We're right about halfway to Signing Day and that means it is time to take a look at the Big 12 and see how the conference is shaping up on the recruiting trail. Here's a few accolades for a few of the programs who are making head way (or not) at this point in August.
Best class: Texas
Shocking, right? It's hard to remember when the king of February, Mack Brown, didn't have a highly regarded recruiting class. Quarterback Tyrone Swoopes is the headliner in what will wind up as a smaller group than normal due to numbers. Although he's still raw as a passer, there's plenty of potential with the 6-foot-5 athlete who many compare to Vince Young because of his running ability. After that, it's a solid group filled with contributors from defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson to tight end Durham Smythe, who looked sharp recently at Gridiron Kings. Offensive lineman Jake Raulerson and linebacker Deoundrei Davis are two versatile, big in-state adds that give the Longhorns a very good group in 2013.
Work left to do: Kansas and Kansas State
Combined the two programs have fewer commitments than all but one other Big 12 school so it's clear that it's a long road to Signing Day for the in-state rivals. Dallas (Texas) corner Colin Spencer is one of the top athletes in the country and is a nice addition to Kansas while offensive lineman Chance Allen is the caliber of player that is a great fit for the Kansas State offense. Beyond that however, there's just not enough guys in each class. Considering the talk coming out of Charlie Weis' mouth about the Jayhawks' recruiting, it seems clear he's just blowing smoke at this point.
Under the radar class: Texas Tech
Quarterback Davis Webb was great at the Elite 11 and will fit in just nicely with the Red Raiders' offense with his ability to sling it around. He's got some nice targets coming in with him in Devin Lauderdale and Dylan Cantrell as well. Defensively Maruice Chandler and Will Barrow are two corners from the Southwest that might be able to contribute early on special teams before sliding into a solid role with the defense. Baylor has also done a terrific job this year but their class has gotten a bit more press.
Top commit: Whitewright (Texas) quarterback Tyrone Swoopes, committed to Texas.
Loading up: Oklahoma State on offensive linemen (4), Baylor on defensive backs and linebackers (4) and Texas Tech on defensive backs (4).
Frequent Fliers: West Virginia, with commitments from seven different states.
Fence builders: Texas and TCU, with all but one commitment from the state of Texas.
Road to Signing Day storyline: How will the newcomers do?
West Virginia has plenty to sell after their impressive Orange Bowl victory last year and the opportunity to move up to a "Big Five" league this year. They've done ok on the recruiting trail but haven't landed a marquee player quite yet. If they have a good season as many are predicting, perhaps they'll pick up some big recruiting momentum. TCU and Gary Patterson always take their time in evaluation and recruiting and have maintained that their approach won't change. As the only major program in the talent-rich Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, perhaps the Horned Frogs can surprise people again this year with another nice class.
Top 25 teams: