Readers of this blog know how much I love names.
Whether it be my most lamented transfer of the 2011 season or guys, judging by their names, born to play the game, I love it.
As such, we celebrate these on the blog often. And with another recruiting season come and gone, it's time to give a little attention to the best new names in the Big 12.
We're including Texas A&M, Mizzou, TCU and West Virginia in this post ... because I want to.
Now, for the best new names in the Big 12.
Team MVP: Lynx Hawthorne, ATH, Baylor: Known for his cat-like reflexes, I can only assume. Will also assume the role of my new favorite player in the Big 12.
Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma: Matching consonants are a great start for a great name. But the adjective/noun first name combined with the noun last name, too? Too much, sir. My hat is off.
Eric Striker, S, Oklahoma: A safety named Striker? Come on, Bob Stoops. Perfection. He narrowly missed my MVP nod.
Ellwood Clement, OT, Kansas State: Bringing a bit of the blues to The Little Apple. I assume he plays a mean harmonica.
Maty Mauk, QB, Missouri: His nomenclatorial doppelganger (I'm slapping a patent on that term) won a national title at LSU, which gives him extra points, and he gets the nod based on the snappy matching consonant, too.
Aiavion Edwards, S, Baylor: Throw a jump ball in this man's territory at your own risk.
Torshiro Davis, LB, Texas: I've never heard of anyone named Torshiro, but I love it. He sounds a bit like a bull, which is a great trait for a linebacker. And its uniqueness is offset by the unremarkable last name. It just works.
Zorrell Ezell, DT, Baylor: He's not an evil emperor, but he means business.
Kolby Listenbee, ATH, TCU: Rumor has it he captures the attention of insects near and far with a mere whisper.
Orion Stewart, ATH, Baylor: I hear this guy has a belt that is just mesmerizing.
Devlyn Cousin, DT, Iowa State: Guy is just an absolute terror at family reunions.
Glenn Gronkowski, WR, Kansas State: A guy named Gronkowski is going to catch passes for a team with one of the game's best coaches? Where have I heard this before? Big brother Rob didn't win the Super Bowl this year, but everybody in the family gets to keep the name. I'd say they broke even.
Kennedy Estelle, OT, Texas: Sounds like a supermodel. Blocks like a big ugly.
Polo Manukainiu, DE, Texas A&M: I love Pacific Islander names, and this one clearly qualifies. Also, his name is Polo. Outstanding, sir.
Noble Nwachukwu, DE, West Virginia: Assuming his name is pronounced the same as the Aggies' receiver, it looks like he'll bring an additional level of class to the family name, which is pronounced "WATCH-ah-koo."
Halapoulivaati Vaitai, OT, TCU: I look forward to moving from "butchered" to "serviceable" when it comes to pronouncing his name in the future.
Thierry Nguema, CB, Texas Tech: Bringing a bit of European soccer to the Big 12, which is something I think it's always needed.
To this year's team: Congratulations on the nod. I look forward to seeing you play and hearing your names called often on broadcasts. This was a great group of my absolute favorite names from the new classes.
Any suggestions for this year's recruiting classes that I missed?