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November 28, 2007
Only in the Big 12 can a player lead the nation in passing or receiving and still not be the viewed as the conference's best player.
But even proponents of Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell or receiver Michael Crabtree would have difficulty mounting an argument against Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel as the league's offensive player of the year.
Daniel passed for fewer yards and touchdowns, but he has led the Tigers to an 11-1 record and into the Big 12 Championship Game, where they will be seeking their first league title since 1969.
Missouri won the Big 12 North by defeating Kansas. And a big reason for the Jayhawks' success was cornerback Aqib Talib, who proved so effective that he has earned recognition as the Big 12's defensive player of the year.
Mark Mangino, who supervised Kansas' surprising season, is the coach of the year.
Rivals.com 2007 All-Big 12 First Team
QB Chase Daniel, Missouri, Jr., 6-0/225
HIGH SCHOOL: Southlake (Texas) Carroll
BUZZ: A Heisman Trophy contender and O'Brien Award finalist, he directs the nation's fifth-ranked offense and has the Tigers one win from the national championship game. He ranks fourth in the country in passing with 3,951 yards and 33 touchdowns.
RB Jamaal Charles, Texas, Jr., 6-1/200
HIGH SCHOOL: Port Arthur (Texas) Memorial
BUZZ: Charles is a Doak Walker Award semifinalist and the Big 12's leader in rushing with 1,458 yards. Charles was most effective in the last four games of the season. He rushed 736 yards and scored eight of his 16 touchdowns in those contests.
RB Dantrell Savage, Oklahoma State, Sr., 5-9/195
HIGH SCHOOL: Columbus (Ga.) Jordan
BUZZ: Though seeing no action in two of the Cowboys' first three games, Savage came on strong to post 100-yard rushing outputs in nine consecutive games. He finished second in the Big 12 in rushing with 1,172 yards.
WR Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech, Fr. (RS), 6-3/222
HIGH SCHOOL: Dallas Carter
BUZZ: Crabtree caught at least 10 passes in eight games. He set national freshmen records for single-season receptions and touchdown catches, with 125 catches for 1,861 yards and 21 touchdowns. All those totals led the nation.
WR Jordy Nelson, Kansas State, Sr., 6-3/217
HIGH SCHOOL: Riley (Kan.) Riley County
BUZZ: Ranking second in the nation with 122 receptions and 1,606 yards, Nelson averaged 13.2 yards per catch. Twice he had more than 200 receiving yards, and he exceeded 100 yards eight times.
TE Martin Rucker, Missouri, Sr., 6-6/255
HIGH SCHOOL: St. Joseph (Mo.) Benton
BUZZ: The Mackey Award finalist leads all tight ends in the country with 75 catches. He has 739 receiving yards and posted eight touchdowns. He caught at least four passes in 11 games.
OT Anthony Collins, Kansas, Jr., 6-6/300
HIGH SCHOOL: Beaumont (Texas) Central
BUZZ: An Outland Trophy finalist, he's the top lineman on the nation's sixth-ranked offense. Kansas is averaging 491 yards per game. Collins averaged nine knockdown blocks per game.
OT Tony Hills, Texas, Sr., 6-6/300
HIGH SCHOOL: Houston Alief Elsik
BUZZ: Hills was a starter in 24 consecutive games before missing the past two with a broken fibula. Hills was the top lineman for the Longhorns, who average 462 yards per game and produced the Big 12's rushing leader in Jamaal Charles.
OG David Koenig, Oklahoma State, Jr., 6-4/290
HIGH SCHOOL: Cape Coral (Fla.) High
BUZZ: Koenig led an offensive line that allowed just 11 sacks and paved the way for Savage's big season for the Cowboys.
OG Duke Robinson, Oklahoma, Jr., 6-5/352
HIGH SCHOOL: Atlanta Washington
BUZZ: The great nephew of singer Smokey Robinson, he has starred on the Sooners' offensive line. Oklahoma has allowed just 11 sacks and has produced an average of 43.1 points per game.
C Adam Spieker, Missouri, Sr., 6-3/305
HIGH SCHOOL: Webb City (Mo.) High
BUZZ: A four-year starter at center, Spieker anchors the line of an offense that ranks fourth in the nation. Behind the Spieker-led line, Missouri averages more than 170 rushing yards and 336 passing yards per game.
