Top Big 12 players: Honorable mention

Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph has a bright future but just missed the cut to make our top 25 players in the Big 12. Brett Deering/Getty Images

Today, we begin our Big 12 top 25 player countdown for the 2015 season. Unfortunately, we could only include 25 players, even though several more were deserving. Here’s a list of the seven players we most strongly considered for the top 25 list but ultimately just missed the cut:

Kamari Cotton-Moya, S, Iowa State: The reigning Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year, Cotton-Moya led the Cyclones with 77 tackles last season.

Derrick Kindred, S, TCU: Kindred has operated without much fanfare playing in the shadows of Kevin White, Chris Hackett and Sam Carter. With those three gone, Kindred is now the leader in the TCU defensive backfield.

Danzel McDaniel, CB, Kansas State: There’s no better tackling cornerback in the league than McDaniel, who was solid covering the pass last season, too.

Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State: Rudolph was tremendous in just three starts last season as a true freshman after having his redshirt pulled.

Jordan Sterns, S, Oklahoma State: The Cowboys’ hard-hitting enforcer led all Big 12 defensive backs last season with 103 tackles in his debut as a starter.

Duke Thomas, CB, Texas: The Longhorns are hoping their lone preseason All-Big 12 selection can anchor a talented but young defensive backfield.

Taylor Young, LB, Baylor: Young earned All-Big 12 and freshman All-American honors after starting Baylor’s final eight games last season, racking up 92 tackles.