Ranking the Big 12's top 25 players: No. 7

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.

We're in the top 10 now, so it's about to get heated, I'm sure. If you've got complaints, I've got a mailbag. Let's hear it.

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. 7: Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State

2012 numbers: Made 100 tackles, seven tackles for loss and intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown. Broke up four more passes and had a sack.

Most recent ranking: Brown was ranked No. 5 in our preseason list of the Big 12's top 25 players.

Making the case for Brown: Brown is a big-time playmaker and one of the scariest defenders in the Big 12. The Miami transfer was everything Kansas State hoped he would be and more after leaving South Beach. The blue-chip recruit has a rare blend of speed and physicality, even if he's slightly undersized for his position at 6-foot-1 and 231 pounds. He developed into the heart of Kansas State's defense, and earned All-American honors along the way in both of his seasons in Manhattan. The Wichita native is the Big 12's surest tackler and even if he's completely on the other side of the field, he'll sprint like crazy across the field and make plays you never thought he'd be able to make. No other linebacker in the Big 12 can do that. Brown's cover skills are also strong, which paid off in the pass-happy Big 12, which requires linebackers to be able to line up in space against a receiver periodically. Brown can lay the boom when necessary (ask Sooners receiver Trey Metoyer), but the thing he's always done best is tackle in space. I'd surmise that Brown misses fewer tackles than any defender in the Big 12. When he closes in on a ballcarrier, he's going to get a hold of him and bring him down. You've got to shut down yards after catch and yards after contact to be a great defense in this league, and Brown helped Kansas State do exactly that for the past two seasons as the league's best linebacker.

The rest of the list: