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May 26, 2005For the second straight day, a Kansas Jayhawk takes home a preseason top defensive honor in the Rivals.com Big 12 Network's "Ranking the Big 12."
KU cornerback Charles Gordon was nearly a unanimous choice as the league's top corner, receiving all but one first place vote in the poll.
The electrifying Gordon is one of a very few players in the country that contributes on offense, defense and special teams.
Defensively, Gordon tied for the nation lead in interceptions, while the year before he was the Jayhawks top receiver. This season, he will also be considered one of the top punt returning threats in the Big 12.
Finishing second behind Gordon was Texas's Cedric Griffin, with one first place vote and 38 total points.
Griffin, a four-year starter for the Longhorns, earned honorable mention All-Big 12 honors as a junior, as he registered 68 tackles, three TFLs, two interceptions, six pass break ups, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
Taking home third place honors with 25 points was Lorenzo Sims of Colorado. Sims is Colorado's top defensive back and he finished third in the Big 12 in interceptions last season. He also led CU in pass break ups, fumble recoveries and snaps played from scrimmage.
Fourth in our poll was DeAndre Jackson of Iowa State with 14 points. Jackson is fastest player on ISU's team, and also their best cover corner. He had 10 pass break ups and one interception as a sophomore in 2004.
Rounding out our cornerback rankings was a two-way tie between Texas Tech's Antonio Huffman and Missouri's A.J. Kincade.
Huffman was one of Tech's leading tacklers with 59 total stops, while Kincade is Mizzou's most experienced corner.
We accepted nominations from all Big 12 schools for our listing of the top five players at each position. Ten schools returned their ballots to vote for our final selections. Five points were awarded for a first place vote and one for a fifth place vote. Below are the results from our cornerback poll.
The Final Vote
1 - Charles Gordon (9), Kansas - 48 pts
2 - Cedric Griffin (1), Texas - 38 pts
3 - Lorenzo Sims, Colorado - 25 pts
4 - DeAndre Jackson, Iowa State - 14 pts
5 - Antonio Huffman, Texas Tech - 9 pts
AND - A.J. Kincade, Missouri - 9 pts
Over the next two weeks, the Rivals.com Big 12 Network will rank the top five players at running back, wide receiver, tight end, defensive end, defensive tackle, linebacker, cornerback and safety.
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