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August 25, 2006

Big 12 notes: Texas not losing a step at tight end

A quick look at the latest news out of the Big 12 from around the Rivals.com Network:

Big 12 North Practice Reports
Colorado: Linebacker Jason Ackermann missed almost two years of football after tearing his ACL in 2004. He has been making his comeback in camp and Wednesday he participated in his first live action in nearly 22 months. Senior running back Mell Holliday been outstanding, pushing starter Hugh Charles for his spot.
Iowa State: The Cyclones are preparing for the season opener against Toledo. Wednesday night was the 'mock game' for Toledo. There is a good possibility two freshmen will start on the defensive line -- defensive end Rashawn Parker and nose guard Nate Frere.
Kansas: The receivers looked good in the scrimmage on Wednesday. Jeff Foster and Derek Fine both made big touchdown catches. Marcus Herford, Dominic Roux and Dexton Fields also had good days.
Kansas State: Junior tight end Rashad Norwood has looked especially good in preseason camp and is poised for a big season. Junior free safety Marcus Watts has been impressive during camp and should be one of the leaders on defense. Coaches wanted to get Derek Meyer on the field last year, but decided on a redshirt. This season Meyer slides into the starting left tackle spot and could be a household name over the next few seasons.
Missouri: Left guard remains the biggest position battle. Junior Monte Wyrick is battling sophomore Ryan Madison for the starting position. Freshman offensive lineman Jesse Hernandez is still waiting to be granted eligibility by the NCAA Clearinghouse. Junior wideout William Franklin has been having a monster camp.
Nebraska: Thursday's practice was highlighted by the addition of Arizona State transfer Sam Keller. The quarterback will take a redshirt this season before playing his final season for the Cornhuskers, but that won't stop him from practicing with this year's team as he tries to learn the new system. Junior linebacker Steve Octavien returned to practice this week after having his appendix removed last week.
Big 12 South Practice Reports
Baylor: The Bears have been preparing for their opener against TCU. The team added seven walk-ons to the roster, most notably safety Nate Farley.
Oklahoma: JUCO transfers Sherrone Moore and Brandon Walker are the leading candidates to start at the guard positions. Sophomore Brandon Braxton has been impressing people and will be the Sooners' right tackle. Paul Thompson has looked comfortable since replacing Rhett Bomar. Sophomore Reggie Smith has looked good this week making his transition from cornerback to receiver.
Oklahoma State: Freshman Noah Franklin looked like he might contend for the starting right guard position early in camp. However, Franklin has struggled in passing situations, and this week he made the switch to defensive tackle. Freshman Orie Lemon had made the switch from quarterback to fullback earlier in camp.
Texas: Star recruit Sergio Kindle is sidelined with a sprained ankle. Kindle is expected to step in and start at linebacker this season. Coaches continue to feel better and better about replacing star tight end David Thomas. That is thanks to the play of Neale Tweedie and Jermichael Finley.
Texas A&M: Freshman linebacker Anthony Lewis has missed practice with a hamstring injury. Fellow newcomer Johnathan Batson has made a strong push for a starting safety position since returning from a hamstring injury. Sophomore tight end Martellus Bennett has shown he is going to be a playmaker. The top-ranked tight end in the 2005 class, Bennett has shown he can catch and block.
Texas Tech:Heralded JUCO transfer Ofa Mohetau is still working with the second-team offensive line. Josh Aleman's versatility to play both center and guard has given the team some much needed depth.

(Compiled by Brandon Castel, Rivals.com)

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