Pac-10 top 25 from 2010: No. 23

We continue our countdown of the Pac-10's 25 best players from 2010.

Note: Because this is 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).

23. Jermaine Kearse, WR, Washington

2010 numbers: Kearse caught 63 passes for 1,005 yards with 12 touchdowns, which tied for No. 1 in the Pac-10. His 16 yards per reception ranked second in the conference.

Preseason ranking: Unranked

Making the case for Kearse: The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Kearse earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors as a junior and was quarterback Jake Locker's No. 1 target. He did not have a perfect season (see: an early-season case of the dropsies, including three in a loss to Arizona State). But the way Kearse reacted is telling. For one, he didn't duck the media. A week after playing badly versus the Sun Devils, he caught nine passes for 146 yards and four touchdowns in a double-overtime win over Oregon State, including touchdown receptions in both overtime periods. In the Apple Cup, which the Huskies needed to win to earn bowl eligibility, he caught six passes for 178 yards with two touchdowns. Washington would not have earned its first bowl berth since 2002 without Kearse.

No. 24. Jurrell Casey, DT, USC

No. 25 California RB Shane Vereen