Big 12: Max Onyegbule
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Texas Tech quarterback Taylor Potts, Kansas defensive end Max Onyegbule, Texas defensive tackle Lamarr Houston and Oklahoma State wide receiver/punt returner Dez Bryant have been named Big 12 Conference Football Players of the Week as selected by a media panel.
Potts, Onyegbule and Houston were picked for the first times in their careers. Bryant earned his third career weekly award.
Here's a look at what each of the honorees accomplished last week to earn their award.
Offensive Player of the Week
Texas Tech QB Taylor Potts, Jr., Abilene, Texas
He threw for 456 yards and seven touchdowns on 36-of-57 passing in Texas Tech’s win over Rice. Potts connected with five different receivers for scores, including three times to Lyle Leong. His seven touchdown passes were one short of the school and Big 12 record, held by former Tech quarterback B.J. Symons. Potts has 861 yards on the season and nine scoring passes.
Co-Defensive Players of the Week
Kansas DE Max Onyegbule, Sr., Arlington, Texas
Onyegbule registered a career-high and team-high tying six tackles with two sacks and three tackles for loss in Kansas’ victory at UTEP. He also broke up a pass and was credited with a quarterback hurry. The Jayhawks limited UTEP to 208 total yards while registering six sacks and nine tackles for loss.
Texas DT Lamarr Houston, Sr., Colorado Springs, Colo. (Doherty H.S.)
Houston led a Longhorn defense that did not allow an offensive touchdown in a 41-10 victory at Wyoming. He posted four tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack, batted down a pass and registered five quarterback pressures. Eight of Wyoming’s 16 drives in the game went for 10 yards or less and the Cowboys managed to reach Texas territory just twice in their final 11 drives.
Special Teams Player of the Week
Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State, WR/PR/KR, Jr, Lufkin, Texas
He helped ignite a comeback from a 21-point deficit in the Cowboys' eventual loss to Houston. Bryant had an 82-yard punt return for a touchdown against Houston -- his third career punt return for a score -- and also two kickoff returns for 43 yards. Bryant is averaging 37.0 yards per return on his punt returns so far this season.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
The Big 12 announced most of the players who will be attending the conference's annual media days, beginning next Monday in Arlington, Texas.
One interesting trend this season is that several coaches are planning to bring assistant coaches with them. Baylor coach Art Briles will be joined by defensive coordinator Brian Norwood, Colorado coach Dan Hawkins will be assisted at the proceedings by veteran linebackers coach Brian Cabral and Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy will be joined by cornerbacks coach Jason Jones.
Here's a look at the daily breakdown of teams and who will be attending to represent each school.
Monday July 27
- Nebraska: Coach Bo Pelini, RB Roy Helu Jr., C Jacob Hickman, DT Ndamukong Suh.
- Oklahoma State: Coach Mike Gundy, cornerbacks coach Jason Jones, QB Zac Robinson, LB Andre Sexton, WR Dez Bryant.
- Iowa State: Coach Paul Rhoads; QB Austen Arnaud, G Reggie Stephens, NG Nate Frere.
- Texas A&M: Coach Mike Sherman, players to be announced.
Tuesday July 28
- Missouri: Coach Gary Pinkel, LB Sean Weatherspoon, NT Jaron Baston, G Kurtis Gregory.
- Baylor: Coach Art Briles, defensive coordinator Brian Norwood, QB Robert Griffin, S Jordan Lake, LB Joe Pawelek, C J.D. Walton.
- Kansas: Coach Mark Mangino, QB Todd Reesing, WR Kerry Meier, DE Max Onyegbule.
- Oklahoma: Coach Bob Stoops, QB Sam Bradford; DT Gerald McCoy, TE Jermaine Gresham.
Wednesday July 29
- Kansas State: Coach Bill Snyder, players to be announced.
- Texas Tech: Coach Mike Leach, T Brandon Carter, CB Jamar Wall, DT Colby Whitlock.
- Colorado: Coach Dan Hawkins, linebackers coach Brian Cabral, TE Riar Geer, LB Marcus Burton, LB Jeff Smart.
- Texas: Coach Mack Brown, players to be announced.
It looks like we were able to get most of the players with compelling story lines. I expect Texas quarterback Colt McCoy and Texas A&M quarterback Jerrod Johnson both to make appearances for their respective schools, as well.
Just curious if any of you have any specific questions you'd like me to ask the players.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Sometimes the spring provides a chance for personnel holes to be filled. Sometimes it doesn't.
Here are some of the notable positions around the Big 12 that picked up some assistance during the spring.
Baylor: The quick development of defensive tackle Phil Taylor, a heralded transfer from Penn State, should turn a traditional position of weakness for the Bears into a strength. Joining him at the position will be Jason Lamb, who showed some promise after moving over from defensive end before spring practice.
Colorado: The emergence of hulking 260-pound middle linebacker Marcus Burton and B.J. Beatty at outside linebacker have helped transform the Buffaloes' defense. Burton led the team in tackles and was a prime playmaker in the spring game with eight tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery. He had eight tackles in 10 games last season.
Iowa State: Redshirt freshman quarterback Jerome Tiller outplayed starter Austen Arnaud in the spring game, passing for 210 yards and getting free for a 65-yard touchdown run. I'm not sure that Tiller will be starting come September, but he'll make Arnaud work harder to earn his job.
Kansas: The Jayhawks had questions in the defensive line before the spring, even with the return of all-Big 12 honorable mention selections Caleb Blakesley and Jake Laptad and late season starting defensive tackles Richard Johnson and Jamal Greene. The development of tackle Darius Parish and end Max Onyegbule should add to the depth. And that doesn't even account for the arrival of heralded junior college transfer Quintin Woods, who originally signed with Michigan out of high school before heading to Bakersfield (Cal.) Community College to get his grades in order.
Kansas State: The emergence of linebackers like Alex Hrebec, Ulla Pomele and John Houlik has helped turn the position into the strength of the defense, even as the Wildcats are transforming to a 4-2-5 alignment. Hrebec, a former walk-on, contributed 19 tackles in the spring game and Houlik is a huge hitter despite his 5-foot-11, 219-pound size.
Missouri: Redshirt freshman Aldon Smith has only added to the Tigers' depth at defensive end, which already featured Brian Coulter and Jacquies Smith in front of him. Smith was voted as the team's most improved player in the spring. Throw in converted offensive tackle Brad Madison and redshirt freshman Marcus Marlbrough and you'll see why Gary Pinkel considers it his best collection of defensive ends at Missouri.
Nebraska: The Cornhuskers had serious questions at quarterback, particularly after the departure of projected starting challenger Patrick Witt before spring practice and Kody Spano's knee injury. But the strong spring by Zac Lee and the surprising development of converted linebacker LaTravis Washington eased some of offensive coordinator Shawn Watson's concerns. Their strong spring work also should mean that heralded freshman Cody Green likely won't be thrown into action perhaps as quickly as Watson might have feared before the spring.
Oklahoma: After losing starters Nic Harris and Lendy Holmes, safety was the only position without returning starters for the Sooners on defense. Quinton Carter nailed down one starting position and Sam Proctor and Joseph Ibiloye are poised to fight for the other job beside him. Emmanuel Jones and Desmond Jackson also had strong spring efforts to challenge for playing time.
Oklahoma State: Defensive tackle was enough of a question that new coordinator Bill Young moved Derek Burton inside from defensive end to help bolster depth at the position. Burton and Swanson Miller appear to have won starting jobs with redshirt freshman Nigel Nicholas and junior Chris Donaldson providing strong depth. Their strong play helped the Cowboys rack up seven sacks in the spring game - more than half of their 2008 season total of 13.
Texas: The Longhorns were concerned about defensive end after the departure of NFL draft picks Brian Orakpo and Henry Melton from last season. Those fears appear to be assuaged after the seamless transition of Sergio Kindle to the position from linebacker and the quick assimilation by freshman Alex Okafor. Toss in Sam Acho and Russell Carter and the return injured pass-rushing threat Eddie Jones and the Longhorns appear stacked at the position.
Texas A&M: Safety was a question mark before spring camp after the loss of Devin Gregg and Alton Dixon and the move of 2008 starting free safety Jordan Peterson to cornerback. But the strong return to safety by converted cornerback Jordan Pugh and the noticeable development by Trent Hunter helped solidify the position during the spring. And the Aggies' depth at the position was improved after the move of wide receiver Chris Caflisch to the position along with strong play from DeMaurier Thompson.
Texas Tech: The departure of two-time Biletnikoff Award winner Michael Crabtree and underrated Eric Morris was supposed to cripple the Red Raiders' receiving corps. Mike Leach appears to have found several serviceable replacements after Tramain Swindall, Lyle Leong, Detron Lewis and walk-on flanker Adam Torres all emerged during the spring. And that doesn't include Edward Britton, who was in Leach's doghouse much of the spring after falling behind in the classroom but still is perhaps their most athletic force on the field.
BIG 12 SCOREBOARD
12:00 PM ET 4 Oklahoma Tulsa 12:00 PM ET 20 Kansas State Iowa State 3:30 PM ET Missouri State Oklahoma State 7:00 PM ET Southeast Missouri State Kansas 7:30 PM ET BYU Texas 7:30 PM ET Towson West Virginia 7:30 PM ET Northwestern State 10 Baylor 11:00 PM ET Texas Tech UTEP