The top 25 players in the Big 12: No. 5

We're counting down to the beginning of the season with the top 25 players in the Big 12. The official list is locked away in a vault in an undisclosed location, but we'll be revealing players from the bottom of the list all the way to No. 1.

Here's more on my criteria.

Let's move on with the list:

No. 5: Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor

2012 numbers: Carried the ball 131 times for 1,012 yards and seven touchdowns. Caught nine passes for 107 yards and a touchdown.

Most recent ranking: Seastrunk was No. 19 in our postseason list of the Big 12's top 25 players.

Making the case for Seastrunk: Nursing a healthy lead in the waning minutes of a blowout win over SMU in the 2012 season opener, Baylor finally gave Seastrunk a chance to get his first taste of college football. I was on the sidelines and watched him scamper for an impressive 34-yard run in the second carry of his college football career.

Meaningless as it may have been, I couldn't help but wonder, "Man, what could happen if Baylor committed to really giving him the ball?"

Come November, the Bears finally did. Just a few months later, Seastrunk emerged as the Big 12's best hope for the Heisman Trophy in 2013. Baylor went 5-1 in its final six games, and Seastrunk averaged just over 138 yards a game over that stretch, earning an unlikely 1,000-yard season that began November with just over 200 yards. Seastrunk averaged 8.22 yards a touch in his 101 carries over that six-game stretch. Only Kent State's Dri Archer surpassed that among players with at least 100 carries.

Seastrunk's mouth, mind and legs are all equally ambitious, looking to turn a two-yard run into 50 by bouncing outside perhaps a bit too often and talking about winning the Heisman Trophy after the season. He's improving on that tendency, earning the tough yards and saving his insane change of direction skills and loose hips for the second and third levels of opposing defenses.

Seastrunk won't be waiting until November to make headlines this time around.

The rest of the list: