Five Big 12 players who need to step up down the stretch
Mark Pszonak contributed to this report.
There are only a few games left in the college football season, but it’s never too late for players to step up their games. Here are five guys in the Big 12 who could use a strong finish.
Recruiting: Brewer initially committed to SMU during the summer leading up to his senior season. However, after leading his team to a state title while putting up huge numbers, Baylor came calling, which led him to flip to the Bears on New Year's Eve.
Current situation: After a positive 4-2 start to the season, the Bears have fallen on hard times during their current 1-3 run. Brewer had a nightmare game against West Virginia when he threw three INTs, but otherwise has been solid and pulled out the Oklahoma State game in dramatic fashion. While the Bears lost their last game against Iowa State, Brewer's improved level of plays gives Bears' fans hope that a bowl can still be achieved.
Farrell’s take: Making a bowl game would be huge for Baylor, and Brewer could be the key. The offense hasn’t been what it can be of late, so he needs to step his game up a bit. We liked him out of high school as a mid-three star kid with the ability to play beyond that ranking, and he needs to show it.
Recruiting: Delton surprised some with a commitment to Kansas State almost a year before his Signing Day. While his only other offer was from Memphis, he was receiving serious early interest from several FBS programs.
Current situation: It has been a rough season in Manhattan, with the offense consistently failing to find a rhythm. The quarterback position has been one of the issues, as Delton and Skylar Thompson have floundered. Delton showed some life in the recent win over Kansas with 126 yards through the air and 55 yards on the ground, but will he be able to lead the Wildcats to two must wins against Texas Tech and Iowa State?
Farrell’s take: It would be nice to see Delton show some of that potential he has flashed in the past. He’s a very good dual-threat quarterback when he’s on, he just hasn’t been on that much.
Current situation: As has been the trend in Stillwater, the offense has carried the defense this fall. And while the defensive line and linebackers have inspired some hope, the secondary has failed to step up. Williams is just one of the players who needs to play at a higher level if the Cowboys hope to make a bowl. With one win still needed and West Virginia and TCU remaining, there is still time for improvement.
Farrell’s take: The brother of Greedy Williams from LSU, Rodarius has the potential to play better and be a leader on the defensive side of things. If Oklahoma State is to upset West Virginia and beat TCU, the defense needs some help and he’s a candidate to provide that help.
Recruiting: Duvernay initially signed with Baylor before the sexual assault scandal surrounding the Bears’ program caused him to look for different options. After trimming his list to Texas and TCU, he committed to the Longhorns several months after National Signing Day.
Current sutuation: The Longorns' program finally seem to be on the upswing, so any additional advantage it can find will only speed this process up. So while the Longhorns already do have Collin Johnson and Lil'Jordan Humphrey at receiver, having Duvernay step up could give the Longhorns an even more dynamic passing attack. He showed flashes of stardom in 2016, but has since plateaued. Can he raise his level of play again?
Farrell’s take: Duvernay has been playing better in recent weeks, and has flashed that great speed we marveled at in high school. He needs to take it up a notch to free up the bigger receivers underneath and has the ability to do so.
Current situation: It is no secret that Oklahoma's defense continues to experience their fair share of difficulties. So why is Bolton, who already has 103 tackles and 10.5 tackles for a loss, the one who needs to step up? As a leader of the defensive unit, he needs to inspire the players around him to play at a higher level if they truly have a chance to make a run to the playoffs and beyond.
Farrell’s take: The defense has been bad for Oklahoma, even though Bolton has been solid. However, if the Sooners are to take a step forward, he will have to be one of the players to lead the charge. He certainly has the ability to do so.