Big shoes to fill: Texas Tech Red Raiders

We'll kick off a new series today looking at the players across the Big 12 who have to replace program legends. We might as well call this the Nick Florence Memorial team, but we'll move on with Texas Tech.

Big shoes to fill: TBD at safety

Quarterback Michael Brewer will get lots of attention when he steps in to replace Seth Doege this spring, but Texas Tech might have a bigger issue replacing the safeties. Cody Davis was a four-year starter who showed major progress for an improved defense in 2012, and so did fellow senior D.J. Johnson. Tech loses a ton of experience at the position, and new coach Trey Haverty will have his work cut out for him this spring. With a new staff and a lot of turnover at a position, I'll stop short of trying to predict who will fill in for Davis or Johnson. Might we see a converted cornerback?

Defensive shortcomings have been a common theme for Texas Tech. It fielded a lot of great teams under Mike Leach and never won that elusive Big 12 title. Having great play in the secondary is a must in the Big 12. Offenses can and will beat you over the top. Haverty didn't spend a lot of time at TCU before coming back home to his alma mater, but finding replacements for Davis and Johnson will have a big impact on where Tech falls in the Big 12 pecking order in 2013.