Ranking the Big 12's best: No. 17

Today is Day 9 of our countdown of the Big 12's 25 best players entering the 2010 season. The full results are locked in a vault in an undisclosed location, but we'll be revealing one player per day until we reach the top of the list.

Remember, this isn't a list of the top 25 NFL prospects in the league. It's heavily weighted toward actual accomplishment in players' college careers, as well as the likely impact for their teams in the 2010 season.

No. 17: Curtis Brown, CB, Texas

2009 numbers: Notched 53 tackles. Returned his only interception for a touchdown.

Most recent ranking: Brown was unranked in last offseason's ranking of the conference's top 40 players.

Making the case for Brown: Brown is the second member of the Texas secondary to make the list. In his first full season as a starter, he earned All-Big 12 honorable mention. Now, as a senior, he'll join Aaron Williams and Chykie Brown at corner in what could be the nation's best group of defensive backs. At 6-foot, 180 pounds, he has great size for his position, and without a large group of elite receivers in the Big 12, Brown and his buddies could improve on their 179.6 yards passing yards per game (No. 19 nationally). The group makes each other look good, and as long as they're roaming the secondary together, don't expect that to change.

The rest of the list:

  • No. 18: Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri

  • No. 19: Kendall Hunter, RB, Oklahoma State

  • No. 20: Jeff Fuller, WR, Texas A&M

  • No. 21: Tim Barnes, C, Missouri

  • No. 22: Brian Duncan, LB, Texas Tech

  • No. 23: Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma

  • No. 24: Tanner Hawkinson, OT, Kansas

  • No. 25: Blake Gideon, S, Texas