Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Big 12 players aiming for next year's top 25
By David Ubben
We wrapped up our postseason list of the Big 12's top 25 players, and included a few guys who just missed.
What about next year's list? Here's a few guys you can probably expect to see on next year's postseason list who didn't make the 2012 version.
Brandon Carter, WR, TCU: Josh Boyce has been the headliner for TCU's receivers in each of the past two years, but Carter is a big talent with great hands (and a penchant for one-handed grabs) who'll be assuming a bigger role in TCU's offense this season. He's a balanced receiver who's shown great route-running talent and great straight-line speed. He caught just 36 passes for 590 yards and six scores, but without Boyce and Skye Dawson, look for Carter to top 1,000 yards as a junior next year with Casey Pachall set to return to the Frogs.
Jeremy Smith, RB, Oklahoma State: Smith has a ton of experience, but with Joseph Randle emerging the past two seasons, he hasn't had a lot of opportunity. He's a 208-pound bruiser who plays like he's a whole lot heavier, while still possessing great speed. OSU is still going to be a pass-first team, but Smith is going to earn more than just the 70 carries he got a year ago. A midseason injury was part of the reason, but he still scored eight times and rushed for 371 yards. He averaged better than seven yards a carry in 2011, but I'd be shocked if he didn't have 1,000 yards rushing in 2013 as a senior.
Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia: Joseph was a bright spot as a true freshman for a struggling defense this season, but with the amount that defense struggled, it's hard to put anyone in the top 25. Can that change under new playcaller Keith Patterson next year? Joseph showed an ability to be a playmaker with 102 tackles, seven tackles for loss, two interceptions, six pass breakups and three forced fumbles. With another year in the system and in college football, you figure that will grow.
Mike Davis, WR, Texas: Davis quietly earned a reputation as a big-time deep threat for an inconsistent Texas passing offense last year, and flirted with 1,000 yards receiving. He also flirted with leaving for the NFL, but he may emerge as one of the Big 12's best receivers next season. He needed just 57 catches to amass 939 yards and caught 11 passes longer than 30 yards, tied for third-most in the Big 12.
Corey Nelson, LB, Oklahoma: Nelson was a one-time super recruit who has been solid for the Sooners, but could definitely emerge as a superstar next season. He and Aaron Colvin are the only two players Mike Stoops knows he can for sure count on next season, and the third-year starter should be a bedrock of a transition Oklahoma defense next year after making 45 stops and 3.5 tackles for loss in 2012.