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Recruiting Matchup: OSU More Talented across the Board than Kansas State

Previewing this weekend’s matchup based upon on-field talent.

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Oklahoma State doesn’t recruit at an elite level nationally or in the Big 12. But against Kansas State, it has a pretty distinct advantage from a talent perspective looking back on high school recruiting rankings.

As we do every week, let’s take a look at how the starters on offense and defense for OSU stack up against the starters on offense and defense for its upcoming opponent. This week it’s Kansas State.

But first, your weekly caveats: This is not an analysis piece. There is no extra weight added to players of higher value such as QB or RB. This is merely a fun look back at the star rankings of high school players who are starters now. And the final caveat: Players who were unranked as high school prospects have been given an overall rating of 70. Based on 247Sports’ ranking scale, anything 79 or below is a two-star prospect, so 70, by its own definition, would be a low two-star.

First up: OSU’s offense. No change from last week (so far as we know). It ranks, on average, 82.94. By 247’s definition of recruiting rankings, that’s a low-three-star.

POS OSU OFFENSE RATING
WR TYRON JOHNSON 98.79
WR LANDON WOLF 70
WR DILLON STONER 83.95
WR TYLAN WALLACE 94.42
LT ARLINGTON HAMBRIGHT 84.65
LG MARCUS KEYES 80.72
OC JOHNNY WILSON 85.9
RG LARRY WILLIAMS 85.50
RT TEVEN JENKINS 84.22
TE BRITTON ABBOTT 70
TE JELANI WOODS 85.59
QB TAYLOR CORNELIUS 70
RB JUSTICE HILL 84.43
AVERAGE 82.94

Compared to the Kansas State offense, OSU has a slight edge, and it has one thing in common: Several former unranked high school players who are starters. Its starters rank on average is 80.68.

POS K STATE OFFENSE RATING
WR ISAIAH ZUBER 84.06
LT SCOTT FRANTZ 84.48
LG TYLER MITCHELL 79.37
C ADAM HOLTORF 82.85
RG ABDUL BEECHAM 82.71
RT DALTON RISNER 86.81
TE NICK LENNERS 82.15
QB SKYLAR THOMPSON 87.83
FB ADAM HARTER 70
RB ALEX BARNES 84.64
WR DALTON SCHOEN 70
WR ZACH REUTER 73.3
AVERAGE 80.68

Now let’s go to the defense where, again, OSU has an edge. This time an even bigger one. OSU’s starting unit ranked on average 85.57, a smidge above the middle-of-the-road mark for three-star recruits.

POS OSU DEFENSE RATING
S MALCOLM RODRIGUEZ 82.33
S THABO MWANIKI 83.87
S KENNETH EDISON-MCGRUDER 87.41
CB A.J. GREEN 84.65
CB RODARIUS WILLIAMS 85.29
MLB JUSTIN PHILLIPS 84.51
OLB CALVIN BUNDAGE 87.70
DE JARRELL OWENS 87.34
DE JORDAN BRAILFORD 88.94
DT ENOCH SMITH 81.17
DT TREY CARTER 88.07
AVERAGE 85.57

Kansas State …. with two former unranked prospects, ranks 81.03. Higher than its offensive unit, but talent wise, still below OSU.

POS K STATE DEFENSE RATING
DE REGGIE WALKER 86.24
DT TREY DISHON 80.18
DT JOE DAVIES 70
DE KYLE BALL 78.34
LB DA’QUAN PATTON 81.32
LB SAM SIZELOVE 84.78
LB ELIJAH SULLIVAN 88.35
NB WALTER NEIL JR. 70
CB DUKE SHELLEY 87.56
SS DENZEL GOOLSBY 84.36
FS KENDALL ADAMS 83.1
CB AJ PARKER 78.17
AVERAGE 81.03

Last week OSU had a talent edge over Iowa State on defense but not on offense, and it may or may not have made a difference. (I’d argue lack of experience on defense and a porous OL exacerbated things significantly). Against K-State on the road Saturday, though, we’ll learn whether or not the higher talent level can be the difference between 1-3 in league play and 2-2.