Counting Down the Big 12's Top Players

We're counting down the Big 12's best players, one player at a time. Coming in at No. 25 is Texas Tech offensive tackle Mickey Okafor.

25) Mickey Okafor, senior OL, Texas Tech

When discussing the fastest-rising offensive linemen in the league, one of the first names you'll hear tossed around is that of Okafor, who went from rotational player and backup to line star seemingly overnight.

The huge-framed lineman started two games as a redshirt sophomore while playing in a total of five players as a guard/tackle swing player.

But last year, Okafor took off, playing in 11 games — and starting all 11 — at right tackle, while earning second-team All-Big 12 honors from the Associated Press. Okafor has what every lineman coach looks for: a great frame and ability to hold good weight (6-foot-6, 305 pounds), athleticism (was a basketball player in high school), smarts (a first-team All-Big 12 Academic Team selection last year) and nastiness.

That's why Okafor, largely an unknown heading into last season, is now considered one of the linemen with the highest ceiling in the conference. Edwards might be the more consistent player, but Okafor's best days are better than the brutish interior lineman. And if Okafor can demonstrate a little more consistency, he'll find himself fighting for a first-team selection at the end of this year. With how rapidly he went from rotational player to a Big 12 second-team selection, the sky is the limit.

2012 Stats: None

No. 26: Missouri TE Michael Egnew

No. 27: Texas A&M CB Coryell Judie

No. 28: Texas DB Kenny Vaccaro

No. 29: Oklahoma DE/LB Ronnell Lewis

No. 30: Texas A&M RB Christine Michael

No. 31: Kansas OL Jeremiah Hatch

No. 32: Texas Tech OL Lonnie Edwards

No. 33: Missouri DE Jacquies Smith

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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