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Thursday, July 1, 2010
Ranking the Pac-10's top 25: No. 3

By staff

Our countdown of the Pac-10's top 25 players continues.

No. 3. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon

2009 numbers: The 5-foot-9, 180-pound sophomore set a Pac-10 freshman record with 1,546 yards rushing, which ranked second in the conference. His 118.92 yards per game ranked ninth in the nation. His 6.7 yards per carry ranked No. 1 among conference backs with at least 100 carries. He also scored 14 TDs and caught 17 passes for 168 yards.

Most recent ranking: James was ranked eighth in our final Pac-10 top-30 list last year.

Making the case for James: James is the best home-run threat in the conference, if not the nation. He led the nation last year with 21 carries over 20 yards, including four over 50. He averaged 133.5 yards per game rushing in the 11 games he started. He earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors, became Oregon's first freshman to earn Most Outstanding Player honors and was named to numerous freshmen All-American teams. He's been named second-team preseason All-American by and Sporting News. He will be a leading candidate for the Doak Walker Award, which is given annually to the nation's top running back. James has legitimate track speed: He placed 5th in the 2010 Pac-10 championships at 100 meters while posting a personal best time of 10.52 in the semifinals. He also anchored 4x100 relay to a fourth-place finish.

No. 4. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
No. 5. Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State
No. 6. James Rodgers, WR, Oregon State
No. 7. Rahim Moore, S, UCLA
No. 8. Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA
No. 9. Mike Mohamed, LB, California
No. 10. Trevin Wade, CB, Arizona
No. 11. Mason Foster, LB, Washington
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