DE Auston English, Oklahoma, Soph., 6-3/257
HIGH SCHOOL: Canadian (Texas) High
BUZZ: Despite injuries that forced him out of three games, English leads the Big 12 conference with 9.5 sacks.
DE Nathan Peterson, Oklahoma State, Sr., 6-2/240
HIGH SCHOOL: Tulsa (Okla.) Union
BUZZ: Peterson led the Cowboys with six sacks and 14 tackles for loss. The senior also has recorded 43 tackles on the season.
DT Frank Okam, Texas, Sr., 6-5/320
HIGH SCHOOL: Richardson (Texas) Lake Highlands
BUZZ: Okam has 49 tackles, including 10 for losses, and five sacks for the No. 10 rush defense in the country. He also has four pass breakups and forced a fumble.
DT James McClinton, Kansas, Sr., 6-1/283
HIGH SCHOOL: Garland (Texas) Lakeview Centennial
BUZZ: He starred up front for the nation's seventh-ranked rushing defense. McClinton has 38 tackles, 11 for losses, and 2.5 sacks. He also had an interception and was credited with five quarterback pressures.
LB Jordon Dizon, Colorado, Sr. 6-0/225
HIGH SCHOOL: Kauai (Hawaii) Waimea
BUZZ: A Butkus Award finalist, Dizon leads the nation with 149 tackles and ranks second with 12.4 tackles per game. He finished the regular season with 18 tackles against Nebraska.
LB Curtis Lofton, Oklahoma, Jr., 6-0/235
HIGH SCHOOL: Kingfisher (Okla.) High
BUZZ: He averages 11 tackles per game to rank second in the Big 12 and ninth in the nation. He has posted double-digit tackles in eight games, has two interceptions, forced four fumbles and returned a fumble for a touchdown.
LB Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri, Soph., 6-1/240
HIGH SCHOOL: Jasper (Texas) High
BUZZ: He ranks fifth in the Big 12 with 112 tackles, 68 of which are solo stops. He also has two sacks, two forced fumbles and had eight tackles for loss.
CB Aqib Talib, Kansas, Jr., 6-2/180
HIGH SCHOOL: Richardson (Texas) Berkner
BUZZ: He ranks 11th in the nation and leads the Big 12 with 17 pass breakups. Talib has also recorded four interceptions and 61 tackles this season. He has also played some wide receiver for the Jayhawks.
CB Terrence Wheatley, Colorado, Sr., 5-10/175
HIGH SCHOOL: Plano (Texas) East
BUZZ: Wheatley has five interceptions and 10 pass breakups despite missing two games with injury. He has 42 tackles on the season.
SS Pig Brown, Missouri, Sr., 5-11/205
HIGH SCHOOL: Adel (Ga.) Cook
BUZZ: Although an injury ended his season after eight games, Brown still notched 70 tackles (eight for losses), three interceptions, four pass breakups and two fumble recoveries. Brown returned one of those fumbles for a touchdown.
FS William Moore, Missouri, Jr., 6-1/220
HIGH SCHOOL: Hayti (Mo.) High
BUZZ: Moore leads the Big 12 with seven interceptions, including one against Kansas in the win that clinched the North Division. He also ranks second among Missouri tacklers with 89 stops.
K Brooks Rossman, Kansas State, Jr., 6-0/178
HIGH SCHOOL: Los Alamitos (Calif.) High
BUZZ: Rossman led the Big 12 with 22 field goals in 28 attempts. He was 18 of 19 from inside 40 yards and has a long kick from 52 yards.
P Tim Reyer, Kansas State, Sr., 5-8/211
HIGH SCHOOL: Wamego (Kan.) Rock Creek
BUZZ: A Ray Guy Award semifinalist, Reyer led the Big 12 with a 44.5-yard average. He had 17 punts that covered at least 50 yards and put 22 inside the opponent's 20-yard line.
KR DeMarco Murray, Oklahoma, Fr. (RS), 6-0/191
HIGH SCHOOL: Las Vegas Bishop Gorman
BUZZ: Murray averaged 29.3 yards on 15 kickoff returns. He brought two back for touchdowns and has a long return of 91 yards.
