Counting Down the Big 12's Top Players

Day-by-day, we count down the Big 12's top players. Today, it's Missouri defensive end Jacquies Smith.

33) Jacquies Smith, senior DE, Missouri

Kansas State quarterback Carson Coffman was pounded, and the ball fell to the turf. Smith, one of Missouri's talented ends, scooped up the ball. Then he started running.

It's a fascinating moment whenever a "big ugly" gets a fumble and starts to run. Often, the player runs out of gas quickly. Other times, he runs like he hasn't ever been in the open field, pumping pistons until he gets caught or falls exhausted into the end zone.

And then there's Smith, who swooped in, grabbed the ball and took off like a running back. By the time he rumbled into the end zone 53 yards later, he had actually increased the distance between himself and the people around him. And it's that kind of athleticism than makes Smith, at 6-foot-4 and 255 pounds, one of the conference's best players off the edge.

Smith has started 19 games in his Tiger career, including all 13 a year ago, when he earned second-team All-Big 12 honors. That mention came after Smith made 10 tackles in the backfield, including 5.5 sacks, while forcing and recovering two fumbles.

The only downside is that Smith won't even be considered the top end on his own team for the second consecutive year. Last year, he toiled in the shadow of Aldon Smith, and this year, Brad Madison is expected to have a bigger season. Still, it's safe to say that with Smith's size and athleticism, he'll continue to be a major factor

2010 Stats: 35 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, two recovered fumbles, one fumble return for a touchdown

No. 34: Oklahoma WR Kenny Stills

No. 35: Texas WR Mike Davis

No. 36: Texas DE Jackson Jeffcoat

No. 37: Kansas State DB David Garrett

No. 38: Oklahoma OL Gabe Ikard

No. 39: Texas Tech RB Eric Stephens

No. 40: Baylor OL Philip Blake

No. 41: Missouri LB Zaviar Gooden

No. 42: Texas DL Alex Okafor

No. 43: Texas A&M DL Tony Jerod-Eddie

No. 44: Kansas RB James Sims

No. 45: Texas Tech S Cody Davis

No. 46: Iowa State CB Leonard Johnson

No. 47: Kansas State S Ty Zimmerman

No. 48: Baylor DE/LB Tevin Elliot

No. 49: Kansas State DE Brandon Harold

No. 50: Kansas DE Toben Opurum

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