Top 25 player countdown: No. 9

No. 9. EJ Manuel, QB, Florida State

2011 stats: He threw for 2,666 yards and 18 touchdowns with eight interceptions. He ranked No. 18 nationally and third in the ACC in pass efficiency (151.24). He was fourth in the ACC in total offense (234.8 yards) and ended the season having thrown 121 passes without an interception. He also finished second on the team with four rushing touchdowns.

Previous ranking: Not ranked.

Making the case for Manuel: Manuel enters this season as the most accurate quarterback in school history with a 66.1 completion percentage. With an injury-free season and a healthy offensive line in front of him, Manuel should make significant strides this fall. His ability to run combined with his accuracy makes him a headache for defenses. At 6-foot-5, 240 pounds, he’s got great presence in the pocket, and with an outstanding season by his team, Manuel could play his way into the Heisman conversation.