- Kevin Gemmell, ESPN Staff Writer
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Our countdown of the top 25 players in 2012 continues.
No. 11: Anthony Barr, LB, UCLA
2012 numbers: He led the Pac-12 in total number of sacks with 13.5, was second in the league in total number of tackles for a loss with 21.5 and was tied for third with four fumbled forced. All while collecting 83 tackles (60 solo), breaking up five passes, blocking a kick and notching a safety. His sack total was second in the nation.
Preseason ranking: Unranked
Making the case for Barr: There are some position switches that work out well. There are others which are home runs. Moving the 6-4, 235-pound Barr to the other side of the ball was an absolute grand slam for new head coach Jim Mora. The former offensive back took to his new gig as an outside linebacker with great haste and quickly became one of the most dominant defensive players in the nation in UCLA's 3-4 scheme. His numbers are impressive -- and the fact that he was raw at the position only bodes well in the future. Once ranked No. 10 on Mel Kiper's Big Board, Barr has opted to return to the Bruins for another season --and more seasoning. Without seasoning, he was a first-team All-Pac-12 performer, was a second-team AP All-American and any preseason list for 2013 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year should have him toward the top.
No. 12: Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State
No. 13: Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford
No. 14: Matt Barkley, QB, USC
No. 15: Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA
No. 16: Trent Murphy, OLB, Stanford
No. 17: Chase Thomas, OLB, Stanford
No. 18: Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon
No. 19: David Yankey, OL, Stanford
No. 20: Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon
No. 21: Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State
No. 22: Ed Reynolds, S, Stanford
No. 23: Michael Clay, LB, Oregon
No. 24: Taylor Kelly, QB, Arizona State
No. 25: Reggie Dunn, KR, Utah