Hill on the chase
Justice Hill will chase his third 1,000-yard season in three years with the Cowboys. His 1,467 yards rushing last season were the most at Oklahoma State since Kendall Hunter had 1,548 in 2010.
Gundy says Hill’s “leg strength, his power, his experience playing in games, his understanding of our offense, his pass protection, all of that got considerably better,” as a sophomore. The coach says the third year is “really a year if you’re as talented as he is and you can relax and play.”
The Cowboys are trying to replace Mason Rudolph, who threw for a school-record 4,904 yards before getting drafted in the third round by Pittsburgh. Both 1,000-yard receivers from last year, James Washington and Marcell Ateman, also are gone.
Gundy says “the interesting part of that question is how well our quarterbacks can play early in the year, compared to the immaturity we have at the wide receiver spot.”
Snyder applies pressure
Kansas State coach Bill Snyder brought his top two quarterbacks to Big 12 media days while several of his fellow coaches, notably Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley and Tom Herman of Texas, decided against it.
Alex Delton and Skylar Thompson were two of the five quarterbacks to make the trip to the Dallas area for the annual preseason meeting with reporters.
Snyder said he saw it as “a great opportunity to imply some preseason pressure so you’ve got to practice the things you’re going to experience so there is a little bit of pressure in them being here.”
Delton and Thompson are battling for the starting job for the Wildcats and could share time.
Riley didn’t bring Kyler Murray, who was picked ninth overall by Oakland in the June baseball draft and reached a deal with the A’s that lets him play a year of football. Riley says Murray hasn’t won the job. Herman left behind Sam Ehlinger and Shane Buechele after they split time at the position for the Longhorns last season.
Snyder says he understands “as everybody in here does that that quarterback is under a little more scrutiny than most positions.”
Herman holds cards tight
Texas coach Tom Herman isn’t ready to say how many championship-caliber players he has on the roster going into his second season.
The 43-year-old Herman was a bit thrown by the question of how many potential All-Americans he thought he had as the Longhorns try to close the gap on rival and three-time defending Big 12 champion Oklahoma. The Sooners have made the four-team playoff two of the past three years.
Herman said on the second day of Big 12 media days Tuesday that “if I’m being honest” Texas has more impact players on defense. The Longhorns ended a three-year streak of losing seasons in Herman’s debut, and the defense often carried a sluggish offense.
Herman adds that “every coach that sits up here will tell you not enough, even the ones that are playing for and winning national championships.”
The former Houston coach said “it’s been a fantastic year since the last time we were here,” but acknowledged that 7-6 is not a good enough record for a title-chasing program.
Holgerson campaigns for QB
West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen didn’t hesitate giving his blessing to a Heisman Trophy campaign for quarterback Will Grier.
The Florida transfer is the Big 12 preseason offensive player of the year, and the Mountaineers hope will become the conference’s second straight Heisman-winning quarterback following Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield.
Holgorsen said on the final day of Big 12 media days Tuesday that he “would never approve a campaign unless I felt like a player can handle it.”
Grier is the only returning QB among the top six passers in the Big 12 last season. He threw for 3,490 yards with 34 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in his first season for West Virginia after sitting out a year.
Grier’s season ended in the first quarter of the 11th game against Texas because of a hand injury.
Holgorsen says spring football showed the game slowing down for Grier and that he “knows that he’s got a lot of good players around him and that he doesn’t have to go out there and be Superman.”
Ruhle favors rule
Baylor coach Matt Rhule supports changes the NCAA has made on transfers from one school to another.
Starting this season, players will be put in a database when they notify their school they want to transfer. Schools will also be unable to put restrictions on where a player transfers, however the school can rescind a player’s scholarship for the semester after the player notified the school of an impending transfer.
We want to fight entitlement everywhere, but I do believe that if a young man does not want to be in our program he should have the right to go wherever he is going to be successful. I was at Temple and I made the decision to come to Baylor. So I had that right and I had to pay a buyout and I had that right. So I think our young people should have the ability to go where they think they can be the most successful.”