Texas Longhorns: Justin McCay

As we close in on national signing day, it’s an appropriate time to look back at how the top Big 12 recruits from four years ago performed.

2010 was a banner year for the Big 12 in recruiting, as the league collectively landed 23 from the ESPN 150.

A few, such as Jackson Jeffcoat, Ahmad Dixon and Shaun Lewis, became stars. Others washed out before their careers ever got off the ground.

[+] EnlargeSterling Shepard and Jackson Jeffcoat
Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY SportsFormer five-star prospect Jackson Jeffcoat finished his career as the best defensive end in the Big 12.
Below is a closer look at what happened to ESPN 150 players who signed with Big 12 schools:

No. 2: Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas – Though he never reached a high level of team success, Jeffcoat had a great individual end to his career, earning Big 12 co-Defensive Player of the Year honors and leading the league with 13 sacks.

No. 4: Jordan Hicks, LB, Texas – Hicks has been good when he has played. Because of multiple injuries, that hasn’t been often. Hicks missed most of last season with a torn Achilles, just a year after also being knocked out with a hip flexor injury. After getting a medical redshirt from his 2012 season, Hicks has one more year of eligibility remaining.

No. 13: Mike Davis, WR, Texas – Davis finished in the Big 12’s top 10 in receiving the last two seasons, compiling 200 career catches and 18 touchdown receptions.

No. 14: Taylor Bible, DT, Texas – Bible never played a down at Texas, leaving after his redshirt freshman season because of issues with grades. Bible ended up at Carson-Newman.

No. 15: Ahmad Dixon, S, Baylor – Dixon had a tremendous tenure with his hometown school, earning All-Big 12 and All-American honors as a senior as Baylor captured its first Big 12 title in 2013.

No. 18: Demarco Cobbs, ATH, Texas – The Tulsa, Okla., native has appeared in 29 games on special teams and as a defensive reserve. He missed all of the 2013 season with a knee injury.

No. 20: Darius White, WR, Texas – After making just six catches his first two seasons, White transferred to Missouri. He caught just seven passes this season for the Tigers, but has another year of eligibility left.

No. 21: Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma – In his first season, Jefferson was the Big 12 co-Defensive Freshman of the year, and he was a three-year starter before leaving early to go pro.

No. 46: Ashton Dorsey, DT, Texas – After serving as a reserve throughout his career, Dorsey was projected to start this season, but he transferred out days before Texas’ season opener.

No. 48: Austin Haywood, TE, Oklahoma – After getting playing time as a third tight end early in his career, Haywood unexpectedly quit in the middle of the season, tried to earn his way back on the team, failed and ended up transferring to Central Arkansas. After getting suspended there, Haywood gave up football.

No. 62: Corey Nelson, LB, Oklahoma – Nelson shined early this season after finally getting a chance to be a full-time starter. That, however, was short-lived, as Nelson tore his pectoral muscle in an early October win over TCU and sat out the rest of his final season.

No. 65: Blake Bell, QB, Oklahoma – The “Belldozer” starred his first two seasons as a situational, short-yardage QB. But in the preseason, Bell was beaten out by Trevor Knight for the starting job. Bell, however, still had his moments this season because of injuries to Knight. He led OU to a win at Notre Dame, then quarterbacked OU’s game-winning touchdown drive at Oklahoma State.

No. 72: Reggie Wilson, DE, Texas – He appeared in 51 games as a defensive reserve. Wilson had 19 tackles and a sack as a senior.

No. 73: Chris Jones, WR, Texas – Jones transferred out after one year, and never played.

No. 75: Shaun Lewis, LB, Oklahoma State – Lewis made an immediate impact, earning Big 12 co-Defensive Freshman of the Year honors along with Tony Jefferson. Lewis was a four-year starter and a big piece in Oklahoma State’s defensive turnaround this season.

[+] EnlargeBrennan Clay
Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY SportsFormer ESPN 150 recruit Brennan Clay was a solid, not spectacular, tailback for the Sooners.
No. 77: Quentin Hayes, S, Oklahoma – After serving a year-long suspension, Hayes returned to win a starting job this past season. He has another year left.

No. 86: Tevin Jackson, LB, Texas – Jackson has been a backup linebacker for the Longhorns and will be part of the team’s great depth there in 2014.

