory with the 15th rated class in the country. Despite Texas' domination in-state OU has still been able to land some key pieces in Texas. San Antonio Reagan quarterback Trevor Knight is a run-pass threat who is extremely smart with the football. He could win the starters role after Landry Jones moves on to the NFL. If he does win that job look for him to get the ball to Port Lavaca Calhoun athlete Daniel Brooks, a true speedster who could wind up in the backfield or in the slot. The Sooners also did a nice job in-state landing pledges from four-star wide receiver Sterling Shepard from Heritage Hall and four-star running back Alex Ross from Jenks. But just lost a commitment from Wagoner High CB Kevin Peterson, who flipped to rival Oklahoma State.

TCU

The Horned Frogs are once again playing the conference shuffle as they are slated to now begin Big 12 play in 2012. They have done a great job of landing BCS level talent. Running back Benjamin Catalon is going to put up freakish stats. He got an early start on his college career as a January enrollee. On the defensive side of the ball Gary Patterson pulled off a coup by earning a commitment from Under Armour All-America defensive end Devonte Fields who had offers from coast to coast. He was the heart and soul of a Warrior defense that advanced deep in to the 5A playoffs. Lake Travis flex tight end Griffin Gilbert gives TCU a big 6'5 deep threat with a winning pedigree. He has been a part of four consecutive 4A state championship wins.

Texas A&M

Before Mike Sherman was let go the Aggies were on the way to assembling an elite class, a class which was rated in the top five in the country. Fast forward a couple of months and some talented commits have fell off the list, but the class is still going to be very special. They have done a tremendous job nailing sown the top talents in Houston. Quarterback Matt Davis is a true dual-threat who has already enrolled in school. Five-star running back Trey Williams is considered by some to be the best player in the state. With the ball in his hands he will remind people of Barry Sanders. In the slot, keep a close eye on Hightower's Bralon Addison, who is hard to keep a lid on. They also recently snagged a commit from four-star corner De'Vante Harris, who is one of the quickest in the country.

Baylor

It's a great time to be a Baylor Bear, as the team is currently enjoying a high amount of success on the field and off. Robert Griffin's Heisman win combined with wins over Oklahoma and Texas has energized the staff on the recruiting trail and it shows. Scout.com Top 100 DE Javonte Magee is the highest rated player to commit to the Bears and at 6'6, 270 the U.S. Army All-American standout is an instant impact defensive lineman. Richardson Pearce wide receiver Corey Coleman is a true speedster. On a track he may be the fastest player in the state. He has a knack for taking a short pass and turning it in to a long gain.

SMU

SMU is dealing with some obstacles on the recruiting trail at this point in the game. The news that June Jones was going to leave to accept Arizona State's head coaching position created more questions for recruits than answers and that has resulted in many decommitments, especially from players who were planning to come to Dallas from out of state. Still two of the most important recruits on the list are still out of staters. Quarterback Neal Burcham from Arkansas is a very productive passer, who completed over 70% of his passes as a senior at Greenbrier High. Wide receiver Gehrig Dieter from Washington High in Indiana racked up over 2,100 recreiving yards this season, scoring 25 touchdowns. He and Burcham should develop in to a formidable duo in college.

Tulsa

Tulsa is perennially one of the most dominant teams in Conference USA and that success started with the ability to keep local Oklahoma recruits at home, while at the same time dropping in to the Lone Star State to find hidden gems and for the Class of 2012 they have done that again. Over half of their potential 25 signees are from the Sooner State. The crown jewels are running back James Flanders and offensive lineman Blake Belcher, who both picked the Hurricane over BCS level offers. Keep an eye on Sanger QB Dane Evans as well. He is slightly undersized, but fits in to the Tulsa offense perfectly. He is very accurate and can also run. He will remind their fans of a shorter version of outgoing senior G.J. Kinne, who won a lot of games during his time with the program.

Oklahoma State

No school outside of of the Texas borders has as much success mining Texas talent as the Oklahoma State Cowboys. 13 of their 19 current commits will be heading up to Stillwater from the Lone Star State. Currently OSU check in with the 28th best class in the country and they have done a great job filling all of their needs. Carthage High offensive lineman Greg Brantley, a Scout.com four-star recruit has the size and frame to grow in to a real star. Over the weekend OSU was also able to convince four-star OT Michael Wilson from Aledo that Stillwater was a better spot for him than College Station and he agreed, switching his commitment from A&M to OSU. Missouri wide receiver Brandon Shepard may be the next big thing at wide receiver in the Big 12. He has the size, speed and the on-field swagger that many of the great ones possess.

Rice

Rice always has a tough job finding football players who excel on the field and in the classroom. They currently find themselves towards the bottom of the state recruiting rankings, but have secured pledges from some solid talents. The Gilmer duo of quarterback Luke Turner and wide receiver Darrion Pollard will bring some nice skills to the program. Turner is a bruiser, who could play defense if QB does not work out and Pollard is one of the more undervalued players in the state. He will be a great slot receiver, who will also bring some flare to the return game. On defense, the marquee name is Alexander Lyons, who racked up well over 100 tackles the past three seasons for 5A powerhouse DeSoto.

Houston

The Cougars had an amazing year on the field, which culminated in a 30-14 obliteration of Penn State in the bowl game, but losing their head coach to a school right up the road kind of put the brakes on what was shaping up to be an amazing recruiting class. Still Houston has went up against heavy hitters and the possibility of playing in a BCS bowl with a Big East title win is a huge selling point. Recently, U-of-H was able to flip Under-Armour All-America defensive tackle Donald Hopkins from Missouri, nailing down a real special player at a position that is one of the toughest to find talent. Big 6'7 offensive tackle Aviante Collins from Willowridge High could be the type of player who could develop in to an NFL product with the right development. He will be clearing lanes for the true steal of the class – Diboll running back Terrence Taylor, who brings a nice blend of skills to the table. He can run over or around you.

Texas Tech

After a sub-par season on the field in 2011 the Red Raiders found themselves well outside of the Top 25, but in recruiting a Junior College charge led by recruiting specialist Robert Prunty has Tech ready to flip that script in 2012, and with a solid finish they should find themselves in the recruiting top 25. Right now they sit one spot outside of it at 26. All-in-all Tech has secured pledges from nine post-graduate players, which will change the team's feel completely, especially on the defensive side of the ball where they seemed to struggle the most. On offense, Tech has been able to lock down two of the top receivers in the state. Tenaha's Reginald Davis racked up 556 yards in the 1A state championship game and Crockett high wide receiver Dominique Wheeler has a nice combo set of skills at 6'1, 180 pounds. Both players are true-speedsters and either could come right in and make an immediate impact.


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