There were several key true freshman contributors in the Big 12 this season with TCU defensive end Devonte Fields making the biggest impact and earning Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Baylor commit Robbie Rhodes is ranked as the No. 1 receiver prospect in the 2013 class by 247Sports.
No matter how loaded a depth chart is, there is always room for an elite player or two to gain significant playing time on any team. With that in mind, which true freshmen will emerge next season?
In this look at Big 12 recruiting, we identify the prospects currently committed to conference programs that are most likely to make an instant impact in 2013.
IMMEDIATE IMPACT RECRUIT - WR Robbie Rhodes, Fort Worth (Texas) Southwest
THE SKINNY – Rhodes is a five-star and ranked as the No. 1 wide receiver in the country for a reason. A big-time track star he has used his speed on the field to average 29 yards per reception over the last two seasons. With Biletnikoff Award finalist Terrance Williams graduating, the opportunity is there for Rhodes to step in.
IMMEDIATE IMPACT RECRUIT - DE Ernest Suttles, Tampa (Fla.) Gaither
THE SKINNY – Fields proved this year that it is definitely possible for a true freshman to make an impact as a defensive end. The Cylones lose senior starter Roosevelt Maggitt and do not have much behind him currently on the depth chart. The opportunity is there for Suttles to earn time in the rotation, if not as the starter.
IMMEDIATE IMPACT RECRUIT - WR Ishmael Hyman, Holmdel (N.J.) St. John Vianney Regional
THE SKINNY – Of the Jayhawks' 24 current commits, only seven are from high school prospects – and two of those are quarterbacks. Out of the rest of the group, Hyman plays the position where all three starters from this past season are being lost to graduation. Head coach Charlie Weis has proven that he will play the best player, regardless of classification.
IMMEDIATE IMPACT RECRUIT - LB Nick Ramirez, Lee’s Summit (Mo.) West
THE SKINNY – Like in-state rival Kansas, much of Kansas State’s recruiting class comes from the junior college ranks. However, getting four-star linebacker Ramirez to switch from his Missouri pledge was huge. With all three linebacker starters graduating and Ramirez versatile enough to play any of the three spots, it will be hard to keep him out of rotation somewhere.
IMMEDIATE IMPACT RECRUIT - ATH Stanvon Taylor, Tulsa (Okla.) East Central
THE SKINNY – Taylor was the Oklahoma State Player of the Year as a senior and could legitimately make an impact at wide receiver or cornerback. Though he has truly starred on offense in high school he is likely to start his career in Norman on defense. With the graduation of Demontre Hurst, one starting cornerback spot will be open next year and the two backups this past season were both true freshmen.
IMMEDIATE IMPACT RECRUIT - WR Fred Ross, Tyler (Texas) John Tyler
THE SKINNY – The Cowboys love airing it out and, despite the fact that all four wide receiver starters return, the big wide receiver Ross is simply too good to keep off the field. After putting up huge numbers the past two seasons, he has shown himself to be both a deep threat and a big target in short yardage and red zone situations. The Cowboys use a number of receivers and one of them will certainly be Ross.
Oklahoma commit Stanvon Taylor is an excellent fit in the Sooners' spread passing attack.
IMMEDIATE IMPACT RECRUIT - CB Ranthony Texada, Frisco (Texas) Centennial
THE SKINNY – TCU is actually a fairly young team that did not start many seniors this past season. Texada is very slight of frame but he is one of the top one-on-one cover corners in the state of Texas this year. He picked up offers at a ridiculous pace in the spring as more and more coaches saw him play in person. He will have a chance to bulk up over the summer and be going against Big 12 receivers on the field next year.
IMMEDIATE IMPACT RECRUIT - WR Jacorey Warrick, Houston (Texas) Cy Falls
THE SKINNY – Like a lot of the members of the Longhorn class, Warrick suffered an injury this season but the patella should be fully healed by the spring. With both Marquise Goodwin and D.J. Monroe graduating, Texas needs some speed at the receiver position. If Warrick stays at receiver – there was talk he could play corner – then he could give the offense the deep threat and end-around threat it needs.
IMMEDIATE IMPACT RECRUIT - CB Maurice Chandler, Lawton (Okla.) High
THE SKINNY – The Red Raiders have lost a number of recruits since head coach Tommy Tuberville left for Cincinnati last weekend but Chandler seems to be holding strong. Though listed as a corner, he is also versatile enough to play safety. With Texas Tech having its fair share of needs in the secondary, and especially at safety, Chandler could easily see lots of time early and make Oklahoma and Oklahoma State fans wonder why their teams didn’t offer the in-state prospect.
IMMEDIATE IMPACT RECRUIT - OG/DT Tyler Tezeno, Spring (Texas) Klein Collins
THE SKINNY – Most have Tezeno pegged as an offensive guard in Morgantown and there is a need for depth on the interior of the offensive line. However, with his frame, he could also end up moving to the defensive line. He has a strong lower body and is quick off the ball and could push for time in the defensive tackle rotation as well.
Brian Perroni is a National Recruiting Analyst for 247Sports. Follow him on Twitter @Perroni247