Big 12 Recruiting Breakdown

Oklahoma and Texas remain the top dogs in the Big 12 as far as recruiting is concerned, but schools like Missouri and Colorado have also done a tremendous job of adding impact players to their rosters. In this feature takes a look around the conference and gives analysis on the each program.

Nebraska: 2008 Commitment List

Top Player- Baker Steinkuhler

One That Got Away- Blaine Gabbert

Super Sleeper- Collins Okafor

The Cornhuskers started off the recruiting season on fire when they started pulling in top ranked players in Blaine Gabbert, Baker Steinkuhler, Bryce Givens, and Josh Williams. After the news that head coach Bill Callahan would not be retained the players were forced with the decision to stay with their original commitments or go in another direction.

An infusion of energy from new head man Bo Pelini and former coaching legend and current athletic director Tom Osborne on the recruiting trail turned a dire situation in to one of promise. While guys like Gabbert and Givens looked in new directions the staff was able to firm up many players who were on the fence and added a myriad of in-state and out-of-state players to insure that the class was full of talented athletes.

Iowa State: 2008 Commitment List

Top Player- Ter'Ran Benton

One That Got Away- Russell Ellington

Super Sleeper- Ernest Ferguson

Iowa State has taken a completely different approach to recruiting in 2008 under Gene Chizik. Last year they signed a plethora of junior college players to add immediate depth, but this season they turned the focus back to the prep athlete. This recruiting method may not pay immediate dividends on the field, but it will help the Cyclones start to build up depth at multiple positions.

Missouri: 2008 Commitment List

Top Player- Blaine Gabbert

One That Got Away- Will Compton

Super Sleeper- Kenji Jackson

Missouri has had a big turn around on the field under Gary Pinkel the last two years and now they have completely turned it around on the recruiting front as well. They not only showed that they have the power to clean house in their own state, but did a great job of going in to Texas and identifying some top talent. Everyone will give them quick credit for landing a player of Blaine Gabbert's stature, but from top to bottom this is one of the most balanced classes in the entire country.

Kansas State: 2008 Commitment List

Top Player- Tony Gillespie

One That Got Away- Simi Kuli

Super Sleeper- Josh Berard

Kansas State went crazy with-in the JUCO ranks this year and got a lot of players that are going to come in and make an immediate impact on the field. Look out for top ranked guys like Daniel Thomas or Attrail Snipes on offense and Hansom Sekona and Daniel Calvin on defense. The Wildcats also have mixed in a healthy amount of solid prepsters. Logan Dold, Collin Klein, and Tony Gillespie are three of the top players that they will ink from the high school ranks.

Kansas: 2008 Commitment List

Top Player- Jocques Crawford

One That Got Away- Josh Williams

Super Sleeper- Sean Ransburg

Kansas got off to a hot start on the 2008 recruiting trail by securing major commitments from Tanner Hawkinson and Daymond Patterson and in the middle of the recruiting season Kansas hit another hot streak on the recruiting front when they added commit after commit as they formed the recruiting foundation of the class. The big news came when in-state superstar Kale Pick, who made an early commitment to sign with Arkansas, decided to stay at home and play for the Jayhawks. They capped off a solid class by adding one of the very best junior college players in the nation when Jocques Crawford announced he was coming to Lawrence.

Oklahoma: 2008 Commitment List

Top Player- Justin Johnson

One That Got Away- Lynn Katoa

Super Sleeper- James Hanna

The Sooners do what the typically do in recruiting, and that is land some of the top players in the entire country. OU lost some big talents on the defensive side of the ball when Reggie Smith and Curtis Lofton declared for the NFL Draft, but they secured a couple of instant impact junior college players. The staff really showed their power in the "Lone Star State" by going down and landing what could be the three top prospects in Jermie Calhoun, Justin Johnson, and R.J. Washington. In addition they went out and snagged a commitment from one of the top quarterbacks in the country and flexed their in-state muscle when Jameel Owens and Stacey McGee announced that they would stay at home.

Oklahoma State: 2008 Commitment List

Top Player- Alfred Dupree

One That Got Away- Jameel Owens

Super Sleeper- Jeremy Gray

Oklahoma State started off the recruiting season by uncovering an abundance of hidden gems in Texas by holding satellite camp stops in Houston and Central Texas. The Cowboys do a tremendous job of recruiting Texas and that is where the foundation that they used for the class, but their strongest recruiting may have been done in the JUCO ranks where they pulled down a number of difference makers like Maurice Gray and Beau Johnson. They also did a tremendous job securing the top talents in Oklahoma by nailing down Kye Staley, Justin Blackmon, and Cooper Basset.

Colorado: 2008 Commitment List

Top Player- Lynn Katoa

One That Got Away- Josh Williams

Super Sleeper- Patrick Mahnke

The Buffaloes did an absolutely amazing job nailing down players who are going to come in and make a difference in their program. People really started to take notice of the job that Dan Hawkins was doing when Jon Major turned down 70 other offers to stay home and build something in Boulder. They did not stop there as they landed two handfuls of players from top prospects across the country. Fans who love defense should take note of the group of linebackers that will ink in this class. In addition to Major they will sign one of the nation's best players in five-star middle linebacker Lynn Katoa and one of the best JUCO linebackers in Shaun Mohler. They still have one huge fish left on the line as Top Five talent Darrell Scott will announce on signing day.

Texas A&M: 2008 Commitment List

Top Player: Cyrus Gray

One That Got Away: J.B. Shugarts

Super Sleeper: Jeffrey Fuller

Some big names in this class but the real strength is how deep it is from top to bottom. There is plenty of balance on both sides of the ball and no glaring holes. This class is especially strong on the defensive line and at wide receiver. Jeffrey Fuller has come on late in the season to fly up the charts and wowed everyone at one of the All-American bowls.

Texas: 2008 Commitment List

Top Player: Aaron Williams

One That Got Away: R.J. Washington

Super Sleeper: Derrick Grant

The Horns loaded up with top tier talent grabbing 12 players rated as four stars or better. The only knock here is no quarterback but the skill position talent is incredible especially at wide receiver. The offensive line is restocked with three of the top linemen in the state.

Texas Tech: 2008 Commitment List

Top Player: Keanon Cooper

One That Got Away: Jameel Owens

Super Sleeper: Brandon Reid

Small class so far with the usual influx of JC talent, especially on the defensive line where they took three top tier talents. The defensive line is the strength ofthis class by far with six players taken in the class so far. Nice upgrades in the secondary also as the Red Raiders have nabbed four commits so far.

Baylor: 2008 Commitment List

Top Player: Robert Griffin

One That Got Away: Jarvis Smith

Super Sleeper: Gary Mason

Three quarterbacks were taken though one will move to a different position, best of all they are all different types of quarterbacks. Quarterback is the strength but the Bears have also nabbed four wide receivers to run Art Briles' offense.

Southwest recruiting expert Alan Zepeda contributed to this report. Recommended Stories

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