Recruiting rewind: 2012 All-Big 12 offense

Collin Klein chose to play at Kansas State over Colorado State, Utah and Air Force. Denny Medley/US Presswire

The season has come and gone, and brought with it an All-Big 12 team. But where do these guys come from? How easy is it for a no-name recruit to earn all-conference first-team honors?

Let's take a look at the All-Big 12 offense and see who surprises us.

You'll need ESPN InsiderInsider to see each player's recruiting page from back in the day, but I excerpted a bit of what the scouts had to say about each player coming out of high school.


QB: Collin Klein, Kansas State

  • Klein was graded as a 75 by ESPNRecruiting and the nation's No. 60 quarterback. He picked K-State over Colorado State, Utah and Air Force. Scouts take: Klein has prototypical size and a powerful arm. What you don't expect is how athletic he is and while he is a pocket passer, if he gets on the move, he can build momentum and create a few plays here and there with his legs. He can be unorthodox in his delivery and mechanics can be inconsistent, but he is very productive and has a lot of physical tools to mold at the next level.

RB: Joseph Randle, Oklahoma State

  • Randle was the nation's No. 43 athlete from Wichita, Kan., and was also recruited by Arizona, Kansas State and Kansas, as well as Miami and Texas A&M. Scouts graded him at a 78 and gave him three stars. Scouts take: Randle looks good on the hoof in terms of size and has equally impressive athleticism. Tall, lean and very rangy; has some muscle-tone but we do question his narrow base as a future college running back. A really well-rounded back at the high school level; has perimeter speed, in-line strength, hands out of the backfield and can block in pass pro. Has a tight waist and good fluidity to elude defenders but we feel he is more productive now and will be in college when he squares up and gets north. Has the frame, with added bulk and speed, to develop into quality one-cut-and-go back.

RB: James Sims, Kansas

  • The Irving, Texas, native was graded at a 76 and ranked as the nation's No. 76 running back, a three-star recruit. He was also recruited by Arkansas and Iowa State. Scouts take: Sims is a sturdy, good looking running back in the spread offense that will flash a nice downhill presence. He is also adept at exploiting cutback lanes and working comfortably within a zone blocking scheme. He has somewhat of an upright running style and good leg drive. Is a short-strider for a taller back, but has quick feet in the hole and shows a knack for jump cutting and making people miss in the hole. When he can hit the hole with authority, he shows good initial burst and top-end speed.

FB: Trey Millard, Oklahoma

  • Millard was a three-star prospect and the nation's No. 59 athlete in the 2010 class. He graded out at 78, and was also recruited by Syracuse, Iowa, South Carolina and Tennessee. Scouts take: Millard is a thick inside linebacker prospect with good mobility and downhill burst between the tackles. We like his athleticism as a future tight end or H-back as well. Has a large upper-body and overall frame. Carries his weight well and has above average lateral agility for a defender with his thickness.

WR: Terrance Williams, Baylor

  • Williams, a Dallas native, was the nation's No. 124 receiver and was given a grade of 74 by scouts. He was also recruited by Colorado State, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas A&M. Scouts take: Williams is smooth, well-rounded receiver prospect. He possesses a tall, lean frame that still has room to add good muscle while retaining current speed. Utilizes his size well in traffic shielding defenders and positioning his body for the difficult grab. Excels at snagging the ball in stride and transitioning quickly upfield. Is currently used more as a short-to-intermediate threat at the high school level but flashes good arm extension, coordination and adjustment to the deep ball.

WR: Tavon Austin, West Virginia

  • Austin was the nation's No. 41 running back, and the Baltimore native was given a grade of 78 by scouts. He was also the No. 75 player in his region. Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina and Penn State also recruited him. Scouts take: Austin is a smallish but dynamic prospect who has the skills to be a good change-of-pace or scatback runner at the next level. He lacks great size, but he runs harder and bigger than his measurables suggest. He's dangerous on the perimeter and in space, but also very good between the tackles as a zone runner. Can pick and stab his way through traffic and decisively hit small cutback creases without losing much in transition. Shows good body control, vision and balance. Excels at changing gears and eluding defenders with sudden bursts and sharp cuts.

