- Jake Trotter, ESPN Staff Writer
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We’re almost done breaking down the 10 best players at the moment on every team in the Big 12.
These lists don’t include junior college or freshman signees who haven’t arrived on campus yet. Rather, they include only the players currently on their teams this spring. Some of these rankings might look different after the spring, but this is how we see them now.
Next up, the Iowa State Cyclones:
1. WR Quenton Bundrage: Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads believes Bundrage can be an all-league wide receiver, something Iowa State hasn’t had since Todd Blythe in 2005. Bundrage, who finished third in the Big 12 last season with nine touchdown catches, has the talent. He just needs a little more game-to-game consistency.
2. TE E.J. Bibbs: With Texas Tech’s Jace Amaro gone, Bibbs is the best returning pass-catching tight end in the league. Despite the lack of stability at quarterback, Bibbs still finished 15th nationally among tight ends in receiving and second in the Big 12, behind only Amaro.
3. C Tom Farniok: With 35 career starts, Farniok is one of the most seasoned offensive linemen in the league. He struggled at times through injury last season, but is the undeniable leader of the offensive line and one of the better centers in the country when healthy.
4. RB Aaron Wimberly: As Texas found out firsthand, Wimberly can be electric when 100 percent. Unfortunately for the Cyclones he wasn’t at that level for a very long span, as an assortment of injuries slowed Wimberly for most of the season. If the speedy, though slight, Wimberly can stay healthy, he has the ability to be one of the five best running backs in the league.
5. DE Cory Morrissey: With Jeremiah George and Jacques Washington gone, Morrissey has taken on more of a leadership role defensively this spring. Morrissey was an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection last season, and a very solid defender off the edge.
6. CB Nigel Tribune: Tribune is the only Cyclone to play as a true freshman in either of the last two seasons. He got off to a rough start, but settled in the last half of the season. Tribune should give Iowa State a reliable primary cover corner for the next three seasons.
7. OT Jacob Gannon: This rising senior has been a key piece of the Iowa State offensive line since his redshirt freshman year, with 12 career starts scattered over three seasons.
8. OT Brock Dagel: Dagel's return is another big reason why the Cyclones are pumped about the potential of their offensive line. The 6-foot-8, 300-pound tackle won a starting job on the strong side as a sophomore and has a lot of potential. Teamed with Gannon, the Cyclones could wind up featuring one of the better bookend combos in the Big 12.
9. WR Jarvis West: West has 71 career catches out of the slot and could see his role expand in new offensive coordinator Mark Mangino’s no-huddle system. West also can be an dynamic return man. He produced Iowa State’s first non-onside kickoff return touchdown in 19 years last season against Texas Tech.
10. RB DeVondrick Nealy: Wimberly will be the featured running back but will have a competent wingman in Nealy, who rushed for 53 yards against Kansas State and 48 yards against Oklahoma late last season. Like West, Nealy is also dangerous on special teams. He was sixth in the Big 12 last year in kickoff returns, returning one for a touchdown in a narrow loss to TCU.
2dDavid M. Hale