Monday, August 1, 2011
Ranking the Top 25 Big 12 players: No. 21
By ESPN.com staff
The official list of the Big 12's top 25 players is locked away in a vault in an undisclosed location, but we're revealing the list day by day here on the blog. Here's a refresher on my exact criteria.
No. 21: Shaun Lewis, LB, Oklahoma State
2010 numbers: Made 58 tackles (49 solo), eight tackles for loss, broke up a pass, forced three fumbles and intercepted three passes.
Most recent ranking: Lewis was unranked in our postseason list of the Big 12's top 25 players.
Making the case for Lewis: The Oklahoma State true freshman took over the "Star" linebacker position in Bill Young's defense, and the name suits him. Every time he touches the ball, magic seems to happen. Each of his three interceptions were among the most memorable of the entire 2010 Big 12 season. The first came late in the fourth quarter on a Jerrod Johnson overthrow, helping set up a game-winning field goal. He scored off the second early in Bedlam off Oklahoma's Landry Jones. The third came as the second half of Brodrick Brown's unbelievable tipped ball that was nominated for an ESPY as the Play of the Year.
As a sophomore in 2011, expect even bigger things from the co-Defensive Freshman of the Year. The 6-foot-1, 210-pounder can do it all for an Oklahoma State defense that must replace five starters, and expect more performances like the one he had against in-state rival Oklahoma, his best of the year. That featured 12 tackles (11 solo), two interceptions and a tackle for loss.
Lewis' impact as a true freshman was outstanding, but even more exciting is what's to come for a player who showed more promise than almost anyone in the league in 2010.
The rest of the list: