Explosive Murray ranks as No. 11 player in Big 12

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

No. 11

DeMarco Murray blossomed in his first full season as a starter for Oklahoma, becoming the most productive running back in Sooner history in terms of total yardage.

Murray and Chris Brown form the conference's most feared rushing attack. And while it's reasonable to wonder what either of them could do as a featured back, the fact that they are a combination probably boosts the overall production.

After struggling early last season, Murray blossomed late in the year. And his injury that occurred on the opening kickoff of the Big 12 championship game had some catastrophic effects for the Sooners as he was unable to play in the BCS title game.

Oklahoma fans always will wonder how the Sooners would have fared if Murray had been healthy for that game. But he'll have a chance to make his claim as one of Oklahoma's greatest backs as he runs behind a retooled offensive line.

Player: DeMarco Murray
Team: Oklahoma
Position: Running back/kick returner
Vitals: 6-foot-1, 205 pounds; Jr.; Las Vegas, Nev. (Bishop Gorman)

Why he was picked: One of the nation's most explosive running threats, Murray rushed for 1,002 yards and 14 touchdowns last season and also added 31 receptions for 395 yards and returned 28 kickoffs for 774 yards. Murray is the fastest Sooner (4.42 time in the 40-yard dash) and has incredible burst as a rusher and receiver. He amassed a school-record 2,171 total yards last season and rushed for 100 yards in five games last season.

What 2009 will hold: Murray likely will never be able to pile up yards like many featured backs because of the presence of Brown. But he still provides Oklahoma with a legitimate breakaway threat every time he touches the ball. It will be interesting to see both run behind a line that will feature four new starters. Big seasons by both Oklahoma backs will be critical if the Sooners are able to challenge for an unprecedented fourth-straight Big 12 title.

The countdown:

12. Oklahoma State T Russell Okung
13. Texas DE-LB Sergio Kindle
14. Oklahoma T Trent Williams
15. Missouri LB Sean Weatherspoon
16. Baylor LB Joe Pawelek
17. Oklahoma State QB Zac Robinson
18. Texas WR-KR Jordan Shipley
19. Oklahoma RB Chris Brown
20. Nebraska I-back Roy Helu Jr.
21. Texas Tech DT Colby Whitlock
22. Kansas WR-KR Dezmon Briscoe
23. Oklahoma DE Jeremy Beal
24. Kansas S Darrell Stuckey
25. Texas Tech RB Baron Batch
26. Kansas QB-WR Kerry Meier
27. Texas T Adam Ulatoski
28. Oklahoma State LB 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-KR 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