Ranking the Big 12's top 25 players: No. 14

August, 14, 2012
8/14/12
10:00
AM ET
Our official list of the Big 12's top 25 players entering the 2012 season marches on. Here's more on my criteria for who makes it, who doesn't and who lands where.

The official list is locked away in a vault in an undisclosed location, but we'll be revealing one player a day leading up to the season.

Next up on the list:

No. 14: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas

2011 numbers: Made 58 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and seven sacks. Broke up three passes, forced two fumbles, recovered one.

Most recent ranking: Okafor was unranked in our postseason list of the Big 12's top 25 players.

Making the case for Okafor: Admittedly, I'm not as high on Okafor as most. The Longhorns' senior defensive end won preseason Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year honors, which I found shocking considering I don't believe Okafor is the best player at his position on his own team.

That said, he's still a huge talent and the Big 12's second-best defensive end. He's consistently disruptive and fits what you'd want out of an end at 6-foot-4 and 265 pounds. The coaches made him a unanimous All-Big 12 selection last year, and he's certainly in position to do it again. Texas has an unbelievable defensive line full of talent, which means you're taking a big risk in double-teaming anyone. The Longhorns are five deep in the two-man rotation at defensive tackle, which will create plenty of room for Okafor to wreak havoc. He'll spend a whole lot of time in offensive backfields this season.

The rest of the list:

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