With signing day quickly approaching, it’s time to close the chapter on the 2013 season. We’re counting down the top 25 players in the Big 12 in 2013 over the next few days with a list collaboratively selected by Jake Trotter, Brandon Chatmon and Max Olson. We continue the postseason countdown with the No. 20 player in the Big 12.
No. 20: Ryan Mueller, DE, Kansas State
Previous ranking: Mueller was not ranked in the blog’s preseason list of the Big 12’s top 25 players.
Making the case for Mueller: An afternoon watching Kansas State’s defense meant an afternoon watching Mueller pop up in opponents' backfields. His competitive nature, athleticism and relentless motor were difficult for offensive lines to handle in 2013.
Mueller finished with 11.5 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss, finishing second in the Big 12 in both categories. His three-sack performance against Texas Tech was a terrific example of how a relentless defensive lineman can impact a game.
The junior is undersized, overlooked and underappreciated outside of Manhattan, Kan. Yet his production is second to none and he was one of the driving forces that helped the Wildcats finish second in the Big 12 and No. 15 among FBS teams with 6.24 yards per pass attempt allowed.