The top 25 players in the Big 12: No. 2

August, 23, 2013
8/23/13
2:00
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We're counting down to the beginning of the season with the top 25 players in the Big 12. The official list is locked away in a vault in an undisclosed location, but we'll be revealing players from the bottom of the list all the way to No. 1.

Here's more on my criteria.

Let's move on with the list:

No. 2: Cyril Richardson, G, Baylor

2012 numbers: Helped Baylor amass 7,439 yards of offense, almost 200 more yards than any other team in college football. Part of an offensive line that surrendered just 19 sacks and led the Big 12 in rushing.

Most recent ranking: Richardson was No. 15 in our postseason list of the Big 12's top 25 players.

Making the case for Richardson: Identifying top offensive linemen isn't easy in the flow of a game, but if you go back and really look at what's happening in the trenches instead of who's got the ball, it's really not very difficult. Consistency is key, but watch Richardson for any amount of time, and it's clear that he's an absolute mauler with NFL written all over his agile 6-foot-5, 340-pound frame.

He started his career as a guard but spent 2011 holding down the left tackle spot. He really emerged last season after moving back to guard and earned Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year honors. It was well deserved after leading the Bears with 105 (!!) knockdowns and grading out at better than 90 percent in Baylor's final six games. He had at least nine knockdowns in each of the Bears' final five games and enters his senior season as the clear pick for the Big 12's best overall offensive lineman.

The rest of the list:

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