The third-year starter arrives from the Big East after shredding defenses for 4,385 yards through the air in 2011. Smith was responsible for 33 touchdowns (31 passing, two rushing), a Mountaineers single-season record.
2 of 26Greg Nelson/SI
This versatile back ran for 1,216 yards and 24 touchdowns while also catching 43 passes out of the backfield during the Cowboys' Big 12 title season in 2011. He'll be counted on even more with an inexperienced QB under center.
3 of 26John Albright/Icon SMI
Despite missing three games due to injury, the former five-star recruit earned Big 12 Newcomer of the Year honors last season. He became the first true freshman in a decade to lead the Longhorns in rushing.
4 of 26Mark Goldman/Icon SMI
The 5-foot-9, 174-pound spark plug plays inside receiver in an offense that uses him as both a rushing and a pass-catching threat. He caught 101 passes last season for 1,186 yards and averaged 11.4 yards on his 16 carries.
5 of 26Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Bailey emerged last season as the big-play wideout in Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen's vertical passing attack. He had 1,279 yards on 72 catches for an impressive 17.8-yard average.
6 of 26Tony Gutierrez/AP
The 6-foot-6, 260-pound pass catcher from Spring, Texas, transferred back to the Lone Star State from Stanford. He was named honorable mention All-Big 12 in 2011, his first season as a starter.
7 of 26John Rivera/Icon SMI
Richardson (6-foot-5, 335 pounds) caught the attention of NFL scouts after serving as a reliable blind-side blocker at tackle for Heisman winner Robert Griffin III. He'll move back to guard this season.
8 of 26John Albright/Icon SMI
The Cowboys attempted 595 passes last year, fourth most nationally, yet allowed just 12 sacks in 13 games thanks in very large part to the 6-foot-3, 328-pound Taylor, who'll start his fourth season at right guard.
9 of 26Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Madsen has started all 38 games of his WVU career, helping to pave the way in 2011 for a Mountaineers offense that averaged 37.6 points per game.
10 of 26Joe Robbins/Getty Images
After filling in for Ben Habern at center for much of last year, the returning first-team All-Big 12 honoree was set to move back to guard, but will now assume the starting center role in place of the injured Habern.
11 of 26Tim Larson/Icon SMI
The 6-foot-6, 318-pound left tackle has started 25 consecutive games, anchoring the pass protection for an offense that threw the ball an FBS-high 50 times per game last season.
12 of 26Ric Tapia/Icon SMI
The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Jeffcoat showed high-round NFL potential at right end in 2011. His eight sacks and 17 tackles for loss last season are the most of any returning player in the conference.
13 of 26Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images
It took longer than expected for the former Parade All-America to establish himself as a consistent force in the middle, but he had his best game (five tackles, including two for loss) in the Sooners' Insight Bowl win over Iowa.
14 of 26Ray Carlin/Icon SMI
Coming off a breakout freshman season in which he started the last eight games and had 10 tackles for loss, the 6-foot-2, 270-pound tackle is aiming to continue the recent trend of elite Horned Frogs pass rushers.
15 of 26Ray Carlin/Icon SMI
The other half of Texas's impressive tandem of outside pass rushers, the 6-foot-4, 260-pound Okafor had a career-best seven sacks to go along with 17 quarterback pressures and two forced fumbles.
16 of 26Richard C. Lewis/Icon SMI
In his first year of eligibility since transferring from Miami, Brown emerged as the defensive star of the Wildcats' first 10-win team since 2003. He ranked among the top 10 tacklers in the conference, with 101.
17 of 26Julio Cortez/AP
Knott had 115 or more tackles in each of the last two seasons while serving as a co-captain both years. He had two interceptions and a fumble recovery in addition to a team-best four forced fumbles in 2011.
18 of 26Rich Barnes/Icon SMI
The Big 12's leading returning tackler had 116 last season, one more than teammate Knott, and finished the year with two sacks and an interception. Klein was the 2011 Big 12 Co-Defensive Player of the Year.
19 of 26David E. Klutho/SI
Stepping into a starting role last season, the former high school track standout (sprints, long jump and triple jump) was the team's defensive player of the week four times in 2011.
20 of 26Derrick Tuskan/Icon SMI
With a stated goal of "winning the Thorpe [Award]," this superb athlete passed on a chance to enter the NFL draft. He'll look to build on last season's 82 tackles, eight tackles for loss and two interceptions.
21 of 26J.P. Wilson/Icon SMI
He has spent part of his career at outside linebacker, but the 5-foot-10, 199-pound playmaker is most comfortable at free safety. Last season he made 74 tackles and intercepted four passes.
22 of 26Bob Levey/Getty Images
A second-team All-America last season, Brown intercepted five passes and ended the year with 68 tackles. He teams with Justin Gilbert to give the Pokes two NFL-caliber corners.
23 of 26Greg Nelson/SI
One of the nation's most reliable kickers, Sharp made 22 of 25 field goal tries last year -- his first on the job for the Cowboys -- including the Fiesta Bowl winner. He also boomed 61 kickoffs into the end zone, 23 more than any other player in the country.
24 of 26Darren Carroll/SI
A three-year starter and two-time All-America, he ranked third in the country last season with a 46.3-yard average. He's the first player in Big 12 history to earn all-conference honors as both a kicker and a punter.
25 of 26Greg Nelson/SI
He is carrying on a proud family tradition in Manhattan: His father, Kevin, and his uncle, Aaron, were all-conference at KSU. Lockett returned only 16 kickoffs last year but made the most of his chances, averaging 35.2 yards (which would have led the country if he'd had enough to qualify) and breaking a pair of TDs.
26 of 26Doug Murray/Icon SMI
Austin's blazing speed is most apparent in the return game. He ranked sixth nationally in 2011 with 14.1 yards per return, and he's also an excellent kick returner, twice reaching the end zone last season.
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