The Big East's best: No. 17

Time to move on in our preseason countdown of the top 25 players in the Big East. 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 included in the list.

No. 17 Julian Miller, DT, West Virginia

Miller started the past two seasons at defensive end before being moved to defensive tackle this spring, a shift inside to allow Bruce Irvin to be the every down defensive end. Still, Miller and Irvin are a pretty incredible tandem. The two combined for 23 of the team's 30 sacks last season. Miller led the team with 14 tackles for loss last season, and also had one forced fumble and three pass breakups.

He is nothing if not consistent. Miller has played in 39 career games and started 27, and goes into the season ranking No. 4 on the school's career sack list (21.5). He also is tied for No. 5 on the school's career tackles for loss chart (31.5). The Mountaineers have inexperience at the nose tackle spot, so the defense should rely more heavily on Miller and Irvin to get the job done.

* Intrepid readers will note I had Miller listed behind Derek Wolfe in my defensive line rankings. I believe by the end of the season, Miller will move ahead. Regardless, both are outstanding linemen.

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

No. 21 Derek Wolfe, DT, Cincinnati

No. 20 Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers

No. 19 Jarred Holley, S, Pitt

No. 18 Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse