Thursday, June 17, 2010
Ranking the Big 12's best: No. 13
By ESPN.com staff
Today is Day 13 of our countdown of the Big 12's 25 best players entering the 2010 season. The full results are locked in a vault in an undisclosed location, but we'll be revealing one player per day until we reach the top of the list.
Remember, this isn't a list of the top-25 NFL prospects in the league. It's heavily weighted toward actual accomplishment in players' college careers, as well as the likely impact for their teams in the 2010 season.
No. 13: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
2009 numbers: Tied for fourth in the Big 12 in interceptions (5). Ranked fourth in the Big 12 in passes defended (16). Also made 64 tackles.
Most recent ranking: Amukamara was unranked in last offseason's ranking of the conference's top 40 players.
Making the case for Amukamara: The Husker corner was named an All-Big 12 first-teamer by the league's coaches and every publication except the Associated Press. This season, he'll have a case as the conference's best corner. Three starters from last year's team were drafted, and Amukamara should follow their lead in 2011. But not before joining defensive tackle Jared Crick as one of the Blackshirts' leaders on a defense that has a chance to retain its position as the nation's best. At 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds, he has exceptional size for his position, and since he's only been playing the position for a few years, he still has a lot to learn. That means he could get considerably better very fast.
Finally, like his superstar teammate last year, his name will be butchered by countless on-air personalities this season. For reference, it's ah-MOO-ka-mara.
The rest of the list:
- No. 14: Alexander Robinson, RB, Iowa State
- No. 15: Sam Acho, DE, Texas
- No. 16: Roy Helu, Jr., RB, Nebraska
- No. 17: Curtis Brown, CB, Texas
- No. 18: Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri
- No. 19: Kendall Hunter, RB, Oklahoma State
- No. 20: Jeff Fuller, WR, Texas A&M
- No. 21: Tim Barnes, C, Missouri
- No. 22: Brian Duncan, LB, Texas Tech
- No. 23: Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma
- No. 24: Tanner Hawkinson, OT, Kansas
- No. 25: Blake Gideon, S, Texas