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Revised 2011 Top 25 countdown: No. 18

We are counting down the top 25 players in the Big East, one player at a time.

Up today: Logan Ryan, CB, Rutgers

Making the case: Rutgers had to replace both its starting cornerbacks this season, and it is safe to say that Logan Ryan was not really on the radar going into fall practice. But at the end of the season, I thought he emerged as the best cornerback in the league. He made one critical play after another for a Rutgers defense that ranked No. 1 in the Big East. He led the league with 16 passes defended — 13 breakups and three interceptions. One of those interceptions he returned for a touchdown in a victory over Pitt. But his best performance may have been in the bowl game against Iowa State. Ryan finished with seven tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, one interception and half a sack. This is what former coach Greg Schiano said afterward:

"I am really, really proud of Logan Ryan. Not only about today, but the way — coming off the Carolina game, which was the second game of the year, Logan Ryan was at a crossroads. He was no longer a young pup who could use that as the redshirting excuse and all of that. He's a very talented kid and he's a very hard working kid, and he got a chance after that game. He got a chance and he made the most of it, and he's had a tremendous season."

Preseason ranking: NR.

The countdown:

No. 25 Ryne Giddins, DE, USF

No. 24 Keith Tandy, CB, West Virginia

No. 23 Duron Harmon, S, Rutgers

No. 22 Antwon Bailey, RB, Syracuse

No. 21 Lyle McCombs, RB, UConn

No. 20 Dexter Heyman, LB, Louisville

No. 19 Hakeem Smith, S, Louisville