In this week's Big 12 roundtable, we look at the signees who could make an immediate impact for their respect schools:
Which juco transfer will make the biggest immediate impact in the Big 12?
Max Olson: One guy I've been keeping an eye on who ended up in a great spot is Justin Crawford. He's coming off a season in which he was NCJAA Offensive Player of the Year at Northwest Mississippi Community College and he's walking into a great opportunity at West Virginia. With Wendell Smallwood electing to go pro early, West Virginia needs a back to complement Rushel Shell. I think Crawford is the ticket and will surprise a lot of people.
Brandon Chatmon: West Virginia added another member of the White family, and I think Kyzir White could end up having the biggest impact of the White trio. The brother of star receiver and Chicago Bears first round pick Kevin White and current Mountaineers receiver Ka’Raun White, Kyzir White plays defense —unlike his brothers —but has the same talented genes. Several schools tried to swoop in and poach Kyzir off West Virginia’s commit list, but the junior college safety stayed with West Virginia and could be a starter in 2016. A safety with good coverage skills, Kyzir should help replace the production of K.J. Dillion and Karl Joseph in the secondary.
Jake Trotter: I'll throw another guy out there -- Larry Williams, who could be an immediate starter at guard for Oklahoma State. Williams was a junior college All-American and he has the size to step in right away at the Big 12 level. Guard was a problem spot for the Pokes last year. If Williams solidifies it, and I think he will, Oklahoma State's offensive line problems could be a thing of the past.
Which freshman early enrollee will make the biggest immediate impact?
Olson: We've written about him before, but Shane Buechele is definitely a guy to watch this spring. He's arriving at a fairly ideal time at Texas, because it's unclear which of their quarterbacks is really the best fit for what new offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert wants to do offensively. Everyone has a lot to learn and I think that benefits Buechele, a sharp and really competitive kid who can make all the throws.
Chatmon: On the heels of Big 12 coaches' praise for TCU signee Sewo Olonilua, I’m going to circle his name as one to watch as a freshman this fall. He can play a bunch of different positions but could fight for a role in the Horned Frogs’ backfield. Olonilua is 6-foot-3 and 219 pounds but moves like a much smaller man, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see TCU come up with ways to get him the ball as a freshman, even in a limited capacity.
Trotter: The eyes of Texas are going to be on Buechele, who probably has more pressure on him than any incoming freshman. The Longhorns are loaded with young talent at virtually every other position. If Buechele exits spring ball with a strong chance of winning the starting job, Texas' outlook could begin to look a little bit different for 2016.
Which signing-day sleeper will surprise immediately?
Olson: I like that TCU got so many of its signees on campus this spring, and those guys aren't getting talked about enough. The one signee that stands out to me, because he's a bit puzzling, is Sewo Olonilua. He's one of the most versatile ESPN 300 talents in the country. If they figure out what to do with him this spring, I think he'll contribute early. Olonilua could be a running back the Frogs call on early, or he could make a Jerry Hughes-like transformation and become a defensive end. That's a good problem to have.
Chatmon: Even though he’s raw, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Keondre Wudtee play some sort of role at Oklahoma State as a freshman. He doesn’t appear to be ready to play quarterback at the Big 12 level, but he could play a similar role as J.W. Walsh did as a backup quarterback who can use his run-pass threat to keep defenses honest. It would only require getting Wudtee prepared to run a limited offensive package, but it could be valuable to Oklahoma State if he’s ready to fill the void left by Walsh.
Trotter: Keep an eye on some of TCU's defensive signees, particularly Vernon Scott. The Horned Frogs will eventually need to find the long-term replacement for Derrick Kindred. Gary Patterson has always had terrific safeties, and Scott could have a chance to be the next one.