The college football season is almost here and it is time to begin ranking the Top 25 players in the Big 12 Conference. A reminder for all fans: This is not a “returning” Top 25 list. It is who we think will be the Top 25 players in the Big 12 this upcoming season. It’s a razor-thin margin between 25 and 15 and there is plenty to debate. This list was put together by Pete Mundo and Derek Duke. So let’s get right to it.
No. 25: Ross Blacklock, TCU DT
Blacklock could be returning as one of the top players in the Big 12, but he suffered a season-ending injury last August and did not play the entire season. Blacklock burst onto the scene as a redshirt freshman in 2017 with 27 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and two sacks in 14 games. At 6’4”, 330 pounds, he has the size and skill that you don’t often see from defensive tackles across the country, nevermind in the Big 12 recently. If Blacklock lives up to his potential, by the end of the season, the No. 25 spot may end up very low.
No. 24: Charlie Brewer, Baylor QB
Brewer enters his junior season with over 20 games played under his belt. If he can get better offensive line play, then he really could take off as one of the best quarterbacks in the Big 12. Last season he threw 19 touchdowns to nine interceptions, with 3,000 passing yards, while rushing for nearly 400. He’s underrated from a dual-threat perspective as well. Baylor is a sneaky team to watch this year and if they take that next step as a program, Brewer will be a big reason why.
No. 23: Marcel Spears, Iowa State LB
Spears gets ready for his senior season as one of the leaders of what should be the best defense in the Big 12 Conference. He was an Honorable Mention All-Big 12 selection in 2018 after starting all 13 games, ranking fifth on the team in tackles with 69, and finishing with eight tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, and was tied for the team lead with three takeaways. With Willie Harvey gone, Spears is the obvious leader of this unit and should not be overlooked.
No. 22: Alan Bowman, Texas Tech QB
He came into Texas Tech as an undervalued three-star prospect and after some tutelage from Kliff Kingsbury, he’s one of the most-talked about players in the Big 12, and when the season ends, he could be one of the most talked about players in the country. Bowman is a gunslinger and new coach Matt Wells is lucky to walk into a situation where he has his quarterback of the next three seasons, who already has several games played under his belt. His 69.4% completion percentage was the highest at Texas Tech since Seth Doege in 2012. Now, Red Raider Nation needs to cross its fingers and hope he can stay healthy after dealing with a collapse lung last season.
No. 21: A.J. Green, Oklahoma State CB
Green doesn’t get much attention because, well, he’s a defensive player at Oklahoma State. Green consistently matched up against some of the best receivers in the Big 12 and ranked among the conference leaders in passes broken up with 11. His best games came against Texas’ Collin Johnson and West Virginia’s David Sills, who were two of the best wide receivers in the country last season. At 6’1”, he has the length that the NFL is now looking for in its cornerbacks. After earning second-team All-Big 12 honors last season, look for him to be on the first-team list when 2019 comes to an end.
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