We continue our countdown of the Pac-10's 25 best players from 2010.
Note: Because we are ranking players based on this past season, it's Pac-10, not Pac-12.
Here are the preseason rankings (click each name to read the blurb).
No. 15. Brooks Reed, DE, Arizona
2010 numbers: Reed had 6.5 sacks and 10 tackles for a loss as well as 47 total tackles, two pass breakups and a forced fumble.
Preseason ranking: Unranked (Reed was hurt in 2009).
Making the case for Reed: Reed's numbers were not as good as the Wildcats' other end, Ricky Elmore, who led the Pac-10 with 11 sacks in 2010. Yet it was Reed who earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors, not Elmore. A lot of that is consistency, see Reed also winning the Wildcats in-team defensive MVP award. And a lot of that is Reed is just a better, more talented player, who you might have read continues to climb NFL draft charts. Reed has been sold as a try-hard guy who built himself up in the weight room from a 215-pound H-back into an NFL draft prospect. And he is a relentless, try-hard guy who doesn't take plays off. But it turns out that the three-year starter also is a pretty good athlete. He made life difficult for offensive tackles in the conference and might to the same in the NFL.
No. 16. Tyron Smith, OT, USC
No. 17. Kenny Rowe, DE, Oregon
No. 18. Nick Foles, QB, Arizona
No. 19. Casey Matthews, LB, Oregon
No. 20. Talmadge Jackson, CB, Oregon
No. 21. Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA
No. 22. Cliff Harris, CB, Oregon
No. 23. Jermaine Kearse, WR, Washington
No. 24. Jurrell Casey, DT, USC
No. 25. Shane Vereen, RB, California