Big 12: Dylan Admire

It's time to officially unveil the Big 12's All-Name Team for 2012.

Any player on a current roster, regardless of role on the team, is eligible. The only requirement: Your name must be awesome.

These are, quite simply, the best names of players in the Big 12. Some are catchy. Some are fun to say. Some are just the best. I love all of these.

Here goes:

Coach: Major Applewhite, OC, Texas

OFFENSE

QB: Daxx Garman, Oklahoma State
RB: Lache Seastrunk, Baylor
RB: Brandon Bourbon, Kansas
FB: Glenn Gronkowski, Kansas State
WR: Sterling Shepard, Oklahoma
WR: Lynx Hawthorne, Baylor
WR: Kolby Listenbee, TCU
TE: Kurt Hammerschmidt, Iowa State
OL: Dylan Admire, Kansas
OL: Will Ash, Kansas State
OL: Cody Whitehair, Kansas State
OL: Blaize Foltz, TCU
OL: Le'Raven Clark, Texas Tech

DEFENSE

DL: Keba Agostinho, Kansas
DL: Beau Blackshear, Baylor
DL: Noble Nwachukwu, West Virginia
DL: Stansly Maponga, TCU
LB/DE: Toben Opurum, Kansas
LB: Curtis Smelley, West Virginia
LB: Shaq Petteway, West Virginia
DB: Yves Batoba, Oklahoma State
DB: Terrance Bullitt, Texas Tech
DB: Happiness Osunde, Texas Tech
DB: Kip Daily, Kansas State

SPECIALISTS

K: Bobby Stonebraker, Oklahoma State
P: Ryan Erxleben, Texas Tech

Who's your MVP? Anybody get snubbed?

Opening spring camp: Kansas

April, 1, 2011
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Schedule: Kansas opens spring practice today with the first of 15 workouts, concluding with the annual spring game set for April 30.

What’s new: Kansas' staff is mostly intact and ready to start Year 2 of the Turner Gill Era in Lawrence. Receivers coach Darrell Wyatt left to coach the same position at Texas, but the Jayhawks brought back David Beaty as receivers coach and co-offensive coordinator after a year away coaching at Rice. He helped coach former Jayhawks stars Dezmon Briscoe and Kerry Meier.

On the mend: Linebacker Huldon Tharp returns after missing all of last season with a leg injury just before the season. He'll be just a sophomore, but likely one of the leaders for a linebacking corps that should be pretty strong.

On the move: Former receiver Bradley McDougald played some safety last year, but he'll focus on safety alongside Keeston Terry, who did the same. Former running back and former linebacker Toben Opurum looks like he'll stick at defensive end this spring after playing well down the stretch last season for the Jayhawks defense.

New faces: Offensive lineman Dylan Admire and running back Darrian Miller were two of the top recruits in Kansas' 2011 class, and both are on campus early. Unfortunately for the Jayhawks, the No. 1 player most fans wanted to see suit up this spring won't be there. Quarterback Brock Berglund graduated early and enrolled in classes at the beginning of the semester, but returned home to Colorado last month because of what the school called "personal circumstances." He'll be with the team beginning this fall.

Breaking out: Receiver D.J. Beshears. Turner Gill wants more speed on the field, and Beshears offers that. He's one of the best home-run threats the Jayhawks have, and look for Kansas to find ways to get the ball in his hand and let him make plays. He already got some time in the Wildcat last year, and unless the quarterback play improves quickly, he's likely to see some more.

Don’t forget about: Tight end Tim Biere. He caught four of Kansas' 11 touchdown passes last year, and the burly, 6-foot-4, 260-pounder will be looking for a big senior year after finishing with 19 catches for 228 yards last year, tied for the third-most catches on the team.

All eyes on: The new/young guys. Kansas' current crop of players should improve some this year and help the team get competitive, but if the Jayhawks are going to get back to winning games like they did under Mark Mangino, Gill will have to infuse more talent into the program via recruiting. If young players, not even necessarily freshmen, can show some flashes of potential, there will be a lot more optimism within the program after a long 3-9 season last year that featured five losses by at least 20 points.

KU raiding border states for recruiting surge

January, 20, 2011
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Rarely during the 2010 season did Kansas look like a team capable of competing at a level necessary for success in the Big 12.

That could be changing very soon.

The most important thing for Kansas to build on its 1-7 record in Big 12 play -- its only win coming at home in a 28-point, fourth-quarter comeback over Big 12 North fifth-place finisher Colorado -- was recruiting.

In his first full class Turner Gill has mounted a late surge to quietly put together a recruiting class solidly in the top half of the Big 12. Best of all, he's done it by robbing other Big 12 teams of top talents in their backyards.

That was especially evident on Tuesday, when the Jayhawks received a commitment from Anthony Pierson, a 5-foot-11, 175-pound running back that's been hailed as the best prospect in the St. Louis area.

Pierson, the nation's No. 27 running back, originally committed to Missouri before decommitting from the Tigers in October.

This comes just weeks after the Jayhawks swiped quarterback Brock Berglund, Colorado's top commit, from the Buffaloes territory. Berglund, a native of Highlands Ranch, Colo., was the highest-rated prospect in the state of Colorado.

Pierson, a native of East St. Louis, Ill., is the No. 4 prospect in Illinois.

Kansas also has a commitment from Darrian Miller, its top overall recruit and the nation's No. 18 running back. Miller was the first commit for Kansas' 2011 class back in March before decommitting in May and recommitting to the Jayhawks in October.

Miller and Berglund enrolled early at Kansas along with offensive lineman Dylan Admire and should be ready for spring practice.

What does it all mean immediately? Only development will tell. That's key for Gill and his coaching staff, obviously, as it is for the rest of the conference.

Miller and Pierson give Kansas seven running backs on its roster, one with what looks like a clear lead dog at running back in sophomore-to-be James Sims, the team's leading rusher in 2010.

But if there's one place that depth is most valuable, it's at running back.

"I saw the depth chart and looked things over before I decided to pick Kansas," Pierson told Rivals.com this week.

Berglund must beat out Jordan Webb and Quinn Mecham, who both made starts this year, to win any playing time, but he's got plenty of time in his career.

The results for Turner Gill on the field can wait. He still has another couple years before the pressure will build if he can't reach a bowl game. Results on the recruiting trail couldn't wait. He needed big-time commits to build his program around and needed them now.

With a late surge, it looks like he's getting them.

Who enrolled early across the Big 12?

January, 18, 2011
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The semester is just beginning. Last week in some places, today in others. Some programs have welcomed in new members, new college freshmen that are eager to get their careers started after being in high school just a month ago.

It's perhaps most valuable among quarterbacks -- notable in the case of Florida's Tim Tebow and Baylor's Robert Griffin, to quickly name a couple -- but here's who checked in to campus early and will likely take part in spring practice in a few months.

Keep an eye out for possible future stars among this group.

Colorado
Iowa State
Kansas
Missouri
Oklahoma
Oklahoma State
Texas A&M
Texas Tech

Kansas officially signs its new quarterback

January, 5, 2011
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Only a few weeks ago, quarterback Brock Berglund was committed to in-state school Colorado.

Now, he's Kansas' third early signee ready to enroll this semester.

"He has proven that he is a winner," Jayhawks coach Turner Gill said in a release. "He not only has great football skills, but he possesses great vision and tremendous leadership abilities."

Berglund won a pair of 4A state titles at Colorado, and was previously the Buffaloes' highest-rated recruit. The mobile 6-foot-4 passer is the nation's No. 13 dual-threat quarterback, and a big move for Kansas, which struggled at quarterback for most of 2010.

Running back Darrian Miller and offensive lineman Dylan Admire, both Kansas City-area natives, signed with Kansas early last month and will also be available for spring practice.

Berglund will have to beat out Jordan Webb and Quinn Mecham to earn playing time, but for a quarterback, the extra 6-7 months he'll be on campus compared to the rest of the fall-arriving freshman could prove valuable.

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