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June 18, 2009

Ranking the Big 12: Defensive end

The Big 12 is loaded with talented playmakers at defensive end. With players like Texas's Sergio Kindle and Oklahoma's Jeremy Beal back in 2009, the cupboard is far from bare in the Conference. Nebraska junior Pierre Allen is also expected to have a big year at defensive end for the Huskers. Here's our entire ranking list of the defensive end position heading into the 2009 season.

Other Big 12 Rankings: QB l RB l WR l TE l OL l DT

1. Sergio Kindle, Texas, 6-4, 255, Sr.
Texas's Sergio Kindle is a true hybrid player that can play either defensive end or outside linebacker. Kindle was a first-team All-Big 12 selection as a junior finishing 2008 with 53 tackles, 10 sacks, 14 TFL's, 15 hurries, two pass break-ups, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. Kindle is no doubt a force to be reckoned with and Longhorn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp has almost turned him into another version of Quentin Groves off the edge. Kindle is easily one of the favorites to take home Big 12 defensive player of the year honors this fall.
2. Jeremy Beal, Oklahoma, 6-3, 253, Sr.
Oklahoma defensive end Jeremy Beal was a first-team All-Big 12 selection in 2008 in his first season as a full-time starter for the Sooners. Beal led OU with 8 quarterback sacks and 15 tackles for loss. With players like Beal and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy leading the way up front for Oklahoma, this defensive line is arguably the best in the country.
3. Auston English, Oklahoma, 6-3, 253, Sr.
It was Beals that got all the accolades at defensive end this past season, but the year before the leader off the edge for Oklahoma was defensive end Auston English. The 6-foot-3, 253 pound English was a first-team All-Big 12 selection in 2007, but a knee injury he suffered against Nebraska caused him to miss the final three games of the regular season. As a sophomore, English had 9 quarterbacks and 13 tackles for loss. English was actually the pre-season Big 12 defensive player of the year heading into the 2008 season.
4. Von Miller, Texas A&M, 6-3, 215, Jr.
This one might come as a surprise, but Texas A&M speed rusher Von Miller is poised for a breakout season this fall. Miller led A&M with 3 sacks to go along with 7 tackles for loss in 2008, and after a big spring he is expected to be a playmaker for the Aggies in 2009. In 2007, Miller was also named to the All-Big 12 freshman team.
5. Pierre Allen, Nebraska, 6-5, 265, Jr.
When Barry Turner went down with a season ending leg injury for Nebraska, defensive end Pierre Allen more than proved his worth in his place. The 6-foot-5, 265 pound Allen was third in both sacks (5) and tackles for loss (10), and he finished fourth overall in tackles with 52 stops in 2008. Allen is now poised to have a breakout type of season off the edge for the Huskers in 2009.

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