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Kansas S Darrell Stuckey ranks as No. 24 among Big 12 players

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

No. 24

Stuckey Darrell Stuckey blossomed late last season into one of the conference's top defensive players.

And that's saying something. He produced two interceptions and forced and recovered a fumble to key the Jayhawks' upset over Missouri. And those big plays came on top of a team-high six tackles.

Despite many challenges, Stuckey has developed into one of the best defensive backs in the league after two seasons as a starter for the Jayhawks.

Player: Darrell Stuckey
Team: Kansas
Position: Safety
Vitals: 6-foot-1, 205 pounds; Sr.; Kansas City, Kan. (Washington)

Why he was picked: Stuckey's proficiency as a pass defender enabled him to become the Jayhawks' lone All-Big 12 selection last season. He was picked as the Jayhawks' best special teams player and shared their leadership award with quarterback Todd Reesing. Stuckey ranked second on the team in tackles with 98 tackles -- the most by a Kansas defensive back since 2003. He led the team with five interceptions and had seven pass deflections to rank second on his team.

What 2009 will hold: Stuckey already is one of the Jayhawks' primary team leaders. He needs to push that up a notch for a developing Kansas defensive unit that will be missing all three starting linebackers and will need help from a retooled defensive front. It will be up to that defense to provide the improvement necessary to enable the Jayhawks to challenge for their first Big 12 North title in history.

25. Texas Tech RB Baron Batch
26. Kansas WR-QB Kerry Meier
27. Texas T Adam Ulatoski
28. Oklahoma State S Andre Sexton
29. Missouri G Kurtis Gregory
30. Missouri RB Derrick Washington
31. Texas Tech LB Brian Duncan
32. Texas S Earl Thomas
33. Kansas State WR Brandon Banks
34. Oklahoma LB Keenan Clayton
35. Baylor S Jordan Lake
36. Oklahoma State CB/KR Perrish Cox
37. Texas C Chris Hall
38. Texas Tech DE/DT McKinner Dixon
39. Kansas State DE Brandon Harold
40. Oklahoma FB Matt Clapp