Top 25 player countdown: No. 18

No. 18. Chris Watt, LG

2011 numbers: The 6-foot-3, 310-pound Watt beat out Andrew Nuss and started all 13 games last season, his first as a first-teamer. The redshirt sophomore helped pave the way for an Irish offense that looked on its way to having a pair of 1,000-yard rushers before Jonas Gray tore an ACL in the 11th game of the season.

Making the case for Watt: With a year playing between Zack Martin and Braxston Cave under his belt, Watt should be only better in his second year as a starter. Last year's unit helped pave the way for a ground attack that averaged 4.8 yards per carry, the school's best mark since 1996. Watt is an integral part of this year's line, which returns the entire left side and could improve upon that yards per carry average with the talented Cierre Wood and Theo Riddick back behind them.