Last week we began evaluating the 10 best players currently on every Big 12 roster. Remember, these lists won't include junior college or freshman signees who have yet to arrive on campus. We're only looking at players currently with their teams this spring.
These rankings are sure to change, but here's our best assessment for the moment. We complete the series today with the Kansas Jayhawks:
1. RB Corey Avery: He had no choice but to play right away as a true freshman, and responded with 848 total yards of offense and six touchdowns. Avery has been dinged up this spring, but he’s going to have some fun in David Beaty’s Air Raid attack.
2. QB Michael Cummings: The KU passing game came to life when he took over as starter. Cummings averaged 235 passing yards per game in his seven starts and gave KU a real chance to upset TCU and Oklahoma State. He hasn’t been anointed the starter yet and will have to master a new scheme, but he does have experience.
3. DE Ben Goodman: A two-year starter who can get after the passer, Goodman was more productive as a “Buck” hybrid end/linebacker in 2013 than as a strongside end last fall. Still, the fifth-year senior is one of this team’s more talented and reliable defenders.
4. LB Jake Love: The only returning Kansas player who’s started games in each of the last three seasons, Love brings needed experience and leadership to this defense as a fifth-year guy with 147 career tackles and 20.5 career TFLs.
5. TE Ben Johnson: Should be one of the better tight ends in the Big 12 this season. He caught 10 passes for 80 yards as a redshirt freshman last year, and his role should improve even while rotating with Florida transfer Kent Taylor.
6. DT Andrew Bolton: KU should have better depth up front this season, especially if Bolton can step into a starting role and become a difference-maker. The junior college transfer showed promise with 16 tackles (3.5 for loss) in 11 games last season while backing up Keon Stowers.
7. OT Larry Mazyck: Three months after signing with Kansas, Mazyck made his first of nine starts at right tackle. That is a tough ask for a juco transfer. But the 6-foot-8 lineman is in better shape this spring after shedding 20 pounds to get to 343, and he offers a lot of raw ability.
8. RB De’Andre Mann: Another juco transfer who got thrown into the mix immediately, Mann rushed for 399 yards in nine games last season and can bring a nice punch to this run game, though he’ll have to share more with Taylor Cox and Ke’aun Kinner.
9. WR Rodriguez Coleman: Somebody is going to end up with a lot of targets in this offense. Is Coleman ready to step up? After averaging a healthy 26 yards per reception in 2013, he missed time caught just three passes in seven games last fall. With KU’s top four wideouts all gone, Coleman has no choice but to contribute.
10. CB Brandon Stewart: One of Kansas’ best spring revelations, the junior college transfer has only been on campus a few months but seems to have quickly locked up a starting job in this new-look secondary.