ACC's Top 25 player countdown: No. 24

We're counting down the ACC's top 25 players heading into the 2010 season:

No. 24 Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia

2009 numbers: Had three interceptions and eight pass deflections. He was Virginia’s fifth-leading tackler with 58.

Most recent ranking: Not ranked.

Making the case for Dowling: Dowling was a big reason the Cavaliers’ pass defense ranked 23rd nationally last year. The veteran has 23 career starts and eight interceptions. He also leads all returning ACC defenders in career passes defended with 36. His leadership and skills will be key to a program that is rebuilding, and he was named the team’s most-improved player from 2009.

No. 25: Mark Herzlich, LB, Boston College