4 College Football Programs That Need to Establish an on-Field Leader in 2012

Love PatelContributor IIIJuly 24, 2012

4 College Football Programs That Need to Establish an on-Field Leader in 2012

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    Every year, as college football programs lose their big-time players and on-field leaders to the NFL, new ones are called upon to step up.

    Sometimes, schools suffer a mass exodus of talent, and there isn't always an immediate replacement.

    It has to be proven on the field.

    Here are some schools that need to establish one for 2012.

Texas A&M

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    The Aggies have had top-level talent leave their school in consecutive years. Von Miller went in the top 10 in the 2011 draft, and Ryan Tannehill was taken early in this year's draft.

    Losing elite defensive talent and your starting quarterback isn't easy, especially with the transition to the SEC and a new coaching staff with Kevin Sumlin at the helm.

    While Texas A&M is filled with potential NFL-level talent, expect new leaders to emerge rather early after the season kicks off.

University of Houston

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    Case Keenum, a part of Houston's list of productive air-raid quarterbacks, has moved on to the NFL. Its most productive receiver in Patrick Edwards has left as well, and even its defensive standout Sammy Brown is a pro.

    As Houston prepares to move on to the Big East after spending one more year in Conference USA, someone will need to step up and take on the role.

    For the six years Keenum was in Houston, he was the face of the football program. With Sumlin gone as head coach and Tony Levine beginning a new era in UH football, only time will tell which one of the Cougar players will take the reins.

Baylor

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    There is no question that the last year's team was Robert Griffin III's.  

    With him, along with several other key players, gone in this year's NFL draft, Baylor will need someone else to lead the team coming off a successful season.

    New, much tougher competition has joined the Big 12, and if Baylor wants to continue on the path it's headed, having a bona fide leader to stabilize the team is necessary.

Michigan State

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    One of college football's most talented teams lost its quarterback and leader Kirk Cousins to this year's draft.

    While the team is stacked with depth across the board, a new quarterback is stepping in to take control.

    Granted, the team may have experienced leaders, but the new quarterback—most likely Andrew Maxwell—needs to step up and take a significant leadership role in order to ensure the Spartans can live up to the expectations that have been set for them this season.