With the Big 12 season less than three months away, here’s a look at the potential impact freshmen for each team. Recruiting rankings are based on the 247Sports Composite which calculates the average of all four major recruiting websites (247Sports, Rivals, ESPN and Scout.)
9-4 (7-2 Big 12); 3rd in Big 12
2015 Team Ranking
National Rank: 54
Big 12 Rank: 8
Top Incoming Prospects
- OLB Elijah Sullivan, Tucker (Tucker, GA), 6-1, 215 lbs, No. 30 OLB, No. 382 overall
- CB Duke Shelley, Tucker (Tucker, GA), 5-8, 165 lbs, No. 45 CB, No. 442 overall
- WDE Reggie Walker, Ponchatoula (Ponchatoula, LA), 6-3, 230 lbs, No. 28 WDE, No. 596 overall
- DUAL Alex Delton, Hays (Hays, KS), 6-0, 180 lbs, No. 19 DUAL, No. 625 overall
- DT Bryce English, DeSoto (DeSoto, TX), 5-10, 315 lbs, No. 43 DT, No. 748 overall
As perennial conference contenders and boasting five consecutive bowl appearances, it would seem recruits would be lining at the door to play under the wizard of Manhattan, coach Bill Snyder. But that’s not the case as their 8th place class of 2015 ranking indicates their standing in the league — at least they rank about rival Kansas. Snyder has done better with worse, but this looks to be a rebuilding year that hinges on quarterback play.
Losing quarterback Jake Waters to the NFL was a major blow to the Wildcats offense. Finding his replacement seems to be at a standstill with three quarterbacks in competition. Waters backup Joe Hubener knows the playbook well, but 3-star dual-threat Alex Delton hasn’t been ruled out yet.
Delton enrolled in February. Had he moved into campus this summer, this conversation wouldn’t be taking place. Snyder’s playbook is too in-depth to understand in a year, let alone a summer. Word is that Delton is picking up on the schemes well. Everyone around him loves his potential, even Snyder. He provides some unique athleticism (a 4.5 40-yard dash) that his competitors don’t, but is undersized. Still developing, he may not start the season, but expect to see his impact sometime down the road.
Aside from Delton, the recruiting headline is snagging four players from Georgia including teammates outside linebacker Elijah Sullivan and cornerback Duke Shelley from Tucker High School. Between the two, Sullivan looks to have the best chance at a starting gig, with a slot at linebacker and defensive end opening up which Reggie Walker looks to take over as well. Shelley appears to be undersized at the collegiate level, but there is an open nickelback position he can fill and in the Big 12, you can never have enough pass coverage.
Along with replacing Waters, finding All-American Tyler Lockett’s successor is just as vital, though that’s not going to come from this freshman class it seems. With 18 incoming 3-star freshman, Snyder may mine his latest gem in the rough — both Lockett and Waters were 3-star recruits. That’s what’s most fun about this team, the next big thing comes from nowhere. Trying to guess who that will be is anyone’s guess. But keep an eye on Delton, as he has the best opportunity to emerge at the forefront this season.