Wednesday, July 3, 2013
The Big 12's most explosive players
By David Ubben
In celebration of this week's festivities, let's take a look at the Big 12's most explosive players:
Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk rushed for 1,012 yards last season. Can he top that in 2013?
Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor: In terms of pure athletic ability, Seastrunk's in a class of his own in the Big 12. Among running backs, he led the league with 7.73 yards per carry on his 131 carries. Of those 131, 102 came after November. Seastrunk broke an 80-yard touchdown run against Kansas State and despite injuring his leg during the run, scored from 76 yards out.
Damien Williams, RB, Oklahoma: Williams doesn't have breakneck speed, but has a huge ability to turn medium runs into huge ones once he hits the second level of the defense. That was never more evident than on his 95-yard touchdown run against Texas. He also had an 89-yard run against Florida A&M, a 66-yard run against TCU and a 48-yard run against West Virginia.
Tevin Reese, WR, Baylor: Reese is the most dangerous vertical receiving threat in the Big 12 and gets to prove it in a wide-open Baylor offense. He's the Big 12's returning leader in catches longer than 40 yards, with eight. He's got a great case as the fastest player in the Big 12, and hauled in a 75-yard score against Oklahoma State. Reese caught passes longer than 38 yards in 10 games last season.
Tyler Lockett, WR/KR, Kansas State: Lockett's the Big 12's best return man and one of the most dangerous special teamers in college football. He was the only Big 12 player with more than one kick return for a touchdown last season, and led the league with 32.76 yards per return. That mark was fourth nationally.
Tony Pierson, RB, Kansas: Pierson quietly established his reputation last year behind James Sims. He didn't bust many game-breaking plays, but he was consistently productive in the passing and running games. Among running backs with at least 100 carries last season, only Seastrunk averaged more than Pierson's 6.5 yards per carry.
Blake Jackson, WR/TE, Oklahoma State: Like Williams at OU, Jackson's not going to wow you with his speed, but he's a mismatch for defenses in the slot and showed it on the stat sheet last season. He's not explosive in the purest sense, but you can't argue with a guy who averaged better than 20 yards a catch last season. He caught just 29 balls, but Jackson's mark was fourth-most nationally.
Mike Davis, WR, Texas: Davis is a balanced receiver with an ability to get vertical. He's always had it, but as David Ash has progressed, Davis' skill has been much easier to appreciate. He caught seven balls longer than 40 yards, and his four catches longer than 50 yards are more than any returning player in the Big 12. He hauled in a 75-yard score against Texas Tech, grabbed a 61-yard catch against Iowa State and logged a 67-yard reception against Baylor.