The Big 12 Conference is considered the best passing league in the county, which means no position is under more pressure to perform than cornerback. The Big 12 returns several top corners in 2009, led by players Oklahoma's Dominique Franks and Texas Tech's Jamar Wall. Here is a complete pre-season ranking of the Big 12 cornerbacks heading into 2009.
Most people consider Oklahoma State's Perrish Cox as more of a return specialist, but he's also arguably one the league's top cover cornerbacks. Cox had 32 tackles, 8 pass break-ups and two interceptions as a junior and 2 interceptions and 8 pass break-ups as a sophomore. In OSU's Holiday Bowl loss against Oregon, Cox showed his value by blocking a field goal, recording an interception and a 43-yard kickoff return. He's a big play threat any time he's on the football field.
2. Dominique Franks, Oklahoma, 6-0, 190, Jr.
The former four-star recruit was a first-team All-Big 12 selection as a junior by the Dallas Morning News and second team All-Big 12 selection by both the coaches and the AP. Dominique Franks led OU's defense with two touchdowns and 10 pass deflections and he'll no doubt go into the season as one of the top returning cornerbacks in the country.
3. Jamar Wall, Texas Tech, 5-10, 195, Sr.
Nebraska fans should know right away who Texas Tech cornerback Jamar Wall is. During NU's overtime loss in Lubbock last October, it was Wall who intercepted quarterback Joe Ganz on the Huskers final drive that sealed the victory for the Red Raiders. The 5-foot-10, 195 pound Wall is one of the leaders of the Tech defense and he has the ability to cause any receiver in the league fits.
4. Justin Thornton, Kansas, 6-1, 213, Sr.
Kansas defensive back Justin Thornton started the year out as a safety, but finished the season as a cornerback. Thornton finished the season with 63 tackles and he led KU with 11 pass break-ups on the season. With his size at 6-foot-1, 215 pounds, Thornton has the ability to be a physical nightmare for opposing offenses.
5. Joshua Moore, Kansas State, 5-11, 185, Jr.
Kansas State cornerback Joshua Moore led the Wildcats with 76 tackles, including 53 solo stops. Moore finished the year with 3 interceptions and 12 pass break-ups and was one of the lone bright spots in KSU's disappointing season in 2008. With former head coach Bill Snyder back in Manhattan, Moore will be looked at to be one of the leaders of the Wildcats defense in 2009.