- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Time to move on in our preseason countdown of the top 25 players in the Big East.
If you need a quick refresher, I am projecting the best of the best in the league for this upcoming season, and I am including freshmen and transfers.
No. 9 Justin Pugh, OT, Syracuse
Twitter handle: @JustinPugh67
Making the case: There is little doubt that Pugh is the best offensive lineman in the Big East, and one of the best overall players in the league. Now going into his third season as a starter, Pugh made the Big East first-team last season and has helped pave the way for 1,000-yard rushers in 2010 and 2011 while doing a good job of protecting the quarterback.
Pugh is on the preseason watch lists for the Lombardi Award (best lineman) and Outland Trophy (best interior lineman), and expectations are high for him to be an all-Big East selection again. But there is one thing to keep in mind. Pugh will miss all of preseason practice and most of September with an upper body injury. The belief is that he will come back better than ever.
No. 10 Lyle McCombs, RB, UConn
No. 11 Ryne Giddins, DE, USF
No. 12 Montel Harris, RB, Temple
No. 13 DeDe Lattimore, LB, USF
No. 14 Sio Moore, LB, UConn
No. 15 Walter Stewart, DE, Cincinnati
No. 16 Duron Harmon, S, Rutgers
No. 17 Mario Benavides, C, Louisville
No. 18 Jarred Holley, S, Pitt
No. 19 Scott Vallone, NT, Rutgers
No. 20 Ryan Griffin, TE, UConn
No. 21 Adrian Bushell, CB, Louisville
No. 22 Alec Lemon, WR, Syracuse
No. 23 Steve Beauharnais, LB, Rutgers
No. 24 Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB, UConn
No. 25 Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse