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The Big East's best: No. 18

Continuing the countdown of the top 25 players in the Big East for 2010, taking into account past performance and potential for this coming season ...

No. 18: Scott Lutrus, LB, Connecticut, Sr.

2009 numbers: Collected 69 tackles, 3.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries in eight games.

Postseason ranking: Not ranked

Making the case for Lutrus: The Huskies' veteran missed several games and was limited in others because of repeated problems with "stingers" in his shoulder. Before that, though, there was little doubt that Lutrus was one of the top linebackers in the Big East.

He had more than 100 tackles as a freshman and a sophomore, earning second-team All Big East honors after the 2008 season. The 6-foot-3, 240-pounder is a strong team leader and hard hitter who led the team in stops in the Papajohns.com Bowl win over South Carolina.

He's moving to middle linebacker this season where he'll be paired with another top playmaker in teammate Lawrence Wilson. Lutrus may not have been at full speed most of last year, but that just means he'll probably come back with a vengeance in 2010.

Previously:

No. 25: Zach Hurd, OG, Connecticut

No. 24: Derrell Smith, LB, Syracuse

No. 23: Tino Sunseri, QB, Pittsburgh

No. 22: Delone Carter, RB, Syracuse

No. 21: Steve Beauharnais, LB, Rutgers

No. 20: Vidal Hazelton, WR, Cincinnati

No. 19: Jabaal Sheard, DE, Pittsburgh