The Big 12 conference is not known for good defense.
Six of the conference’s 10 teams allowed 30-plus points per game this past season. Kansas and Texas Tech were the worst and second-worst defenses, respectively, among 128 FBS squads in terms of yards allowed per game. Iowa State and Texas finished in the bottom 25, and Kansas State and Oklahoma State ranked in the bottom 50.
But that doesn’t mean defensive players are not valued highly in the Big 12, which has produced recent NFL draft picks like DT Malcolm Brown (2015 1st round), CB Justin Gilbert (2014 1st round), CB Jason Verrett (2014 1st round) and FS Kenny Vaccaro (2013 1st round). In the high-scoring shootouts that the conference is known for, the difference between winning and losing can be one big defensive play. And it’s no coincidence that this past season’s Big 12 champion, Oklahoma, featured the top-ranked defense in the conference.
The Sooners are losing their best defensive back, as junior CB Zack Sanchez recently announced he is going pro, but the benefit of being a national powerhouse is that your rebuilding is more like reloading. While Sanchez is on his way out, Oklahoma is bringing in four-star CB Jordan Parker from Pittsburg (Calif.) High School as part of its 2016 recruiting class.
Parker is ranked by Scout.com as the No. 9 senior corner in nation. Standing 5-foot-11 and weighing around 185 pounds, he is known as a fast and physical defensive back. He had previously made a verbal commitment to UCLA, but de-committed over the summer and then decided on Oklahoma in October.
Here are some of Parker’s highlights: