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Pac-12 top 25 for 2012: No. 5

8/27/2012

Our countdown of the Pac-12's top 25 players in 2012 continues.

Most of this looks back, but, of course, there also is a good dose of projecting forward. A lot of good players, as it happens every year, won't make the preseason list. It is in their hands to make the postseason list.

You can review our 2011 postseason top 25 here.

5. Keith Price, QB, Washington

2011 numbers: Threw for 3,063 yards on 242 of 362 passing (66.9 percent) with 33 touchdowns to 11 interceptions. He also rushed for three touchdowns -- all of them coming in the Alamo Bowl against Baylor.

2011 postseason ranking: No. 11

Making the case for Price: After a defensive detour to close out last week, we turn our attention back to offense and one of the most versatile quarterbacks in the country. There's a reason Prices' name is being whispered as a potential Heisman candidate -- it's because he's really good. Only Andrew Luck posted a higher efficiency rating in the conference last season -- which means Price makes the most of his attempts. Nagging injuries -- and the fact that Washington had an A-list running back in Chris Polk -- were two of the reasons we didn't really see Price show off his athleticism. That's likely going to change this year as the coaching staff finds new and exciting ways for Price to make plays with his feet while also distributing the ball. We at the Pac-12 blog are on record as saying that if Price can make it through the first six weeks of the season with solid numbers, he could springboard from dark horse to legitimate Heisman contender.

No. 6: Chase Thomas, LB, Stanford

No. 7: Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State

No. 8: Keenan Allen, WR, California

No. 9: Marqise Lee, WR, USC

No. 10: T.J. McDonald, S, USC

No. 11: Dion Jordan, OLB/DE, Oregon

No. 12: Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford

No. 13: Kenjon Barner, RB, Oregon

No. 14: Nickell Robey, CB, USC

No. 15: John White IV, RB, Utah

No. 16: John Boyett, S, Oregon

No. 17: Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State

No. 18: Khaled Holmes, C, USC

No. 19: Cameron Marshall, RB, Arizona State

No. 20: Dion Bailey, LB, USC

No. 21: Shayne Skov, LB, Stanford

No. 22: Curtis McNeal, RB, USC

No. 23: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington

No. 24: Isi Sofele, RB, California

No. 25: Jeff Tuel, QB, Washington State