Ranking the Big 12's top 25 players: No. 5

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.

We're now in the top 10, so these picks might get a little ugly. Got beef? Let's squash it. Send your complaints here.

Next up on the list:

No. 5: Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State

2011 numbers: Made 101 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and two sacks.

Most recent ranking: Brown was ranked No. 19 in our postseason list of the Big 12's top 25 players.

Making the case for Brown: They call him The Judge around Manhattan, but Brown was making waves from the moment he stepped on campus at Kansas State. He sat out 2010 after transferring from Miami, but his reborn career has been exactly what he hoped since returning to his home state.

His efforts in his NCAA-mandated redshirt season earned him team captain status before he'd even played a game, accompanying coach Bill Snyder to media days and producing one of the great screen caps in the history of the Big 12 Blog. Once the games began, the former blue-chip, five-star recruit lived up to the hype, emerging as the best player on a unit that desperately needed a speed injection after a disastrous 2010 campaign.

The 6-foot-1, 231-pounder plays much faster than his size and there may not be a more sure tackler in the entire Big 12. His athleticism was on display at the Cotton Bowl when he hurdled a blocker to reach Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson, and he came up with one of the biggest plays of the season when he became the first player to intercept Baylor's Robert Griffin III in a win over the Bears early in the season.

He became the first Cat to top 100 tackles since 2006, and you'd better believe he's got a great shot to do it again as a senior in 2012 before kicking off what could be a fantastic NFL career and an early draft choice.

The rest of the list: