Ranking the Pac-10's top 25: No. 3

Our countdown of the Pac-10's top 25 players continues.

No. 3. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon

2009 numbers: The 5-foot-9, 180-pound sophomore set a Pac-10 freshman record with 1,546 yards rushing, which ranked second in the conference. His 118.92 yards per game ranked ninth in the nation. His 6.7 yards per carry ranked No. 1 among conference backs with at least 100 carries. He also scored 14 TDs and caught 17 passes for 168 yards.

Most recent ranking: James was ranked eighth in our final Pac-10 top-30 list last year.

Making the case for James: James is the best home-run threat in the conference, if not the nation. He led the nation last year with 21 carries over 20 yards, including four over 50. He averaged 133.5 yards per game rushing in the 11 games he started. He earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors, became Oregon's first freshman to earn Most Outstanding Player honors and was named to numerous freshmen All-American teams. He's been named second-team preseason All-American by NationalChamps.net and Sporting News. He will be a leading candidate for the Doak Walker Award, which is given annually to the nation's top running back. James has legitimate track speed: He placed 5th in the 2010 Pac-10 championships at 100 meters while posting a personal best time of 10.52 in the semifinals. He also anchored 4x100 relay to a fourth-place finish.

No. 4. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

No. 5. Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State

No. 6. James Rodgers, WR, Oregon State

No. 7. Rahim Moore, S, UCLA

No. 8. Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA

No. 9. Mike Mohamed, LB, California

No. 10. Trevin Wade, CB, Arizona

No. 11. Mason Foster, LB, Washington

No. 12. Ricky Elmore, DE, Arizona

No. 13. Kenny Rowe, DE, Oregon

No. 14. Jurrell Casey, DT, USC

No. 15. Cameron Jordan, DE, California

No. 16. Nick Foles, QB, Arizona

No. 17. Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State

No. 18: Colin Baxter, C, Arizona

No. 19: Chase Beeler, C, Stanford

No. 20. Lawrence Guy, DT, Arizona State

No. 21. Matt Barkley, QB, USC

No. 22. Owen Marecic, LB/FB, Stanford

No. 23. Kristofer O'Dowd, C, USC

No. 24: Casey Matthews, LB, Oregon

No. 25 Kai Forbath, K, UCLA