So how many of the guys on both lists will you see when we unveil our preseason top 25 players for 2013 later this summer? Not many.
Of the 36 players we highlighted for their exemplary play, only eight will return to the Big East, or roughly 22 percent of the guys who made the list.
No. 1 Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
No. 11 Yawin Smallwood, LB, UConn
No. 12 Greg Blair, LB, Cincinnati
No. 21 DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
No. 23 Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville
No. 24 Tyler Matakevich, LB, Temple
Missed the cut
I think we can all agree Bridgewater will top the list. Behind him, you are going to see some fresh faces, whether they are players we expect to step up on returning teams, or players entering the league on the four incoming teams. There are many reasons to be interested in what happens during spring practice, but one of the big ones is to identify players with an opportunity to be a rising star in this league.
For example, how does Aaron Lynch look at USF? We are talking about a player with the talent to be on the preseason top 25. Will he land there?
How about a guy like Brandon Coleman, who has all the physical tools in the world? Is this his year to put everything together and emerge as the leader in the Rutgers receiving corps? Or a guy like running back Savon Huggins, who has a chance to live up to expectations?
How will Cincinnati use Ralph David Abernathy IV with the coaching change? Can UConn running back Lyle McCombs get back into the top 25? How do we evaluate the players on the incoming teams and where they should fit into the countdown?
There are plenty of unknowns at this point. Judging the top 25 players in the league is among the big ones. Let's see how it plays out this spring.