Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Ranking the Big 12's top 25 players: No. 19
By ESPN.com staff
Our countdown of the Big 12's top 25 players continues. The official list is locked away in a vault in an undisclosed location, but we're revealing a new member of the list every day.
Here's a quick rundown on my criteria for this list.
No. 19: Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State
2011 numbers: Made 101 tackles (57 solo) and 9.5 tackles for loss. Had two sacks and broke up two passes.
Most recent ranking: Brown was unranked in our preseason list of the top 25 players.
Making the case for Brown: Kansas State needed speed and Brown provided it in the middle of the defense. He added some major toughness to a defensive unit that gave up 3,000 rushing yards in 2010 and proved himself almost immediately as one of the surest tacklers in the Big 12.
He was remarkably consistent all year, notching at least seven tackles in nine games, twice making 12 stops in a game. In another era, Brown might be a safety. He's got the freakish athleticism in the middle of the defense that's required of elite defenders in the wide-open Big 12, with offenses spreading defenses over every inch of the field and demanding sure tackling in the open field.
Brown can do it. He was just outside the contenders for the Big 12's Defensive Player of the Year in 2011, but helped revitalize the Wildcats' defense, one of the most improved units in the league this year. He could win it in 2012.
The rest of the list:
- No. 20: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
- No. 21: Grant Garner, C, Oklahoma State
- No. 22: Ronnell Lewis, LB, Oklahoma
- No. 23: Cyrus Gray, RB, Texas A&M
- No. 24: Nigel Malone, CB, Kansas State
- No. 25: Damontre Moore, LB, Texas A&M