Today is Day 15 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 players' actual accomplishments in their college careers, as well as their likely impact on their teams in the 2010 season.
No. 11: Jeremy Beal, DE, Oklahoma
2009 numbers: Fifth in the Big 12 in sacks (11). Third-most tackles for loss (19), for the league's most-lost yardage (126 yards). Also made 69 tackles, forced three fumbles, broke up three passes and had an interception.
Most recent ranking: Beal was ranked No. 23 in the past offseason's ranking of the conference's top 40 players.
Making the case for Beal: The senior has started each of the past 27 games, and progressively gotten better for the Sooners, entering 2010 as the conference's best defensive end and one of the best in college football. A third-team All-American, Beal was named to the All-Big 12 first-team in each of the past two seasons. His 11 sacks were the fourth-most in a single season in Oklahoma history, and he had three sacks in consecutive games against Tulsa and Miami, the first time in program history a player had recorded two three-sack games in the same season. Beal is one of the fastest defensive ends in the country, but his 6-foot-3, 261-pound frame makes him one of the most balanced ends, too. With plenty of talent around him on the defensive line, offenses won't be able to focus solely on Beal, which should set him up for another big season. He should be a strong candidate for Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year.
The rest of the list:
No. 12: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
No. 13: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
No. 14: Alexander Robinson, RB, Iowa State
No. 15: Sam Acho, DE, Texas
No. 16: Roy Helu, Jr., RB, Nebraska
No. 17: Curtis Brown, CB, Texas
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