Big 12: Lynx Hawthorne

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?

Breaking down spring camp: Baylor

March, 6, 2012
3/06/12
9:00
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Baylor's next in line to kick off spring practice, and the party gets started in Waco this afternoon. Here's a closer look on what to watch for.

Schedule: The first of Baylor's 15 practices is today, leading up to the annual spring game on April 14. Baylor's spring game is a controlled scrimmage at the practice field. Practices are open to the media.

What's new: This is the first spring since 2008 that Robert Griffin III won't be on the field at Waco, and the first since 2009 that he's not in the spring as the starter. It'll be a little jarring without his No. 10 jersey on the field making plays, but the time is now for his understudy for much of that time, Nick Florence.

New faces: Special teams/wide receivers coach Dino Babers took the head coaching job at Eastern Illinois, and he was replaced from within. Coach Art Briles promoted assistant Jeff Lebby to a staff position. Baylor is also welcoming two new scholarship players: juco signee Eddie Lackey, a linebacker, and 2012 Recruiting All-Name team MVP Lynx Hawthorne, an early enrolling freshman athlete.

Big shoes to fill: Terrance Williams. The senior might have had the quietest 59-catch, 957-yard, 11-touchdown season of all time last year. He's supremely talented, but Kendall Wright led the Big 12 with 1,662 yards and leaves after leading the Bears in receiving for the past four seasons. Williams made some big catches in 2011, including the game-winner over Oklahoma that will live on as the defining moment of the Bears' dream year that ended with the first Heisman Trophy in school history. Williams has to show he can handle being the No. 1 target for a new quarterback.

Question mark: Will the defense progress? It should in Year 2 under coordinator Phil Bennett, who Baylor aggressively pursued after the 2010 season. The Bears were one of the league's worst defenses in 2011, but had the best player in the country on offense the pick up the slack. Florence is good. He's not the best player in the country. Will the payoff for getting Bennett begin to show up this spring? It was rough last year from what I saw on my trip to Waco. Leading tackler Elliot Coffey and DT Nicolas Jean-Baptiste are gone, but the team returns nine of its top 10 tacklers.

Breaking out: Running back Lache Seastrunk. The Oregon transfer tried to become eligible for 2011, but didn't do so after joining the team just before the season. The Bears didn't need him anyway; Terrance Ganaway rumbled to a Big 12 rushing title. Ganaway's gone now, though, and Seastrunk will try and win the job this spring alongside promising, more experienced backs in Glasco Martin and Jarred Salubi.

All eyes on: Florence. It's pretty obvious. Florence hasn't been handed the job just yet. Bryce Petty is behind him on the depth chart and loaded with potential, too. Florence, though, played most of the 2009 season and looked good in relief of RG3 this year, leading the Bears to a win over Texas Tech on Thanksgiving weekend. I'm betting Florence is above average this year, and he'll have arguably the Big 12's best receiving corps (with apologies to West Virginia), a good offensive line and a great group of backs. In Briles' system, though, the quarterback makes it all go.

The 2012 Big 12 Recruiting All-Name Team

February, 6, 2012
2/06/12
9:00
AM ET
Readers of this blog know how much I love names.

Whether it be my most lamented transfer of the 2011 season or guys, judging by their names, born to play the game, I love it.

As such, we celebrate these on the blog often. And with another recruiting season come and gone, it's time to give a little attention to the best new names in the Big 12.

Here's last year's team.

We're including Texas A&M, Mizzou, TCU and West Virginia in this post ... because I want to.

Now, for the best new names in the Big 12.

Team MVP: Lynx Hawthorne, ATH, Baylor: Known for his cat-like reflexes, I can only assume. Will also assume the role of my new favorite player in the Big 12.

Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma: Matching consonants are a great start for a great name. But the adjective/noun first name combined with the noun last name, too? Too much, sir. My hat is off.

Eric Striker, S, Oklahoma: A safety named Striker? Come on, Bob Stoops. Perfection. He narrowly missed my MVP nod.

Ellwood Clement, OT, Kansas State: Bringing a bit of the blues to The Little Apple. I assume he plays a mean harmonica.

Maty Mauk, QB, Missouri: His nomenclatorial doppelganger (I'm slapping a patent on that term) won a national title at LSU, which gives him extra points, and he gets the nod based on the snappy matching consonant, too.

Aiavion Edwards, S, Baylor: Throw a jump ball in this man's territory at your own risk.

Torshiro Davis, LB, Texas: I've never heard of anyone named Torshiro, but I love it. He sounds a bit like a bull, which is a great trait for a linebacker. And its uniqueness is offset by the unremarkable last name. It just works.

Zorrell Ezell, DT, Baylor: He's not an evil emperor, but he means business.

Kolby Listenbee, ATH, TCU: Rumor has it he captures the attention of insects near and far with a mere whisper.

Orion Stewart, ATH, Baylor: I hear this guy has a belt that is just mesmerizing.

Devlyn Cousin, DT, Iowa State: Guy is just an absolute terror at family reunions.

Glenn Gronkowski, WR, Kansas State: A guy named Gronkowski is going to catch passes for a team with one of the game's best coaches? Where have I heard this before? Big brother Rob didn't win the Super Bowl this year, but everybody in the family gets to keep the name. I'd say they broke even.

Kennedy Estelle, OT, Texas: Sounds like a supermodel. Blocks like a big ugly.

Polo Manukainiu, DE, Texas A&M: I love Pacific Islander names, and this one clearly qualifies. Also, his name is Polo. Outstanding, sir.

Noble Nwachukwu, DE, West Virginia: Assuming his name is pronounced the same as the Aggies' receiver, it looks like he'll bring an additional level of class to the family name, which is pronounced "WATCH-ah-koo."

Halapoulivaati Vaitai, OT, TCU: I look forward to moving from "butchered" to "serviceable" when it comes to pronouncing his name in the future.

Thierry Nguema, CB, Texas Tech: Bringing a bit of European soccer to the Big 12, which is something I think it's always needed.

To this year's team: Congratulations on the nod. I look forward to seeing you play and hearing your names called often on broadcasts. This was a great group of my absolute favorite names from the new classes.

Any suggestions for this year's recruiting classes that I missed?

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