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Red Raider Gridiron: Pre-Spring Running Back Rankings in the Big 12 and Debating Football Recruiting Rankings

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We look at some preseason rankings of running backs in the Big 12 pre-spring, where Texas Tech returns two excellent performers at running back. Dan Irons goes to the SWC Hall of Fame and we debate recruiting rankings.

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Spring Big 12 Running Back Rankings. From the ESPN Big 12 blogging bros, they rank the positions in the Big 12 before spring practices and Texas Tech checks in at #5:

5. Texas Tech: DeAndre Washington was a revelation last season, becoming the first Tech rusher to break the 1,000-yard barrier in 16 years. He'll be flanked again by Justin Stockton, who showed flashes as a true freshman. The Red Raiders added more talent to the position by inking ESPN 300 runner Corey Dauphine, who operated out of a similar offense in high school.

Irons to Southwest Conference Hall of Fame. Congrats to former Texas Tech footballer Dan Irons, who will be inducted into the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame!

Irons (1975-77) played offensive tackle for the Red Raiders and was recognized as a consensus All-American in 1977. In 1975, as a starter on the offensive line, he helped the Red Raiders lead the Southwest Conference in total yards. He made the All-SWC team in both the 1976 and 1977 seasons. Following his senior year, the 6-foot, 7-inch, 260-pound tackle, was recognized as a consensus first-team All-American, having received first-team honors from several publications and organizations including the American Football Coaches Association and United Press International (UPI).

College Football Recruiting Rankings. Yesterday, College Football Study Hall's Ian Boyd opined that college football recruiting rankings are flawed metrics, which I suppose that you could say about a lot of things that are up for opinion because there's no real finite end-game to recruiting other than maybe how that player turns out as a college player or as a professional. Later in the day, College Football Study Hall's Bill Connelly had a response that I absolutely loved, which is that recruiting rankings aren't perfect and no one says that they are, but Connelly would love to see recruiting rankings take into account two factors: 1) Ability; and 2) Potential:

I mention this because of the screenshot above. I would love to see recruiting rankings move in a direction like what you see there: ability and potential. Your team's "Coach Report" screen shows you both what a player currently has to offer and what a player might be able to offer with proper development.

Current recruiting services tend to try to toe the line between the two. They look at both a player's instant-impact potential and the raw athletic potential that could be coaxed out three, four, or five years down the road. If I were designing a new system of evaluating prospects, I would love to try to take my ratings in two different directions.

This makes a ton of sense, so much so that I think I may steal this on some level.

Miscellaneous. Oklahoma's best recruiter and one heck of a coach, Jerry Montgomery, is leaving the Sooners for a job in the NFL.  This is really a big blow for the Sooners as Montgomery was the point-person on so many recruits for OU. It will be interesting to see who they hire . . . ESPN takes a look back at the 2011 recruiting classes and re-grades them. This included Jace Amaro, Le'Raven Clark, Pete Robertson, Jakeem Grant, DeAndre Washington and Branden Jackson, which in retrospect, looks like a really good class . . .