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June 2, 2005

QB controversy for league's best newcomer

Each year, the Big 12 Conference is full of some of the best recruiting classes in the country. No different this time around as the league should feature some of the best fresh faces in the land.

However, the Big 12 newcomer of the year, as voted by our publishers around the conference, is not an incoming freshman. It's a junior college transfer. Nebraska quarterback Zac Taylor is the choice.

Taylor put a chokehold on the starting job in Lincoln with a record-setting performance in the Husker spring game. He comes to Nebraska after a standout career at Butler County Community College. He threw for nearly 3,000 yards and 29 touchdowns a season ago while completing 63% of his passes.

"My strengths are that I don't really get too caught up in the moment," he told HuskersIllustrated.com. "I stay constant throughout the whole game. That's probably my biggest asset. I want to work on getting bigger and stronger because you can always improve in those areas."

Taylor is expected to get some competition for the starting job from true freshman Harrison Beck. However, if Taylor wins the job, our publishers believe he'll be the best first-year player around.

Oklahoma quarterback Rhett Bomar was the only other player to get multiple votes. Bomar was selected on two ballots. Willie Williams, Robert Johnson, Ryan McBean, Frantz Hardy and Zackary Bowman received a single vote.

To see video of Taylor in action, click here.

Beginning on Monday, we will turn our attention to predicting the Big 12 season. Next week, we will publish our predictions for the north and south division darkhorses and champions and the Big 12 champ.

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