Counting Down the Big 12's Top Players

One-by-one, we count down 50 of the Big 12's top players. Standing at No. 23, and marking the third Missouri player out of the last four, is defensive lineman Brad Madison.

23) Brad Madison, junior DL, Missouri

How does a non-starter wind up on Lombardi and Nagurski watch lists the very next season? By maximizing his snaps.

Madison did just that for the Tigers last season, serving as one of the country's top rotational pass rushers. He racked up 11 tackles for loss to lead the team, while also pacing the squad with 7.5 sacks.

But Madison didn't arrive in Columbia with visions of harassing the passer. Instead, he came to the team with the goal of protecting the Tigers' high-octane quarterbacks as an offensive lineman. But after spending his redshirt year with the offensive scout team, the Missouri coaches told the 6-foot-5, 265-pounder that his size and athleticism were better suited for the defensive side of the ball.

He began that spring at the bottom of the depth chart, but worked his way onto the two-deep and played in 12 of 13 games, making one tackle.

That set up Madison for his huge sophomore year, when he emerged behind start ends Aldon Smith and Jacquies Smith. Now, he'll step in as a full-time starter opposite Jacquies Smith as one-half of the Tigers' dynamic defensive end duo.

2010 Stats: 32 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, two forced fumbles

No. 24: Missouri WR T.J. Moe

No. 25: Texas Tech OL Mickey Okafor

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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