Ranking the Top 25 Big 12 players: No. 12

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. 12: Jamell Fleming, CB, Oklahoma

2010 numbers: Intercepted five passes, the most among returning Big 12 players. Also made 71 tackles (49 solo), 8.5 tackles for loss and a sack. Broke up 14 passes, the most in the Big 12 in 2010.

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

Making the case for Fleming: He sat out the spring, but since his return in fall camp, he's drawn only rave reviews and seems likely to supplant Gabe Lynn as the starter at cornerback opposite Demontre Hurst.

Fleming is a playmaker with the ball in the air, and like Prince Amukamara in 2010, he might see far fewer balls thrown his way in 2011. He's proved his worth in coverage, and is a part of the league's best group of cornerbacks.

His first year as a starter began with a rough outing against Utah State, but he was rolling by midseason, helping shut down Christian Ponder early in the season in a lopsided Sooner win.

The 5-foot-11, 191-pounder's presence gives a big boost to a Sooner defense dealing with the loss of Travis Lewis, but cornerback is one spot Oklahoma won't have to worry about, thanks to Fleming's return.

The rest of the list: