Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NCF Nation [Print without images]

Thursday, February 17, 2011
Non-AQ Top 25 Players: No. 22

By Andrea Adelson

It is never easy when you are one of the so-called “big uglies” playing on the offensive line. Recognition is generally hard to come by, since the only time anyone notices is when you give up a sack. This list only has one offensive lineman, and he is a dandy.

Jake Kirkpatrick
TCU center Jake Kirkpatrick, shown celebrating a win against SMU, won the Rimington Trophy, given annually to the best center in college football.
No. 22 Jake Kirkpatrick, C, TCU

The steadying force of the TCU offensive line has been Kirkpatrick the past two seasons. But 2010 was his finest season, as he won the Rimington Trophy, given annually to the best center in college football. He became the first non-AQ player to win the award, after helping the Horned Frogs rank No. 10 in the nation in rushing offense. Not only that, TCU only gave up nine sacks all season, tying for fifth in the country. He obviously is a big reason why Ed Wesley and Matthew Tucker had great seasons running the ball, and why Andy Dalton was able to stay upright and lead TCU into the Rose Bowl. TCU has plenty of players to replace in 2011, and you can make the argument that Kirkpatrick will be one of the toughest because of his steadying presence on the offensive line.

No. 23 Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple

No. 24 Bobby Rainey, RB, Western Kentucky

No. 25 Roosevelt Nix, DT, Kent State