Big 12: Colin Brown

More Big 12 players get All-Star treatment in El Paso

January, 30, 2009

Posted by's Tim Griffin

We've had the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl.

But we're still not through with college all-star games yet. The Texas vs. the Nation All-Star game Saturday in El Paso will showcase many Big 12 players who can help their draft cause with a big performance.

Most of the players at the El Paso game are ticketed as second-day draft choices or potential free agents. That's why strong efforts in workouts this week or in Saturday's game can help their cause so much.

Thirteen Big 12 players are set to participate in the game, which will be telecast on the CBS College Sports Network beginning at 3 p.m. ET and also be available online.

Organizers have grouped all of the Big 12 players on the Texas roster. Here's a look at those players who will be playing, with their uniform numbers in the game in parenthesis.

Texas roster -- Texas RB Chris Ogbonnaya (No. 3), Texas A&M CB Danny Gorrer (No. 4), Missouri QB Chase Patton (No. 14), Texas A&M P Justin Brantly (No. 16), Texas DE Henry Melton (No. 37), Kansas LB James Holt (No. 42), Nebraska LB Cody Glenn (No. 43), Texas LB Rashad Bobino (No. 44), Texas A&M DE Cyril Obizor (No. 49), Missouri T Colin Brown (No. 61), Nebraska T Lydon Murtha (No. 76), Nebraska DT Zach Potter (No. 98), Kansas State DE Ian Campbell (No. 99).

Missouri recruiting needs

January, 21, 2009

Posted by's Tim Griffin

Missouri's recruiting efforts have been as solid as any in the North Division over the last several seasons, largely because Gary Pinkel's staff had been untouched for the first eight years of his coaching tenure.

That familiarity helped his staff build relationships that enabled them to attract several unheralded recruits who blossomed as the Tigers claimed back-to-back North championships.

But the departure of offensive coordinator Dave Christensen for the Wyoming head coaching job will provide the first break in Pinkel's staff since he arrived in Columbia in 2001.

Christensen's old unit is also undergoing a major breakup as well. The Tigers will be missing the most heralded pass-and-catch trio in school history with the loss of quarterback Chase Daniel, wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and record-setting tight end Chase Coffman.

Untested sophomore Blaine Gabbert will likely take over the starting quarterback position. Returning receivers will feature a cast including Danario Alexander, Jared Perry, Jerrell Jackson and tight end Andrew Jones. But other players are needed to add depth at the positions, particularly at flanker where seniors Tommy Saunders and Earl Goldsmith both completed their eligibility this past season.

The offensive line loses starters Ryan Madison and tackle Colin Brown, but should be in good shape for the future with six freshmen or sophomores in the final two-deep roster. Rebuilding the defensive line is a concern after starting ends Tommy Chavis and Stryker Sulak and defensive tackle Ziggy Hood all finished their college careers.

But depth is present after freshman defensive end Jacquies Smith and redshirt freshmen defensive tackles Terrell Resonno and Dominique Hamilton and redshirt freshman Chris Earnhardt all received work last season.

An infusion of new talent also is needed at safety, where starters Justin Garrett and William Moore both were seniors last season and top backup, Hardy Ricks, will be a senior in 2009.

The Tigers could also need some help at kicker where Jeff Wolfert finished his record-breaking career as a senior last season and Tanner Mills is in place to be his replacement.

It will prove a challenge for the Tigers to continue their mastery of the North. But if Pinkel can find some replacements for his departing stars, Missouri could be a factor in what should be a balanced North Division.

Big 12's best offensive linemen

August, 19, 2008

Posted by's Tim Griffin

 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
 Oklahoma's Duke Robinson is the Big 12's best offensive lineman.

They were famously called "the big uglies" by veteran ABC-TV play-by-play announcer Keith Jackson over the years. But there's nothing unbecoming about the group of Big 12 offensive linemen who dominate in the trenches.

Here's my group of the conference's 10 best offensive linemen heading into the upcoming season.

1. Oklahoma G Duke Robinson: Could have made a lot of money by turning pro last season after grading out at 85 percent in 2007. But is poised to be a No. 1 NFL draft pick with a big senior season.

2. Oklahoma T Phil Loadholt: Dogged at times by inconsistency, but still the biggest, baddest offensive tackle in the league.

3. Texas Tech G Louis Vasquez: Started 24 games in his career. Has emerged as anchor of the Red Raiders' line that allowed only 18 sacks last season.

4. Colorado T Ryan Miller: Had bang-up season as a freshman last year and should be poised for even more after earning most-improved honors from his coaches over the spring.

5. Texas Tech T Rylan Reed: Might be ranked a tad low, although he's coming off major ankle surgery after his injury in the Gator Bowl. Former pitcher in the Chicago White Sox organization who has beaten cancer and broken the school's bench-press record.

6. Missouri T Colin Brown: Former walk-on who emerged as Tigers' most consistent blocker last season on a line with two four-year starters.

7. Texas G Cedric Dockery: Struggled at times since 2006 season, but could be poised for a monster senior season.

8. Oklahoma C Jon Cooper: Started 29 games in his career, leading Sooners with 798 plays and 136 knockdowns last season.

9. Nebraska G Matt Slauson: Most experienced Cornhusker offensive lineman started at right guard and both tackle spots last season.

10. Texas G-T-G Chris Hall: The conference's most versatile offensive lineman after starting at least one game at every interior line spot last season, including four at left guard. He's likely slated for center this season, but in a pinch could fill in almost anywhere.