Far too often, players enter the season with a profile that doesn't quite match his worth to the team.
In other words, they're coming in under the radar. We'll start a new series today looking at those guys who should get more respect and attention than they have this offseason.
Next up: Texas Tech.
Under the radar: DE Dartwan Bush
Bush is sadly overshadowed on his own team by Kerry Hyder, who could have a case as the Big 12's best pass-rusher by season's end, but Bush quietly put together a huge 2012 season and returns in 2013 with almost zero profile across the Big 12.
Bigger names like Jackson Jeffcoat, Devonte Fields and, yes, Hyder, have overshadowed him, but Bush broke out with 12 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks in 2012. Only Fields and Hyder have more tackles for loss among returning defenders in the Big 12. He tied Hyder's sack total and only Fields and Baylor's Chris McAllister had more in 2012 among returning players.
He's an invaluable part of Tech's defense, which will undergo some adjustments in a new coaching staff and defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt, but it's entirely possible that Bush leads the Big 12 in both categories this season. If you made that case, though, the most common response would likely be: Who? It's too bad, because Bush is a talent worth watching. He took over the starting spot midway through 2011, but what I liked most about his 2012 campaign was four of his sacks came in conference play. Fields won the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year trophy and he had 4.5 sacks in Big 12 play.
Keep an eye on Bush this time around.