Big 12 Football: 5 Top Performers from Spring Practice

Sean Frye@Sean_E_FryeFeatured ColumnistMay 6, 2014

Big 12 Football: 5 Top Performers from Spring Practice

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    Fans around them Midwest finally got their first looks at their 2014 Big 12 teams with the spring season. Now football goes back into that ill-fated hibernation that is summer camp. 

    The Big 12 saw plenty of stars rise up during the spring season. Some were surprises, while some weren't. 

    Texas running back Malcolm Brown simply reaffirmed the fact that he's one of the best backs in the nation, while Judah Jones of Kansas State came out of nowhere to put himself in the conversation to be the heir apparent to John Hubert. 

    With that, let's check out the five top performers from the Big 12 this spring. 

Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

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    After the spring game, it appears that the Oklahoma Sooners' best signal-caller may be sitting on the bench and ineligible to play due to transfer rules this fall. 

    Baker Mayfield, the walk-on Texas Tech transfer, electrified the Boomer faithful in the spring game, completing nine of nine passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns and outshining Trevor Knight in the process. 

    According to The Associated Press (via USA Today), Bob Stoops is upset that Mayfield isn't able to compete this year but has nonetheless been impressed with him. 

    "Disappointing for him that rules don't allow him to play," Stoops said. "But in the end, he's been a great teammate to these guys. The players all love him."

    Mayfield will miss this fall, but he could challenge Knight for the job next season should he not live up to expectations. 

Malcolm Brown, RB, Texas

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    With the quarterback situation in Austin shaky at best, running back Malcolm Brown may very well prove to be Charlie Strong's anchor in his first year at Texas. 

    Brown had the best spring game of arguably any Longhorn on the offensive side of the ball, picking up 82 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. 

    If you ask him though, he'll tell you that the offense for the Longhorns is a long way off from being a finished product, per Chris Hummer of The Dallas Morning News:

    We were not in sync as an offense to start, and that is definitely something we need to work on. There are a lot of guys on the offensive line that are getting more reps than they are used to. The quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers have to get on the same page so we can come out there playing fast.

    Regardless, if Texas is going to have any success on offense this year, Brown will be at the forefront of it. 

Judah Jones, RB, Kansas State

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    Oh, you haven't heard of Judah Jones? 

    Before the spring game, most Kansas State fans hadn't either. 

    A hybrid running back and receiver for Bill Snyder's Wildcats, Jones has since burst onto the scene as someone who could be one of K-State's best offensive weapons in the fall. 

    In the spring game, he hauled in two catches for 58 yards and a touchdown and also got some carries on the backup "White" team, which was going up against the starting defense. 

    According to Kellis Robinett of The Wichita EagleJones is leaving this spring with a newfound confidence: “The whites are playing against the ones. That says if a person on the white team scores on the purple team, then you know he can play a little bit of football. That just means there is an opportunity for me to move up a little bit and get more of a look.”

    The Wildcats are in the process of finding a replacement for running back John Hubert. Jones could very well end up taking on part of that load. 

Davis Webb, QB, Texas Tech

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    With Baker Mayfield and Michael Brewer out of Lubbock, the quarterback job for Texas Tech is firmly in Davis Webb's hands. 

    And this spring, he was all business. 

    In the spring game, he was 25-of-37 on his passing attempts for 354 yards and four touchdowns. 

    As of now, he is the only quarterback on the roster, according to Tommy Magelssen of The Dallas Morning News.

    So it appears that Kliff Kingsbury is putting all his marbles into Webb in 2014. For now, that looks like a good gamble. 

Montell Cozart, QB, Kansas

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    Montell Cozart has, for now, won the quarterback battle in Lawrence, Kansas, after his impressive spring.  

    According to Brett McMurphy of ESPN, Jake Heaps, who split starts with Cozart last year, is transferring. That left just Cozart, T.J. Millweard and Michael Cummings competing for the job. 

    But after beating out the competition, Charlie Weis named Cozart the team's starter in 2014, per Matt Tait of 

    Cozart can make plays with his arms and legs. He showed that in the spring game by racking up 58 passing yards and 70 rushing yards. 

    KU's passing game is a long way off, but Cozart proved in the spring that he's the guy to take the Jayhawks to wherever they're destined to be this fall.