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The University of Texas won the Big 12 Conference easily and came close to taking the top spot nationally with its 2012 recruiting class during Wednesday's National Signing Day. According to SB Nation's rankings, the Longhorns finished No. 2 in the nation, behind only Alabama.
The SB Nation recruiting class ranking is an average of the four major recruiting services' rankings (Rivals, Scout, 24/7 and ESPN). Based on those numbers, the Longhorns finished No. 2 (Scout.com gave Texas its No. 1 ranking) with its 28-man class, the second largest in the Top 10 behind only Miami, who came in at No. 8 with a whopping 33 players signing Wednesday.
As always, the battle between Texas and Oklahoma rages on atop the Big 12, but there was little doubt that the Horns crushed the Sooners this February - OU finished No. 9 overall in SB Nation's rankings (ESPN rated the Sooners No. 11, the lowest of their four marks), good for second place in the Big 12. The only other Big 12 school to place in the SB Nation Top 25 was Texas Tech, who earned the No. 24 spot. Former conference member and hated rival Texas A&M made a strong SEC debut in recruiting, finishing at No. 14. The Big 12 finished with three total Top 25 classes, just one third the number of SEC schools (nine).
For a complete look at SB Nation's Top 25 recruiting classes, click here.
The Texas Longhorns once again signed an award winning recruiting class that ranks among the best in the nation according to Rivals.com. Texas comes in just behind Alabama for the top spot in Rivals' rankings and just ahead of Florida, Ohio State and Stanford. Oklahoma is No. 10 in the national rankings giving the Big 12 two schools in the list.
Texas' 28 man class is by far the top rated class in the nine-team Big 12 conference. The Longhorns inked two five-star commitments along with 15 four-star players.
Oklahoma comes in at No. 2 in the Big 12 and is followed by Texas Tech at No.3. TCU checks in at No. 4 and Oklahoma State rounds out the top five at No. 5. Baylor comes in at No. 6 and is followed by Kansas State, Kansas and Iowa State to round out the conference rankings.
The Texas Longhorns recruiting class received a boost when Torshiro Davis flipped from LSU to the Longhorns. The Longhorns were disappointed that they didn't land Dorial Green-Beckham but they ended up adding 28 names to the roster in what could be the No. 1 class in the nation by some ranking services.
According to Rivals.com, Texas signed two five-star recruits by had 15 rated at four-stars and another 10 at three-stars. The two five-star players Malcolm Brown a 6-foot-2, 280 pound defensive tackle from Brenham, Texas along with 5-foot-11, 190 pound running back Johnathon Gray out of Aledo, Texas
|Caleb Bluiett||DE||Fr.-HS||6-3||238||Beaumont, Texas (West Brook)|
|Paul Boyette, Jr.||DT||Fr.-HS||6-4||295||Humble, Texas (Humble)|
|Connor Brewer*||QB||Fr.-HS||6-2||200||Scottsdale, Ariz. (Chaparral)|
|Malcom Brown||DT||Fr.-HS||6-4||285||Brenham, Texas (Brenham)|
|Adrian Colbert||DB||Fr.-HS||6-2||191||Mineral Wells, Texas (Mineral Wells)|
|Timothy Cole||LB||Fr.-HS||6-2||230||Brenham, Texas (Brenham)|
|Bryce Cottrell||DE||Fr.-HS||6-3||235||Plano, Texas (Plano West)|
|Torshiro "Shiro" Davis||DE||Fr.-HS||6-3||220||Shreveport, La. (Woodlawn)|
|Alex De La Torre*||LB||Fr.-HS||6-1||230||Denton, Texas (Ryan)|
|Bryson Echols||DB||Fr.-HS||5-10||165||DeSoto, Texas (DeSoto)|
|Kennedy Estelle||OL||Fr.-HS||6-7||300||Pearland, Texas (Dawson)|
|Johnathan Gray||RB||Fr.-HS||5-11||202||Aledo, Texas (Aledo)|
|Donald Hawkins*||OL||Jr.-TR||6-5||310||Tunica, Miss. (Northwest [Miss.] CC/Rosa Fort HS)|
|Camrhon Hughes*||OL||Fr.-HS||6-7||320||Harker Heights, Texas (Harker Heights)|
|Peter Jinkens||LB||Fr.-HS||6-1||200||Dallas, Texas (Skyline)|
|Daje Johnson||ATH||Fr.-HS||5-10||175||Pflugerville, Texas (Hendrickson)|
|Marcus Johnson||WR||Fr.-HS||6-1||185||League City, Texas (Clear Springs)|
|Cayleb Jones||WR||Fr.-HS||6-3||198||Austin, Texas (Austin)|
|Nick Jordan||K||Fr.-HS||6-1||175||Coppell, Texas (Coppell)|
|Brandon Moore*||DT||Jr.-TR||6-5||335||Montgomery, Ala. (East Mississippi CC/Alabama/Carver HS)|
|Alex Norman||DT||Fr.-HS||6-4||275||Dallas, Texas (Bishop Dunne)|
|Jalen Overstreet||QB||Fr.-HS||6-2||212||Tatum, Texas (Tatum)|
|Hassan Ridgeway||DE||Fr.-HS||6-4||255||Mansfield, Texas (Mansfield)|
|Curtis Riser||OL||Fr.-HS||6-4||285||DeSoto, Texas (DeSoto)|
|Kendall Sanders||WR||Fr.-HS||6-0||175||Athens, Texas (Athens)|
|Dalton Santos||LB||Fr.-HS||6-3||250||Van, Texas (Van)|
|Duke Thomas*||CB||Fr.-HS||5-11||170||Killeen, Texas (Copperas Cove)|
|Kevin Vaccaro||DB||Fr.-HS||5-10||182||Brownwood, Texas (Brownwood)|
National Signing Day always has a few surprises, and this year Texas fans received an unexpected gift when prized LSU recruit Torshiro Davis, who had been committed to the Tigers for most of the last year, decided to come to Austin instead:
snslant Saturday Night SlantTorshiro Davis flips to Texas.
