To knock off any Longhorn hate, I will open with this: Johnathan Gray, the top running back recruit in the country a year ago, is going to be a beast. Adding him to the Texas backfield with Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron will be a bit daunting for any Big-12 defense. For now though, Gray is still No. 3 in the rotation.
Now that we have that taken care of, let us move on to some who may have a real impact, as there quite a few freshman who could do big things in the Big-12 this season. For time and space sake, I will introduce two freshmen that you will need to take special note of: one replaces a Lion of a receiver, while the other replaces last season’s AARP quarterback connoisseur.
First thing's first: Let us respect our passing elder, Oklahoma State and current Cleveland Browns QB Brandon Weeden (Note: I was especially thrilled to be younger than him last season. Now I am just old), by discussing his replacement, yes, a true freshman from Illinois – Wes Lunt. Lunt, the No. 7 pro-style quarterback in the 2012 class (Rivals), threw for over 7.000 yards and 65 touchdowns his final two seasons in high school. How could Lent, months removed from yearbook signing, possibly be ready to take on and lead the Oklahoma State Cowboys into Big-12-land? He played in an offense in high school that highly resembles that of the high-flying Holgorsen-Monken offense. The task is tall: Oklahoma State is the reigning Big-12 and Fiesta Bowl champions and he replaces a first-round pick in Brandon Weeden.
Former Oklahoma and current Detroit Lions wide receiver Ryan Broyles’ career may have not ended how he envisioned, but his legacy lives on with the question: who will replace him? The question really starts there and then quickly balloons to, ‘who will replace Ryan Broyles, Jaz Reynolds, Trey Franks, and Kameel Jackson’ (the last three being three suspended receivers). Suddenly, Landry ones better really really really like Kenny Stills (the only wide receiver on the Sooners’ depth chart with pass catching experience).
Enter five-star receiver Trey Metoyer, who originally signed with Oklahoma as part of the 2011 class but was unable to qualify. He ended up at Hargrave Military Academy, got his academics in order, and Bob Stoops, I’m sure, counts Metoyer as a Christmas present; one that, hopefully, keeps giving (and follows team rules). The Sooners did recruit well here with two other wide receiver recruits of note in Sterling Shepard and Durron Neal. However, Metoyer, in my opinion, is a guy that though he enters as a freshman, will make an instant impact. Metoyer caught six passes for 72 yards in the Sooners’ spring game and, in doing so, caught the praises of Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel.
Two to watch: Lunt, young quarterback replacing old; Metoyer, an older freshman replacing a, now, Sooner legend. Should be fun.