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.
We're inside the top 10 now, so things should heat up a little bit. Have a gripe with the list? Let me know in the mailbag.
No. 6: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
2010 numbers: Amukamara made 59 tackles and broke up 13 passes. He also had a sack.
Most recent ranking: Amukamara was ranked No. 13 in our preseason list of the Big 12's top 25 players.
Making the case for Amukamara: I said it when we launched this list: Amukamara is case No. 1 when it comes to the numbers not telling the whole story. Amukamara was already one of the league's best corners entering the season, and established himself as one of the nation's pre-eminent shutdown defenders. Entering the Big 12 Championship, Nebraska officials said Amukamara had been thrown at 43 times and given up just 13 receptions.
Speaking from experience, ask around the Big 12's top receivers and most won't have to think long to come up with the player most difficult to shake: Amukamara. The 6-foot-1, 205-pounder is physical, fast, instinctive with ball skills that are a lot better than the "0" he fielded in the interception column this season after nabbing five in 2009. Watch him for a few plays, especially against receivers used to physically dominating smaller defenders without Amukamara's strength or physicality, and you'll see why quarterbacks were so tentative to throw his way.
The rest of the list:
No. 8: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
No. 9: Sam Acho, DL, Texas
No. 11: Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma
No. 12: Lavonte David, LB, Nebraska
No. 13: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
No. 14: Levy Adcock, RT, Oklahoma State
No. 15: Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska
No. 16: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
No. 17: Jeff Fuller, WR, Texas A&M
No. 18: Eric Hagg, DB, Nebraska
No. 19: DeMarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma
No. 20: Orie Lemon, LB, Oklahoma State
No. 21: Jared Crick, DT, Nebraska
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