No. 103: Adrian White, CB, Texas – Played in 17 games, then joined the mass transfer exodus from this Texas class.

No. 109: Ivan McCartney, WR, West Virginia – McCartney never became a No. 1 receiver, though he did contribute on West Virginia’s explosive offenses in 2011-12. He only had 12 catches this past season as a senior, however.

No. 114: Aaron Benson, LB, Texas – The cousin of former Texas running back great Cedric Benson has only been a contributor on special teams.

No. 122: Carrington Byndom, S, Texas – One of the few players from this Texas class to pan out. Byndom made 39 career starts and was a second-team All-Big 12 selection this past season.

No. 129: Brennan Clay, RB, Oklahoma – Clay proved to be a reliable and steady force in the OU backfield. He finished his career with 1,913 rushing yards, including 957 in 2013.

No. 134: Adrian Philips, ATH, Texas – Phillips settled in the Texas secondary, collecting 28 career starts there. He was second on the team this past season with 82 tackles.

No. 141: Trey Hopkins, OG, Texas – Hopkins became a stalwart up front, making 42 career starts along the offensive line. He was a two-time, second-team All-Big 12 selection.

No. 142: Justin McCay, ATH, Oklahoma – McCay transferred to Kansas after two years in Norman. He had nine receptions and a touchdown, which also was the first scoring catch by a Kansas wide receiver in almost two full seasons.

Big 12 lunchtime links

October, 17, 2013
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This is a gut punch to Big 12 pride:

Big 12 weekend rewind: Week 2

September, 9, 2013
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One thing the Big 12 is not is dull. Here’s a recap of the wild weekend it was in the conference:

Team of the week: Baylor. The Bears completely dismantled a Buffalo team that hung tough with Ohio State last weekend. There was no hanging tough in Waco for the Bulls, who were chased out of town with a 70-13 shellacking. During one unreal 11-minute stretch, Baylor racked up 576 yards of offense while averaging 12.5 yards a play. The Bears also scored touchdowns on their first eight drives, and probably would have scored a ninth had they not run out of time in the first half. Baylor has won six straight dating back to last season.

Disappointment of the week: Texas. First, the Longhorns lost 40-21 to BYU. Then, they lost defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, who was fired Sunday and replaced with Greg Robinson. Mack Brown said at the beginning of August he was confident this would be his best team since 2009. If the Longhorns aren’t careful, it could be his worst. Texas has at least a half-dozen losable games left on the schedule, including this weekend’s meeting with emerging Ole Miss.

[+] EnlargeJ.W. Walsh
AP Photo/Eric GayJ.W. Walsh had a record day for Oklahoma State.
Big (offensive) man on campus: J.W. Walsh. The Oklahoma State sophomore answered many questions about his passing prowess in a 56-35 win over UTSA that wasn’t nearly as close as the final score. Walsh set an Oklahoma State single-game completion percentage record by connecting on 24 of 27 passes. He found four different receivers for touchdowns and rushed one in on his own. Even though he’s known for his wheels, Walsh now has the 17th-best passing EPA (expected points added) in college football.

Big (defensive) man on campus: Gabe Lynn. The Oklahoma safety has been maligned in the past for giving up huge plays in the pass, notably in the 2011 home loss to Texas Tech. But Saturday against West Virginia, the former cornerback was delivering the huge plays from his new position. In the third quarter, Lynn intercepted Mountaineers QB Paul Millard, then later scooped up a fumble and returned it 27 yards. The two turnovers killed West Virginia drives and helped keep the Mountaineers at bay even while the Oklahoma offense struggled.

Special-teams player of the week: Tramaine Thompson. The veteran playmaker showed why the Wildcats have one of the most dangerous return units in the country. Thompson’s 94-yard kickoff return to begin the second half put an underrated Louisiana Lafayette away. The return duo of Thompson and Tyler Lockett remains one of the best in the country.

Play of the week: The last time a Kansas wide receiver caught a touchdown pass, Justin McCay was still playing for Oklahoma. McCay, now a Jayhawk, vowed to end that ignominious streak, which dated back to Oct. 22, 2011. In the second quarter against South Dakota, McCoy hauled in a 5-yard pass from quarterback Jake Heaps at the back of the end zone that put Kansas ahead for good while ending the streak for good, too.

