Texas strong and Oklahoma solid in Big 12 recruiting
Charlie Strong went coast to coast to get recruits to fill his first full class at Texas. Oklahoma hopes to have received some players to get the Sooners back to their championship ways.
Defending Big 12 co-champions Baylor and TCU won't crack any top 25 lists with their signing classes, but were able to fill specific needs since both have plenty of returning players next season.
While the Big 12 was the power-five conference left out of the first four-team playoff last month, the league was ranked third-best among all conferences for signing day Wednesday by Scout.com.
Here are a few things to know about signing day in the Big 12:
BEST CLASS: While Oklahoma was strong as usual in recruiting, the Sooners' Red River rival clearly has the league's best signing class this year. Texas signed 28 players, 10 from out of state - representing six other states outside of Texas, the most since 1980. Scout.com (eighth) and Rivals (12th) both had the Longhorns as the best class in the Big 12. Strong tapped five players from Florida, where he had three previous coaching stints. There was also a running back from California. ''The state of Texas will always be our foundation,'' Strong said. ''I don't mind going out of state to get into a battle. We knew we were not going to back down.'' The Sooners were ranked 14th by both Scout.com and Rivals, with no other Big 12 team in the top 25 of either list.
TOP GROUP: Oklahoma signed four receivers who could have a big impact on new offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley's pass-happy system. That group includes 160-pound speedster John Humphrey, who passed up offers from the likes of Notre Dame, Clemson and Baylor, and transfer Dede Westbrook, whose 1,487 yards receiver and 13 touchdowns last season topped the junior college ranks. There are also the two tall prep players who had a combined 32 TD catches as seniors. ''We wanted to get more speed and quickness in some of the inside spots,'' coach Bob Stoops said. ''And then we had a couple of guys that could go up and get the ball outside as well.''
SUNSHINE TO THE MOUNTAINS: The Longhorns weren't the only team using connections in Florida to get recruits. West Virginia drew six of its 21 signees from the Sunshine State. That included an offensive lineman who is the younger brother of Mountaineers running backs coach JaJuan Seider, two signees from the high school where WVU assistant coach Damon Cogdell was the longtime head coach, and another Florida kid whose father is a former Mountaineers linebacker.
TEXAS TECH RAID?: Two standout players from South Oak Cliff High School in Dallas were committed to other Big 12 programs. Instead, receiver J.F. Thomas and cornerback Jamile Johnson both switched and signed with Texas Tech. They followed their high school coach to Lubbock, with former South Oak Cliff coach Emmett Jones having started there Sunday in his new role as director of player development. Thomas had long ago committed to TCU, but the four-star recruit switched after visiting Texas Tech last weekend. Johnson had been committed to Texas.
REPLACING WATERS: Only one quarterback was among the 24 players who signed with Kansas State. But Kansas kid Alex Delton is already enrolled in school and will be given the chance to compete with three other returners to be Jake Waters' successor. Coach Bill Snyder can't recall ever starting a freshman, but said Delton will ''be competitive because of the things that he's capable of doing.'' Asked why more quarterbacks weren't signed, Snyder said the Wildcats didn't find anyone else they felt could make them better.