45) Cody Davis, junior S, Texas Tech
Safeties who fill well in run support are typically either overrated or underrated. Sometimes, their bloated tackle numbers lead mediocre players to get more attention than is warranted. On the flip side of that token, other times people simply point at a high-tackling safety as an indicator of a poor defense around him.
Count Davis in the underrated category. Sure, the Red Raiders struggled on defense a year ago. But Davis was far from the player who only cut down runners as they reached the second and third levels. In fact, 6.5 of his stops came behind the line of scrimmage, while his 68 solo stops were the most by a Texas Tech Red Raider since sledgehammer safety Dwayne Slay earned first-team All-Big 12 honors in 2005.
Davis also helped to generate turnovers, forcing three fumbles, recovering a fumble and grabbing an interception. He showed off his skill set against Northwestern in the TicketCity Bowl last year, making six tackles (all solo), forcing a fumble and grabbing a quarterback hurry.
The former Freshman All-American took a major leap as a sophomore in 2010, and with the Red Raiders looking for more leadership defensively, there are few better candidates. Keep an eye on Davis as he'll probably put up one of the top seasons by a Big 12 safety this year.
2010 Stats: 87 tackles, 6.5 for loss, one sack, four passes broken up, two quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, one interception.
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