Ranking the Big 12's best players: No. 21

The official list of the Big 12's top 25 players is locked away in a vault in an undisclosed location, but we're revealing the list day by day here on the blog. Here's a refresher on my exact criteria.

No. 21: Jared Crick, DT, Nebraska

2010 numbers: Made 70 tackles, including 14.5 tackles for loss. He also had 9.5 sacks, broke up a pass and forced a fumble.

Most recent ranking: Crick was ranked No. 9 in our preseason list of the Big 12's top 25 players.

Making the case for Crick: Crick wasn't the next Ndamukong Suh, but he never said he'd be. One of the Big 12's big questions for 2010 was how Crick would look without the House of Spears lined up next to him. The answer: Pretty dang good, but not wholly dominant. Crick was disruptive, especially late in the season, and easily one of the league's best defensive linemen, earning All-Big 12 first-team honors. His strong finish meant over half his sacks (5) came in his final five games after a bit of a slow start on the stat sheet. Bo Pelini's defense will be well-served with Crick returning for his senior season in 2011.

The rest of the list:

  • No. 22: Travis Lewis, LB, Oklahoma

  • No. 23: Quinton Carter, S, Oklahoma

  • No. 24: Tim Barnes, C, Missouri

  • No. 25: Lyle Leong, WR, Texas Tech