Top 25 players in the Big 12: No. 9

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. 9 player in the Big 12.

No. 9: Ahmad Dixon, S, Baylor

Previous ranking: Dixon was not ranked in the blog’s preseason list of the Big 12’s top 25 players.

Making the case for Dixon: A true leader of a Baylor defense that enjoyed a serious rise in 2013, Dixon moved over from his nickel “Bear” role and shined as a safety in his senior season.

His stats were solid -- 81 tackles, six pass breakups, one interception -- but if you watched this Baylor team, you recognized he was a game-changer. Opposing coaches knew that, and it was no surprise that Dixon was named a first-team All-American by the AFCA in addition to his consensus All-Big 12 honors.

In the Bears defense, Dixon played the role of the hit man. At times that led to penalties (and an ejection against TCU) but that enforcer mentality made Dixon a major weapon in defensive coordinator Phil Bennett’s scheme, and the Waco, Texas, native played up to the potential he showed as one of the nation’s top recruits.

He’s as passionate and hard-nosed a player as Baylor had during its resurgence, and, love him or hate him, any Big 12 program would have wanted him patrolling their secondary this season.

The rest of the list: