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2015 Big 12 true freshman rankings

Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson was named Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year. Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports

With the regular season over, we’ve come up with our Big 12 true freshman rankings.

This list includes five ESPN true freshman All-Americans and several others who look destined for big things.

So without further ado, the Big 12's top 10 true freshmen of 2015:

1. Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas: The Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year, Jefferson finished off a fantastic first season with 61 tackles and seven tackles for loss while becoming one of the engines of the Longhorns defense. Possessing natural instincts that can't be taught, Jefferson already appears to be a star in the making.

2. KaVontae Turpin, WR, TCU: On a loaded TCU offense, Turpin carved out a role for himself, thanks to an electrifying knack for making defenders whiff in the open field. Turpin was also a big-play threat on returns, and ranks fifth in the Big 12 with 133 all-purpose yards per game. With Josh Doctson moving on, Turpin should be line to take over as TCU's top playmaker in 2016.

3. Connor Williams, OT, Texas: Williams started all 12 games at left tackle, becoming the anchor of a revamped Texas offensive line that was solid all year. The Longhorns finished fourth in the Big 12 in rushing while averaging 5.1 yards per carry. The Longhorns still have several areas to address before jumping back into the conference's top tier, but they have their left tackle of the future.

4. Duke Shelley, CB, Kansas State: In eight starts, Shelley quickly flashed his capability as a No. 1 cornerback. He finished the season with 28 tackles and seven pass breakups while going toe-to-toe against the league's accomplished wide receivers. Former K-State wideout Kevin Lockett said Shelley has the chance to be the Wildcats' best cover corner since Terrance Newman. That's flattering company.

5. Ryan Willis, QB, Kansas: Willis gets the nod in the top five as the only Big 12 true freshman quarterback to start most of the season. The Jayhawks went 0-12, but Willis' development was noticeable. Can he be David Beaty's long-term answer behind center? The Jayhawks will know the answer in Year 2.

6. Dru Samia, OT, Oklahoma: The week after the Sooners' loss to Texas, the cerebral Samia was inserted into the starting lineup at right tackle. That was one of the moves that fueled Oklahoma's late-season surge, as Samia gave OU a strong blocking presence at the other bookend. Considering Oklahoma's other offensive tackle, Orlando Brown, is just a redshirt freshman, the Sooners figure to be a load on the line for years to come.

7. Patrick Vahe, OG, Texas: The other freshman piece of the Texas offensive line, Vahe and Williams were the only true-freshman duo in the nation to start on an offensive line this season. Vahe is an absolute lane-paver and, teamed with Williams, the Longhorns have a chance to feature a devastating offensive line in the coming years.

8. Austin Seibert, K/P, Oklahoma: Holding down both punting and field goal duties, Seibert has posted a punting average of 42.4 yards per attempt, second only to All-Big 12 punter Nick O'Toole. He was also a rather reliable placekicker, nailing 17 of 22 attempts, including 5 of 6 from 40 yards out.

9. Jovon Durante, WR, West Virginia: As the starting outside wideout opposite Shelton Gibson, Durante had a terrific first season in Morgantown. He finished with 378 receiving yards and five touchdown catches, including a 53-yarder in the win over Texas. In Durante and Gibson, the Mountaineers could showcase one of the league's top receiving duos in 2016.

10. Breiden Fehoko, DT, Texas Tech: It's not easy for a true freshman to start every game on the inside of the defensive line, but that's exactly what the Red Raiders asked of Fehoko in his first season. He responded with 19 tackles, a sack and an interception. The Red Raiders once again had a porous run defense, but in Fehoko, they have a young tackle who could develop into a difference-maker down the line.

Honorable mention:

Jarrett Stidham, QB, Baylor: Stidham didn’t play enough to make the list, starting only three games. But in those three games, he flashed a big-time arm before suffering a broken bone in his foot. Stidham could be scary good by the time Seth Russell passes him the torch.

Chris Warren, RB, Texas: Warren manned the Texas backfield for only two games, but what a two-game stint it was. He ran for a Big 12 season-high 276 yards and four touchdowns against Texas Tech, then added another 106 in the season finale against Baylor.

Montrel Wilson, LB, TCU: Wilson helped TCU plug the gaping hole at linebacker, finishing with 61 tackles in seven starts before Ty Summers took his starting job. After having to learn on the fly, the young linebacking trio of Summers, Wilson and Travin Howard should give the Horned Frogs a solid foundation at the position moving forward.