<
>

Revisiting stars of 2014 spring games

1d

Some spring stars soar while others fall out of the sky.

This year's round of spring games are underway, but a look back at last year's spring game stars can be a reminder that spring production can be a fall preview or a mirage that sets fans up for disappointment. Here's a look at a 2014 spring game star for each Big 12 program, how they fared in 2014 and their potential impact in 2015.

Baylor: Defensive end Shawn Oakman was the defensive star for the Bears, recording two sacks in the 2014 spring game while showing he was ready for an increased role following his debut season as a backup in 2013.

Impact in 2014: Oakman was outstanding, recording 11 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss while earning All-Big 12 honors. His standout spring game was just a precursor of his stellar season.

Potential impact in 2015: After deciding to return for his senior season, Oakman has All-American honors in his sights this fall.

Iowa State: Quarterback Grant Rohach was one of the stars of the 2014 spring game, completing 22 of 38 passes for 171 yards and leading the Cyclones to touchdowns on three of their six scoring drives. He entered the summer as the favorite to start.

Impact in 2014: Rohach didn’t carry his spring momentum into the fall and Sam Richardson catapulted past him on the depth chart. Rohach ended up playing just two games in 2014, finishing 27 of 54 for 283 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

Potential impact in 2015: Rohach enters the fall as a backup behind Richardson but will have to hold off Joel Lanning if he hopes to secure the No. 2 spot in 2015.

Kansas: In the midst of a battle for the starting job, quarterback Montell Cozart was one of the stars of the day. He passed for 58 yards and rushed for 70 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Kansas' 2014 spring game. Days later, he was named the Jayhawks starter.

Impact in 2014: Cozart started the first five games of the 2014 season and struggled to reward former coach Charlie Weis’ confidence in him, eventually losing his starting job to Michael Cummings after Clint Bowen took over as coach. Cozart finished 64 of 128 for 701 yards with five touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Potential impact in 2015: The slate was wiped clean with the arrival of new coach David Beaty, giving Cozart the chance to win the starting job this spring. His long-term impact remains up to him.

Kansas State: Curry Sexton led all receivers with six receptions for 88 yards as the Wildcats were searching for a No. 2 option alongside Tyler Lockett.

Impact in 2014: Sexton carried his spring momentum into the fall. He had 79 receptions for 1,059 yards and five touchdowns to become one of the Big 12’s top receiving threats while finishing among the top five in the Big 12 in receptions and receiving yards.

Potential impact in 2015: Sexton was a senior in 2014.

Oklahoma: Texas Tech transfer Baker Mayfield was the star of the Sooners' spring game in 2014, completing 9 of 9 for 125 yards and two touchdowns.

Impact in 2014: Mayfield had to sit out the 2014 season after his appeal to play immediately was denied.

Potential impact in 2015: Mayfield is in a four-man competition to start in Oklahoma's new offense under Lincoln Riley. Considered the favorite by many, Mayfield struggled to take care of the ball with two interceptions in last weekend’s spring game. Nonetheless, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Mayfield opens the 2015 season as the starting quarterback.

Oklahoma State: The Cowboys didn’t hold a spring game in 2014, instead holding an "Orange Blitz" open practice because of a lack of numbers on the roster. Receiver Blake Webb was one of the stars of the practice with a pair of big receptions and long plays through the air.

Impact in 2014: Webb didn’t build on his strong spring at all, eventually going without a reception in 2014.

Potential impact in 2015: Webb, who had an injury riddled OSU career, left the program during the offseason.

Texas: Defensive end Caleb Bluiett was one of the Longhorns' stars with eight tackles including two tackles for loss and two sacks.

Impact in 2014: Bluiett developed into a solid contributor for Charlie Strong’s defense after that strong spring showing. As a sophomore he had 37 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks before suffering a knee injury late in the season.

Potential impact in 2015: Bluiett is recovering from ACL surgery in January and is expected to return to the field in the fall.

Texas Tech: Quarterback Davis Webb was the star for the Red Raiders, passing for 354 yards and four touchdowns to solidify his place atop the depth chart.

Impact in 2014: Webb had an up-and-down season as a sophomore. He completed 61.2 percent of his passes for 2,539 yards with 24 touchdowns, but threw 13 interceptions.

Potential impact in 2015: Webb is in a battle with Patrick Mahomes to start this fall. He won’t win that battle unless he takes better care of the ball.

TCU: Safety Kenny Iloka had a terrific debut in a TCU uniform with a fumble return for a touchdown and an interception in the Horned Frogs' open scrimmage in 2014.

Impact in 2014: Fellow safeties Chris Hackett, Sam Carter and Derrick Kindred proved to be obstacles that were too much to overcome in Iloka’s pursuit of playing time. He finished with 15 tackles in 2014, mostly in blowout games.

Potential impact in 2015: Iloka looks poised for a bigger role in the defense with Hackett and Carter out of the picture. Quite frankly, he's one of the reasons TCU's safety play isn't considered a major concern despite the loss of a pair of All-Big 12 performers from a year ago.

West Virginia: Quarterback Paul Millard had a solid outing, going 14 of 19 for 129 yards and two touchdowns in the Mountaineers’ spring game. He connected with Kevin White and Elijah Wellman for scores.

Impact in 2014: Millard ended up redshirting after coach Dana Holgorsen named Clint Trickett the starter before the season began.

Potential impact in 2015: Millard left the program in the offseason, leaving Skyler Howard and William Crest to battle for the starting role this fall.