We'll take a look at some of the Big 12's breakout stars this spring, but we'll move forward with a series looking at guys who will be stepping into bigger roles this season and what they have to provide. Some are going from being role players to starters. Some are going from starter to star. Some from stars to bona fide superstars.
Let's move on with TCU.
TCU's spring steps forward: WR Brandon Carter
I do feel bad for great receivers who get stuck with inaccurate or inexperienced quarterbacks. That was the case for Carter and Josh Boyce a year ago when Casey Pachall left the team and the Frogs had no choice but to turn to Trevone Boykin, who was more suited to make plays with his feet than string together bunches of completions and move the chains consistently.
Pachall is back, but Boyce is gone, and that means opportunity for Carter. TCU's running game is solid, but you've got to be able to sling it in the Big 12 to light up scoreboards and, consequently, win with consistency. Carter showed big-play ability last year, and the ability to snag one-handed catches in unlikely situations. He's got to be even more for TCU's offense this year after catching 36 balls for 590 yards and six scores. He needs to step forward this spring and prove his worth as a big-time receiver. If TCU doesn't have a 1,000-1,500-yard receiver this season, it's not going to win a Big 12 title. LaDarius Brown is a solid player, and so is Cam White, but Carter's third year on the field awaits this fall, and the time is now for him to make good on the potential he's shown over the first half of his career at TCU. He's the guy in TCU's passing game next year -- if only because he has to be. If Boyce had returned for his senior season, the Frogs offense had the potential to look very scary. For now, it's just very good. Without Carter stepping up and crossing quadruple digits in receiving next season, it'll be tough to call TCU's offense anything close to very good.