Thursday, January 30, 2014
Top 25 players in the Big 12: No. 6
By Jake Trotter
With signing day quickly approaching, it’s time to close the chapter on the 2013 season. We’re counting down the top 25 players in the Big 12 in 2013 over the next few days with a list collaboratively selected by Jake Trotter, Brandon Chatmon and Max Olson. Up next is our No. 6 player.
Jason Verrett battled injuries, but was still one of the Big 12's best defenders.
Making the case for Verrett: The fact Verrett still made the top 10 on this list underscores just how good a player he is.
Verrett was banged up most of the season with a nagging shoulder injury while playing on a struggling team that won only four games. But down to the very last game, Verrett gutted out several big-time performances.
TCU sputtered offensively all season, especially after losing quarterback Casey Pachall to a broken forearm. Defensively, the Horned Frogs weren’t quite the same as they’d been the previous few years either after losing preseason All-American defensive end Devonte Fields to a suspension, then a season-ending foot injury.
As a result, TCU went 4-8. But thanks in large part to Verrett’s tenacity, the Horned Frogs were able to still hang tough in every game.
Even though opposing quarterbacks rarely threw his way, Verrett led the Big 12 with 16 pass breakups. And when matched up with league’s best wide receivers, he was usually at his best.
Texas Tech’s Eric Ward, who finished fifth in the Big 12 in receiving, went without a reception against Verrett.
Then in TCU’s season finale, Verrett held Antwan Goodley, the league’s leading receiver, to just one catch for 12 yards, as the Horned Frogs nearly toppled the eventual Big 12 champions.
Though TCU failed to make a bowl, Verrett was named the Big 12 Co-Defensive Player of the Year and a Walter Camp first-team All-American.
Since getting burned by Baylor QB Robert Griffin III in the 2011 season opener, Verrett has come a long way. And even though he only had two years in the Big 12, he'll go down as one of the better corners ever to play in the league.