Spring Stars of the Big 12

TCU found their backup quarterback this spring. A handful of wide receivers are poised for breakout seasons at Baylor, Texas, and Oklahoma. How about a junior college defensive tackle making a huge impact at Iowa State? All of this and more in the Big 12 and the spring stars from around this conference.

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With the help of the Scout network and publishers here's a list of a spring star from each one of the Big 12 schools. These are players that had a terrific group of practices who look to contribute or star for their respective programs this fall.


Ishmael Zamora is a name to remember at Baylor. This is a 6-foot-4, 220-pound red-shirt freshman wide receiver from Houston (Texas) Elsik. Zamora can be a beastly player at times with his size/speed/athleticism combination. He may not be listed as a starter yet but expect Zamora to make his share of plays this fall. K.D. Cannon made a huge splash last year in Waco. Look for Zaomora to do the same. He had an impressive spring.

Iowa State

A player that really excited the Iowa State coaching staff over spring was defensive tackle Demond Tucker. He was a mid-year junior college transfer from Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) Community College. Tucker, 6-foot-0, 287-pounds, was immediately a backup. Over the course of the spring practice session he earned a starting job. He was named the 2013 National Junior College Athletic Association defensive player of the year after tallying 53 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss and 13 sacks.


One of the stars of the Jayhawks spring was a small running back from Little Elm, Texas named Ke'aun Kinner. He’s only 5-foot-9, 180-pounds, but he showed he can run between the tackles and break off some big and explosive plays. Kinner should see significant time this fall and push for the top spot in the rotation. The big question everyone has at Kansas is how will his body hold up?

Kansas State

K-State may have found another Darren Sproles in Dominique Heath. This red-shirt freshman from Huntersville (N.C.) Hopewell is one of the most explosive players in the program. Heath will play running back and return kicks. In fact, he had a punt return for score during the Kansas State spring game. This kid has speed and super quickness, making him tough to defend in space.


Oklahoma could have a new battery this fall with a potential new quarterback (Baker Mayfield) and wide receiver Dede Westbrook. Westbrook transferred in from Blinn Community College and was sensational this spring, though he had a quiet spring game. Over the practice sessions the Sooners tracked his stats. He caught 59 passes and had only one drop. He had 1,260 yards and averaged 21.4 yards per reception. Westbrook, only 167-pounds, will get a lot of opportunities this fall, especially considering how many wide receivers will be in the Sooners rotation in their new offense under Lincoln Riley. This is a very explosive talent.

Oklahoma State

Jordan Burton is a junior linebacker that blew up this spring. At 6-foot-3, 215-pounds, he looks like the ideal fit for their ‘Star’ linebacker position in their defense. It’s a hybrid spot. Burton is a physical and athletic player that made plays each and every day during the spring against the run and in coverage. In the wide open Big 12, Burton's athleticism is perfect to help combat and defend the spread attacks. Burton signed with Stephen F. Austin before finishing up with Kilgore (Texas) C.C. before transferring in to Oklahoma State. He previously was a safety.


Trevon Boykin missed spring because of wrist surgery. This was actually somewhat of a blessing for TCU because it gave them time to give a serious look to their backup quarterback situation. Houston transfer Bram Kohlhausen really played well. In fact, he did so well the team is confident they could win a lot of games with him at the helm if something serious were to happen to Boykin.


Charlie Strong and the Texas coaches are looking for players to step up on offense this season. One player that had a very good spring was junior wide receiver Jacorey Warrick. He played in all the Longhorn games in 2014 but only caught 10 passes. With John Harris and Jaxon Shipley no longer in Austin, the Longhorns need consistent performers at wide receiver. That’s what Warrick did this spring for Texas. He's too talented not to become a very good player for this program and the coaches and fans have been waiting patiently for him to come around. This is a great sign for the Longhorns because he can be a dangerous weapon for the Texas offense because of his speed and elusiveness with the ball in his hands. Hopefully, this is just the beginning for Warrick and he has a breakout fall campaign for this team.

Texas Tech

Micah Awe has been one of the better Red Raider defenders over the past few seasons. He has played a lot over the last three years but hasn’t started many games. He will this fall and expect Awe to make plays all over the field. He’s fast, physical and very smart. The Texas Tech coaching staff expects him to have a huge 2015 season.

West Virginia

Xavier Preston was a good special teams player for the Mountaineers over the course of this first season in Morgantown. The Jensen Beach (Fla.) standout was one of the top linebackers from the Sunshine State in 2014. This spring, he wowed the West Virginia coaches with his play on defense, where he showcased his size, speed, athleticism and aggressiveness. Preston looks like he should have a big role in the Mountaineer linebacker rotation this fall.

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SEC Spring Stars
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