Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Ranking the Big 12's top 25 players: No. 25
By David Ubben
Time to kick off our official list of the Big 12's top 25 players from the 2012 season. Here's more on my criteria for the list. You can take a look at how the preseason list looked here.
The official list is locked away in a vault in an undisclosed location, but we'll be revealing one player a day moving forward.
Here goes nothin' ...
No. 25: Quinn Sharp, K/P/KOS, Oklahoma State
2012 numbers: Made 28 of 34 field goals and 72 of 72 extra points. Kicked off 102 times for 71 touchbacks. Averaged 46.3 yards on 44 punts.
Most recent ranking: Sharp was unranked in our preseason list of the Big 12's top 25 players. He was, however, listed on a group of players who "just missed" the list.
Making the case for Sharp: If you've followed this list for long, you know how momentous Sharp's inclusion truly is. Since the birth of these lists, I've refused to include special-teams players on the basis that they're simply not on the field for enough plays to warrant inclusion. Great players, yes. The league's best players? No. Nebraska's Alex Henery was the only guy who nearly made it, but Sharp has officially convinced me, and he's making history. He's a kickoff specialist, punter and kicker, and he's probably the best player in the Big 12 at all three. You could make a case for a few others at punter, but there's no contest for kickoff man and place-kicker. He made 28 of 34 field goals this season, and only K-State's Anthony Cantele made a higher percentage. Still, he made nine fewer kicks this season than Sharp. Sharp also kicked off 102 times, but 71 of those went for touchbacks. His 28 made field goals were three more than any kicker in college football, and his 71 touchbacks were also three more than any player in the country. No other Big 12 kicker had more than 39, though. His 46.3 yards per punt led the league and was fourth nationally, and his 74-yard punt was the second longest of any punter in the league. He was also third nationally in net punting yardage, so you know his big leg wasn't too big for his coverage team to help make a difference.