Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Ranking the Big 12's top 25 players: No. 4
By David Ubben
Our official list of the Big 12's top 25 players entering the 2012 season marches on. Here's more on my criteria for who makes it, who doesn't and who lands where.
The official list is locked away in a vault in an undisclosed location, but we'll be revealing one player a day leading up to the season.
We're now in the top 10, so these picks might get a little ugly. Got a beef? Let's squash it. Send your complaints here.
Next up on the list:
No. 4: Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State
2011 numbers: Completed 161 of 281 passes (57.3 percent) for 1,918 yards, 13 touchdowns and six interceptions. Rushed 317 times for 1,141 yards and 27 touchdowns.
Most recent ranking: Klein was ranked No. 7 in our postseason list of the Big 12's top 25 players.
Making the case for Klein: Let's get this out of the way right now: No single player in the Big 12 means more to his team than Klein does to the SnyderCats. Kansas State ran 896 plays last season -- Klein threw it or ran it on 66.7 percent of those plays. That's absurd.
Klein's most impressive attribute was his durability. He carried the ball 67 times more than anybody else in the league and constantly left the field bloodied, bruised and more. Despite being hampered by injuries all year that kept him off the practice field for much of the latter half of the season, he remained productive and continued to progress as a passer.
It should be exciting to see how the 6-foot-5, 226-pound Colorado native has grown since then. He got married this summer and could make another run at Ricky Williams' Big 12 record for single-season touchdowns. Klein's 27 were just one short of Williams' 1998 record, but K-State's resident Honey Badger is still getting better, and as long as he stays healthy, K-State's fortunes should be favorable. He already broke the school's 42-year-old touchdown record last season, and accounted for 40 of Kansas State's 52 touchdowns on the season.
The rest of the list:
- No. 25: Justin Gilbert, CB/KR, Oklahoma State
- No. 24: Ben Habern, C, Oklahoma
- No. 23: Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor
- No. 22: Josh Boyce, WR, TCU
- No. 21: Cyril Richardson, OL, Baylor
- No. 20: Trey Millard, FB/TE, Oklahoma
- No. 19: Quandre Diggs, CB/KR, Texas
- No. 18: Kenny Stills, WR, Oklahoma
- No. 17: Brodrick Brown, CB, Oklahoma State
- No. 16: Stansly Maponga, DE, TCU
- No. 15: Gabe Ikard, OL, Oklahoma
- No. 14: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
- No. 13: Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma
- No. 12: Stedman Bailey, WR, West Virginia
- No. 11: Carrington Byndom, CB, Texas
- No. 10: A.J. Klein, LB, Iowa State
- No. 9: Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas
- No. 8: Kenny Vaccaro, DB, Texas
- No. 7: Jake Knott, LB, Iowa State
- No. 6: Joseph Randle, RB, Oklahoma State
- No. 5: Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State