Top 25 player countdown: No. 12

No. 12. Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State

2010 stats: He started all 14 games at boundary corner as a redshirt freshman. He tied for the team lead with 12 pass breakups and four interceptions for 16 passes defended, which led all freshmen nationally. He was seventh on the team with 58 tackles and he also had 3.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. He had two fumble recoveries.

Previously ranked: Not ranked.

Making the case for Rhodes: He was named the ACC’s Defensive Rookie of the Year, and he’s a rookie no more. Rhodes will build off of what was arguably one of the best seasons by a freshman at Florida State. At 6-foot-2, he’s a big physical corner with speed who can change directions quickly and also has good hands and ball skills. Some of his best plays were made in the clutch last season (interception in the end zone against Clemson). He uses his size to his advantage and will continue to disrupt passing games, but his ability to play close to the line of scrimmage also makes him a threat to get into opponents’ backfields.

No. 13 Brandon Washington, OL, Miami

No. 14 Danny O'Brien, QB, Maryland

No. 15 Sean Renfree, QB, Duke

No. 16 Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia

No. 17 Cam Johnson, DE, Virginia

No. 18 Greg Reid, CB, Florida State

No. 19 Ray-Ray Armstrong, S, Miami

No. 20 Lamar Miller, RB, Miami

No. 21 Conner Vernon, WR, Duke

No. 22 Jarrett Boykin, WR, Virginia Tech

No. 23 Omoregie Uzzi, OG, Georgia Tech

No. 24 Andre Ellington, RB, Clemson

No. 25 EJ Manuel, QB, Florida State