2012 Big East top 25 countdown: No. 6

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. 6 Trevardo Williams, DE, UConn

Twitter handle: @lado0088

Making the case: Williams used his incredible athleticism and speed to emerge as one of the best pass rushers in the nation last season, finishing No. 5 in the country with 12.5 total sacks. He made the Big East second team despite his big numbers, probably because he struggled with consistency at times. But he is looking for even more this season -- a spot on the first team -- and he has set a goal of 16 sacks.

He has 19 career sacks. If he has another season like he had in 2011, he will close in on the school sack record of 27, set by Mark Michaels from 1982-85.

Folks will definitely be watching. Williams has already made three preseason watch lists -- Bednarik Award (best defensive player), Lombardi Award (best lineman) and the Nagurski Award (best defensive player). Here is an assessment from teammate Sio Moore: "His burst and explosion is great. Some people think he gets to the quarterback just because he's fast, but he sets himself apart with his great technique."

The countdown

No. 7 Logan Ryan, CB, Rutgers

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