Monday, June 21, 2010
Ranking the Pac-10's top 25: No. 11
By ESPN.com staff
Our countdown of the Pac-10's top 25 players continues.
No. 11. Mason Foster, LB, Washington
2009 numbers: The 6-foot-2, 244-pound senior ranked seventh in the Pac-10 with 7.1 tackles per game. He also had 7.5 tackles for a loss, two sacks, three interceptions -- one returned for a TD -- nine pass defenses, six forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
Most recent ranking: Foster was not ranked in our final Pac-10 top-30 list last year.
Making the case for Foster: Foster, who earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 honors in 2009, ranking this high might surprise some folks. But the Pac-10 blog was remiss not including him on our final 2009 top 30 (and our really lame explanation is it seemed wrong to have two linebackers from the conference's No. 9 run defense on the list). But just start with this: Foster was responsible for creating 10 takeaways -- three picks, six forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. That's huge production. The Sporting News, in fact, named him first-team All-Pac-10 in 2009 and Phil Steele named him 2010 preseason All-Pac-10. If Foster takes another step forward his senior year, he could duplicate former linebacker teammate Donald Butler's climb in the NFL draft.
No. 12. Ricky Elmore, DE, Arizona
No. 13. Kenny Rowe, DE, Oregon
No. 14. Jurrell Casey, DT, USC
No. 15. Cameron Jordan, DE, California
No. 16. Nick Foles, QB, Arizona
No. 17. Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State
No. 18: Colin Baxter, C, Arizona
No. 19: Chase Beeler, C, Stanford
No. 20. Lawrence Guy, DT, Arizona State
No. 21. Matt Barkley, QB, USC
No. 22. Owen Marecic, LB/FB, Stanford
No. 23. Kristofer O'Dowd, C, USC
No. 24: Casey Matthews, LB, Oregon
No. 25 Kai Forbath, K, UCLA