Preseason 2012 Top 25 countdown: No. 21

Time to move on in our preseason countdown of the top 25 players in the Big East.

If you need a quick refresher, I am projecting the best of the best in the league for this upcoming season, and I am including freshmen and transfers as well. Also note, I am including a Twitter handle, if the player has one.

No. 21 Adrian Bushell, CB, Louisville

Twitter handle: @DatBoyBushell

Making the case: One of the biggest questions about the Louisville defense last season was at cornerback. If you remember, all Louisville had was a bunch of unproven players and some freshmen hoping to make a big enough impression to get into the starting lineup. Then came word after training camp that Adrian Bushell would transfer in from junior college. Bushell played for Charlie Strong at Florida, so Strong knew what Bushell could do.

Bushell made an immediate impact in the secondary, earning All-Big East first-team honors, and became one of the top cornerbacks in the league. Despite playing in 10 games, he led the team with 50 tackles. Let us also remember his impact on special teams. Bushell had two blocked kicks, and also returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown against UConn. You see why he is on the preseason watch list for the Paul Hornung Award, presented annually to the most versatile player in college football.

Going into his senior season, Bushell is no doubt one of the top cornerbacks in the Big East. And in the year since he arrived at Louisville, the Cardinals now have one of the best secondaries in the Big East.

The countdown

No. 22 Alec Lemon, WR, Syracuse

No. 23 Steve Beauharnais, LB, Rutgers

No. 24 Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB, UConn

No. 25 Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse