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Thursday, February 7, 2013
Big East 2012 Top 25 countdown: No. 13

By Andrea Adelson

Time to move on in our countdown of the Top 25 players in the Big East in 2012.

TIE No. 13: Ray Graham, RB, Pitt; Jawan Jamison, RB, Rutgers

Making the case: Too close to call so we have an unprecedented situation here in the Top 25 countdown (at least in the time I have been doing the rankings). I have Graham and Jamison together at No. 13. Their stats are virtually the same:

Graham had 222 carries for 1,042 yards and 11 touchdowns rushing; 36 catches for 340 yards and two touchdowns receiving.

Jamison had 255 carries for 1,075 yards and four touchdowns rushing; 28 catches for 323 yards and two touchdowns receiving.

Graham averaged 4.7 yards per carry; Jamison averaged 4.2 yards per carry. Jamison ranked No. 4 in the Big East in rushing; Graham ranked No. 5.

Going into the season, I only had three running backs featured in the Top 25 preseason countdown. By the time we finish up, there will be five. So it is safe to say Matt and I thought there were some outstanding running back performances across the league this season. Graham, of course, had the most inspirational one in his return from a torn ACL. He only missed one game all season, and that was the bowl because of a strained hamstring. Coaches rewarded him with a spot on the Big East first team.

You know how much Jamison impacted Rutgers' offense based on what happened at the end of the season. After Jamison sprained his ankle against Army on Nov. 10, the Rutgers rushing attack was not the same. Jamison had six 100-yard games in the first seven games of the season; none in the final six. When he was limited with the injury, Rutgers dropped three straight to end the season.

Previous ranking: Graham was No. 3 on the preseason countdown; Jamison was unranked.

The countdown

No. 14 Mario Benavides, C, Louisville

No. 15 Adrian Bushell, CB, Louisville

No. 16 Sio Moore, LB, UConn

No. 17 Shamarko Thomas, S, Syracuse

No. 18 Scott Vallone, DT, Rutgers

No. 19 Jerome Smith, RB, Syracuse

No. 20 Devin Street, WR, Pitt

No. 21 DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville

No. 22 Matt Brown, RB, Temple

No. 23 Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville

No. 24 Tyler Matakevich, LB, Temple

No. 25 Aaron Donald, DT, Pitt