Youth and Veterans Will Define League in 2022
Oklahoma State - Collin Oliver (Defensive End)
The reigning Big XII Freshmen Defensive Player of the Year winner looks to distinguish himself in the national spotlight.
In conference, he may sit behind Iowa State's Will McDonald and Kansas State's Felix Anudike-Uzoma at the moment, but he showed a glimpse what he can do last season, receiving the highest grade from Pro Football Focus of any freshman EDGE rushers with a 77 grade.
Oklahoma - Reggie Grimes (Defensive End)
Grimes has been stuck behind NFL Draft exports Ronnie Perkins, Nik Bonitto, and Isaiah Thomas during his time in Norman. However he started to get significant time at the end of last season, especially in the Alamo Bowl against Oregon where he played 30 snaps, registering three tackles, and half a sack.
During bowl prep, Grimes became a leader in the locker room. Grimes will contend with Ethan Downs, Marcus Stripling, and Jonah Laulu, expect Grimes to still see a significant amount of snaps.
Baylor - Blake Shapen (Quarterback)
Shapen stepped in for former Baylor quarterback Gerry Bohanon (now at South Florida) to help the Baylor Bears win the Big XII Championship Game where Shapen turned in a MVP performance by completing 82% of his passes and had three touchdown passes.
The trendy Heisman Dark Horse in relief last season went 3-0, completed 72% of his passes, and had 5 touchdown passes and no interceptions.
Texas - DeMarvion Overshown (Linebacker)
While all eyes will be focused first on the Longhorns star studded offense with Quinn Ewers, Bijan Robinson, and Xavier Worthy, it will be the defense that will likely determine if the Longhorns return to the national elite and its leader DeMarvious Overshown will be the catalyst for success.
Overshown returns for his "Super Senior" season in Austin and he will be looking for some national and conference respect as well as reversing a defense that was near the bottom in most team defensive categories (99th scoring, 114th rushing, 62 passing, and 100th total offense)
A season ago he was just an honorable mention for All-Big XII honors, he will be looking to impress pro scouts as well, if he adds the necessary weight he has an excellent shot at being an EDGE rusher at the next level.
Iowa State - Xavier Hutchison (Wide Receiver)
In a league where Texas's Xavier Worthy, TCU's Quentin Johnston, and Oklahoma's Marvin Mims catch all the headlines and first team accolades, the 2021 Big XII leader in receptions Xavier Hutchison returns for a senior season in Ames.
While credentials that Hutchison possesses might question why he is here, it will be losing quarterback Brock Purdy and running back Breece Hall that will take away eyeballs from the Cyclones.
One should not miss out watching Hutchison he might have the best hands amongst Big XII wide receivers.
Rest of the Big XII
Kansas State - Adrian Martinez (Quarterback)
When you put up 10,792 yards of total offense in 4 years, it is hard to be under the radar.
However, this is what Martinez did at Nebraska, and in a make-or-break year in Manhattan, he will be complemented by arguably the best running back in the country in Deuce Vaughn and dangerous senior receiver Malik Knowles.
West Virginia - Wyatt Milum (Left Tackle)
Milum played at an all conference level last season at right tackle as a freshman.
WVU coaches thought he would make a bigger impact pushing him to the blindside for incoming starter JT Daniels.
TCU - Max Duggan (Quarterback)
With TCU going through the most turnover it has had in a generation, new head coach Sonny Dykes brings an offensive flavor to Fort Worth and has a great foundation to get running.
Duggan will be surrounded again by Quentin Johnston and Taye Barber and with Dykes offense and with the supporting cast he has, he can surprise some folks with some big numbers.
Texas Tech - Baylor Cupp (Tight End)
Injuries derailed former 4-star tight end during his time at Texas A&M, Cupp is looking for a fresh start in Lubbock with first year head coach Joey McGuire.
What Cupp hopes is he fits in well with Zach Kittley's 2 tight end approach with Mason Tharp.
Kansas - Devin Neal (Running Back)
Most observers viewed Lance Leipold's first season in Lawrence that the Jayhawks were disciplined and had a few gems in the rough.
One of those gems last season was from freshman Devin Neal gained 707 yards and 8 touchdowns.
Neal had a coming out game in a 57-56 win versus Texas where he had 143 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns on 24 carries.
Look for Neal and quarterback Jalon Daniels to continue their momentum this season.