We are counting down the top-25 players in the Big East, one player at a time.
Up today: Dexter Heyman, LB, Louisville.
Making the case: Heyman was perhaps the most consistent player on a defense that really was hurt at times by inexperience and injuries. The defensive line took its share of hits to veteran players, leaving Heyman to be the veteran leader of the group. Louisville finished second in the Big East in total defense, and Heyman was right there to make big plays, leading his team with 90 tackles while adding 4.5 sacks. He also tied for second in the league with 16 tackles for loss, making his presence known in the backfield on more than one occasion. His ability to get through the line helped the Cardinals rank No. 10 in the nation in rushing defense. His depature leaves a huge hole in the middle of the Louisville defense next season.
Preseason ranking: NR.
No. 25 Ryne Giddins, DE, USF
No. 24 Keith Tandy, CB, West Virginia
No. 23 Duron Harmon, S, Rutgers
No. 22 Antwon Bailey, RB, Syracuse
No. 21 Lyle McCombs, RB, UConn