Friday, July 29, 2011
Pac-12 top 25 for 2011: No. 22
By ESPN.com staff
Our countdown of the Pac-12's top-25 players continues.
You can see the final post-2010 top 25 here. It doesn't, however, include players from Colorado or Utah.
22. Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA
2010 numbers: Franklin ranked 27th in the nation and fifth in the Pac-10 with 1,127 yards rushing last season. He averaged 5.27 yards per carry and scored eight TDs.
2010 ranking: Unranked.
Making the case for Franklin: Franklin, a shifty, explosive runner, earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors in 2010 and, at his best, he's an elite running back. An 18-game starter and the Bruins offensive MVP last season, the 5-foot-10, 193-pound junior has been named to the Doak Walker Award and Maxwell Award preseason watch lists. His rushing total was the 10th best in school history and he was the first Bruin since 2006 to rush for more than 1,000 yards. Further, he put up those numbers with little or no passing threat for opposing defenses to worry about -- the Bruins ranked 116th in the nation in passing last fall. He's not perfect. He's not a great receiver -- 10 catches for 63 yards in 2010 -- and he's long struggled with fumbling issues, the most notable of his six last season coming against USC -- it was returned for a touchdown -- when he was in the midst of an outstanding game.
23. David Paulson, TE, Oregon
24. David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
25. Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State