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.
No. 7 Logan Ryan, CB, Rutgers
Making the case: Ryan emerged as a shutdown cornerback last year in his first season as a starter, leading the league with 16 passes defended -- 13 breakups and three interceptions en route to being selected to the Big East second team. He ended the year with a terrific performance in the bowl game against Iowa State, with seven tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, one interception and half a sack.
He should be even better this year, and now everybody knows who he is. Ryan made preseason watch lists for the Bednarik Award (best defensive player) and Thorpe Award (best defensive back) and anchors one of the strongest secondaries in the entire Big East. I think he is the best cornerback in the league and will prove why in 2012.
No. 8 Hakeem Smith, S, Louisville
No. 9 Justin Pugh, OT, Syracuse
No. 10 Lyle McCombs, RB, UConn
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