Counting Down the Big 12's Top Players

One-by-one, we count down the Big 12's top players. At No. 9 is fast-rising running back Cyrus Gray of Texas A&M.

9) Cyrus Gray, RB, Texas A&M

Cyrus Gray entered 2010 as the second part of a very strong backfield, the less-featured tandem partner with Christine Michael. He'll enter 2011 as the Big 12's top running back and the more publicized member of that same duo.

Many people credited quarterback Ryan Tannehill with the Aggies' late season surge, but the biggest factor might have been that Gray quickly became one of the country's top runners, ending the season with seven straight games of 100-plus yards. Over those final seven games, all of which he started, he averaged 134 yards per contest, and he did it largely against excellent competition and teams like Oklahoma, Nebraska and LSU. Multiplied over a 12-game season, that's 1,608 yards. As it was, he topped the 1,000-yard mark despite only starting half the season.

But while the level of Gray's impact might have changed. he's always been an all-purpose threat. As a freshman, he averaged 4.8 yards per carry and set a Texas A&M record for kickoff return yards. He rushed for 752 yards and had three 100-yard games as a sophomore and scored four touchdowns (three rushing, one receiving) in the Texas Tech game.

Overall, he's the school record holder in game, season and career kickoff return yardage. But it's what he can do in the backfield that makes him one of the Big 12's top players. He has the speed and acceleration to take any play to the house, the toughness to hold up for more than 20 carries per game and the soft hands to be a factor in the passing game.

In short, he's one of the deadliest and most versatile weapons in the league, and certainly one of the conference's top 10 players entering the 2011 season.

2010 Stats: 200 carries for 1,133 yards and 12 touchdowns rushing, 34 catches for 251 yards and one touchdown receiving

No. 10: Oklahoma State OL Levy Adcock

No. 11: Texas A&M WR Jeff Fuller

No. 12: Texas LB Keenan Robinson

No. 13: Oklahoma DE Frank Alexander

No. 14: Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill

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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