How the Big 12’s best players would be rated in Madden

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Around this time next year, EA Sports plans to re-release its popular NCAA Football game. So, there is no better time than heading into the season to grade the top 10 most valuable players in each conference according to Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney, with a Madden-like score.

This is not judging the overall 10 best players but those who would score best on the video game.

We move on to the Big 12.

99 – Deuce Vaughn, Kansas State

One of the most exciting players in all of college football, only Baylor’s Abram Smith and Iowa State’s Breece Hall had more rushing yards than Vaughn in the Big 12 last season and only Hall had more rushing touchdowns. Both Smith and Hall are now in the NFL and Vaughn also led the Wildcats with 49 catches for 468 yards and four more scores. Vaughn is so fun to watch and there’s no reason to think he won’t get the ball even more this season.

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*****  

98 – Bijan Robinson, Texas

Even though the former five-star does not have the best stats in the Big 12, he could be the best offensive player in the league and Robinson is dangerous with the ball in his hands – and coach Steve Sarkisian is going to find even more ways to get him involved.

Robinson finished with 1,127 rushing yards and 11 scores this past season and was tied for second with 26 catches for 295 yards and four more scores. As the Longhorns look to rebuild back into a national power, Robinson will get the ball a lot.

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*****  

96 – Xavier Worthy, Texas

One of the concerns around making Worthy a five-star coming out of high school was his very lean build and whether he could hold up physically at the college level. Worthy has not gotten much bigger – and his lean frame has not mattered.

The former four-star receiver has finished with 67 receptions for 1,081 yards and 15 touchdowns in his freshman season with those final two stats leading the conference. There’s no reason to believe he will not continue to dominate in Austin with arguably better QBs now heading to the 40 Acres.

*****  

94 – Dillon Gabriel, Oklahoma

Combined in the 2019 and 2020 seasons at UCF, Gabriel threw for 7,223 yards with 61 touchdowns. After coming off an injury last season, Gabriel transferred to Oklahoma and teams up with new offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby.

The Sooners will have some firepower and Gabriel has all the skills to get the ball all over the field but he’s also taking a step up in competition. We think the former high three-star will continue to prove he’s one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the country.

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*****  

92 – Quinn Ewers, Texas

The No. 1 prospect in the 2021 class after reclassifying, Ewers started his career at Ohio State but that was short-lived as CJ Stroud had a stranglehold on the starting job there. The former Southlake (Texas) Carroll star is now primed to lead the Longhorns’ offense under coach Steve Sarkisian.

While he has no college stats to speak of, he could quickly become one of the best quarterbacks in the game. Ewers has unique arm talent and special qualities where he could put up big numbers fast.

*****  

89 – Xavier Hutchinson, Iowa State

No player in the Big 12 had more catches than Hutchinson last season – and it’s not like Iowa State is this huge offensive juggernaut lighting up the scoreboard each week. The former three-star prospect totaled 83 catches for 987 yards and five touchdowns a year ago.

Now with tight end Charlie Kolar in the NFL (he was a fourth-round pick by the Baltimore Ravens), Hutchinson might be an even bigger target in the Cyclones’ offense.

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*****  

88 – Spencer Sanders, Oklahoma State

The former four-star has thrown for more than 6,900 yards with 50 touchdowns so far in his career but his 31 interceptions is high for anyone’s liking. Gone from Oklahoma State’s offense is receiver Tay Martin, who had 80 catches for 1,046 yards and 10 touchdowns last season so Sanders will have to find another favorite target. But this could be the best Cowboys team Sanders has played for so that will be something to watch.

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*****  

88 – Connor Galvin, Baylor

Galvin was a three-star coming out of Katy, Texas, but he was also 6-foot-7 and 250 pounds and needed to gain a lot of weight to have a major impact in Power Five football.

That’s exactly what Galvin did, gaining 50-plus pounds of good weight and continues to show off excellent hands and footwork to be one of the best offensive linemen in the country.

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*****  

86 – Collin Oliver, Oklahoma State

The unanimous Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year, Oliver set a school record for freshmen and led the entire conference with 11.5 sacks. The former three-star linebacker from Edmond (Okla.) Santa Fe was phenomenal for the Cowboys last season.

As he continues to develop physically – he went from 210 pounds to 235 this past season – Oliver could be one of the best defensive ends nationally.

*****

82 – Quentin Johnston, TCU

The former four-star receiver from Temple, Texas, had only 33 catches in nine games last season but he led the Horned Frogs with 634 yards and six touchdowns. With an entire season possible, Johnston could put up even bigger numbers and truly have a breakout season.

With Sonny Dykes taking over at TCU, expect the ball to be in the air often and Johnston could take advantage.

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