The Big East's best: No. 15

Continuing the countdown of the top 25 players in the Big East for 2010, taking into account past performance and potential for this coming season ...

No. 15: J.T. Thomas, LB, West Virginia, Sr.

2009 numbers: Had 76 tackles (seven for loss), two interceptions and one fumble recovery.

Postseason ranking: Not ranked.

Making the case for Thomas: Thomas has played a lot of football for the Mountaineers, and with Reed Williams now graduated, he becomes the unquestioned leader of the linebacking corps. He was a first-team All-Big East performer last year, and I think he's primed for a huge season in 2010.

Thomas makes a lot of plays from his weakside linebacker spot, and he's especially good in pass coverage, as his five pass-breakups last year attest. He's one of the faster players on defense, and with Bill Stewart promising to blitz more this year, look for Thomas to be involved in even more disruption for the Mountaineers.


No. 25: Zach Hurd, OG, Connecticut

No. 24: Derrell Smith, LB, Syracuse

No. 23: Tino Sunseri, QB, Pittsburgh

No. 22: Delone Carter, RB, Syracuse

No. 21: Steve Beauharnais, LB, Rutgers

No. 20: Vidal Hazelton, WR, Cincinnati

No. 19: Jabaal Sheard, DE, Pittsburgh

No. 18: Scott Lutrus, LB, Connecticut

No. 17: Chris Neild, DT, West Virginia

No. 16: Isaiah Pead, RB, Cincinnati