1 of 10Michael J. LeBrecht II/1Deuce3 Photography/SI
Griffin exploded onto the scene in 2008, earning Big 12 freshman of the year honors and energizing a forlorn Baylor fan base. An Olympic-caliber hurdler, he displayed electric speed throughout the season. He also showed there's more to his game than just quickness by throwing an NCAA-record 209 passes without a pick to start his career.
2 of 10John Biever/SI
Hunter may be small (5-foot-8, 190-pounds), but he possesses great speed and toughness. Hunter, WR Dez Bryant and QB Zac Robinson form the most potent offensive trio in the Big 12.
3 of 10Al Tielemans/SI
Spurred by the 2008 title game loss, Gresham returned for his senior season. The big target has improved markedly as a blocker and has a propensity to shine brightest in big games. Last season he averaged seven catches for 97 yards against Cincinnati, Florida, Missouri, Texas and Texas Tech.
4 of 10WD/Icon SMI
Kindle made headlines this offseason when he crashed his car into an Austin apartment complex while text messaging. To really steal the spotlight and make Longhorns fans forget about losing top 10 draft pick Brian Orakpo, the preseason All-America will have to anchor a young Texas line and replicate his 10-sack 2008 season.
5 of 10Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
Already one of the nation's top linebackers and hardest hitters, Weatherspoon added 12 pounds this offseason to reach 250. But Weatherspoon, who led the Big 12 in tackles in 2008 (11.07 per game), is confident the extra bulk won't slow him. Good thing; with Mizzou breaking in a new quarterback and D-line, he'll need to be more of a factor than ever.
6 of 10Dennis Hubbard/Icon SMI
Suh led the 'Huskers in sacks (7.5) and interceptions (two, both returned for TDs) last season. A projected first-round draft pick, he's a defensive player of the year-caliber talent whose surprising agility makes him an asset on both sides of the ball.
7 of 10Donald Miralle/Getty Images
Arguably the nation's top receiver, Bryant caught 87 balls for a whopping 1,480 yards and 19 TDs in 2008. His explosive play-making ability makes him a home-run threat whenever he catches a pass or returns a kick.
8 of 10David E. Klutho/SI
McCoy, a sure-fire first-round NFL draft pick, is the heart of Oklahoma's disruptive D-line. The 6-foot-4, 297-pounder is quick off the ball, but his bread-and-butter's shutting down the run.
9 of 10John Biever/SI
In 2008, McCoy wowed with his accuracy (78 percent completions), prolific running (576 yards and 10 TDs) and ability to avoid mistakes (32 passing TDs to just seven INTs). He came up short of the Heisman, but will establish himself as a Longhorn legend with a similarly productive 2009 campaign.
10 of 10Al Tielemans/SI
Bradford's prolific 2008 season earned him the Heisman -- and earned the Sooners a trip to the BCS title game. He'll be hard-pressed to replicate that 50 TD season behind a less experienced O-line, but his accurate passing, smart decision-making and hunger to avenge last year's BCS loss will serve him well. <br><br>Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You May Like
More College Football
Sign Up for our Newsletter
Don't get stuck on the sidelines! Sign up to get exclusives, daily highlights, analysis and more—delivered right to your inbox!