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Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Who is the Big 12's spring breakout star?

By David Ubben

Spring has sprung across the Big 12, but every spring, we see names emerge we haven't necessarily heard much about before. Who are you betting on this spring as the Big 12's signature breakout star? Unknowns a year ago, these guys could be bona fide stars this time next year.

Vote in our poll.

Michael Brewer, QB, Texas Tech: Brewer earned some spot duty last season and looked good when he got it. We saw what Kliff Kingsbury did with redshirt freshman Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M. Manziel is clearly special, but Brewer is more experienced and was more highly recruited. Could this spring be the start of something special for the Austin native?

D.J. Ward, DE, Oklahoma: Ward was the best prospect in Oklahoma last season, and is the nation's No. 137 overall player and No. 12 defensive end. Oklahoma needs a ton of help at defensive end after losing David King from last year's set of DEs, which struggled and ranked just 104th nationally in tackles for loss. Can Ward, a 6-foot-3, 225-pounder, help change that this spring?

Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor: Petty's got a lot of experience in the system and measurables that NFL scouts could be drooling over very soon. Can he grip the starting spot this spring and become the next in a long line of passers for the Quarterback Whisperer, Art Briles? The third-year sophomore checks in at 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds and has a huge arm. I've loved what I've seen from him in my Waco visits, and he'll have to prove he can be a good decision-maker and productive this spring.

Sam Wren, DE, Oklahoma State: Oklahoma State needs help on the defensive line, too, after losing three seniors at end from last year's team. Wren is a Texas native from junior college in Arizona who ranks as the nation's No. 16 overall juco prospect. He could offer an immediate solution at 6-foot-3 and 255 pounds for the Cowboys, who find themselves in a similar spot as the Sooners in terms of pass-rushers this spring.

Aaron Green, RB, TCU: Everybody wants to see the shifty Green take the field after transferring from Nebraska. TCU's offensive backfield is crowded with Waymon James and B.J. Catalon, but the same was true of Baylor's backfield this time last year, and we saw the kind of impact that Lache Seastrunk had. Could Green, who signed with the Huskers as the nation's No. 3 running back and No. 11 overall prospect, have a similar impact? He ran for 105 yards and two scores on his 24 carries back in 2011 for Nebraska.