Preseason 2012 top 25 countdown: No. 12

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.

No. 12 Montel Harris, RB, Temple

Making the case: You could argue that Harris deserves to be even higher on this list. His stats speak for themselves. While at Boston College, Harris racked up more career yards than any other ACC junior in history, with 3,735. That is tops among all active FBS running backs. He was 867 yards away from the ACC rushing mark of 4,602 yards when he got hurt last season, and subsequently decided to transfer after spring ball.

There are two question marks surrounding Harris. First -- will he be the same running back coming off a knee injury that hobbled him for over a year? Temple says he is 100 percent, so that is the good news. Second -- how much does the state of the Temple offensive line impact the way he performs this year? Temple has four new starters up front, and the Owls are currently working to build depth. While Harris will get his opportunities, this is a spread offense and he will not be the lone focal point. Boston College fed him the ball constantly.

Despite some of those questions, Harris should be among the league leaders based on his past history. I am looking forward to watching him play in the Big East.

The countdown

No. 13 DeDe Lattimore, LB, USF

No. 14 Sio Moore, LB, UConn

No. 15 Walter Stewart, DE, Cincinnati

No. 16 Duron Harmon, S, Rutgers

No. 17 Mario Benavides, C, Louisville

No. 18 Jarred Holley, S, Pitt

No. 19 Scott Vallone, NT, Rutgers

No. 20 Ryan Griffin, TE, UConn

No. 21 Adrian Bushell, CB, Louisville

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