Time to move on in our preseason countdown of the top 25 players in the Big East. 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 included in the list.
No. 14 Hakeem Smith, S, Louisville
Smith was a revelation last season as a redshirt freshman, earning Big East Rookie of the Year honors and making the all-conference second team. Smith finished as the team leader in tackles with 88, and also had six tackles for loss and a sack. What really impressed was his ability to tackle. He is as sure-handed as it gets for a player in the defensive backfield.
Louisville no doubt will be relying more on him this season with some of the inexperience at the cornerback position, where nobody has stepped up just yet to take one of the starting roles. As Smith becomes bigger and even more experienced, he should no doubt be one of the best defensive backs in the conference.
No. 25 Dave Teggart, PK, UConn
No. 24 B.J. Daniels, QB, USF
No. 23 Tino Sunseri, QB, Pitt
No. 22 Victor Anderson, RB, Louisville
No. 21 Derek Wolfe, DT, Cincinnati
No. 20 Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers
No. 19 Jarred Holley, S, Pitt
No. 18 Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse
No. 17 Julian Miller, DE, West Virginia
No. 16. D.J. Woods, WR, Cincinnati
No. 15 Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB, UConn