Ranking the Big 12's top 25 players: No. 13

We’re continuing our countdown of the Big 12's top 25 players from the 2012 season. Here's more on my criteria for the list. You can take a peek at how the preseason list looked here.

The official list is locked away in a vault in an undisclosed location, but we'll be revealing one player a day moving forward.

On with the show ...

No. 13: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

2012 numbers: Made 96 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, intercepted two passes, broke up five passes and forced two fumbles.

Most recent ranking: Vaccaro was ranked No. 8 in our preseason list of the Big 12's top 25 players.

Making the case for Vaccaro: Vaccaro made his name early in his career as one of the Big 12's biggest hitters, but he was the league's best safety this past season and kept on pounding ball carriers, too. The 6-foot-1, 218-pounder made an immediate impression on defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. Texas' defense was a bit underwhelming this past season, but Vaccaro was solid. The team captain ranked ninth in the Big 12 in tackles and had double-digit stops in two of Texas' final three games. One of his biggest strengths is his versatility, too. He'll probably spend more time as a traditional safety in the NFL, but he was a big playmaker near the line of scrimmage and in run support for the Longhorns. He moved around a lot, but one thing was certain: Wherever he was, offenses made sure to find him and keep an eye on where he was headed.

The rest of the list: