Counting Down the Big 12's Top Players

One-by-one, counts down the Big 12's top players. At No. 21 is turnover machine Jake Knott of Iowa State.

21) Jake Knott, junior LB, Iowa State

Knott started off his sophomore season as somewhat of an unknown, a sophomore who made 23 tackles and broke up a pass as a true freshman. He ended it as one of the Big 12's top defensive players.

Knott signed with Iowa State after finishing first-team All-State by The Des Moines Register, showing talent both as a linebacker and as a wide receiver, where he caught 37 passes for 844 yards and five touchdowns.

But there wasn't any doubt where he'd be playing for the Cyclones. He played in every game as a freshman, then stepped into the starting lineup seamlessly as a sophomore. He had double-digit stops in eight of the Cyclones' 12 games, finishing with 130 on the year. But his biggest value was as a turnover machine, with Knott intercepting a team-high four passes and forcing a team-high four fumbles.

Those numbers helped the 6-foot-2, 243-pound Knott earn some mention as the league's defensive player of the year, and he finished second-team All-Big 12 according to both the Associated Press and the Coaches.

Now, he'll resume that same chase as a junior, with his chances of postseason honors likely resting on whether he can continue to churn out turnovers at the same rate for a team that will need them to compete with a more stacked Big 12 schedule.

2010 Stats: 130 tackles, six tackles for loss, one sack, four interceptions, four forced fumbles, one recovered fumble, five passes broken up

No.22: Oklahoma State S Markelle Martin

No.23: Missouri DL Brad Madison

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 %%MATCH_37%%

No. 48: Baylor DE/LB %%MATCH_36%%

No. 49: Kansas State DE %%MATCH_35%%

No. 50: Kansas DE Toben Opurum

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