Big 12 Spotlight: The five biggest position battles
Spring football is underway around the country and teams in the Big 12 are looking for position battles to sort themselves out and have reliable replacements step forward. These are five Big 12 position battles to keep an eye on as August inches closer.
OKLAHOMA OFFENSIVE TACKLE
Alabama transfer Jalen Hurts is the presumptive QB1 in Norman, but there's still a lot of questions about who will be replacing Cody Ford at the right tackle position. Fortunately for Oklahoma, Lincoln Riley has a number of options to choose from, with Adrian Ealy, Darrell Simpson, Brey Walker, David Swaby and Erik Swenson are a few names to watch along an offensive line that will be replacing four starters.
OKLAHOMA STATE QUARTERBACK
Mike Gundy’s team is getting yet another makeover, primarily on the offensive side of the ball and all eyes are going to be on the quarterback position following the graduation of Taylor Cornelius. The Cowboys have no shortage of options, starting with redshirt freshman and former four-star standout Spencer Sanders. There's also Brendan Costello, who enrolled early in Stillwater, as well as Hawaii transfer Dru Brown.
Shawn Robinson's abrupt departure for Missouri leaves a wide-open competition behind center in Fort Worth with four candidates and even more uncertainty at the most important position on the field. Mike Collins is the most experienced option and replaced Robinson in the lineup for the Cheez-It-Bowl, but he’s still recovery from an injury and won’t be able to give it a go until preseason camp. Taking his spot in the lineup has been Kansas State grad transfer Alex Delton, who’s already taking first-team reps with the Horned Frogs offense. Don’t sleep on Justin Rogers, the former Rivals100 dual-threat quarterback who Gary Patterson labeled at 95-percent healthy earlier this month. He’s back on the practice field and should be fully healthy by the time camp arrives. There’s also 2019 four-star Max Duggan, who enrolled early at TCU and is assimilating rather quickly.
TEXAS WIDE RECEIVER
If Texas football is in fact “back,” then there are a handful of key position battles that need to be sorted out for the Longhorns to continue their ascent this upcoming season. Few Longhorns will be more difficult to replace than leading receiver Lil'Jordan Humphrey, who broke out as a junior with almost 1,200 yards and nine touchdowns in the H-receiver role. There are several former highly touted recruits in the mix to replace Humphrey, namely Joshua Moore, a Rivals250 receiver in 2018, and freshman Bru McCoy, a five-star in the 2019 class.
WEST VIRGINIA QUARTERBACK
West Virginia is also in the market for a new starting quarterback. Oklahoma transfer Austin Kendall is now in Morgantown looking to restart his career after starting just one game in Norman. Kendall will compete with another transfer -- Jack Allison -- who may be the early leader in the clubhouse. Allison joined the Mountaineers before last season and replaced Will Grier in the Camping World Bowl. Allison threw for 277 yards in the loss to Syracuse. There’s also Trey Lowe, who redshirted in 2018. His dual-threat ability may be a decisive factor for first-year coach Neal Brown as he navigates through the quarterback competition.