- Kevin Gemmell, ESPN Staff Writer
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Out countdown of the Pac-12's top 25 players in 2012 continues.
You can see our preseason top 25 here.
No. 21: Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State
2012 numbers: Crichton posted 44 tackles with 17.5 tackles for a loss of 76 yards and nine sacks for a loss of 49 yards. He also forced a fumble, recovered two more, blocked a kick and swatted down three passes.
Preseason ranking: Unranked
Making the case for Crichton: It's 14 hours before this post is set to publish, and your Pac-12 bloggers are still on the phone vigorously debating this spot between Crichton and Arizona State's Carl Bradford. Compelling arguments are made for both. Bradford -- a hybrid DE/LB -- has the numbers. But Crichton played on a defense that was much better against the run and he did it against a tougher schedule. Ultimately we deferred to the Pac-12 coaches, who picked Crichton as a first-team all-league performer, to settle the standoff. Crichton was also picked as a mid-season All-American by "Sports Illustrated" in helping the Beavers turn a disastrous 3-9 season in 2011 into a 9-4 campaign in 2012. The Beavers were third in the conference against the run and second only to Stanford in scoring defense. Crichton was a huge part of that. Often double-teamed -- or simply avoided by opposing offensive coordinators -- he was one of the most disruptive defensive linemen in the Pac-12 and is one of several players we expect to be in the hunt for the Pac-12's defensive player of the year next season.
No. 22: Ed Reyonlds, S, Stanford
No. 23: Michael Clay, LB, Oregon
No. 24: Taylor Kelly, QB, Arizona State
No. 25: Reggie Dunn, KR, Utah
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