Preseason 2012 top 25 countdown: No. 11

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

If you need a quick refresher, I am projecting the best of the best in the league for this upcoming season, and I am including freshmen and transfers as well.

No. 11 Ryne Giddins, DE, USF

Making the case: Giddins emerged as a starter last season for USF, and used his terrific speed to his advantage as a rush end for the Bulls. While many of you remember his terrible penalty at the end of the West Virginia game, keep in mind he did have a solid season overall for USF, with 44 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, three pressures, a pass breakup, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

That was good enough to earn him Big East second team honors. Going into this year, expectations are higher for even more. Giddins already is on the preseason watch list for the Lombardi Award, presented annually to the best lineman in college football. The USF defensive line should be one of the strongest positions for the Bulls this season and big reason why is Giddins.

The countdown

No. 12 Montel Harris, RB, Temple

No. 13 DeDe Lattimore, LB, USF

No. 14 Sio Moore, LB, UConn

No. 15 Walter Stewart, DE, Cincinnati

No. 16 Duron Harmon, S, Rutgers

No. 17 Mario Benavides, C, Louisville

No. 18 Jarred Holley, S, Pitt

No. 19 Scott Vallone, NT, Rutgers

No. 20 Ryan Griffin, TE, UConn

No. 21 Adrian Bushell, CB, Louisville

No. 22 Alec Lemon, WR, Syracuse

No. 23 Steve Beauharnais, LB, Rutgers

No. 24 Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB, UConn

No. 25 Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse