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The Big East's best: Jeff Linkenbach, No. 23

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

Ranking the Big East's Top 30 players ...

No. 23

Likenbach Jeff Linkenbach, LT, Cincinnati

Why him here: You're going to see a handful of left tackles dotting this list. Remember we're factoring in potential at the next level, and four offensive tackles were just taken in the top 23 picks of this year's NFL Draft (and eight in the first two rounds alone). So clearly this is a key position.

And Linkenbach is a key guy in the Bearcats' offense. Without him protecting Tony Pike's blind side, Brian Kelly's offense wouldn't go too far. He was an underrated cog in last year's success, and the 6-foot-6, 313-pounder should be even better as a senior. He's got the size and is building the resumé of a future NFL pick.

The countdown

No. 24: Brandon Hogan, CB, West Virginia
No. 25:
Mike Williams, WR, Syracuse
No. 26:
Nate Allen, S, South Florida
No. 27:
Jock Sanders, WR, West Virginia
No. 28: Nate Byham, TE, Pitt
No. 29: Jon Dempsey, LB, Louisville
No. 30: Moe Petrus, OL, UConn