Stat of the week: According to ESPN Stats & Information, Baylor already has 16 touchdown drives of two minutes or less, which leads the nation. Oregon has 15. No other program is in double digits. The Ducks led the FBS last year with 45 such drives. Baylor is on pace this season for 104.

Quote of the week: “I haven’t even gotten out of the game. … I’d like to watch the video.” -- Texas coach Mack Brown, when asked after the BYU game whether Manny Diaz would remain his defensive coordinator. Brown fired Diaz the next day.

Big 12 lunchtime links

September, 5, 2013
9/05/13
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Barry Switzer as Johnny Manziel's coach would have been interesting:
HornsNation is breaking down Texas' 2013 football schedule every Monday this summer. This week: The Longhorns' eighth game of the season vs. the Kansas Jayhawks on Nov. 2 at DKR.

Kansas Jayhawks

Kansas' 2012 record: 1-11, 0-9 in the Big 12

Last time against Texas: Texas won 21-17 in Lawrence in 2012.

Record against Texas: Texas leads series 10-2

Returning starters: OL Randall Dent, OL Aslam Sterling, RB James Sims, RB, Tony Pierson, DT Jordan Tavai, DT Kevin Young, LB Ben Heeney, DE Keba Agostinho

Starters lost: QB Dayne Crist, WR Kale Pick, S Bradley McDougald, CB Greg Brown, CB Tyler Patmon, DE Toben Opurum, S Lubbock Smith, LB Huldon Tharp, TE Mike Ragone

Statistical leaders

Passing: Michael Cummings (43 of 94 for 456 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions)
Rushing: Sims (1,013 yards)
Receiving: Pierson (291 yards)
Tackles: Heeney (112)
Sacks: Young (1.5)
Interceptions: KU does not have a returning player with an interception.

Texas defense pressures Jake Heaps
Brendan Maloney/US PresswireNew Kansas quarterback Jake Heaps has experience against Texas, as he started for BYU against the Longhorns in 2011.
Did you know: For the second year in a row, KU coach Charlie Weis is hanging is hopes on a high-profile transfer quarterback. (Dayne Crist proved to be a failed experiment in 2012.) This time it is Jake Heaps, a transfer from BYU. Texas fans might remember Heaps. As a sophomore in 2011, Heaps started against Texas and went 22 of 38 for 192 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions in a 17-16 Texas win.

What to watch for

Team transfer: Not only does KU have a transfer quarterback but the Jayhawks are attempting to rebuild their receiving corps with transfers. Weis has brought in two junior college receivers, Rodriguez Coleman and Mark Thomas, as well as Oklahoma transfer Justin McCay. Coleman could prove to have the biggest impact as he had 70 catches and more than 1,000 receiving yards in his two years at Garden City Community College.

Passing out: Kansas was ranked 116th in pass efficiency defense a year ago. (Anyone who witnessed Greg Brown drop a bread-basket interception thrown by Case McCoy can attest to why the Jayhawks had such a low rating.) And now all KU has to do is replace its entire secondary and three other defensive starters. The Jayhawks do not have a player on their roster who intercepted a pass last season and only have two players on the roster who recovered a fumble last season.

Rushing to judgment: The one area where KU was effective on offense was in the running game. Kansas was No. 22 nationally in rushing offense and has its two running backs, Sims and Pierson, returning. Kansas, which rushed for negative yards against Texas in 2011, had 234 rushing yards against the Longhorns in 2012.

View from the other side: Rustin Dodd, Kansas beat writer, The Kansas City Star

Another year and another new quarterback for KU. Any chance Jake Heaps is better than KU's last transfer?

The answer is probably yes, but that's partly because KU's quarterbacks set a pretty low bar last year. The Jayhawks' receivers failed to record a receiving touchdown and the passing game was anemic all year. Heaps had a solid freshman year at BYU -- before some second-year struggles -- and he has the skills and pedigree to be a vast improvement. He's much more mobile than Dayne Crist, and he could benefit from having transfer receiver Nick Harwell (Miami of Ohio), who is attempting to become eligible as a graduate transfer.

With only five starters returning on offense, is there any hope that KU can become competitive on that side of the ball?

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