Our countdown of the Pac-12's top 25 players continues.
You can see Ted Miller's preseason top 25 here.
7. Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
2011 numbers: Lotulelei had 44 total tackles, with nine coming for a loss. He had 1.5 sacks, a pass break-up, forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Preseason ranking: Unranked.
Making the case for Lotulelei: How dare the Pac-12 blog vote an interior defensive lineman ahead of all these scintillating offensive stars! Well, go ask any interior offensive lineman who tried to block Lotulelei last season -- almost always with a second interior offensive lineman helping. We'll wait here. Da da dum tee dum. You're back! They crumpled onto the ground and yelled, "Noooooo!" Yeah, that's what we thought. After all, Pac-12 offensive linemen voted Lotulelei, just a wee bit at 6-foot-3, 325 pounds, the best defensive lineman in the conference in 2011, which earned him the coveted Morris Trophy. He also earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors and then opted to come back for his senior season, even though he likely would have been a first-day pick in the NFL draft. The toughest things to find on the West Coast -- other than good barbecue restaurants -- are A-list interior defensive linemen. That's what Lotulelei is. If you plopped him into any Pac-12 defense, he wouldn't put up sexy numbers but that defense would dramatically improve statistically. The belief here is that Lotulelei should get preseason All-American attention.