Ranking the Top 25 Big 12 players: No. 24

The official list of the Big 12's top 25 players is locked away in a vault in an undisclosed location, but we're revealing the list day by day here on the blog. Here's a refresher on my exact criteria.

No. 24: Emmanuel Acho, LB, Texas

2010 numbers: Had 81 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and three sacks. He also broke up two passes, forced two fumbles, recovered a fumble and returned his lone interception 57 yards for a touchdown.

Most recent ranking: Acho was unranked in our postseason list of the Big 12's top 25 players.

Making the case for Acho: Big brother Sam was in the top 10 of our postseason list and just outside it in the preseason, but Emmanuel cracks the list for the first time heading into his senior season. Acho should be one of the defense's leaders in new coordinator Manny Diaz's system, and emerged as one of its top playmakers in 2010.

Sam Acho turned in an All-American effort in a frustrating season for the Longhorns, and expect the same kind of effort and character from Emmanuel. His 81 stops were second on the team in 2010, and the 6-foot-2, 240-pounder is among the league's most physical players. He was a first-year starter as a junior last season, and finished the year with second-team All-Big 12 honors.

The rest of the list:

  • No. 25: Zaviar Gooden, LB, Missouri