The Big 12 is known as an offensive league with air raid offenses and hard-nosed run attacks. While the quarterbacks, receivers and running backs get all the credit, the offensive linemen are actually responsible for their success. Here’s a look at the top 10 offensive linemen in the Big 12.
1. Le’Raven Clark, Jr., Texas Tech
The freshman all-American in 2012 and first-team all-Big 12 honoree last season Clark was recently named to the Rotary Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy watch lists. He is the anchor for the Red Raider offensive line and starts the 2014 season with some momentum after not allowing a sack to Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl. Dating back to 2012, Clark has 26 consecutive starts during his career at Texas Tech.
2. Spencer Drango, Jr., Baylor
Drango missed the last four games of 2013 but still received first-team All-Big 12 honors after the season. During his absence, the Baylor offense went from scoring 57.3 points per game to 32.5. With the graduation of Cyril Richardson, Drango is the best player on the offensive line for the Bears. He was recently named to the Outland Trophy and Rotary Lombardi watch lists.
3. B.J. Finney, Sr., Kansas State
A former walk-on, Finney has become the foundation of the offensive line for Kansas State football. He was recently named to the Rimington Trophy, Outland Trophy and Rotary Lombardi Award watch lists. Finney has started all 39 of his career games for the Wildcats.
4. Daryl Williams, Sr., Oklahoma
With all-American Gabe Ikard gone, Williams has stepped into a leadership role for Oklahoma’s offensive line. He was recently named to the Outland Trophy watch list and is expected to anchor the Sooners’ deep offensive line in 2014.
5. Cody Whitehair, Jr.
Whitehair earned second-team all-Big 12 honors last season and was recently named to the Outland Trophy and Rotary Lombardi Award watch lists. He has started 25 of his 26 games for the Wildcats. At 6-foot-4, 309 pounds, Whitehair is deceptively quick for his size.
6. Quinton Spain, Sr.
Only five linemen in the conference have more career starts than Spain. He started all 12 games last season, making his streak of 25 straight the longest on the team. Spain was recently named to the Outland Trophy and Rotary Lombardi Award watch lists for the nation’s top interior lineman and lineman respectively.
7. Joey Hunt, Jr., TCU
Hunt is one of only two returning starters on the offensive line for TCU this season. He was recently placed on the Rimington Award watch list. Hunt started all 12 games last season for the Horned Frogs but is eager for the team’s new offensive style this season under new offensive coordinators Sonny Cumbie and Doug Meacham.
8. Dominic Espinosa, Sr., Texas
Espinosa represents 39 of the 47 returning starts on Texas’ offensive line this season. He was named to the Rimington Award, Rotary Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy watch lists, which are given to the nation’s best center. We haven’t seen his best yet but expect to see just that as he anchors a line full of unknowns in 2014.
9. Tom Farniok, Sr., Iowa State
Two-time All-Big 12 center, and soon to be four-year starter, Tom Farniok was recently placed on the Rimington Award watch list. Last year, he injured his knee in the season opener and never fully recovered. The Cyclone offensive line as a whole was injury plagued last year. Nine different offensive line combinations were made in 12 games last season. Farniok is one of six returning linemen who started eight or more games in 2013.
10. Daniel Koenig, Sr.
Koenig gets the nod here based on his production last year and his potential for 2014. Oklahoma State, as a whole, has only eight starters back from last year’s team. He is one of only two returning starting offensive linemen. Koenig has the potential to play at an all-conference level this season under new offensive line coach Bob Connelly who replaced Joe Wickline, who left for Texas.
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