Bijan Robinson (Adam Davis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Baylor Bears: QB Blake Shapen
Shapen was a big reason the Bears defeated Oklahoma State in the Big 12 title game. Replacing injured Gerry Bohanon, who has since moved to USF, Shapen pitched for 180 yards and three touchdowns. He was named the game’s MVP for his efforts. Now that the starting QB job belongs entirely to Shapen, he should have a great year.
Iowa State Cyclones: WR Xavier Hutchinson
The Cyclones will need to replace a ton of talent in 2022. Iowa State is returning just five starters on offense and three on defense from the team last year. Gone is star running back Breece Hall, as well as quarterback Brock Purdy. Hutchinson will be a prime target for new Cyclones quarterback Hunter Dekkers. Last season, the receiver had 83 receptions for 987 yards and five touchdowns.
Kansas Jayhawks: S Kenny Logan Jr.
For two consecutive seasons, Logan led the Jayhawks in total tackles. In 2021, he made 113 total saves, including six pass breakups and one interception. He also led the Big 12 in tackles. Logan is also a kick returner for Kansas. Last season he averaged 27.9 yards per return.
Kansas State Wildcats: RB Deuce Vaughn
Vaughn has been an all-around point guard for the Wildcats since his true first season in 2020. He won the Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year award after leading the team in rushing and receiving yards. In 2021, he didn’t slow down, rushing for 1,404 yards and 16 touchdowns, as well as 468 receiving yards, which was second on the team. K-State only gets two starters along the offensive line, but Vaughn should have another big year.
Oklahoma Sooners: QB Dillon Gabriel
Brent Venables begins a new era at Norman in 2022. Oklahoma recovers just 10 total starters from last year’s team that finished 11-2 under current USC head coach Lincoln Riley . At quarterback, Venables landed former UCF quarterback Dillon Gabriel to lead his offense. In three seasons with the Knights, Gabriel threw for 8,037 yards and 70 touchdowns. For the Sooners to compete for the Big 12 title, Gabriel putting up big numbers will be key.
Oklahoma State Cowboys: QB Spencer Sanders
Sanders had his best season as a redshirt junior in 2021, and he steadily improved throughout his three years at Stillwater. He threw for 2,839 yards and 20 touchdowns, the third-most in the Big 12 last season. While his four-steel outing against Baylor in the Big 12 title game was blatant, he bounced back nicely against Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. Sanders went 34 of 51 for 371 yards, four touchdowns and no picks. He won the Bowling Game MVP award for his efforts.
TCU Horned Frogs: WR Quentin Johnston
New TCU head coach Sonny Dykes is still waiting to name a starting quarterback in Fort Worth. Whoever eventually wins the job should find Johnson as their preferred target. The junior led the Horned Frogs with 634 yards, 19.2 yards per reception and six points last season. He also had three games with over 100 receiving yards. What’s even more impressive is that he put up those numbers while missing three games.
Texas Longhorns: RB Bijan Robinson
This choice was quite obvious. Robinson is one of the best running backs in the country and has the hype of Heisman. Last season he rushed for 1,127 yards and 11 touchdowns, averaging 5.8 yards per carry. As a true freshman in 2020, he rushed for 703 yards. His 1,830 rushing yards already rank 21st in Longhorns history. Robinson is bringing back three offensive linemen in 2022, so it looks like he’s off to an even bigger season.
Texas Tech Red Raiders: P Austin McNamara
Austin McNamara is one of the most talented punters in the country. Last season as a junior, McNamara averaged 48.2 yards on 42 punts. He broke Texas Tech’s single-season school record for average punts, surpassing Mark Bounds’ record in 1991. McNamara also set the all-time FBS, Big 12, and Texas Tech records for most punts of at least 50 yards in a game after exploding. eight against Oklahoma State.
West Virginia Mountaineers: QB JT Daniels
It’s been interesting to see how Daniels’ career has unfolded. He started his career at USC, where he started all 11 games for the Trojans in 2018. He transferred to Georgia after the 2019 season, suffering a season-ending knee injury in the opener. of the season. In 2020, Daniels sat mostly behind Stetson Bennett. But Bennett suffered an injury against Florida, allowing Daniels to start in the Dawgs’ final four games of the season. Daniels struggled with injuries throughout last season, ultimately allowing Bennett to lead the Dawgs to a national title. Daniels will play behind an experienced offensive line in Morgantown, as the Mountaineers get all five offensive linemen back starting in 2021.