<
>

TCU QB Trevone Boykin headlines ESPN All-America team

Monday, ESPN unveiled its 2015 preseason All-America team, and Big 12 frontrunners TCU and Baylor were appropriately represented.

The Horned Frogs' Trevone Boykin was the team's quarterback. USC's Cody Kessler, Mississippi State's Dak Prescott, Michigan State's Connor Cook and Ohio State's J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones all had claim to the spot. None, however, had a better 2014 season than Boykin, who topped all of the above in total offense while quarterbacking the Horned Frogs to a record of 12-1. Boykin also has nine other offensive starters returning around him. And in his second season operating the Doug Meacham/Sonny Cumbie spread offense, Boykin could be poised for an even bigger campaign this season.

The Big 12's other two All-Americans came via Baylor in offensive tackle Spencer Drango and defensive end Shawn Oakman.

Sometimes it's difficult to evaluate offensive linemen, but Drango is the exception. In two seasons with him in the starting lineup at left tackle, the Bears have led the nation in scoring. And only when he missed a month with a back injury toward the end of the 2013 season has the Baylor attack sputtered.

Oakman is fresh off breaking the Baylor season record for sacks, and could just be starting to tap into his massive potential. When full-throttle, the 6-foot-9, 275-pound freak of nature is basically unblockable.

There were a few Big 12 standouts who have legitimate gripes about being omitted from the team.

Oklahoma State's Emmanuel Ogbah -- not Oakman -- is the reigning Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year. Ogbah has just as much upside, too, having only one season of starting experience.

Alabama's A'Shawn Robinson and Ole Miss' Robert Nkemdiche are prominent defensive tackles. But Baylor strongman Andrew Billings takes a backseat to no one, including teammate Oakman.

West Virginia safety Karl Joseph is a 38-game starter with 264 career tackles. Because he plays for a program not known for its defense, he's under the radar nationally. But there isn't a more ferocious thumper in college football.

Oklahoma running back Samaje Perine is the final Big 12 player with a beef after rushing for more than 1,700 yards and 21 touchdowns as a true freshman. Then again, it's hard to argue against the selections of Georgia's Nick Chubb and Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott, the star of last season's national championship game.

Perine along with Joseph, Billings and Ogbah will have ample opportunity this season to show they're All-American-caliber. Just like Boykin, Drango and Oakman will have their chance to prove us right.