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Top-10 player spring update: Kansas State

Last week we began evaluating the 10 best players currently on every Big 12 roster.

We continue the series today with the Kansas State Wildcats, who were the final team to open spring camp:

1. SS Dante Barnett: Barnett was a second-team All-Big 12 selection last year after finishing second on the defense with 77 tackles. Barnett is the glue of the Wildcats' defense, reminiscent of former K-State All-American safety Ty Zimmerman.

2. DT Travis Britz: Britz is back practicing with the Wildcats this spring after injuring his ankle late last season. He will be a three-year starter, having earned honorable mention All-Big 12 honors the previous two seasons.

3. CB Danzel McDaniel: The hardest hitting cornerback in the league, McDaniel is superb in run support. He and Barnett lead the way for one of the most physical secondaries in the Big 12.

4. OT Cody Whitehair: Whitehair started out his career at guard, but successfully slid to left tackle last season. With so much production gone from the offense, the Wildcats will lean on Whitehair to provide stability in pass protection for the changing of the guard at quarterback.

5. CB Morgan Burns: Burns was a dogged defender opposite McDaniel last year in his first as a starter. He also could take over for Tyler Lockett as the primary kickoff returner.

6. FB Glenn Gronkowski: Just like his older New England Patriots brother, "Gronk" is a hard-nosed, versatile fullback who doubles as a capable pass-catcher. The Wildcats figure to rely on the All-Big 12 fullback even more in 2015 with so much inexperience elsewhere offensively.

7. K Matthew McCrane: After taking over for Jack Cantele, McCrane was a revelation as a true freshman placekicker. He connected on 18 of 19 field goals to lead the nation in field goal percentage while earning Freshman All-America honors.

8. LB Elijah Lee: Lee was one of the top true freshman defenders in the Big 12 last year, and tied for second on the team with 4.5 sacks as a pass-rushing specialist. He should play a much bigger role on the defense as a sophomore.

9. RB Charles Jones: Jones currently tops the depth chart at running back after splitting duties in 2014 with DeMarcus Robinson, who has since graduated. Jones, however, will have to improve upon his 4.06 yards-per-carry average (21st in the Big 12 last year) to hold off touted freshmen Dalvin Warmack and Alex Barnes.

10. QB Joe Hubener: The heir apparent to Jake Waters, Hubener is entering his fourth year in the program. He could lock up the starting job this spring over Jesse Ertz and freshman Alex Delton. Hubener is cut from the mold of past K-State QBs, with the size (6-foot-4, 205 pounds) to be a physical runner.