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Monday, June 4, 2012
Under the radar: Baylor Bears

By David Ubben

Today, we'll kick off a new series on the Big 12 examining one player who will enter 2012 with a profile that doesn't quite match their worth to the team.

In other words, they're coming in under the radar.

First up, the Baylor Bears.

Under the radar: CB K.J. Morton

Baylor is starved for a true defensive star, and while it may not have one yet, Morton could be due for a breakout year in 2012. His name doesn't come up on anyone's short list for the conference's best corner, but he proved he has an ability to be a playmaker late in the season.

He became the starter in the Bears' third game of the season, and by season's end, had earned honorable mention All-Big 12 status. In the regular season's final three games, he intercepted four passes, moving him to fourth in the conference. That included interceptions against Oklahoma's Landry Jones and Texas Tech's Seth Doege. Both of his interceptions against Texas in the season finale gave Baylor's offense the ball in the red zone.

What's the biggest reason he could make a jump in Year 2? The opportunity for offseason growth. Morton didn't transfer to Baylor until late August, and had to rush to learn the new defense under Phil Bennett. Bennett's system is in its second year, and Morton should have a much greater understanding of the position by now. Additionally, he faces top-tier talent at receiver in practice every day against an offense that puts a lot of stress on defensive backs.

Morton doesn't command the same respect as guys like OSU's Brodrick Brown, Texas' Carrington Byndom or Oklahoma's Demontre Hurst.

Don't be shocked if that has changed by December.