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The Big East's best: No. 24

Let us move on to No. 24 in our preseason countdown of the top 25 players of 2011. 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 being included in the list.

No. 24 QB B.J. Daniels, USF.

Put me firmly on the Daniels bandwagon for this season. If the Bulls are going to surprise some folks, then Daniels is going to be the reason. We all know how maddeningly inconsistent he has been, but coach Skip Holtz has convinced me that Daniels is going to pick up right where he left off in the bowl game last season. Forget about his stats in 2010, when Daniels threw for just 11 touchdowns to 13 interceptions and completed less than 60 percent of his passes. His performance in the Meineke Car Care Bowl against Clemson is the game to focus on for this season. Daniels went 20-of-27 for 189 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in the win. He had a great spring and will have two of his best receivers back in A.J. Love and Sterling Griffin. That should make a huge difference in the passing game. USF should have a better run game, and that would open up more play-action passing. But as I have said many times on the blog, what has got to help Daniels is being in the same offensive system for the second year in a year. It’s a luxury he’s never had in his time with the program. Holtz noticed a more confident, more comfortable Daniels in the spring -- and that should translate into a top-25 performance this season.

The countdown:

No. 25 Dave Teggart