Counting Down the Big 12's Top Players

One-by-one, we count down the Big 12's top 50 players. Checking in at No. 14 is a player who excelled as a wide receiver before becoming one of the league's top quarterbacks: Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill.

14) Ryan Tannehill, senior QB, Texas A&M

Tannehill is one of the few players on this list that would have had a chance to make it at multiple positions.

After all, he led the Aggies in receptions and yards as a wide receiver in 2008 and again paced A&M in receptions in 2009. In fact, entering his junior season of 2010, Tannehill ranked seventh on the Texas A&M career receiving yards chart and was poised to make a huge leap up the list with two years remaining.

Instead, Tannehill asked to focus more at quarterback — he served as the backup as well as the team's top receiver — in the spring of 2010, a move that paid off big for Aggie fans. Texas A&M sat at 3-3 after the first six games, and head coach Mike Sherman's seat was starting to get hot. Tannehill replaced Jerrod Johnson, a preseason All-Big 12 pick, in the team's next game against Kansas, bringing a steadying hand to a team that had dropped games due to turnovers.

The rest, as they say, is history. Tannehill completed 65 percent of his throws for a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 13-6 as the Aggies won their next six games, finishing the regular season 9-3, with a share of the Big 12 South title and a spot in the Cotton Bowl. Under Tannehill's guidance, the Aggies bested both Oklahoma and Nebraska, the teams that represented the South and North, respectively, in the Big 12 title game.

Now, entering his senior season, the job is all Tannehill's. Though he showcased the requisite athleticism while playing receiver, he typically stayed within the pocket and preferred to operate with his arm, rather than his legs. In a league that's stacked with quarterbacks, Tannehill might be the forgotten man. But opposing teams certainly shouldn't sleep on him, wherever he plays.

2010 Stats: 152-234 for 1,638 yards and 13 touchdowns to six interceptions, 51 rushes for 76 yards and a touchdown, 11 receptions for 143 yards and one touchdown

No. 15: Oklahoma DB Tony Jefferson

No. 16: Texas LB Emmanuel Acho

No. 17: Oklahoma DB Demontre Hurst

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 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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