This week we're rolling out a new version of your beloved lunchtime links, now served up in a healthy breakfast portion with a little extra meat on the bone. Or something like that. Here's what's cooking in the Big 12 this morning:
There are several good reads out today on Kansas starting quarterback Montell Cozart. Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star had a sweet anecdote about Cozart, Nick Harwell and Tony Pierson teaming up to beat a squad of KU basketball players (including Joel Embiid) in pickup basketball. The kid sounds more confident in his second year, and after striking out on free-agent pickups Dayne Crist and Jake Heaps, Charlie Weis is putting his trust in the dual-threat to lead. Cozart was shaky after his redshirt was pulled in 2013, and didn't surpass 70 passing yards in any game. KU going all-in on him this spring is encouraging for his development. Hard to peg what Cozart's ceiling is, but expect to start seeing flashes of his potential in nonconference play.
DeAndre Washington has to be the man at running back for Texas Tech, writes Don Williams of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. The 450-yard rusher last year got a big vote of confidence when Kenny Williams moved to linebacker, and his backups are young and unproven. Washington averaged nine carries a game last year, so I'm intrigued to see how he can handle a heavier workload. If Washington isn't the solution, you're asking a back with 13 career carries (Quinton White) and two true freshmen to revive a run game that ranked No. 111 nationally last year.
Guess who ranked No. 110? That would be TCU, who lost an intriguing piece to their rushing puzzle Monday when freshman Shaun Nixon suffered a season-ending knee injury. It's a rough break for Nixon, on a freak non-contact accident, but Gary Patterson is optimistic he'll be back for spring ball. Nixon was an ESPN 300 recruit that TCU deftly swiped from Texas A&M, but he likely would've backed up B.J. Catalon, Aaron Green and maybe Kyle Hicks and Trevorris Johnson. Patterson is serious about his new Air Raid offense running the ball the way TCU used to in its mid-major heyday, and Nixon could've helped.
Dana Holgorsen drew some heat on Monday for saying lying is a part of recruiting. If you missed that, well, it shouldn't be too hard to find a recap. (And if you want the actual context, and you should, here's the much-less-scandalous transcript of his comments.) Holgorsen isn't wrong at all to acknowledge recruiters across the country stretch the truth when talking up their school and program. What he's actually getting at here, and it's true everywhere, is how valuable it is to get a recruit to Morgantown and show them what his program really has to offer. Nothing controversial about that.
Oklahoma and Oklahoma State both received critical offensive line pledges Monday. The Sooners flipped Louisiana three-star guard Cody Ford from his six-month commitment to TCU, which is much-needed good news after missing on ESPN 300 tackle Madison Akamnonu. OSU beat out TCU and Tech for Joshua Jones, a three-star tackle who hails from the same Houston high school that produced Russell Okung. Mike Gundy's staff is quietly doing a great job in Texas this year.