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The Big East's best: No. 8

We're down to the Elite Eight in our countdown of the Top 25 players in the Big East in 2010, based on performance and impact last season ...

No. 8

Lawrence Wilson, LB, Connecticut, Sr.

Preseason rank: No. 11

2010 numbers: Led the Big East with 123 tackles, including 10 for loss and 3.5 sacks. Also had an interception, three pass breakups, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Making the case for Wilson: All Wilson has done the last two years is collect 263 tackles, far and away leading all Big East players. But this is about 2010, and Wilson remained a defensive force for the Big East champion Huskies.

Moved to middle linebacker from the weakside spot he played in 2009, the 6-foot-1, 226-pound Wilson used his speed and smarts to make stops at key times. If there was any moment that defined his season, it was his 55-yard interception return for a touchdown in the season finale against South Florida. That was UConn's only touchdown in that BCS-clinching win.

Wilson finished with more than 110 tackles in three of his four years with the Huskies. He is undersized for the next level, but NFL scouts would be foolish to ignore his production.

Previously

No. 25: Zach Hurd, OG, Connecticut

No. 24: Dave Teggart, K, Connecticut

No. 23: Derrell Smith, LB, Syracuse

No. 22: J.T. Thomas, LB, West Virginia

No. 21: Johnny Patrick, CB, Louisville

No. 20: Dion Lewis, RB, Pittsburgh

No. 19: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

No. 18: Isaiah Pead, RB, Cincinnati

No. 17: Kendall Reyes, DL, Connecticut

No. 16: Jason Pinkston, OT, Pittsburgh

No. 15: Jon Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh

No. 14: Robert Sands, S, West Virginia

No. 13: Brandon Lindsey, DE, Pittsburgh

No. 12: Doug Hogue, LB, Syracuse

No. 11: Brandon Hogan, CB, West Virginia

No. 10: Terrell McClain, DT, South Florida