It’s almost here! With week one quickly approaching, eyes will turn to the first part of realignment in the Big 12 as BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, and UCF begin their tenure in the conference. The storylines for this upcoming season are endless, with Texas and Oklahoma having one foot out the door on their way to the SEC, the emergence of TCU in the National Championship last season, and a fight to be the new kings of the throne at the top of the conference.
That said, let’s jump into some devy assets to get on your rosters before this season starts!
Quinn Ewers tops the list at quarterback in the Big 12 when it comes to devy. The #1 recruit in the 2022 recruiting class, Ewers started ten games last season for the Texas Longhorns, throwing for 2,177 yards and 15 touchdowns. 6-3 in games started(minus Alabama due to injury), the Longhorn QB showed flashes of why he should be a first-round pick in this upcoming draft class.
Great pocket presence and accuracy on all three levels are just a couple of the things Ewers does well. With all the talent in the world around him, Ewers has a chance to solidify his spot in the draft this next year. While there’s little chance he makes it into the top-2 argument, being a solid QB3 behind Williams and Maye is nothing to shy away from.
Though we may not see much of him this season, Jackson Arnold is my devy QB2 in the Big 12. A five-star recruit in the 2023 class, Arnold will most likely spend 2023 as the backup behind Dillon Gabriel but keep a close eye on the situation.
An extremely accurate passer with a quick release, the new Sooner quarterback comes into Norman ready to play. His pocket awareness and athleticism allow him to extend plays with ease. An Under Armour All-American and Elite 11 finalist, Arnold is a decorated prospect with national attention, and for good reason. Often available well after classmates Dante Moore, Arch Manning, and Nico Iamaleava, Jackson Arnold has been one of my favorite freshman values in devy drafts heading into this season.
Others to Watch
- Arch Manning, Texas
- Will Howard, Kansas State
- Behren Morton, Texas Tech
Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas
My WR3 overall in devy, Xavier Worthy, tops my list of skill players in the Big 12. A quick and effective route runner, Worthy can get open anywhere on the field. His speed and YAC ability make him a big play waiting to happen anytime he touches the ball.
Worthy is a top-five Big 12 producer in receptions, yards, and touchdowns over the last two seasons and is a potential first-round pick in the 2024 draft class. Paired with Quinn Ewers, both are set to have great seasons and only help each other’s stock rise. The ability and the projected draft capital should set Worthy up to be an asset in the NFL, further cementing his devy value.
Matthew Golden, WR, Houston
New to the Big 12, Matthew Golden looks to ease the transition period for the Houston Cougars. A starter as a true freshman, Golden put up 584 yards and 7 touchdowns on 38 receptions. He has a prototypical size at 6’0”, 190 lbs, and elite body control through route running. With great speed and open-field ability to match, the Cougars receiver checks almost every box in his game.
Thanks to the departure of Tank Dell to the NFL, Golden is expected to handle a much larger target share this season, which could propel him into the national spotlight. A favorite for many devy analysts, Golden is one of the better values in drafts right now. Between the jump to the Big 12 and the larger projected workload, Golden is someone you need to buy into ASAP.
Cedric Baxter Jr., RB, Texas
The #1 RB in the 2023 class, Cedric Baxter Jr., aka CJ, has a possibility of making an immediate impact as a true freshman on the Forty Acres. Listed at 6’1”, 218 lbs, CJ is a powerful running back who can bounce off tackles but has good footwork to make decisive cuts.
With an open backfield, I do not doubt that Baxter will see the field this year. His skill and ability to handle a bell-cow workload could prove beneficial for the Longhorns, who just graduated their two top producers from last season, Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson. Not a fully established pass-catcher, I see this as a tiny growth point on an otherwise outstanding back. Buy in early and fast if you can.
Others to Watch
- Devin Neal, RB, Kansas
- Johntay Cook, WR, Texas
- Ja’Tavion Sanders, TE, Texas
- Jerand Bradley, WR, Texas Tech