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Big 12's fall camp breakout players

Oklahoma QB Cody Thomas has thrived in the offseason in Lincoln Riley's offense. Sue Ogrocki/AP

Ten Big 12 players worth keeping an eye on this season after their fall camp breakouts:

Baylor DB Travon Blanchard: Baylor isn't breaking in many new starters this month, but Blanchard is the new dude at the "Bear" nickel spot and has a chance to really provide an upgrade in this secondary in replacing Collin Brence. After seeing what he can do in BU's first scrimmage, coach Art Briles praised him as a ball hawk with great instincts.

Iowa State LB Jordan Harris: Harris was a tackling machine at the junior college level in 2013, but he just wasn't ready to play Big 12 ball last season. He's up to speed now and has emerged as the Cyclones' No. 1 middle linebacker. Harris could catch a lot of foes by surprise in this defense.

Kansas WR Steven Sims Jr.: You knew Kansas was going to rely on some new faces at receiver this season, and it sure sounds like Sims is ready to roll. The 5-foot-10, 165-pound true freshman from Houston looks like a Day 1 starter and potential playmaker for the Jayhawks.

Kansas State WR Dominique Heath: After his big-time spring game breakout as a returner, Heath is working with the No. 1 offense and has flashed the kind of speed that'll make him hard to handle in space. He's rising just in time, because this K-State offense does need some difference-makers.

Oklahoma QB Cody Thomas: Why haven't the Sooners named their starter at quarterback? The rise of Thomas this month has certainly played a role. After starting three games last season, Thomas is reportedly embracing his fresh start in Lincoln Riley's offense and is playing with more confidence. Stop overlooking him in this competition.

Oklahoma State RB Jeff Carr: Coach Mike Gundy and his staff took a chance on Carr, a last-second find before signing day out of Temple, Texas, and the diminutive 5-foot-6 speedster is already making them look smart. Gundy says the true freshman will get 12 to 15 snaps a game to start off, and he could take off from there.

TCU WR Ja'Juan Story: Coach Gary Patterson says Story has had an "outstanding" fall camp, which makes a lot of sense. Josh Doctson and Deante' Gray have been limited by injuries this month, opening the door for Story to prove what he can do. The former Florida transfer should have a chance to step up as a senior.

Texas OG Patrick Vahe: Texas already had one true freshman (Connor Williams) slated to start, but he'd enrolled early. Vahe showed up in the summer and quickly fought his way into joining Williams on the No. 1 offense. The ESPN 300 signee has been praised by coaches for his toughness and has shown enough to push a returning starter out of a job.

Texas Tech WR Dylan Cantrell: After six starts and 20 catches as a sophomore, Cantrell has a real opportunity to be a go-to guy for the Red Raiders this season. His rapport with Patrick Mahomes – they were teammates at Whitehouse High – could certainly pay off for Cantrell, who'll be a reliable threat as an outside receiver.

West Virginia OT Yodny Cajuste: This second-year player will be intriguing to follow. A redshirt freshman from Miami, Cajuste is slated to be the starter at left tackle protecting Skyler Howard and his coaches are convinced he's ready. There will be ups and downs early on, but investing in Cajuste this early should pay off in time.