Davis, a 6'3 225 OLB from Shreveport, Louisiana, was a four-star recruit rated No. 125 in the nation and No. 3 in the state of Louisiana by Rivals.
The No. 8 ranked LB in the country, he seemed set on Baton Rouge before stunning the LSU coaching staff by coming to Texas.
His commitment is a huge victory for the Longhorns, who traditionally do not recruit much outside of the state of Texas, although that began to change in recent years under former defensive coordinator Will Muschamp.
With starting OLB's Keenan Robinson and Emmanuel Acho off to the NFL, Davis may have the chance to step in and compete for playing time right away next season.
A highlight tape from his junior season:
Thomas Johnson, the No. 4 rated overall wide receiver recruit according to Rivals, has committed to Texas A&M, announcing the news live on ESPNU on National Signing Day 2012. Johnson, who played for Skyline High School in Dallas, Texas, chose the Aggies over in-state rivals Texas and TCU, and west coast teams Oregon and Cal.
Johnson should be considered a leader for announcement of the day, as he returned fire when asked by the ESPNU panel about his pick, polling the analysts for their pick before pulling out an A&M hat.
Johnson, a 6-foot-0, 180 lb. wideout, is considered the 34th best recruit in the nation, and the fifth best overall recruit in the state of Texas. His addition to the Aggies comes on the heels of Missouri City, Texas, wideout Bralon Addison committing to Oregon over A&M, his longtime first choice.
It's National Signing Day which means some of the nation's top high school football players will be announcing where they plan to showcase their talents for the next few years. One of those players happens to be Rivals.com's No. 1 player on their Top 100 list: wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham.
According to ESPN, Green-Beckham, the 6-foot-6, 220-pound wide receiver from Springfield, Missouri's Hillcrest High School, is expected to make his announcement on which university's uniform he'll be wearing in the fall on ESPNU at 10:15 a.m. (ET). One of the four schools rumored to be in the running is the University of Texas Longhorns. The other three schools in the mix are Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri.
Green-Beckham caught 119 passes for an amazing 2,233 yards and 24 touchdowns as a senior in high school so whichever school he chooses will have one of the nation's best wide receivers to start the 2012 season.
National Signing Day is when highly sought high school football players from around the country officially announce where they will be playing football in college. College football is of couse a big business and major universities pull out all the stops to convince the nation's best recruits to come to their schools. The Texas Longhorns are no exception. As National Signing Day approaches, there are 25 committed recruits who have not yet signed, including two five-star recruits and several four-star recruits, with the Longhorns that will be making their announcements.
The two five-star recruits are running back Johnathan Gray and defensive tackle Malcom Brown. Gray, 5-foot-11 and 190-pounds, is ranked No. 5 on Rivals.com's Top-100 high school football recruits. The Aledo, Texas native ran for 3,891 yards for 65 touchdowns in 2011. Brown, 6-foot-2, 280-pounds, is ranked No. 26 on the Top-100 list and finished the Under Armour game with four tackles, including one for a loss.
Some other recruits include quarterback Connor Brewer, linebacker Tomonthy Cole and offensive lineman Camrhon Hughes.
According to Geoff Ketchum, the owner of OrangeBloods.com, the Texas Longhorns are out of the running for one of the nation's top recruits: 6-foot-6, 220-pound wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, or DGB.
Ok, so it looks like DGB is headed to Missouri. Frankly, I'm not of the opinion that anyone wearing burnt orange should shed a tear because in my mind the DGB recruitment was a symbol of the changes in philosophy that the Texas program has adopted in the last 12 months that will allow for a return to greatness in the future.
Green-Beckham is scheduled to make his decision on ESPNU at 10:15 a.m. (ET) on where he'll be playing in 2012. For more on DGB and Texas Longhorns Football recruiting, visit Burnt Orange Nation and SB Nation Dallas.
Over at SB Nation, Bill Connelly continues his fascinating alternate history series on college football recruiting.
Tuesday it was Texas' turn, when he looked at how the successful recruitment of Robert Griffin III could have changed the last few years in the Big 12 South:
Since Colt McCoy left Austin following the 2009 season, the quarterback position has been, to put it kindly, a question mark. The triumvirate of Garrett Gilbert (in 2010 and two games in 2011), David Ash and Case McCoy (in 2011) have combined to produce the following stat line: 462-for-790 passing (58 percent), 5,014 yards, 22 touchdowns, 31 interceptions, 46 sacks for 377 yards (5.5 yards per pass attempt), 872 pre-sack rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns.
So what if Texas had offered one of these quarterbacks? For the purposes of this post, we're going to focus on Griffin, since he at least had an offer of some sort, but one would have obviously seen improved results with either of the other two quarterbacks as well. Let's say that either a) Texas decides to take a chance on Griffin as a quarterback or b) Griffin takes his "athlete" offer and heads to Austin to prove his new coaches wrong.
This isn't the Butterfly Effect that Tebow-to-Bama would have been. It hasn't necessarily impacted recruiting quite all that much (at least for teams not named Baylor), but it certainly cost Texas some wins. They went an incredibly mediocre 13-12 in 2010-11, and they probably would have won 18-19 games with Griffin. (The result would have probably been similar with Andrew Luck.) At the same time, however, they have begun to address some offensive issues that they may have danced around had they continued to win nine or ten games.
As Connelly points out, while ten wins at Baylor is miraculous, a ten-win season at Texas is expected. As a result, even if Griffin would have had an equally dominant first three years in Texas, he would not have won the Heisman Trophy and would have been coming into the 2012 season as a pre-season All-American.
Longhorn fans will have to hope that the new offensive coaching staff does a better job evaluating and developing QB's going forward, as that seems to be the only position holding Texas back to a return to national prominence.
Athlete Daje Johnson had been one of the crown jewels of the TCU Horned Frogs 2012 class, but just a few days before signing day he switched his commitment to be part of the Texas Longhorns. Johnson is listed as a four-star prospect and ranked as No. 14 athlete and No. 141 player overall.
Johnson was firmly committed to TCU since early in the recruiting proceses there was not must interest from Texas and he even cancelled his official visit this past week, but then Johnson was contacted by co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite and head coach Mack Brown. With that news Johnson rescheduled his visit and switched his commitment to Texas after he took his official visit.
Johnson is expected to play on offense and here are some highlights via Burnt Orange Nation:
Texas Longhorns head coach is named Mr. February for a reason since he always has Texas near the top of the national recruiting rankings come signing day. On Sunday he landed another blue chip prospect in linebacker Dalton Santos out of Van (Texas) High School. Santos is a four-star recruit, top-100 player and rated as the best linebacker in the 2012 class.
Previously Santos was committed to the Tennessee Volunteers since last August, but he made the switch to Texas when Tennessee defensive coordinator left to take the same position with the Washington Huskies. Santos has offers from over 20 BCS programs and he made the switch when he took an official visit to Texas on Jan. 27.
Santos is a prototypical middle linebacker recruit. He is very big (6'2" and 240 pounds), loves to hit, but isn't so stiff as to be a major liability in coverage. Santos plays with excellent physicality and passion, and is very fun to watch in person, as I recently had the chance to do at the Under Armour All-America Game. He is rated a four-star recruit by most recruiting services. Texas is the only school to have commitments from more than 20 high school recruits and still have more than 75 percent be rated as blue chippers (four-stars or better).
The Texas Longhorns are on pace to possibly have the top recruiting class for 2012. Out of the major recruiting services in ESPN, Rivals, Scout and 247 Sports they all have Texas as their top rated class with the single exception being 247 Sports who has the Alabama Crimson Tide as their top class with Texas just behind at the No. 2 spot.
Post season accolades are coming out from the high school ranks and Sports Illustrated is the latest to unveil their 2011 high school all-americans and Texas lands one first team, one second team and six honorable mention selections:
First team: Jonathan Gray, running back
Second team: Kennedy Estelle, offensive line
Honorable mention: Malcom Brown, defensive tackle
Honorable mention: Peter Jinkens. linebacker
Honorable mention: Cayleb Jones, wide receiver
Honorable mention: Curtis Riser, offensive line
Honorable mention: Kendall Sanders, athlete
Honorable mention: Orlando Thomas, athlete
Texas is expected to get signatures from junior college players Brandon Moore and Donald Hawkins
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