The top 25 players in the Big 12: No. 17

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. 17: Tevin Reese, WR, Baylor

2012 numbers: Caught 53 passes for 957 yards and nine touchdowns. Also had four carries for 21 yards.

Most recent ranking: Reese was unranked in our postseason list of the Big 12's top 25 players.

Making the case for Reese: I don't know why, time and time again, safeties seemed to underestimate Reese's speed. The 5-foot-10, 165-pounder got over the top of defenses as much as any receiver not named Terrance Williams in the Big 12 last season. With big-armed Bryce Petty stepping into a starting role this season, there's a good chance he'll do it again. Reese's eight catches for longer than 40 yards last season are the most for any returning player in the league, and he'll showcase again why he has a case as the fastest player in the Big 12.

With Williams gone, he has to prove he can shoulder more responsibility in the passing game. But with Jay Lee, Antwan Goodley and Levi Norwood still around, as well as newcomer Robbie Rhodes, he'll have plenty of help to distract defenses from keying in on him and stopping him from getting beyond the last line of defense.

The Bears love to stretch the field and make defenses cover as much ground as possible, and Reese is the guy who should help them do it most this season. He averaged almost 20 yards a catch and among players with at least 30 catches last season, he averaged over a yard and a half more per catch than any other receiver in the league.

The rest of the list: