We ran down the first half of my list of the Big 12's Super Seniors last week. Now, we'll tackle Part II. These guys have invested four or five years into their respective programs and earned a spot as one of the greats after providing some big-time senior leadership.
Lane Taylor, OL, Oklahoma State: Taylor's seen a whole lot in his time at Oklahoma State, from a huge season-opening win that landed OSU on the cover of Sports Illustrated to Dez Bryant's suspension and the eventual arrival and departure of offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen. He broke through as a redshirt freshman to earn a starting spot in 2009 and he hasn't let go since. He's seen some fantastic offenses through the air and on the ground with talents like Kendall Hunter, Joseph Randle, Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon. He'll leave as one of the most experienced linemen in school history and a consistent All-Big 12 performer.
Alex Okafor, DE, and Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas: Both players worked their way past an odd incident in the offseason to earn team captain designation and both players have remained consistent and productive despite moving positions. Vaccaro's jumped around to nickel back and traditional safety and Okafor moved from defensive end to tackle to end but helped Texas' defense turn in some fantastic performances over the course of their careers. The Longhorns' defense wasn't what most expected this season, but it wasn't Okafor and Vaccaro's fault. They're a pair of super seniors.
Blaize Foltz, OL, TCU: The Frogs were a young, young team this season, but Foltz played the part of the old guy for the Fort Worth Tadpoles. He's been a constant along the offensive line for some big games since 2009. There were mammoth showdowns against Boise State, a win in the Rose Bowl and the entrance into the Big 12 this season. Along the way, he helped pick up some all-conference nods, too. The Rose Hill, Kan., native helped the Frogs weather that transition to the Big 12 and maintain their spot as one of college football's growing programs.
Cody Davis, S, and Seth Doege, QB, Texas Tech: There's no differentiating between these two, even on a team with tons of senior leaders. Davis was a national scholar-athlete and a nominee for the Campbell Trophy, or the Academic Heisman. Doege fought through knee injuries in high school and a wait to take over the quarterback spot at the school he grew up loving. Once he took the reins in 2011, he racked up 66 touchdown passes while Davis established himself as a four-year starter and never finished lower than second on the team in tackles over that four-year period. Making 352 tackles is no small task, and Davis still has one more game to go.
Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia: Smith always strives for more, even early in the season when he was on a record-setting pace in a five-game stretch that was definitely the best we've ever seen in this league. That attitude carries over to his teammates, and the artistic Smith is one of the brightest players in the league, too. That helped fashion him into one of the best leaders in the conference and a player any coach would love to have on his roster.