The Big East's best: Ryan D'Imperio, No. 11

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

Ranking the Big East's Top 30 players ...

No. 11

Ryan D'Imperio, LB, Rutgers

Why him here: D'Imperio is a hard-hitting middle linebacker who had 93 tackles last season, making him the second-leading returning tackler in the Big East. He also added 5.5 sacks, 13 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries and an interception while earning second-team all-conference honors.

The 6-foot-3, 240-pound senior will likely take on an even bigger role this year in replacing Kevin Malast as the leader of the Scarlet Knights' linebacking corps and one of the leaders of the defense as a whole. Defense will probably be Rutgers' strong suit early on this season, and D'Imperio is the best player on that unit right now.

The countdown

No. 12: Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
No. 13:
Scott Lutrus, LB, Connecticut
No. 14:
Jarrett Brown, QB, West Virginia
No. 15
: Aaron Berry, CB, Pittsburgh
No. 16: Robert Vaughn, S, Connecticut
No. 17: Scooter Berry, DL, West Virginia
No. 18:
Jabaal Sheard, DE, Pittsburgh
No. 19:
Scott Long, WR, Louisville
No. 20:
Jason Pinkston, OT, Pittsburgh
No. 21: Jessie Hester Jr., WR, South Florida
No. 22: Ryan Blaszczyk, C, Rutgers
No. 23: Jeff Linkenbach, OT, Cincinnati
No. 24:
Brandon Hogan, CB, West Virginia
No. 25:
Mike Williams, WR, Syracuse
No. 26:
Nate Allen, S, South Florida
No. 27:
Jock Sanders, WR, West Virginia
No. 28: Nate Byham, TE, Pitt
No. 29: Jon Dempsey, LB, Louisville
No. 30: Moe Petrus, OL, UConn