Heisman candidates among best in the North

Mel Kiper's look at the best players in the Big 12 North is highlighted by Heisman contenders Brad Smith and Darren Sproles.

Originally Published: July 12, 2004
By Mel Kiper Jr. | Special to ESPN Insider
Editor's note: ESPN.com's Mel Kiper Jr. continues his look at the best players in each conference by examining the top five players on the roster of each team in the Big 12 North division (schools listed in alphabetical order).

Colorado Buffaloes
1. Joel Klatt, QB, jr. -- Entered last season with just one career pass attempt but went on to throw for 2,614 yards and 21 touchdowns while completing a school-record 65.1 percent of his passes. Klatt is a smart, savvy player who gets the most out of his abilities.
2. Brian Iwuh, LB, jr. -- Moved from strong safety to outside linebacker this spring and had a great showing for a defense making the transition from a 4-2-5 alignment to a traditional 4-3 scheme.
3. Terence Wheatley, CB, so. -- The Buffs think he has the potential to be a future All-America player.
4. Sam Wilder, T, sr. -- Goes 6-foot-4, 283 and is in his second year on the offensive line after moving over from the defensive front.
5. Bobby Purify, RB, sr. -- Has bulked up and is carrying about 215 pounds on his 6-0 frame, but needs to show he can stay healthy after battling ankle and shoulder problems. Purify will be under more pressure to perform after fellow tailback Brian Calhoun decided to transfer.

Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst
Mel Kiper has served as an NFL draft analyst for ESPN since 1984. He is a regular contributor on SportsCenter and ESPN Radio and writes weekly for ESPN Insider.