Today is Day 11 of our countdown of the Big 12's 25 best players entering the 2010 season. The full results are locked in a vault in an undisclosed location, but we'll be revealing one player per day until we reach the top of the list.
Remember, this isn't a list of the top-25 NFL prospects in the league. It's heavily weighted toward actual accomplishment in players' college careers, as well as the likely impact for their teams in the 2010 season.
No. 15: Sam Acho, DE, Texas
2009 numbers: Tied for seventh in the Big 12 in sacks (7). Tied for tenth in the Big 12 with 13 tackles for loss. Also made 59 tackles.
Most recent ranking: Acho was unranked in last offseason's ranking of the conference's top 40 players.
Making the case for Acho: In his first season as starter, Acho earned All-Big 12 honorable mention and was a semifinalist for the Lott Trophy. His combination of size and speed on the edge sets him apart from the players with similar production at his position. Few players in college football can move like Acho does at 6-foot-3 and 260 pounds. The Dallas native could be a dark horse candidate for Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, and will be counted on for more production in a defense that should rank among the nation's best. Last year, with future NFL draft picks Lamarr Houston and Sergio Kindle lining up beside him, he wasn't required to be a playmaker. This year the Longhorns will look to him to make some plays.
The rest of the list:
No. 16: Roy Helu, Jr., RB, Nebraska
No. 17: Curtis Brown, CB, Texas
No. 18: Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri
No. 21: Tim Barnes, C, Missouri
No. 22: Brian Duncan, LB, Texas Tech
No. 24: Tanner Hawkinson, OT, Kansas
No. 25: Blake Gideon, S, Texas