Top 25 player countdown: No. 17

No. 17. Cam Johnson, DE, Virginia

2010 numbers: He started all 12 games last year and led Virginia with 6.5 sacks. He was fifth in the ACC with 14.5 tackles for loss and fifth on the team with 53 tackles. He broke up four passes at the line of scrimmage. He recovered fumbles at USC and Georgia Tech.

Previous ranking: Not ranked.

Making the case for Johnson: Originally, Johnson was much higher on this list because of his potential to be a beast up front and one of the best ends in the ACC. At ACC media days, though, coach Mike London talked about a sickle cell condition that has and could continue to limit Johnson’s ability to be 100 percent for four quarters. London talked about managing Johnson’s snaps more carefully this fall. There’s no question, though, that Johnson is a physically gifted athlete capable of disrupting the passing game. He was a linebacker who moved to defensive end last year with London’s shift from a 3-4 scheme to a 4-3 scheme, and he only scratched the surface last year.

No. 18 Greg Reid, CB, Florida State

No. 19 Ray-Ray Armstrong, S, Miami

No. 20 Lamar Miller, RB, Miami

No. 21 Conner Vernon, WR, Duke

No. 22 Jarrett Boykin, WR, Virginia Tech

No. 23 Omoregie Uzzi, OG, Georgia Tech

No. 24 Andre Ellington, RB, Clemson

No. 25 EJ Manuel, QB, Florida State