Ranking the Big 12's top 25 players: No. 8

We’re continuing our countdown of the Big 12's top 25 players from the 2012 season. Here's more on my criteria for the list. You can take a peek at how the preseason list looked here.

We're in the top 10 now, so it's about to get heated, I'm sure. If you've got complaints, I've got a mailbag. Let's hear it.

The official list is locked away in a vault in an undisclosed location, but we'll be revealing one player a day moving forward.

On with the show ...

No. 8: Meshak Williams, DE, Kansas State

2012 numbers: Made 45 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks. Forced three fumbles, broke up four passes, blocked one kick.

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

Making the case for Williams: I was higher on Williams than most to begin the season, but this year, he blossomed into a player known for a whole lot more than a relentless motor. He refined his technique and looked like a new man as the most disruptive element on one of the Big 12's best defenses. He won the Big 12's Defensive Lineman of the Year award after making 11.5 of his tackles for loss in nine Big 12 games for the Wildcats. He was all over the place for K-State and made a season-high 2.5 sacks in a road win at West Virginia that made it very clear that K-State was going to be the Big 12's best team in 2012. The 6-foot-3, 245-pound juco transfer isn't the most physically gifted player in the Big 12, but he uses what he has and maxes out every ounce of his potential. For Bill Snyder's teams, we'd expect nothing less.

The rest of the list: