football Edit

Past, Present and Future: The Big 12 at each position

Brock Purdy
Brock Purdy (AP Images)

Each Power Five conference lost stars to the NFL Draft last month, but plenty of talent returns and is on the horizon. We call this Past, Present and Future and it’s self explanatory. We continue with the Big 12 today.

Mark Pszonak contributed to this report.

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QUARTERBACK 

The past: QB Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma — Hurts was the next in line in a series of dominant quarterbacks at Oklahoma, and he was far and away the best in the conference.

The present: Brock Purdy, Iowa State— Purdy has some NFL scouts intrigued and needs a big year to make up for a bad bowl game against Notre Dame. Sam Ehlinger (Texas), Spencer Sanders (Oklahoma State) and Charlie Brewer (Baylor) are others to watch, and of course all eyes will be on Spencer Rattler (Oklahoma) as he starts his career.

The future: Hudson Card, Texas — Card is an excellent athlete who is just developing his passing skills and has excellent upside.

*****

RUNNING BACK 

Chuba Hubbard
Chuba Hubbard (AP Images)

The past: Jamycal Hasty, Baylor — Hasty wasn’t drafted, so you can see it was a down year for departing running backs. This year looks loaded.

The present: Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State — Hubbard is clearly the talk of the Big 12 at running back, and he could post 2,000 yards again. Kennedy Brooks (Oklahoma), Pooka Williams (Kansas) and Johnathan Lovett (Baylor) are all very good and bordering on elite.

The future: Zach Evans, TCU — Evans had a bumpy ride through his recruitment, but landed at TCU and has a chance to be its best RB since LaDainian Tomlinson.

*****

WIDE RECEIVER 

The past: CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma — Lamb will be tough to replace in the conference as he’s one of the most talented wide receivers we’ve see in a few years.

The present: Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State — Wallace had his season cut short due to injury but his upside upon return is off the charts. Charleston Rambo (Oklahoma), TJ Simmons (West Virginia) and Andrew Parchment (Kansas) are others to watch, and there is a ton of very young talent in the conference.

The future: Quentin Johnston, TCU — TCU has done a great job developing wide receivers, and Johnson could be the Horned Frogs' next Jalen Reagor.

*****

TIGHT END 

Charlie Kolar
Charlie Kolar (AP Images)

The past: None. No one was drafted or of any note from the Big 12 last year.

The present: Charlie Kolar, Iowa State — Kolar should be a force this season and possibly expand on big numbers from last season while Nick Lenners (Kansas State) and Cade Brewer (Texas) will be solid for their teams. Austin Stogner (Oklahoma) has a lot of upside as well.

The future: Jalin Conyers, Oklahoma — The Texas recruit is tall and long and could be a big threat as he fills out.

*****

OFFENSIVE LINE 

Lucas Niang
Lucas Niang (AP Images)

The past: Lucas Niang, TCU — Niang was a third-round draft pick.

The present: Samuel Cosmi, Texas — Cosmi is a standout and likely first-rounder, and the same can be said for center Creed Humphrey (Oklahoma). Marquis Hayes (Oklahoma) and Jack Anderson (Texas Tech) are both excellent and there are some elite young linemen in the conference.

The future: Aaryn Parks, Oklahoma — The pull of the Sooners is strong as the former Penn State commitment flipped to OU because of its recent OL success.

*****

DEFENSIVE END 

The past: Ross Blacklock, TCU — Blacklock was an elite talent and pocket pusher who will be sorely missed on the TCU defensive line.

The present: Darius Stills, West VirginiaStills and his brother Dante (West Virginia) are a great combination for the Mountaineers. Jalen Redmond (Oklahoma) and Ta’Quon Graham (Texas) can make plays from the inside.

The future: Vernon Broughton, Texas — Broughton is huge and has length, but the ability to shoot the gap on the inside is there as well.

*****

LINEBACKER 

The past: Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma — Murray was a tackling machine and leader and the best defensive player in the Big 12 last season.

The present: Garrett Wallow, TCU — Haven’t heard of Wallow? You will, as the NFL scouts like him a lot. Joseph Ossai (Texas), Terrel Bernard (Baylor) and DaShaun White (Oklahoma) all have a lot of talent as well and will be NFL picks.

The future: Prince Dorbah, Texas — He’s still raw as a standup linebacker, but give him a year or so to develop.

*****

CORNERBACK 

Jeff Gladney
Jeff Gladney (AP Images)

The past: Jeff Gladney, TCU — Gladney was the best cornerback you hadn’t heard much about, but there is a lot of talent left in the conference.

The present: Tre Brown, Oklahoma — This is Brown’s year to shine for the Sooners, while Rodarius Williams (Oklahoma State), DaMarcus Fields (Texas Tech) and A.J. Parker (Kansas State) are on the the NFL radar.

The future: Kitan Crawford, Texas — Crawford has solid size and loves to tackle. He can play the ball in the air as well.

*****

SAFETY 

Caden Sterns
Caden Sterns (AP Images)

The past: Brandon Jones, Texas — Jones was a do-everything player for the Longhorns last season and a leader.

The present: Caden Sterns, Texas — Sterns has first-round talent if he can stay healthy. Watch for Trevon Moehrig (TCU), Ar’Darius Washington (TCU), Kolby Harvell-Peel (Oklahoma State) and others in a good year in the Big 12 at safety.

The future: Xavion Alford, Texas — Alford has length and ball skills and his instincts are solid. He could be the replacement for Sterns down the line.