Ranking the Big 12's top 25 players: No. 16

August, 10, 2012
8/10/12
11:30
AM CT
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.

Next up on the list:

No. 16: Stansly Maponga, DE, TCU

2011 numbers: Made 55 tackles (33 solo), including 13.5 tackles for loss. Had nine sacks and forced five fumbles. Also broke up two passes.

Most recent ranking: Maponga was (obviously) unranked in our postseason list of the Big 12's top 25 players.

Making the case for Maponga: Maponga is a beast and far too few people who follow the Big 12 know about it. That'll change pretty quick. The 6-foot-2, 265-pounder from just outside Dallas is a mature junior who should prove as one of the most disruptive forces in the Big 12 by season's end.

Or so we think, anyway. He was a wrecking ball in the Mountain West, and he's still got to prove he can do it in the Big 12, but that's the case for pretty much every Horned Frog these days. Maponga earned first-team All-Mountain West honors after last season after finishing second in the league in sacks by just half a sack. He was third in the league in tackles for loss and his five forced fumbles ranked sixth nationally. That was enough to give him first-team All-Big 12 honors in the preseason, the only Frog to earn that designation.

With Tanner Brock off the team, Maponga is the most talented member of the Horned Frogs' defense, and finally, he'll have a much more suitable stage to prove it as the Frogs move back into big time college football.

The rest of the list:

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