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Big 12 Football: 10 Toughest Players to Replace in 2023

Athlon Sports 2/3/2023 Jon Kinne
© Provided by Athlon Sports

These departing Big 12 players leave very big shoes for their respective teams to fill in the upcoming 2023 college football season.

The 2023 college football season will feature a new-look Big 12 —  and it's not just because BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, and UCF will be joining the league. After an extremely successful season, many of the conference's star players will be moving on to the NFL.

TCU, after making it to the College Football Playoff National Championship, will have to fill some massive holes next fall, but every Big 12 team has its share of parts to replace. Here are 10 Big 12 players (in alphabetical order) whose departures will be felt by their respective programs.

Power 5 Conference Toughest Players to Replace: ACC I Big 12 I Big Ten I Pac-12 I SEC

Felix Anudike-Uzomah, DE, Kansas State

Anudike-Uzomah was the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2022, but he was essentially the same player in 2021 as well. The two-time first-team All-Big 12 selection provided chaos off the edge consistently over two years.

Max Duggan, QB, TCU

Even if Duggan didn't become a Heisman Trophy runner-up who led his team to the College Football Playoff and a shot at a national championship, his toughness and guts would be missed. But in reality, Duggan did become a prolific quarterback (4,121 total yards of offense, 41 total TDs) and was the perfect triggerman in Sonny Dykes' offense.

Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma

For three seasons, Harrison was a fixture as the Sooners' left tackle, playing in 34 games in three years. A first-team All-Big 12 pick in 2022, Harrison could be a first-round pick in late April.

Xavier Hutchinson, WR, Iowa State

Hutchinson made an immediate impact after transferring to Iowa State from Blinn (Texas) College, and his production increased every season. He leaves Iowa State as the school's all-time leader in receptions (254) and is third in receiving yards (2,929).

Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

Max Duggan's ascension to being one of the best quarterbacks in the league benefitted Johnston as much as anyone, as the TCU receiver emerged as one of the true pass-catching stars in college football. Though he struggled in the title game, the Horned Frogs made it thanks in large part to Johnston's dynamic play in the College Football Playoff semifinal win over Michigan.

Marvin Mims, WR, Oklahoma

Mims joined Xavier Hutchinson and Quentin Johnston on the All-Big 12 first team after logging 54 catches for 1,083 yards and six touchdowns. Mims clicked early on with new quarterback Dillon Gabriel and had his best season in what was a very productive career.

Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

Billed as the best running back in college football coming into 2022, Robinson delivered with 1,894 total yards and 20 touchdowns. The Longhorn star went out in style, too, rushing for 422 yards and six touchdowns in his last two games prior to being named the recipient of the prestigious Doak Walker Award.

Dante Stills, DT, West Virginia

The 6-foot-4, 285-pound defensive lineman was a Mountaineer through and through. Coming out of Fairmont, Stills played five seasons for his home-state school, being named first-team All-Big 12 twice and to the second team twice.

Deuce Vaughn, RB, Kansas State

Much like Wildcat great Darren Sproles, Vaughn was a very productive, undersized running back who led Kansas State to a conference title. Now we'll see if Vaughn can be like Sproles on the next level.

Tyree Wilson, LB, Texas Tech

With seven sacks and 14 tackles for a loss despite missing the last two games with an injury, Wilson was one of the top havoc-creators in the nation this season. He could hear his name called very early when the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft commences on April 27.

Podcast: Debating the Way-Too-Early Preseason College Football Top 25 for 2023

Written by Jon Kinne, who has been part of the Athlon Contributor Network for three years, focusing on the ACC and Notre Dame. Follow him on Twitter @JonRKinne.

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