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Monday, September 3, 2012
Big 12 top 25 players: Unsung guys

By David Ubben

We wrapped our top 25 players list last week, including a list of the guys who just missed.

Here's a few names you'll probably see on the list at season's end:

Trey Metoyer, WR, Oklahoma: Metoyer didn't have the debut many hoped, but count me among those who still see the potential. He caught just four passes for 21 yards after getting shut out in the first half against UTEP, but in his first game action, he wasn't the only Sooners receiver who looked out of sorts. It'll get better, and Metoyer may be a force in this league by season's end.

Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron, RBs, Texas: Brown and Bergeron, both sophomores, were much more effective in Texas' 37-17 win over Wyoming. The depth of running backs in this league is weak, and Bergeron and Brown have as much talent as any in the league. They need solid play from the offensive line and quarterback David Ash to offer some support, though. Both topped 100 yards in their first game of 2012, though. That was Bergeron's third 100-yard game, and Brown's fourth.

Wes Lunt, QB, Oklahoma State: I predicted Lunt would throw for 4,000 yards this year, and through no fault of his own, he's off to a slow start. Still, 4,000 yards would be enough to put the true freshman on my top 25 players list. He won't be the first true freshman to be benched in his first start, but he might be the first in a long time to be benched despite not throwing an incompletion. Why was he benched? Oklahoma State was up 35-0 at the end of the first quarter. Lunt finished 11-of-11 for 129 yards.

Shawne Alston, RB, West Virginia: Alston's anything but a young player, but he may be underrated around the league to start the season. That and a speedy, powerful running style are what Alston has in common with Baylor's Terrance Ganaway. He was an unknown a year ago, but ran for 120 yards in the opener against TCU and won the Big 12 rushing title. Alston? The senior ran for 123 yards and two scores in the 69-34 blowout win versus Marshall.

Nick Florence, QB, Baylor: Florence finally got time to prepare for being Baylor's starter. He'd been the Bears' emergency man as a freshman in 2009 and again for a half last season. He looked like a grizzled vet in his first game of 2012, complete with a beard to match. He torched SMU's defense for four touchdowns and 341 yards on 21-of-30 passing in the 59-24 win on Sunday night. Even better, coach Art Briles said that was below his usual performance. Expect big things from him.