WR: Stedman Bailey, West Virginia

  • Bailey was the nation's No. 48 receiver and the No. 69 player in the state of Florida. The Miami native was given a grade of 78 by scouts. He was also recruited by Alabama, Ole Miss and South Carolina. Scouts take: This dude catches everything thrown his way. Bailey is one of those receivers that you really begin to like because he shows versatility as a route runner, he can play inside or outside, he has good quickness and run after catch skills and he is tough. An athletically gifted slot receiver type. Possesses good speed, but we would not call him a jet. Tracks the ball well and flashes the ability to get behind the defense. Changes directions well, uses quick feet to set defenders up and is a solid route runner that could become an excellent one.

TE: Jace Amaro, Texas Tech

  • Amaro was the nation's No. 28 tight end and the San Antonio native was the No. 83 player in the state of Texas. He was given a grade of 78 by scouts. Arizona, Baylor, Missouri and Texas A&M all recruited him. Scouts take: Amaro is a productive receiving tight end. He has good size and appears on film to have the frame to be able to add more good bulk with time in a college weight program. He will play and block from an in-line position, but at this point it seems the strength of his game is a receiver. He has good hands and displays the ability to consistently extend his arms and the catch the ball away from his body. Displays an adequate vertical, but will go up and try and highpoint the ball. Displays good concentration and can catch the ball in traffic and also displays good body control to be able to adjust to the ball.

C: Joe Madsen, West Virginia

  • Madsen was not ranked by our scouting services, and the Chadron, Ohio, native drew interest from Bowling Green. The only notes from our scouts? Madsen was a Division II all-state selection in Ohio.

OL: Cyril Richardson, Baylor

  • The Fort Worth, Texas, native was the nation's No. 64 offensive tackle and the No. 166 player in his region. He also was recruited by Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Texas Tech. Scouts take: Richardson is a very steady offensive tackle. He has great size and a large wing span which can be beneficial especially in pass protection. Shows strength in both the lower and upper body. Gets excellent movement when run blocking as long as pads stay low and power angles are maintained. Uses hands better in run game than when pass protecting. Wins most battles at the line of scrimmage when base and drive blocking. ... Richardson should develop into a very good tackle at the next level.

OL: Lane Taylor, Oklahoma State

  • Taylor was the nation's No. 111 guard and was also recruited by KU, North Texas and SMU. Scouts gave him a grade of 69. Scouts take: Taylor is a tough-nosed battler at the guard position. He is not the biggest kid but has adequate size. He will need to continue to add bulk and fill his frame out. He plays hard and can create push. He does a good job of quickly getting into defenders. He delivers a good initial pop and brings his hands. He can get hands on but needs to watch his placement. He does not always get ideal placement and can struggle to maintain position and will at times wind up with his hands outside the defender's frame. He does display the ability to get under a defender's pads, generate power from the hips and drive a defender off the line of scrimmage. He does need to watch his pad level, and he will engage a defender with high pads and naturally struggles to get the push he can.

OL: Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma

  • Ikard was the nation's No. 19 tight end and graded out at 78. He was also recruited by Notre Dame, Stanford and Oklahoma State. Scouts take: Ikard is a good football player and it is tough not to like him. He comes across as a smart, hard working, and productive player. He plays both defensive end and tight end in high school and is a legitimate recruit on both sides of the ball. He is a sound defensive end prospect.

OL: LaAdrian Waddle, Texas Tech

  • Waddle was the nation's No. 19 offensive tackle in the 2009 class and was grade at 79 by scouts. He also had interest from Ole Miss and Houston, as well as Rice and TCU. The Columbus, Texas, native was the No. 43 player in his region. Scouts take: Waddle is a mountain of a man at offensive tackle. Over three hundred fifteen pounds with good height he looks massive in pads. Must be careful not to gain anymore weight until his foot agility improves. Is usually fairly quick off the ball but often takes a false step or understeps. Completely smothers smaller defensive linemen once in to them. Extremely powerful due to size and follows the initial contact with good leg drive. Sometimes gets beat underneath due to improper first step. Wipes out his side of the line of scrimmage on the down block. Comes off to second level with some authority and gets into linebacker but often can't sustain block due to being too high. Tends to lose some body control when his legs straighten out. Mauls opponent on the double team block with power and leg drive. Decent at pulling but needs to move quicker and lower.

I always enjoy looking these up. There wasn't a true superstar blue-chip recruit in this bunch, but what's even more interesting? Not a single juco recruit in this bunch, either. The only player you could consider a real diamond in the rough in this bunch was Madsen. There were plenty more in last year's group.