Friday, June 14, 2013
Skill position talent high across Big 12 in '13
By David Ubben
Phil Steele is continuing his march through the top 15 units at each position group across the country, and took a look at the nation's best wide receivers and running backs for the 2013 season .
As you might expect, the Big 12 was well represented.
Texas had the highest unit among both groups, ranking No. 3 with its talented, deep group of running backs. Johnathan Gray and Malcolm Brown were both the No. 1 running backs in their respective recruiting classes and both have been productive throughout their careers. Bruiser Joe Bergeron and speedster Daje Johnson add more depth. No surprise seeing Texas there.
I might have included Kansas on this list, actually, but Oklahoma and Baylor made appearances at No. 10 and 11, respectively.
Baylor has better overall running backs for me, but the Sooners' depth likely landed them at No. 10, led by Damien Williams, who Steele had on his All-Big 12 first-team earlier this month. Williams is showing up on plenty of NFL draft lists heading into the season, so the former juco transfer will have a lot to play for in 2013. Still, the Bears' Lache Seastrunk is the league's best overall back heading into 2013.
The departure of guys like Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey and Terrance Williams left a weak class of elite receivers in the Big 12, but there's still plenty of above average talent.
Oklahoma State's Josh Stewart is the league's leading returner in receiving yardage, and headlines the Big 12's best group according to Steele. The Pokes are at No. 4.
I'm betting by season's end, Baylor would have a case on this list, but the Bears are a no show for now.
Texas and Oklahoma are Nos. 10 and 11 on the list respectively. I'd probably case a vote for Texas Tech and Baylor ahead of Texas, and maybe even TCU, but Mike Davis and Jaxon Shipley could both break out on a national level this year.
Go check out Steele's rankings. You'll need Insider to see them all, but what do you make of the Big 12 candidates?