With signing day quickly approaching, it’s time to close the chapter on the 2013 season. We’re counting down the top 25 players in the Big 12 in 2013 over the next few days with a list collaboratively selected by Jake Trotter, Brandon Chatmon and Max Olson. We continue the postseason countdown with the No. 4 player in the Big 12.
No. 4: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
Previous ranking: Gilbert was No. 22 in the blog’s preseason list of the Big 12’s top 25 players.
Making the case for Gilbert: He took his game to another level as a senior, earning All-American honors as arguably the Big 12’s top defender. Gilbert’s coverage skills and playmaking ability changed games, and his interception returns for touchdowns against Iowa State and Texas were momentum-changing plays in those victories. Gilbert’s speed, acceleration and ball skills made it unwise for Big 12 quarterbacks to throw his way.
Overall, Gilbert allowed OSU’s defense to be creative knowing he could take an opposing receiver out of the game. And his kick-return prowess was second to none. He finished with 42 tackles, seven interceptions, seven passes broken up and two interception returns for touchdown along with his 25.17 yards per kick return which included one touchdown.
Gilbert finally realized the promise he showed during his first three years in Stillwater, Okla., and became an elite cornerback who impacted games with his unique talent and playmaking skills.
No. 5: Cyril Richardson, G, Baylor
No. 6: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
No. 7: Gabe Ikard, C, Oklahoma
No. 8: Tyler Lockett, WR, Kansas State
No. 9: Ahmad Dixon, S, Baylor
No. 10: Jalen Saunders, WR, Oklahoma
No. 11: Antwan Goodley, WR, Baylor
No. 12: Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor
No. 13: Charles Sims, RB, West Virginia
No. 14: James Sims, RB, Kansas
No. 15: Anthony Fera, K, Texas
No. 16: Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma
No. 17: Caleb Lavey, LB, Oklahoma State
No. 18: Eddie Lackey, LB, Baylor
No. 19: Josh Stewart, WR, Oklahoma State
No. 20: Ryan Mueller, DE, Kansas State
No. 21: Clint Chelf, QB, Oklahoma State
No. 22: Jeremiah George, LB, Iowa State
No. 23: Eric Striker, LB, Oklahoma
No. 24: Ty Zimmerman, S, Kansas State
No. 25: Calvin Barnett, DT, Oklahoma State