We continue our countdown of the Pac-10's 25 best players from 2010.
Note: Because we are ranking players based on this past season, it's Pac-10, not Pac-12.
Here are the preseason rankings (click each name to read the blurb).
No. 20. Talmadge Jackson, CB, Oregon
2010 numbers: Jackson ranked fourth on the Ducks with 70 tackles. He also had two interceptions, eight pass breakups and one forced fumble.
Preseason ranking: Unranked.
Making the case for Jackson: If you were a contestant on the game show "What's my line?" a question on the 5-foot-10, 188-pound Jackson would be a perfect way to reveal whether you were interviewing a football coach or a football fan. The question: "Kind sir, who was Oregon's best cornerback in 2010?" A fan would say: "Cliff Harris! He's fancy!" A coach would say: "Talmadge Jackson. He does his job well every play." When Chip Kelly was asked this year by reporters about Harris, who was named to a number of All-America teams, Kelly would always take the opportunity to praise Jackson (Said Kelly at the BCS title game, "Obviously Talmadge is our best player in the secondary"). Same with defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti. Same with the Pac-10 coaches who voted Jackson first-team All-Pac 10 as a corner and Harris second-team. Jackson isn't flamboyant like many corners. He's not demonstrative. What he is is all business. In terms of pure talent, Harris edges Jackson. In terms of what happened in 13 games last year -- and more than 50 games over his career -- Jackson edges Harris. And just about every other corner in the Pac-10.
No. 21. Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA
No. 22. Cliff Harris, CB, Oregon
No. 23. Jermaine Kearse, WR, Washington
No. 24. Jurrell Casey, DT, USC
No. 25. Shane Vereen, RB, California