Ranking the Big 12's best: No. 22

Today is Day 4 of our countdown of the Big 12's 25 best players entering the 2010 season. The full results are locked in a vault in an undisclosed location, but we'll be revealing one player per day until we reach the top of the list.

Remember, this isn't a list of the top 25 NFL prospects in the league. It's heavily weighted toward actual accomplishment in players' college careers, as well as the likely impact for their teams in the 2010 season.

No. 22: Brian Duncan, LB, Sr., Texas Tech

2009 numbers: Led the team in tackles, with 87, good for No. 14 in the conference. Also made seven tackles for loss and broke up five passes.

Most recent ranking: Duncan was ranked No. 31 in last offseason's ranking of the conference's top 40 players.

Making the case for Duncan: Duncan didn't have a great year in 2009, but he's still led the Red Raiders in stops for the past two seasons. His move to outside linebacker last month could make his senior season a big one. He'll have a chance to utilize his speed and in new coordinator James Willis' 3-4 scheme, the 6-foot-3, 240-pounder will be blitzing often off the edge. Look for his sack and tackle for loss numbers to go up, and without Brandon Sharpe driving quarterbacks mad, Duncan won't be held without a sack this season, as he was last year.

The rest of the list:

  • No. 23: Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma

  • No. 24: Tanner Hawkinson, OT, Kansas

  • No. 25: Blake Gideon, S, Texas