Big 12 Football: 10 Future Offensive Stars

Ricky FrechCorrespondent INovember 8, 2012

Big 12 Football: 10 Future Offensive Stars

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    The Big 12 is chock full of blue-chip prospects, All-American candidates and all-around studs.

    Countless players have made themselves household names during 2012, but what about the future? Who will lead the high-flying Big 12 offenses of tomorrow?

    That's where this list comes in. The following slides will look towards each Big 12 team's next big thing.

    Some of the names are known, and some are still waiting to explode. But they all will become huge factors in their respective offenses within the next few seasons.

    Two quick notes.To be considered for this list, a player must already be on the team, so 2013 recruits won't be considered. I might point out a few here or there, but I simply haven't seen enough of most of them to really have a handle on their abilities.

    Finally, all provided statistics are courtesy of ESPN

Baylor: Lache Seastrunk

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    Position: Running Back

    2012 Stats: 284 yards 2 total TDs 6.2 yards per carry

    Coming out of high school, Seastrunk was one of the most highly touted players at his position, per Rivals.

    He hasn't quite lived up to that billing during his short stint at Baylor, but he should become a big factor moving forward.

    The young man doesn't even have 50 carries on the season; however, his other-worldly speed has seen him sprint to almost 300 yards rushing on 6.2 yards per carry.

    That explosiveness led Rivals to say that he "has a chance to be the next Reggie Bush."

    High praise, but it could be deserved if he can continue to impress on the field. 

Iowa State: DeVondrick Nealy

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    Position: Running Back

    2012 Stats: 82 yards, 6.3 yards per carry

    Unfortunately, quarterback Jared Barnett hasn't shown enough to prove that he's going to be anything more than serviceable as the Cyclones next man behind center.

    Because of the uncertainty at that position, Nealy gets the nod as Iowa State's entry to this slideshow.

    Nealy's stuck behind Juniors Shontrelle Johnson and James White, but he's shown that he has some real skill at running back with his 6.3 yards per carry.

    Granted, most of that came in garbage time.

    That said, Nealy did rush for 2,106 yards and 31 touchdowns as a HS senior, so he has to see the field at some point. 

    Another interesting name is Jacquarius Daniels, a converted quarterback, who gives Iowa State some big-time size at wideout.

Kansas: Tony Pierson

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    Position: Running Back

    2012 Stats: 445 yards, 3 TDs, 5.2 yards per carry

    Pierson began the 2012 season on an absolute tear. Back-to-back 120-plus yard games had many thinking he was going to be a force for the Jayhawks this year.

    Unfortunately, an elbow injury against Kansas State set him back a little bit and opened the door for Junior James Sims.

    The good news is that Pierson looks healthy and, as only a Sophomore, should have plenty of time to prove that those first two games were no fluke. 

Kansas State: Daniel Sams

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    Position: Quarterback

    2012 Stats: 235 rushing yards, 3 TDs, 7.3 yards per carry

    Playing behind a Heisman candidate isn't going to provide you with many opportunities to prove yourself to the nation.

    However, Freshman QB Daniel Sams has done just that in limited play while backing up Collin Klein.

    He isn't the thrower Klein is, nor does he have Klein's power, but he does possess superior athleticism.

    Obviously, K-State is going to lose a great player once Klein departs. That said, Sams provides them with a guy who can come in and make amazing plays with his feet, while learning to be a solid passer.

Oklahoma: Sterling Shepard

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    Position: Wide Receiver

    2012 Stats: 25 catches, 344 yards, 3 TDs

    The Oklahoma Sooners have quite a few guys who could take this spot.

    There's wideout Trey Metoyer. There's fan favorite and resident Tim Tebow-esque runner Blake Bell. Heck, there's even 2013 recruit Keith Ford, who some would say deserves this spot without even stepping on campus.

    However, as much as I love the Bell-dozer, Shepard is an insanely quick and athletic wideout, who should become OU's next great slot receiver.

    He's consistently stretching the field with 15-plus yard gains and has stepped up in big games (seven catches for 108 yards and a score against Kansas State).

    Look for Shepard to continue to develop and become the Sooners best receiver in a year or two.  

Oklahoma State: Brandon Sheperd

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    Position: Wide Receiver

    2012 Stats: 1 TD

    Austin Hays has been the more productive true freshman receiver for the Cowboys, but Sheperd looks to have the higher ceiling.

    At 6'2" and possessing a 4.45 40 time (per Scout.com), Sheperd has all the tools to become the Pokes go-to receiver.

    Head Coach Mike Gundy has shown that his staff has the ability to cultivate stud receivers and turn them into top picks in the NFL draft.

    I expect no less from Sheperd, as he has all the ability in the world. Give him another off-season under Gundy and then watch out. This kid's for real. 

TCU: B.J. Catalon

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    Position: Running Back

    2012 Stats: 401 yards, 4.7 yards per carry

    The problem with looking for TCU's future studs is that most of the likely candidates are already stars because injuries have forced Gary Patterson to get his young guns on the field sooner than he might've wanted.

    Trevonne Boykin has shown his skills since Casey Pachall left the team, and LaDarius Brown has already proven that he's the future for the Horned Frogs at wideout.

    Either of those guys would've been valid, but I chose to go with B.J. Catalon.

    He leads the team in yards but splits carries with Senior Matthew Tucker.

    Look for him to explode onto the scene next year as TCU's feature back.

Texas: Johnathan Gray

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    Position: Running Back

    2012 Stats: 533 yards, 1 TD, 5.3 yards per carry

    Full disclosure: I'm not completely rational when it comes to my love for Johnathan Gray.

    Gray has come on for the Texas Longhorns after the injury to Malcolm Brown and been nothing short of amazing (outside of a hiccup against Oklahoma).

    Sure, he's had almost every touchdown vultured by Joe Bergeron, but since the Oklahoma State game he's consistently put up big yards.

    The scary thing is that he's only going to get better. I mean, this is the guy who ran for 3,891 yards and 65 TDs in his senior season of high school. 

    I'm not saying Heisman candidate yet, but he could get there.

Texas Tech: Kenny Williams

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    Position: Running back

    2012 Stats: 575 yards, 4 TDs, 5.7 yards per carry

    I'd like to put Michael Brewer here, but I haven't seen enough of him to decide if he can be the future at quarterback for the Red Raiders.

    Instead, Kenny Williams gets the nod. True, he's already TTU's leading rusher, but he's not very well known because the Raiders like to throw the ball so much.

    As Texas Tech eases in a new quarterback over the next few seasons, expect Williams to get more of the load on offense. 

    If his current production is any indicator, he should be more than able to put the team on his back and lead them to a bowl game or two.

West Virginia: Andrew Buie

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    Position: Running Back

    2012 Stats: 593 yards, 5 TDs, 4.7 yards per carry

    Again, I'd love to put West Virginia's follow-up to Geno Smith here, but I just don't know who he is yet.

    Paul Millard's been okay in limited action; however, he's not overly impressive.

    Andrew Buie, on the other hand, has shown flashes of a dominating back. 

    Obviously, his 208 yards and two scores against Texas is his most impressive performance, but he's done well in quite a few other games as well.

    Until we see more out of Millard, Buie is the guy the Mountaineers will lean on once Geno Smith takes his talents to the NFL.