The Big East's best: No. 25

Today, we begin our countdown of the Top 25 players in the Big East from the 2010 season.

These lists have incorporated different criteria at different times. For this particular exercise, I am focusing solely on 2010 performance, not past heroics in previous seasons or future potential in either the 2011 Big East season or the NFL.

I'll also be giving more weight to high-impact guys, players who made a major difference to their teams and the league race as a whole. These types of lists invariably are slanted in favor of skill position players whose stats are easily measurable. There won't be a whole lot of linemen or defensive tackles on here, and I apologize in advance to the guys who do the dirty work in the trenches.

And away we go ...

No. 25

Zach Hurd, OG, Connecticut, Sr.

2010 numbers: Started all 13 games for the Big East champion Huskies

Preseason rank: 25

Making the case for Hurd: OK, so it's a little boring to have the same guy ranked 25th in both the preseason and postseason lists. But Hurd performed up to expectations in 2010 and was named to the All Big East first team. He was a big reason why Jordan Todman finished second in the nation in rushing. I can't imagine too many scarier things for a linebacker to see than the 6-foot-7, 325-pound Hurd pulling and gaining a full head of steam heading right toward you.

Hurd was invited to the NFL combine and even worked out at center some during all-star season. As I wrote, not too many of the true trench guys will find love on this list, but Hurd is too good to ignore.