Pac-12 Top 25 for 2011: No. 1

March, 12, 2012
3/12/12
11:00
AM ET
Our countdown of the Pac-12's top 25 players ends at No. 1.

You can see Ted Miller's preseason top 25 here.

1. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

2011 numbers: Luck passed for 3,517 yards and 37 touchdowns with 10 interceptions in 2011, completing 71.3 percent of his passes. He also rushed for 150 yards and two TDs. He ranked fifth in the nation in passing efficiency.

Preseason ranking: No. 1.

Making the case for Luck: Luck not only is going to be the top overall pick in the NFL draft this spring, he would have been the top overall pick in 2011. Simply, he's the best QB prospect in a generation. Of course, you've heard this all before. He was No. 1 in this ranking in 2010 as well. First, there's the physical side: A 6-foot-4, 235-pound frame that ran a 4.69 40 at the NFL combine and jumped better than any QB. Luck is the pure pro-style pocket passer who secretly moonlights as an outstanding all-around athlete. Then there's the head. Luck is not just a smart guy, he's a Stanford smart guy. The architectural design major had a 3.48 GPA. And he's not just Stanford smart: He's football smart. No college football player in the nation -- perhaps in years -- had as much play-calling responsibility at the line of scrimmage this year as Luck. The Cardinal offense, playing with second-tier talent at receiver, averaged 43.2 points per game, which ranked seventh in the nation. Finally, there's character and moxie. While Luck is highly competitive, he's also as humble as they come -- authentically so. An NFL team is never going to have to worry about Luck getting into trouble. Luck has been burdened with high expectations since 2009 when NFL scouts started whispering about him. He's not only lived up to those expectations, he's eclipsed them. The only wart on his résumé? All together Oregon fans: He failed to beat Oregon the past two seasons, which cost him shots at the national championship.

2. Matt Barkley, QB, USC

3. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon

4. Matt Kalil, OT, USC

5. Chase Thomas, OLB, Stanford

6. Mychal Kendricks, LB, Cal

7. Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

8. Robert Woods, WR, USC

9. Chris Polk, RB, Washington

10. Jonathan Martin, LT, Stanford

11. Keith Price, QB, Washington

12 (tie). Darron Thomas, QB & De'Anthony Thomas, WR-RB, Oregon

13. Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State

14. David DeCastro, OL, Stanford

15. Keenan Allen, WR, California

16. Marqise Lee, WR, USC

17. Nick Perry, DE, USC

18. Nick Foles, QB, Arizona

19. T.J. McDonald, S, USC

20. Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon

21. John White IV, RB, Utah

22. Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford

23. Nickell Robey, CB, USC

24. Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford

25. David Paulson, TE, Oregon

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