The Big East's best: No. 21

We soldier on with our preseason Top 25 countdown. As a reminder, we are projecting the best 25 players this coming season based on past performance, the way they impact their teams and with input from other coaches and players around the league. Freshmen, transfers and other newcomers are not being included in the list.

No. 21 Derek Wolfe, DT, Cincinnati

The troubles the Bearcats had on defense last season are well documented. But there were a few standouts as you see today and later in the countdown. Wolfe most certainly is one of them, not only with the way he is able to help clog up the middle of the line, but he has been an asset in the pass rush as well. Last season, he had four sacks, 6.5 tackles for loss and 48 tackles. In 2010, he had 41 tackles and five sacks. Wolfe also is as consistent as they come, having started 25 straight games.

The front should be much better this season, and Wolfe will be right there leading them. He already is on the watch list for the Outland and Nagurski Trophies. Defensive line is one of the strongest positions in the league, and Wolfe is just one reason why.

The countdown:

No. 25 Dave Teggart, PK, UConn

No. 24 B.J. Daniels, QB, USF

No. 23 Tino Sunseri, QB, Pitt

No. 22 Victor Anderson, RB, Louisville