By Tony George
In my continued series on the Big 12, I thought I would break down the top players at positions headed into the 2010 season. There is talent galore in the Big 12, many players having national attention this season and I thought I would highlight the best of the best in this article.
Big 12 Offensive Key Players
1. Jarrod Johnson Texas AM - Over 3500 Yards passing, over 500 yards rushing, 30 TD passes and only 8 picks. He can kill you in many ways, is elusive and can manage a game. No question the best QB in the Big 12 this season.
2. Blaine Gabbert, Mizzou – Over 3500 yards in 2009, 24 TD passes and 9 picks. Lost his key WR to graduation and played on a bum ankle all last year after the Nebraska game, but out of the spread attack with mobility he can hurt you. Big time arm.
3. Robert Griffen, Baylor – A very exciting dual threat QB for the Bears, and off a torn ACL word is he is 100%. This guy can do it all, and will keep Baylor in games as long as he is healthy
4. Laundry Jones, Oklahoma – Although he threw 14 interceptions last year, as a freshman forced into a starting role he shined with over 3100 yards and 26 TDs. With Murray eating up yards for OU at RB, he should have a very good follow up year.
Also rans – Steve Sheffield Texas Tech, Austen Arnaud Iowa State
1. Demarco Murray, Oklahoma – Any dangerous as any back in the Big 12, speed and power in one, and over 4600 all purpose yards in 3 years at OU.
2. Daniel Thomas, Kansas State – A huge year on a bad team for a JUCO transfer, over 1200 yards in 2009, his entire OL is back and K State will run him a ton this year with no passing game.
3. Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State – Remember he was an All American 2 seasons ago, but was injury riddled all of 2009. A major talent who can catch and run as well, a huge threat for OSU this year
4. Roy Helu Jr., Nebraska – A solid back for Nebraska who is backed by my Rex Burkhead who is also a stud, so always well rested and catch also kill opponents catching it, 1147 yards last year with a bum shoulder!
Also rans – Christine Michaels Texas AM, Rex Burkhead Nebraska
1. Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma - A game breaker, 15 TDS last year and makes plays, dangerous is an understatement.
2. Jeff Fuller, Texas AM - A tough guy to cover at 6"4", and can come down with balls in traffic, and has a great QB throwing to him.
3. Kendall Wright, Baylor - This guy could play for any team in the country, and with QB Griffen back healthy, he is a dangerous weapon and play maker. Speed Galore.
4. Jerrell Jackson, Missouri - Heady ballplayer, makes plays and has size over cover corners
Also Rans - Niles Paul Nebraska, Scotty McKnight Colorado, Malcomb Williams Texas
Alex Henrey Nebraska (also a top punter in the Big 12), Grant Ressel Mizzou
1. Jared Crick, Nebraska - Now that Suh is gone, the spotlight returns to this second team All American. A major force at pass rush from tjhe line and serious run stopper. NFL caliber 1st round pick as a Junior
2. Jeremy Beal Oklahoma - Huge issue for opposing QBs, 11 sacks last year and a great run stopper
3. Sam Acho Texas - 10 Sacks, 4 fumble recoveries last year, and a guy who can dominate the game in the trenches.
Also Rans - Aldon Smith Mizzou, Adrian Taylor Oklahoma, Pierre Allen Nebraska
1. Travis Lewis Okalhoma - A terror on running backs, broke the Boz frosh record in tackles, the best by far in the Big 12.
2. Von Miller Texas AM - 17 sacks last year at linebacker. A run stopper and big hitter.
3. Keenan Robinson Texas - 74 tackles last year, great speed and another big hitter.
Also rans - Will Ebner Mizzou, Brian Duncan Texas Tech
1. Prince Amukamara Nebraska - A first round NFLer for sure, big hitter than does it all, you plan defenses around him, 5 picks, 64 tackles, can cover anyone and 11 pass breakups. A real stud for the Huskers
2. Earl Thomas Texas - All around of the best, and a huge special teamer and ball hawk
2. Blake Gideon Texas - Another stud for the Longhorns, 6 picks last year and always around the ball, great in run support
Also rans - Quinton Carter Oklahoma, Eric Hagg Nebraska, Tysyn Hartman Kansas State
Best Units overall in order
Offense - Texas AM, Oklahoma, Missouri
Defense- Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas
Big 12 South report coming out next Week..Is it OU or texas this year in the South? I have the answers next week. Tony George
Love it Tony, SO MANY QUESTIONS when I get two min, promise I'm GONNA get in here
Scratch that itch Griff..Hall of fame game around the corner. Throttle down that preseason hype and play half units on NFL preseason, controls the appetite for action and cures the itch somewhat till regular season hits....some asome advice from old timer!!
Thanks Tony, sorry for the impatience I got
that preseason football itch, I can't wait!
They might be a sleeper but the schedule is brutal Griff, and whenever you have a coaching change, and scheme changes, sometimes it does not happen overnight as there is a learning curve.
They have Sheffield and Potts at 1-2 at QB which is HUGE, and some talent there and a decent defense, but it all depends how the players adjust and how well Tommy gets them going out of the gate..they are a bowl team for sure, not sure with OU and Texas and Texas AM, all loaded.... how they perform in their new surroundings with the coaching staff, I have a wait and see approach with them.
Big 12 South Report out on Monday.....read more then.
Tony, what's your opinon of Texas Tech this year? Do you think they could be a sleeper inthe South, or do you think they will kink up adjusting to The Tubberville Regime?
By the way Tony, awesome writeup!
As far as Pelinni leavin the cornhuskers, I Never thought that, i hate it when I'm not clear enough and it's misinterpeted. I can only immagine how aggravating it can be for y'all
Yea that's what I was refering to when I said greener pastures, as in more money in the Big 10, but i should of been more specifi. But I was thinking his name was Joe, which is easy to confuse with Bo, haha
Its Bo Pelinni and he is going nowhere. Has a 5 year deal and although contracts mean nothing, he begged for the job in 2001 and got it in 2008 and aint goin nowhere...he pushed for the Big 10...he is an Ohio State boy...as is his brother Carl who is the DC.
Lookin for Joe Pelini to take the last Big 12 championship and move on to greener pastures
That kicker for Nebraska is a real bad ass, He will go high in the draft for a kicker when the time comes.....Hope the saints willmpick him up