Far too often, players enter the season with a profile that doesn't quite match his worth to the team.
In other words, they're coming in under the radar. We'll continue our series today looking at those guys who should get more respect and attention than they have this offseason.
Next up: Oklahoma State.
Under the radar: LB Caleb Lavey
Not many third-year starters could qualify for being under the radar, but in this case, it's absolutely true for the Cowboys' experienced star at middle linebacker. Outside linebacker Shaun Lewis is the group's headliner, but Lavey's been an above average starter in each of the past two seasons and gets unfairly overshadowed at times.
The 6-foot-3, 235-pounder has started all 26 games the past two seasons and made 47 solo tackles among his 53 stops last season. He also equaled Lewis' 7.5 tackles for loss. Lavey doesn't have eye-popping athleticism and doesn't quite have the penchant for big plays that Lewis has had the past couple of seasons, but there's something to be said for knowing that you have a quality starter in the middle of your defense, and the All-Academic Big 12 performer in the classroom has the brains to help get teammates situated if necessary, too.
In Oklahoma State's two marquee games last season -- Oklahoma and Texas -- Lavey had 19 tackles and made 4.5 of his 7.5 tackles for loss on the season. That's the kind of player you love to have, even if he sometimes runs short on accolades for his efforts.