What a difference a year makes? Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy will tell you he isn't concerned with recruiting rankings and he doesn't evaluate prospects or his eventual recruiting class based on somebody's rankings. It's not a negative deal toward Greg Powers and Scout. Gundy isn't looking at any internet recruiting sites to establish his opinion on how he and his staff recruited. I tend to agree with that. If you and your coaches believe a prospect is good enough to come in and help your program, hey, you're the professionals. As I love to say, "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder when it comes to recruiting."
That said, you and I do look at rankings. I tend to do it out of curiosity and many of you are probably the same. Yet others will look at those rankings more seriously. Since you can't go out and see all these prospects at the camps and combines or at their high school practices or games in person, then you will take the word of Greg Powers or some of the rest of us that do this for a living without signing any of these prospects.
Greg Powers has worked hard, been to Coppell, Texas, and to Houston for Nike's The Opening Regionals and has made the rounds to other less attended events. He has watched a lot of video, likely more than me, and I've watched a bunch (maybe 10to 12 hours combined in the last two weeks). He has released the latest Scout Texas 100.
Last year, in the 2016 recruiting class for Oklahoma State, according to Scout, the Cowboys did not sign a single top 100 player in Texas. However, on this latest list the Cowboys have four committed players that made the top 100 and a lot of other players they have a chance to land.
Below is our look at the most likely Texas Top 100 prospects to wind up in Stillwater:
1. (Texas Top 100 rank-94th) Ty Thomas, Saf., 5-11, 195, Lubbock (Cooper), Texas - First commitment in the 2017 class and he did so despite growing up in the shadow of the Red Raiders and having an uncle that is a legendary player at Texas Tech in LB Zach Thomas. I saw him at the Nike Opening Regional at Coppell where he tested 11th overall. He is a very physical player that likes to go his own way, which is part of the reason he says he is heading to Stillwater.
2. (Texas Top 100 rank-67th) Brendan Vaughn, LB, 6-1, 213, Forney, Texas - He committed early and is an absolute golden pick up for the Cowboys. He graded second overall in testing at Nike's The Opening Regional in Coppell. He loves to compete and shows it on video and showed it that day as he was one of the most aggressive and active linebackers in the camp. He is a well-spoken young man and an excellent student. You will take as many Brendan Vaughns as you can find.
3. (Texas Top 100 rank-27th) Tylan Wallace, WR, 6-0, 177, Fort Worth (South Hills), Texas - Part of the twin package and last season even with his quarterback brother sidelined with an ACL injury for the season he went off statistically allowing the Scorpions to make the playoffs. He is a very talented receiver and a very determined athlete. Outstanding on and off the field, Wallace is a leader and a "can't miss" talent at the next level and maybe the level after that.
4. (Texas Top 100 rank-100th) Tracin Wallace, QB/WR/DB, 6-0, 175, Fort Worth (South Hills), Texas - Like his brother, he's committed to Oklahoma State. Some schools weren't willing to risk the offer following the knee injury, but his talents, his previous accomplishments, combined with his attitude and character make it a solid bet that he will back and back big this season. He would like to try quarterback as an athletic QB, but is willing to move and his eyes now on being with his brother as a receiver.
5. (Texas Top 100 rank-39th) Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, 6-1, 208, DeSoto, Texas - Stuck behind a huge senior group of receivers last season at DeSoto. He has two teammates at Oklahoma State in running back L.D. Brown and cornerback A.J. Green. There is also another DeSoto player at OSU in older wide receiver Chris Lacy. It all helps and the big, explosive Shenault made it to the Cowboys spring game, the only spring game he attended. He seems to like Oklahoma State, Gundy, and receivers coach Kasey Dunn.
6. (Texas Top 100 rank-68th) Damion Daniels, DT, 6-2, 320, Dallas (Bishop Dunne), Texas - His recruiting has exploded and he is a very talented prospect. He was there for the spring game to see his older brother Darrion have a big game. I think it helps that the two brothers would have a chance to play two years together as Darrion is going into his redshirt sophomore season. There is lots of competition as Texas Tech would love to get Damion as dad was a standout for the Red Raiders and they were the runner-up it seemed on Darrion's recruiting. It is a close family.
7. (Texas Top 100 rank-61st) Riko Jeffers, LB, 6-1, 230, Sachse), Texas - Jeffers was scheduled to attend the spring game weekend but did not make it. He appears to like Oklahoma State a lot and he certainly fits the bill as a middle linebacker prospect for Glenn Spencer. Count this as a funny feeling that the Cowboys end up with a big chance to land Jeffers.
8. (Texas Top 100 rank-42nd) Earnest Brown IV, DE, 6-5, 235, Denton (Ryan), Texas - Brown was at the spring game weekend despite the fact he is listed as a commitment to Northwestern. An excellent student, Brown drove to Stillwater with a friend from Denton High School, but he seemed to enjoy the day. We've tried to reach him and haven't been able to. Folks that saw him said he really stuck out as one of the better looking big athletes that was attending the spring game. Oklahoma State has one decided advantage in that it is a lot closer to Denton than Northwestern is in Chicago.
9. (Texas Top 100 rank-24th) Kennedy Brooks, RB, 5-11, 189, Mansfield, Texas - Oklahoma State needs a running back and Brooks has been offered and fits the bill. Our sources tell us he is one of the favorites of OSU running backs coach Marcus Arroyo meaning he should get an early visit during the May evaluation period.
10. (Texas Top 100 rank-34th) Grant Delpit, CB, 6-2, 175, Houston (Lamar), Texas - Delpit was offered a few weeks ago and apparently there is much mutual interest. He was not at the spring game, but word is he is expected to be at a camp on the Oklahoma State campus in June.
We stopped there because it is really kind of inconceivable that Oklahoma State would end up with more than 10 members of the Texas Top 100. In fact, if Oklahoma State ends up with 10 members of the list then the state of Texas may ask for a wall to be built on the north border along with the one Presidential candidate Donald Trump plans to build on the south border.
Here is a list of the other Texas Top 100 players that Oklahoma State has offered a scholarship to that have not committed to a school as of yet.
1. Marvin Wilson, DT, 6-5, 290, Bellaire (Episcopal), Texas
2. Anthony Hines, LB, 6-2, 215, Plano (East), Texas
3. Jeffrey Okudah, CB, 6-1, 195, Grand Prairie (South Grand Prairie), Texas
4. Baron Browning, LB, 6-2, 206, Kennedale, Texas
12. Toneil Carter Jr., RB, 6-0, 198, Houston (Langham Creek), Texas
15. Omar Manning, WR, 6-3, 196, Lancaster, Texas
18. Tyrell Shavers, WR, 6-4, 195, Lewisville, Texas
19. Derrick Tucker, Saf. 6-3, 200, Manvel, Texas
25. Kary Vincent, Jr., CB, 6-0, 180, Port Arthur (Memorial), Texas
41. Saiid Adebo, CB, 6-1, 180, Mansfield, Texas
50. Kedrick James, TE, 6-5, 250, Waco (LaVega), Texas
70. Octavius Evans, WR, 6-1, 183, Center, Texas