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Revised 2011 Top 25 countdown: No. 10

We have finally arrived at the Top 10 of our countdown of the best players in the Big East. Without further adieu ...

At No. 10: JK Schaffer, LB, Cincinnati

Making the case: Schaffer was a tackling machine once again, though that should come as little surprise. He has been perhaps the best tackler in the Big East for the last several seasons now. In 2012, he eclipsed the 100-tackle mark for the third straight season, finishing third in the league with 114 while making the Big East first team yet again. But it was more than his tackling prowess that was impressive this season.

Schaffer was the heart of the unit, and became the center of a defensive rejuvenation that caught everybody's attention. Cincinnati was the most improved defense in the Big East this past season, and Schaffer did his part to make it that way. Not only did he have his usual tackles for loss (13), he had nine passes defended -- tied for the best among linebackers -- along with three forced fumbles and 4.5 sacks. It was the most well-rounded season of his illustrious career.

Preseason ranking: No. 11.

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

No. 18 Logan Ryan, CB, Rutgers

No. 17 Aaron Donald, DE, Pitt

No. 16 Trevardo Williams, DE, UConn

No. 15 Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse

No. 14 Julian Miller, DE, West Virginia

No. 13 Bruce Irvin, DE West Virginia

No. 12 Najee Goode, LB, West Virginia

No. 11 Kendall Reyes, DT, UConn