ESPN.com has taken on the monumental task of ranking the top 100 players in college football going into the 2014 season. The rankings were done based on the expected contributions of each player for the 2014 season, regardless of position.
The first 40 players have already been released. Today, the unveiling continued with Nos. 60-41.
Here are the Big 12 players that made the third installment:
No. 42: TCU DE Devonte Fields
No. 49: Kansas State WR Tyler Lockett
No. 52: Oklahoma LB Eric Striker
Striker and Lockett are two of the most explosive players in the Big 12.
Lockett was virtually unstoppable at times last season, hauling in 237 receiving yards against Texas and 278 against Oklahoma. He also capped off a tremendous season with three touchdown receptions in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl against Michigan. With Jake Waters settled in at quarterback, Lockett could put up even bigger numbers in 2014, which is a scary thought for Big 12 defenses.
Speaking of scary, Striker figures to be one of the most feared pass rushers in the country after a breakout sophomore campaign. He sacked Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron three times in the Allstate Sugar Bowl and forced the game-clinching fumble late in the game.
It would have been a crime had Lockett or Striker been left off the top 100.
It will be interesting to see if Fields sees the field at all this season. The voting for the top 100 players was done before Fields was arrested on allegations of assaulting his ex-girlfriend. TCU has since “separated” from Fields, pending the outcome of the case. For that reason, we actually didn’t include Fields in our top 25 ranking of Big 12 players.
By the way, this national list, which was compiled by the entire ESPN.com college football team, won’t necessarily line up with our top 25 ranking of Big 12 players, which was compiled exclusively by Brandon Chatmon, Max Olson, and myself.
Make sure to track the top 100 rankings the remainder of the week, as there will be Big 12 players in the final two parts, as well.
Coming Thursday: Nos. 40-21.