The 2018 Big 12 recruiting season is well on its way. There are already 161 athletes verbally committed to different Big 12 schools. To put that in perspective, there were only 231 commits across the Big 12 recruiting scene in 2017.
Texas already has one more commit than they finished the 2017 Big 12 recruiting season with. Five teams are within six commits of their 2017 final numbers. These teams are Texas, Oklahoma State, West Virginia, TCU and Texas Tech.
Even though the Big 12 recruiting season is 70% completed, teams are still targeting top players. Texas and Oklahoma, which both have 19 commits, are still aiming for guys who could impact their 2018 records.
Each team’s top-ranked targets are listed below, along with their likelihood of getting each player.
Anthony Cook is the 13th ranked player on our board. He is a future shutdown cornerback and would instantly put Baylor’s 2018 Big 12 recruiting class on another level. He spent some time on campus this summer, but he is all but guaranteed to go to either Texas or Ohio State.
Tommy Bush is a wide receiver who comes in at 160 on our board. At 6-4, he would add a red-zone threat for the Bears. He is likely deciding between Texas and Baylor in the Big 12. While there is a chance he goes to Baylor, Texas has to be the favorite after the dumpster fire of a season Baylor has had.
It will be tough for Baylor to win commits who are on the fence.
The Cyclones are still pursuing John Waggoner, a defensive end out of Iowa. He comes in at 201 on our board, in part due to his 6-5, 230-pound frame. While he has spent some time in Ames on campus, expect him to wear Hawkeye colors at Iowa next year.
While Julius Welschof is not the highest ranked athlete in the 2018 class, he is an interesting one. Welschof is a foreign prospect from Germany. He took an official visit to campus back in September, and Iowa State hopes to hear good news from the German after his official visit to Georgia Tech on Oct. 20.
Jonathan Lolohea decommitted from Kansas on Sept. 11. He is a JUCO defensive tackle from Hawaii and still comes in as the best target Kansas has a chance of grabbing. Obviously, Lolohea may not want to end up in Kansas, but something spurred him to commit in the first place. Kansas is holding out hope that the something is still there.
Charles Cameron is another JUCO defensive tackle that decommitted from Kansas on Sept. 11. He has the exact same timeline as Lolohea, visiting on June 9, committing on June 11 and decommitting on Sept. 11. One has to wonder if these two players’ fates, and therefore college futures, are intertwined.
The Wildcats are deep in the mix for local cornerback Ekow Boy-Doe. Boye-Doe looks to be deciding between the two in-state Big 12 teams for his future home. The Jayhawks and the Wildcats both offered Boy-Doe a scholarship in July.
The Sooners are still in the mix for some top players to try and close the gap between Texas and themselves in the Big 12 recruiting race.
The Sooners are chasing after the top wide receiver in Missouri. Kamryn Babb, 77 in our rankings, is a US Army All-American who is visiting Ohio State on Oct. 28. While everyone in Norman wants him to be a Sooner, do not be surprised if he ends up a Buckeye up in Ohio.
Ronnie Perkins may be one of the top players impacted by the outcome of the Red River Showdown. He is deciding between Oklahoma and Texas, among others, but Oklahoma is the likely favorite. He is a US Army All-American and will be an important defensive end wherever he ends up.
Bobby Brown in a defensive tackle who may also be leaning a little more towards Oklahoma after their victory in Dallas. While Alabama is the favorite for when he announces his commitment on Nov. 2, Oklahoma is slowly working their way into his favor.
The Cowboys have done a solid job of finding guys they want and getting them to commit to wear orange in 2018. So far, 20 recruits have verbally committed to Oklahoma State.
One of the players the team is still after is Tayland Humphrey. Humphrey is one of the better JUCO players in the country and is among the best defensive tackles. Humphrey did just visit Kansas on Oct. 6, but he may still end up wearing orange and black on Saturdays next year.
Oklahoma State sent Braden Cassity his offer earlier in October. He is an edge defender from Texas and the Cowboys are the recruit’s biggest offer so far.
TCU climbing to number four in the AP Top 25 has immensely helped their recruiting. The Frogs are competing against Florida State and Alabama for US Army All-American and number 117 overall player Jaylen Waddle. The wide receiver will be officially visiting on Oct. 28, and TCU hopes to sway him to the purple side.
Another top prospect being courted by TCU is Lawrence Keys III. The talented (and 181 ranked) wide receiver included TCU in his top six back in August. TCU being ranked over all of the other teams has given them something of an edge.
Tom Herman and the Longhorns really know how to recruit. While Oklahoma may be in play for a few big names, Texas will widen the gap between them and the rest of Big 12 recruiting before December.
Terrace Marshall, the number two wide receiver on our board, will be visiting Austin on Nov. 11. The Longhorns have a way of really bringing kids into the fold during visits. They will hope to do the same with the Under Armour All-American.
Anthony Cook’s teammate in the defensive backfield at Lamar High School, D’shawn Jamison, just committed to Texas. BJ Foster and Caden Sterns, the top two safety prospects in the 2018 class, have already committed to Texas. Two more top defensive backs in Jalen Green and DeMarvion Overshown have also said they will play for Texas. Anthony Cook joining in would just make sense.
Moving up to the defensive line, Bobby Brown is also considering Texas. While Oklahoma may have a better shot to keep the talented lineman in the Big 12, Texas is not slacking. They have multiple commits from Lamar, Brown’s high school, and if Cook joins the team, Brown might as well.
Joseph Ossai, another talented defensive line prospect, is deciding between Texas and Texas A&M. Texas could really use a defensive end commit, and if Texas can string together some wins, they should have one here.
On the other side of the ball, Mustapha Muhammed, a tight end ranked at 66 overall, will be committing on Oct. 20. Texas is in his list of top schools, but it would be a surprise if he does not end up at Michigan.
Another top offensive target for Texas is Tanner McKee. The quarterback is technically in the class of 2018, but he will not play until he finishes up a missions trip in 2020. Still, Texas is among his favorites, and the Longhorns would love a commitment from him before he leaves.
Drue Jackson, a 3-star wide receiver from Texas, is expected to pick between the PAC 12’s Utah or Washington State or the Big 12’s Texas Tech when he commits on Oct. 27. He has a pretty neat pre-commitment video, so expect his commitment video to be even better.
Kwantel Raines, a Polynesian Bowl-invite safety, will be in West Virginia for an official visit on Oct. 28 when the Mountaineers host the top-10 Cowboys. Pulling off the upset would almost guarantee a lock from Raines as West Virginia is already viewed as the favorite.
Zakoby McClain, our number 230 player, has West Virginia in his top ten. The outside linebacker is also considering Auburn, but after their loss and West Virginia’s win, the Mountaineers are the likely favorite.
What this all boils down to is teams are not done moving and shaking in Big 12 recruiting. Still, it is not likely that any team unseats Texas from their perch atop the Big 12 recruiting rankings. If TCU keeps on doing what they are doing, though, they could surpass Oklahoma for the second spot. Look for some big moves to be made between now and December.