Preseason 2012 top 25 countdown: No. 10

Let's enter the top 10!

No. 10 Lyle McCombs, RB, UConn

Making the case: Lyle McCombs made an impressive debut last season. Remember all the talk going in was how D.J. Shoemate would impact the running game? After Shoemate got hurt, all eyes turned to McCombs, who was the only consistent part of the offense last season. Though teams loaded the box every week to try to put the game in the hands of the quarterback, McCombs still finished second in the conference with 1,151 yards rushing. His 95.92 yards per game average ranked him No. 2 among all freshmen last season.

Folks have taken notice. McCombs was listed on the preseason watch lists for the Doak Walker Award (top running back) and Maxwell Award (best football player). McCombs got the majority of the carries last season with 275 -- the next highest went to Wildcat quarterback Scott McCummings with 74. Developing depth behind McCombs has been a big key this fall for coach Paul Pasqualoni, but he is a coach known for sticking with one back and riding with him. McCombs will once again be that man this year.

The countdown

No. 11 Ryne Giddins, DE, USF

No. 12 Montel Harris, RB, Temple

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