PR Deon Murphy, Kansas State, Jr., 5-10/170
HIGH SCHOOL: Houston Klein Forest
BUZZ: Murphy led the Big 12 with a 17.5-yard average on 26 returns. He had a long effort of 80 yards and a touchdown.
ALL-PURPOSE Jeremy Maclin, Missouri, Fr. (RS), 6-1/185
HIGH SCHOOL: Kirkwood (Mo.) High
BUZZ: Ranking second in the country in all-purpose yardage with 2,509, Maclin is a huge reason the Tigers won their first Big 12 North Division crown and are contending for the national title. He has caught 69 passes for 954 yards and nine touchdowns, has rushed for 309 yards and four touchdowns and returned a punt and a kickoff for scores.
Rivals.com 2007 All-Big 12 Second Team
QB Graham Harrell, Texas Tech, Jr., 6-2/196
HIGH SCHOOL: Ennis (Texas) High
BUZZ: He's just the sixth player in NCAA history to pass for more than 5,000 yards in a single season. Harrell has thrown for 5,298 yards and 45 touchdowns this season.
RB James Johnson, Kansas State, Sr., 5-11/200
HIGH SCHOOL: Port Arthur (Texas) Memorial
BUZZ: Johnson ranks third among Big 12 rushers with 1,106 yards. He averaged 6.4 yards per carry and scored 12 touchdowns.
RB Brandon McAnderson, Kansas, Sr., 5-10/235
HIGH SCHOOL: Lawrence (Kan.) High
BUZZ: McAnderson eased the loss of 2006 Big 12 rushing leader Jon Cornish by gaining 1,050 yards and averaging 6 yards per carry. He has scored 16 touchdowns, including 10 in conference play, and also caught 20 passes.
WR Danny Amendola, Texas Tech, Sr., 5-11/181
HIGH SCHOOL: The Woodlands (Texas) High
BUZZ: He ranks third in the Big 12 and fourth in the nation with 103 receptions for 1,177 yards. He also scored five touchdowns. He has at least six catches in each of his past seven games.
WR Marcus Henry, Kansas, Sr., 6-4/210
HIGH SCHOOL: Lawton (Okla.) Eisenhower
BUZZ: Henry averaged 19.1 yards per reception on 52 catches. He also scored nine touchdowns. He has six touchdown receptions in the past four games.
TE Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma, Soph., 6-6/250
HIGH SCHOOL: Ardmore (Okla.) High
BUZZ: Gresham averaged 14.1 yards on 32 receptions and caught 10 touchdown passes. He had four scoring grabs against Texas A&M and two against Texas.
OT Tyler Luellen, Missouri, Sr., 6-7/295
HIGH SCHOOL: Bethany (Mo.) South Harrison
BUZZ: Luellen proved to be a steady four-year starter for a Tigers offense that averages more than 500 yards per game and ranks fifth in the nation.
OT Phil Loadholt, Oklahoma, Jr., 6-8/350
HIGH SCHOOL: Fort Carson (Calif.) Fountain
BUZZ: He's a solid blocker for a line that has allowed just 10 sacks and paves the way for an offense that averages more than 454 yards per game.
OG Matt Slauson, Nebraska, Jr., 6-5/335
HIGH SCHOOL: Colorado Springs (Colo.) Air Force Prep
BUZZ: He had a solid season for a team that didn't have many bright spots. He's the top blocker for an offense that averaged 468 yards.
OG Louis Vasquez, Texas Tech, Jr., 6-6/341
HIGH SCHOOL: Corsicana (Texas) High
BUZZ: Vasquez is the top lineman for an offense that averages 41.8 points and 537 yards per game.
C Cody Wallace, Texas A&M, Sr., 6-4/294
HIGH SCHOOL: Cuero (Texas) High
BUZZ: Wallace, a three-year starter, has been the most consistent lineman on an offense that ranks second in the Big 12 in rushing.
DE Stryker Sulak, Missouri, Jr., 6-5/240
HIGH SCHOOL: Rockdale (Texas) High
BUZZ: Sulak has 48 tackles, with nine tackles for losses and six sacks. He also has an interception, four pass breakups and three forced fumbles.
DE Brandon Williams, Texas Tech, Soph., 6-4/244
HIGH SCHOOL: Fort Worth(Texas) South Hills
BUZZ: Williams has 14 tackles for losses, including five sacks. He also forced three fumbles for an inconsistent defense.
DT George Hypolite, Colorado, Jr., 6-1/285
HIGH SCHOOL: Los Angeles Loyola
BUZZ: Hypolite finished the regular season with 44 tackles, including 34 solo stops. He also had six sacks and was credited with six quarterback pressures.
DT DeMarcus Granger, Oklahoma, Soph., 6-3/300
HIGH SCHOOL: Dallas Kimball
BUZZ: Granger proved to be a solid run-stuffer for the Big 12's top rushing defense. Granger has 30 tackles, including eight for losses. He also has been credited with 3.5 sacks and eight quarterback pressures.
LB Joe Pawelek, Baylor, Soph., 6-2/231
HIGH SCHOOL: Spring Branch (Texas) Smithson Valley
BUZZ: The Bears didn't have much to be happy about this season, but Pawelek's play stood out. He had 99 tackles and forced three fumbles to lead the Bears.
LB Joe Mortensen, Kansas, Jr., 6-1/245
HIGH SCHOOL: Concord (Calif.) Clayton Valley
BUZZ: Mortensen leads the Jayhawks with 98 tackles, including 13 against Missouri. He is tied for the Big 12 lead in tackles for losses with 14.
LB Alvin Bowen, Iowa State, Sr., 6-2/216
HIGH SCHOOL: East Orange (N.J.) Montclair
BUZZ: Bowen led the Big 12 and ranked fourth in the nation in forced fumbles with five. He also had 99 tackles and 12.5 tackles for loss.
CB Reggie Smith, Oklahoma, Jr., 6-1/190
HIGH SCHOOL: Edmond (Okla.) Santa Fe
BUZZ: Smith ranks third on the Sooners team with 74 tackles. He's among the Big 12 leaders with 13 pass breakups and also has three interceptions.
CB Brandon Foster, Texas, Sr., 5-9/180
HIGH SCHOOL: Arlington (Texas) Bowie
BUZZ: Foster was credited with 11 pass breakups and had three interceptions. He also had 62 tackles and recovered two fumbles.
SS D.J. Wolfe, Oklahoma, Sr., 6-0/196
HIGH SCHOOL: Eisenhower (Lawton, Okla.) Eisenhower
BUZZ: Wolfe is fourth among OU tacklers with 72 stops. He also leads the team with four interceptions and has recovered two fumbles.
FS Jordan Lake, Baylor, Soph., 6-2/203
HIGH SCHOOL: Houston Memorial
BUZZ: Lake posted a team-high 120 tackles, with two interceptions and six pass breakups. He also forced two fumbles.
K Kevin Eberhart, Colorado, Sr., 5-11/195
HIGH SCHOOL: Broomfield (Colo.) High
BUZZ: Eberhart is 15 of 23 on field-goal attempts, and has made two 50-plus-yard kicks. He also kicked game-winning field goals against Colorado State and Oklahoma.
P Matt Fodge, Oklahoma State, Jr., 6-1/195
HIGH SCHOOL: Garland (Texas) High
BUZZ: He averages 42.8 yards on 48 kicks, with a long effort of 65 yards. He had 13 punts killed inside the 20.
KR Marcus Herford, Kansas, Jr., 6-1/205
HIGH SCHOOL: Cedar Hill (Texas) High
BUZZ: He leads the Big 12 with a 30-yard average on 28 returns. His longest return covered 88 yards, and he returned two for touchdowns.
PR Perrish Cox, Oklahoma State, Soph., 6-1/185
HIGH SCHOOL: Waco (Texas) University
BUZZ: Cox returned 17 punts for an 11.1 average. That included a touchdown.
ALL-PURPOSE Hugh Charles, Colorado, Sr., 5-8/190
HIGH SCHOOL: Keller (Texas) High
BUZZ: He has rushed for 989 yards, caught 24 passes for 233 yards and returned 14 kickoffs for 364 yards.
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