Pac-12 top 25 for 2012: No. 9

Our countdown of the Pac-12's top 25 players in 2012 continues.

>Most of this looks back, but, of course, there also is a good dose of projecting forward. A lot of good players, as it happens every year, won't make the preseason list. It is in their hands to make the postseason list.

You can review our 2011 postseason top 25 here.

No. 9 Marqise Lee, WR, USC

2011 numbers: Caught 73 balls for 1,143 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also returned 10 kickoffs for an average of 28.5 yards per return with a touchdown.

2011 postseason ranking: No. 16

Making the case for Lee: Now, we're really starting to get into the nitty-gritty. Four wide receivers, all alike in dignity, in the fair Pac-12 is where we lay our scene. You know the other three are coming. And Lee could easily be ahead of them all. Or second, or third. He could win the Biletnikoff award. Or finish second, or third. The pros for each of the four wide receivers are so similar, it's like comparing apples to Fuji apples to McIntosh apples to Granny Smith apples. In the preseason, it just depends on your personal taste. But we know this about Lee, he's phenomenal. He landed on every major freshman All-American team last season, and with another year of Matt Barkley at the helm and Robert Woods opposite him, he seems poised for an even better 2012. Look for him to once again be used as a dangerous kick returner.

No. 10: T.J. McDonald, S, USC

No. 11: Dion Jordan, OLB/DE, Oregon

No. 12: Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford

No. 13: Kenjon Barner, RB, Oregon

No 14: Nickell Robey, CB, USC

No. 15: John White IV, RB, Utah

No. 16: John Boyett, S, Oregon

No. 17: Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State

No. 18: Khaled Holmes, C, USC

No. 19: Cameron Marshall, RB, Arizona State

No. 20: Dion Bailey, LB, USC

No. 21: Shayne Skov, LB, Stanford

No. 22: Curtis McNeal, RB, USC

No. 23: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington

No. 24: Isi Sofele, RB, California

No. 25: Jeff Tuel, QB, Washington State