Big 12: Mason Wald
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
The Fourth of July has sent most players and coaches across the Big 12 scurrying to an early vacation this week.
But we don't stop around here just because of the approaching festivities.
There are always a good crop of lunchtime links available, if you search hard enough. And today's group is especially succulent.
So here are today's offerings as a prelude to all the brats and watermelon that will be available for all of you over the weekend.
Enjoy them responsibly, along with the weekend pyrotechnics.
- The Kansas City Star's Mike DeArmond reports about the banner year for quarterbacks from across Missouri among the class of 2011.
- Nebraska freshman safety Mason Wald and junior walk-on fullback Justin Makovicka have left the Cornhuskers' program since the spring semester ended, the Omaha World-Herald's Rich Kaipust reports.
- Projected Kansas starting offensive tackle Tanner Hawkinson has boosted his weight by 19 pounds since the spring, Susie Epp of the McPherson Sentinel reports. Hawkinson now weighs 279 pounds with eventual plans to reach 290 -- up from 245 pounds that he weighed when he arrived at Kansas last year.
- Martin Manley of the Kansas City Star's blog "Upon Further Review" checks out the cumulative preseason rankings of Big 12 teams.
- The Tulsa World's Bill Haisten has an interesting question-and-answer session with Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy. Haisten also comments on the chances that the Cowboys will enter the season with their highest preseason ranking in history.
- Colorado cornerback Anthony Wright is expected to be ready to compete for playing time after sitting out spring practice to recover from a knee injury, the Boulder Camera's Kyle Ringo reports.
- Lincoln Journal-Star staffers Curt McKeever and Brian Christopherson and Steve Ryan of the Big Red Report discuss Nebraska's rushing game and the productive combination of Roy Helu Jr. and Quentin Castille in their Husker Extra Press Box.
- Center Austin Woods of Heath High School in Rockwall, Texas, has committed to Oklahoma, the Oklahoman's Jake Trotter reports. Woods, who chose the Sooners over Baylor, Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas, Tech, is the Sooners' fourth offensive line commitment in the 2010 recruiting class.
- Texas will spruce up the appearance of its mammoth Godzillatron scoreboard by putting a burnt-orange backing on it, the Austin American-Statesman reports.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Who said they stop for vacation during spring break around the Big 12?
Check out these stories if you think it's been quiet the last several days across the conference.
- New Colorado offensive line coach Denver Johnson -- the Buffaloes' fourth offensive line coach in the last five seasons -- tells the Boulder Daily Camera's Kyle Ringo he wants to bring stability and a steady running game to the program.
- Lawrence City Commissioner Sue Hack has withdrawn plans to name a portion of Missouri Street in the city in honor of former Kansas coach Don Fambrough, Chad Lawhorn of the Lawrence Journal-World reports.
- Sam Bradford is among 15 finalists for the Sullivan Award, the Tulsa World reports.
- Pete Fiutak of College Football News pegs the Big 12 as the nation's third-best conference this season, trailing the Atlantic Coast and Southeastern conferences.
- Oklahoma opening-game opponent BYU has decided not to play a spring game this season because the field at LaVell Edwards Stadium will not be available for use.
- Max Olson of the Daily Nebraskan spells out the plausible reasons why the Cornhuskers don't need to bring vagabond quarterback Robert Marve into the program.
- Reports of safety Mason Wald's hard hits have preceded him to Nebraska, Brian Christopherson of the Lincoln Journal-Star writes.
- The Boulder Daily Camera's Kyle Ringo predicts eight or nine victories will be a more realistic total for Colorado after Dan Hawkins' presumptive preseason prediction of 10 victories for the upcoming season.