On3 Sports’ Jesse Simonton recently ranked the top 10 players in the Big 12 Conference, giving nods to seven schools including Kansas State, Texas, Kansas, TCU, BYU, West Virginia, and Oklahoma in the process.
While the list features multiple representatives with some schools even earning multiple bids, Kansas State’s fifth-year offensive lineman Cooper Beebe earned the top spot as the Big 12 Conference’s best player.
The next four players behind Beebe belong to the Texas Longhorns and the Kansas Jayhawks. Three Longhorns earned spots in the top five with wide receiver Xavier Worthy earning the No. 2 spot, linebacker Jaylan Ford earning the No. 3 honors, and tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders rounding out the top five in fifth.
Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year Jalon Daniels checked in between Ford and Sanders in the fourth spot which Simonton backed up by saying, “Daniels found himself on some of the early Heisman Trophy watchlists last season after leading Kansas to a 5-0 start before getting injured in the loss to TCU. Daniels was able to return to action after missing four games, finishing the season with 2,500 total yards, 25 touchdowns, and just four picks. Back healthy and surrounded by more returning production than any other offense in the country this fall, the dizzying scrambler should have a monster senior season working with Lance Leipold again.”
The final five spots on the list belong to representatives from Texas, TCU, BYU, West Virginia, and Oklahoma with five players all deserving of more hype heading into the 2023 season.
The back five consists of a mixture of three offensive linemen, one defensive back, and one quarterback. The offensive linemen earning selections are Texas’ Kelvin Banks, BYU’s Kingsley Saumataia, and West Virginia’s Zach Frazier. The lone DB on the list earning some well-earned praise is TCU’s Josh Newton, while Oklahoma’s Dillon Gabriel joins Jalon Daniels as the only two quarterbacks on Simonton’s list.
Banks kicks off the back five with the No. 6 spot, followed closely behind by TCU’s Josh Newton at seven. BYU’s Kingsley Saumataia earned the eighth spot just one position higher than West Virginia center Zach Frazier. Simonton wrapped his list up by slotting Dillon Gabriel as the tenth-ranked player in the Big 12 and backed his stance up by highlighting productivity in Norman.
“Gabriel has battled a variety of injuries at both Oklahoma and UCF, but when available, the undersized quarterback has been one of the most productive players at his position the last several seasons,” Simonton said. “In his first year with the Sooners, Gabriel threw for more than 3,100 yards, with 25 touchdowns and a 63% completion. The fifth-year senior has over 11,200 passing yards and 109 total touchdowns during his career.”
While it’s anyone’s guess as to who will rank in the top 10 at the end of the season, Jesse Simonton’s list will get folks talking no matter how accurate it may or may not be.