Counting Down the Big 12's Top Players

One-by-one, counts down the Big 12's top players. At No. 17 is emerging cover corner Demontre Hurst of Oklahoma.

17) Demontre Hurst, junior DB, Oklahoma

When it looked like Jamell Fleming wasn't going to qualify, the Sooners were somewhat worried. But they weren't anxious, thanks in large part to the other cornerback they had returning.

No, Hurst might not have the interception numbers that Fleming had a year ago, but a big part of that came because Hurst wasn't tested as often. And that didn't stop Hurst from factoring into the turnover game, forcing three fumbles. He also returned his lone interception 49 yards and broke up 11 passes.

Hurst wasn't as highly regarded as some other defensive backs in his class, but he played immediately as a freshman and seized the starting spot opposite Fleming as a sophomore. He brought a steadiness to that spot, and carried that over with a strong spring that saw him emerge as a potential shutdown cornerback in Fleming's absence.

Now, with Fleming's return, the Sooners have the making of the Big 12's best cornerback duo, one well-suited to cope with the Big 12's passing attacks. And while Fleming might continue to be the playmaker, don't sleep on the impact provide by Hurst, a security blanket on his side of the field.

2010 Stats: 50 tackles, four tackles for loss, one interception returned for 49 yards, three forced fumbles, 11 passes broken up

No. 18: Baylor WR Kendall Wright

No. 19: Oklahoma OL Ben Habern

No. 20: Oklahoma State OL Lane Taylor

No. 21: Iowa State LB Jake Knott

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 %%MATCH_43%%

No. 45: Texas Tech S Cody Davis

No. 46: %%MATCH_37%% State CB %%MATCH_38%%

No. 47: Kansas State S %%MATCH_42%%

No. 48: Baylor DE/LB %%MATCH_40%%

No. 49: Kansas State DE %%MATCH_39%%

No. 50: Kansas DE %%MATCH_41%%

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