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Ranking the Top 5 Big 12 Football Players of 2013

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Ranking the Top 5 Big 12 Players of 2013

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

As the college football season quickly approaches, it’s time to discuss who the best talents in the Big 12 conference are. Every year sees a new set of players rise to the challenge to become a leader on their teams and to take their respective sides through the ups and downs of their college football season.

The Big 12 conference is stacked full of both offensive and defensive talents for the upcoming college football season. From talented wide receivers to defensive linemen, the Big 12 should see a lot of big time playmakers that will shape the 2013 season with their athleticism and skill. The following slides are my top five Big 12 players that will have the biggest impact on both offense and defense for the upcoming season.

This conference may be known for its recent quarterbacks and wide receivers stealing the show, but this upcoming season could see some of the best defensive players that the league has seen in quite a while.

Each of these players will be a leader of their respective teams and will likely rack up awards at the end of the 2013 season. Who can lead their team to a Big 12 championship in 2013? Who will challenge for the Heisman trophy? It was a hard list to make and many great players were left out, but ultimately, these players top my list for the best of the best in the Big 12 conference. Who will take the top spot? Read on to see who these talented players are.

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No. 5 Devonte Fields

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Sophomore defensive end Devonte Fields provided the TCU Horned Frogs defense with a legitimate rushing attack during the 2012 season. Fields recorded 10 sacks and 32 solo tackles last year and was able to disrupt just about every Big 12 quarterback that he faced. In 2013, Fields will have to sit out two games due to a suspension for violating team rules and will miss a huge game against LSU Tigers at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas as a result. Look for Fields to cause even more disruption in Big 12 offenses in 2013 once conference play starts.

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No. 4 Eric Ward

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Senior wide receiver Eric Ward had a breakout year in 2012 with 1,053 yards and 12 touchdowns, averaging an astounding 12.8 yards per catch. Ward has great vision and is able to rack up yards after catch due to his physical play and tackle breaking abilities. He is also a great blocking wide receiver and often overpowers defensive backs which allows other receivers to break free on screens and short passes. With the emergence of junior tight end Jace Amaro, Ward is unlikely to be double teamed and could very well end up with more yardage than he had last year.

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No. 3 Jason Verrett

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Senior cornerback Jason Verrett is one of the most versatile and complete defensive players in the nation. He proved so in 2012 by intercepting six passes and adding 44 solo tackles as a vital part of the TCU Horned Frogs' defensive success. If TCU is going to challenge for the Big 12 title this year, Verrett will need to repeat his performance from last year.

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No. 2 Jackson Jeffcoat

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Senior defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat only played in six games during the 2012 season after a season ending injury in the Red River Rivalry game. The six games that Jackson did play in were great performances by him as he recorded four sacks and had 16 solo tackles. Jackson should be the anchor of the 2013 Texas Longhorns defense if he lives up to his potential.

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No. 1 Lache Seastrunk

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Through his last six games, running back Lache Seastrunk was one of the most explosive offensive playmakers in the nation last year. The red-shirt junior from Temple, Texas transferred from the Oregon Ducks in 2011 where he played his freshman year. Seastrunk rushed for 1,012 yards and seven touchdowns in 2012 but gained 831 yards and six touchdowns in his last six starts as he propelled the Baylor Bears to win five of their last six games last year. If Seastrunk stays healthy, he could be a serious Heisman trophy candidate and the biggest factor for the Bears offense in 2012.