Top 25 player countdown: No. 4

No. 4. Stephon Tuitt, DE

2011 numbers: Starting three game and playing in nine, Tuitt recorded 30 tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks and five quarterback hurries.

Making the case for Tuitt: Yes, he was overshadowed by Aaron Lynch last season. Yes, Lynch had bigger numbers. But Tuitt may be just as good, and he can play inside when needed, too. Tuitt and Lynch did not play at Michigan, a missed class cost Tuitt a trip to Purdue and mono forced him out of two games late in the season. But he is bigger and stronger entering his sophomore year, with a solidified starting spot and a much better expectation of the college level. Look for the 6-foot-6, 303-pounder to take the next step this season and explode onto the national scene.