Watch for these players to emerge from the Big 12 in 2009
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Here are 10 players who emerged during the spring to show they are ready to provide big contributions for their teams during the 2009 season:
Colorado TB Darrell Scott: After struggling with injuries last season, Scott might be ready to return to the form he flashed when he was the nation's No. 1 running back recruit in the 2008 class.
Texas LB Roddrick Muckelroy: Other players receive more notoriety from Texas' defense, but the steady Muckelroy looks ready to build on a solid junior season where he was overshadowed by others in Texas' defense.
Nebraska C Mike Caputo: An undersized battler, Caputo emerged to claim the starting job at center and enable Nebraska coach to move Jacob Hickman to a position of need at right guard late this spring. The tenacious Caputo will scrap against all opponents, but it remains to be seen if he can stand up to bigger defensive tackles he will consistently face in the Big 12 later this season.
Oklahoma DE Frank Alexander: The Sooners' biggest position of strength got that much deeper this spring as Alexander continued his strong development from his freshman season. Alexander produced three sacks in the spring game, capping strong work that helped provide the Sooners with perhaps the nation's strongest rotation of defensive ends.
Oklahoma State DE Ugo Chinasa: Appeared ready to flourish in new OSU defensive coordinator Bill Young's new scheme. If he can bolster the Cowboys' outside pass rush, it will help improve one of their most pressing team needs.
Texas A&M DE-LB Von Miller: Thrived at the new "jack" position in Joe Kines' retooled defense. Miller was A&M's prime defensive playmaker this spring, but could be challenged to attack bulky opposing offensive lines considering his 6-foot-3, 214-pound stature.
Missouri CB Kevin Rutland: Gary Pinkel likes to say that he's got more talent in the secondary than in any of his previous teams. Rutland was a revelation this spring as he was the Tigers' most consistent defensive back and led the team in interceptions this spring.
Texas Tech WR Adrian Reese: After learning more about the Red Raiders' system during his redshirt season, the 6-foot-7, 207-pound Reese blossomed as a capable receiver during the spring. Watch for him to emerge as one of Tech QB Tyler Potts' top receiving threats during 2009.
Kansas LB Angus Quigley: This bruising converted running back showed a quick grasp of Kansas' defense and should be poised to immediately contribute at linebacker -- the Jayhawks' most pressing defensive need.
Baylor DT Phil Taylor: The Bears haven't had a run-stuffing tackle in a long time. Taylor, a massive 340-pound transfer from Penn State, potentially could be among the best in the conference if he up plays up to expectations.