Ranking the Big 12's top 25 players: No. 2
March, 9, 2012
By David Ubben | ESPNDallas.com
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 every day.
Here's a quick rundown on my criteria for this list.
We're officially in the top 10 now. That means it could be a little heated from here on. Got beef? Send it to my mailbag, and we'll have a later post logging and answering your complaints.
No. 2: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
2011 numbers: Caught 121 passes for 1,522 yards and 18 touchdowns. Carried the ball five times for 59 yards.
Most recent ranking: Blackmon was ranked No. 1 in our preseason list of the top 25 players.
Making the case for Blackmon: Oklahoma State's top talent wasn't quite as dominant as he was in 2010, but he actually caught 10 more balls. The biggest difference were his big plays. He caught 15 passes longer than 30 yards in 2010, but just eight in 2011. He had 10 catches longer than 40 yards, against just six in 2011.
But let's not focus on one Biletnikoff Award-winning season vs. another. The bottom line: Blackmon was the best receiver in the Big 12 in each of the past two seasons and showed why in his final game, which was arguably the greatest performance of his career. Oklahoma State's offense stalled against Stanford early, but Blackmon was unstoppable, turning his first two catches into touchdowns and bringing Oklahoma State's offense to life.
He had at least 95 yards receiving in nine games this year, and anyone who's seen the 6-foot-1, 215-pounder knows that he plays a lot bigger than he measures.
He'll finish his career as by far the best receiver in school history, and to think, a few years ago, we were wondering who would replace Dez Bryant in Stillwater. The answer? Someone even better.
The rest of the list:
- No. 3: Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State
- No. 4: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
- No. 5: Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma
- No. 6: Frank Alexander, DE, Oklahoma
- No. 7: Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State
- No. 8: Levy Adcock, RT, Oklahoma State
- No. 9: A.J. Klein, LB, Iowa State
- No. 10: Sean Porter, LB, Texas A&M
- No. 11: Terrance Ganaway, RB, Baylor
- No. 12: Jake Knott, LB, Iowa State
- No. 13: Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma
- No. 14: Henry Josey, RB, Missouri
- No. 15: Ryan Swope, WR, Texas A&M
- No. 16: Emmanuel Acho, LB, Texas
- No. 17: Kelechi Osemele, LT, Iowa State
- No. 18: Joseph Randle, RB, Oklahoma State
- No. 19: Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State
- 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