Big 12's under-the-radar players to watch

Spring football can't get here quick enough.

We have been without college football for a little more than a month, but next season's rosters are beginning to take shape with signing day in the rearview mirror and spring position battles on the horizon. Here is a look at five under-the-radar players to keep an eye on in the Big 12 this spring.

Tight end Kent Taylor, Kansas: The Florida transfer was a highly regarded prospect out of high school and saw action as a true freshman for the Gators in 2012. He left Florida after the 2013 season, transferring to Kansas, and could be the ideal replacement for Jimmay Mundine. With a big spring showing, Taylor could set himself up to be a terrific big receiving option in new coach David Beaty's up-tempo offense in the fall.

Quarterback Chris Johnson, Baylor: With Seth Russell the favorite to start and Jarrett Stidham">Jarrett Stidham the talk of Baylor's recruiting class, Johnson has slipped under the radar. Yet Johnson was a member of the ESPN 300 and has the skills to win Baylor’s quarterback derby. Johnson couples terrific size and athleticism with a couple of seasons in the Bears' offensive system, so he could use this spring to start making a mark in the program.

Cornerback Rasul Douglas, West Virginia: The Mountaineers feature some of the Big 12’s top defensive backs with Karl Joseph, Dravon Henry, and Daryl Worley, but Douglas could secure a spot in the secondary this spring. The No. 23 player in the ESPN JC50 brings length and athleticism to WVU’s secondary. With Big 12 receivers getting bigger and more physical each year, Douglas brings good size at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds.

Athlete Todd Mays, Oklahoma State: The last time Oklahoma State signed a multi-skilled athlete from the junior college ranks it turned out pretty well. Tyreek Hill was key playmaker in several games for the Cowboys in 2014, and Mays has the versatility to make a similar impact. The junior college signee can play quarterback, running back, and receiver, which will allow offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich to be creative with his play calls and personnel packages. Fellow junior college signee Chris Carson got most of the attention on signing day, but Mays could end up being an "X factor" in OSU's offense.

Cornerback Jermaine Roberts, Texas: It feels like Roberts needs to seize the opportunity to secure a role in Texas' secondary this spring. Head coach Charlie Strong's program landed several defensive backs on signing day, including ESPN 300 cornerbacks Holton Hill and Kris Boyd. Roberts redshirted last fall after being one of Texas' top Class of 2014 signees and has the physical ability to be an impact player as a redshirt freshman. This spring gives him the chance to get a leg up on the cornerback competition before Hill and Boyd arrive on campus.