Pac-12: Pac-10s 30 best

Pac-10 top 30 in 2009: No. 1

February, 24, 2010
2/24/10
1:28
PM ET
Our final top 30 player rankings from 2009 will start from the bottom and work up to No. 1.

[+] EnlargeToby Gerhart
Ivan Pierre Aguirre/US PresswireToby Gerhart won the Doak Walker Award, given annually to the nation's top running back.
Click here for Nos. 2-30. Preseason rankings are here.

1. Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford (25): Gerhart was the best player in the nation, so it makes sense that he sits atop the Pac-10 list. A consensus All-American, Gerhart finished second to Alabama running back Mark Ingram in the closest Heisman Trophy vote in history -- Ingram's playing for a national title contender clearly provided him the slim margin of victory -- but he beat out Ingram for the Doak Walker Award, which is given annually to the nation's best running back. Gerhart led the nation in rushing (1,871 yards) and touchdowns (28) -- only one other runner had more than 21 TDs. His 143.9 yards rushing per game was 25 yards more than any other conference running back. He also caught 11 passes for 157 yards and even threw a TD pass. Defenses crowded the line of scrimmage and tried to gang up on Gerhart. It just didn't matter.

2. Brian Price, DT, UCLA (6)
3. Sean Canfield, QB, Oregon State (NR)
4. Jeremiah Masoli, QB, Oregon (9)
5. Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Oregon State (4)
6. Jake Locker, QB, Washington (11)
7. Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State (24)
8. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon (NR)
9. James Rodgers, WR, Oregon State (22)
10. Rahim Moore, S, UCLA (NR)
11. Damian Williams, WR, USC (7)
12. Taylor Mays, S, USC (1)
13. Ed Dickson, TE, Oregon (16)
14. Tyson Alualu, DE, California (26)
15. Alterraun Verner, CB, UCLA (15)
16. Jahvid Best, RB, California (2)
17. Charles Brown, OT, USC (17)
18. Syd'Quan Thompson, CB, California (8)
19. Keaton Kristick, LB, Oregon State (28)
20. Nick Foles, QB, Arizona (NR)
21. Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, DE, Washington (23)
22. Mike Mohamed, LB, California (NR)
23. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford (NR)
24. Donald Butler, LB, Washington (NR)
25. Everson Griffen, DE, USC (30)
26. Ricky Elmore, DE, Arizona (NR)
27. Trevin Wade, CB, Arizona (NR)
28. Kenny Rowe, DE, Oregon (NR)
29. Earl Mitchell, DT, Arizona (NR)
30. Travis Goethel, LB Arizona State (NR)

Pac-10 top 30 in 2009: No. 2

February, 23, 2010
2/23/10
12:45
PM ET
Our final top 30 player rankings from 2009 will start from the bottom and work up to No. 1.

Click here for Nos. 3-30. Preseason rankings are here.

Price
Price
2. Brian Price, DT, UCLA (6): Everyone knew Price was coming; they just couldn't stop him, even with a double-team. The Pac-10 defensive player of the year -- a likely NFL first-round pick this spring -- led the conference with 23.5 tackles for loss, which is eight more than No. 2 (Washington's Donald Butler). That total ranked fourth in the nation. Seven of those TFLs were sacks, a total that ranked first among conference interior linemen. He also had 48 total tackles and forced a pair of fumbles.

3. Sean Canfield, QB, Oregon State (NR)
4. Jeremiah Masoli, QB, Oregon (9)
5. Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Oregon State (4)
6. Jake Locker, QB, Washington (11)
7. Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State (24)
8. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon (NR)
9. James Rodgers, WR, Oregon State (22)
10. Rahim Moore, S, UCLA (NR)
11. Damian Williams, WR, USC (7)
12. Taylor Mays, S, USC (1)
13. Ed Dickson, TE, Oregon (16)
14. Tyson Alualu, DE, California (26)
15. Alterraun Verner, CB, UCLA (15)
16. Jahvid Best, RB, California (2)
17. Charles Brown, OT, USC (17)
18. Syd'Quan Thompson, CB, California (8)
19. Keaton Kristick, LB, Oregon State (28)
20. Nick Foles, QB, Arizona (NR)
21. Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, DE, Washington (23)
22. Mike Mohamed, LB, California (NR)
23. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford (NR)
24. Donald Butler, LB, Washington (NR)
25. Everson Griffen, DE, USC (30)
26. Ricky Elmore, DE, Arizona (NR)
27. Trevin Wade, CB, Arizona (NR)
28. Kenny Rowe, DE, Oregon (NR)
29. Earl Mitchell, DT, Arizona (NR)
30. Travis Goethel, LB Arizona State (NR)

Pac-10 top 30 in 2009: No. 3

February, 22, 2010
2/22/10
12:15
PM ET
Our final top 30 player rankings from 2009 will start from the bottom and work up to No. 1.

Click here for Nos. 5-30. Preseason rankings are here.

Canfield
Canfield
3. Sean Canfield, QB, Oregon State (NR): Sean Canfield's wild ride as the Beavers' quarterback -- the starter as a sophomore, he probably wouldn't have played much in 2009 had Lyle Moevao been healthy -- ended with first-team All-Pac-10 honors and a season that made him an NFL prospect. He led the conference with 3,271 yards passing -- no other quarterback threw for more than 2,850 yards -- and tied Washington's Jake Locker for first in the conference with 21 touchdown passes. He completed 68 percent of his passes and ranked second in the conference in passing efficiency. He did all that for an offense that rebuilt its receiving corps as well as its offensive line.

4. Jeremiah Masoli, QB, Oregon (9)
5. Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Oregon State (4)
6. Jake Locker, QB, Washington (11)
7. Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State (24)
8. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon (NR)
9. James Rodgers, WR, Oregon State (22)
10. Rahim Moore, S, UCLA (NR)
11. Damian Williams, WR, USC (7)
12. Taylor Mays, S, USC (1)
13. Ed Dickson, TE, Oregon (16)
14. Tyson Alualu, DE, California (26)
15. Alterraun Verner, CB, UCLA (15)
16. Jahvid Best, RB, California (2)
17. Charles Brown, OT, USC (17)
18. Syd'Quan Thompson, CB, California (8)
19. Keaton Kristick, LB, Oregon State (28)
20. Nick Foles, QB, Arizona (NR)
21. Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, DE, Washington (23)
22. Mike Mohamed, LB, California (NR)
23. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford (NR)
24. Donald Butler, LB, Washington (NR)
25. Everson Griffen, DE, USC (30)
26. Ricky Elmore, DE, Arizona (NR)
27. Trevin Wade, CB, Arizona (NR)
28. Kenny Rowe, DE, Oregon (NR)
29. Earl Mitchell, DT, Arizona (NR)
30. Travis Goethel, LB Arizona State (NR)

Ranking the Pac-10's 30 best players: No. 23

March, 19, 2009
3/19/09
10:52
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

 Te'o-Nesheim

No. 23

Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, DE, Washington: How does an end on one of the nation's worst defenses earn a No. 23 ranking? Well, the four-year starter earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors in 2008, despite playing on the nation's 116th-ranked scoring defense. And, despite getting the blocking attention the only legitimate threat up front on the Huskies defense merited, Te'o-Nesheim ranked sixth in the conference with eight sacks, which gave him 19 for his career. His 65 total tackles tied Oregon State's Victor Butler for first among conference defensive linemen in 2008. Most 2010 mock NFL drafts project Te'o-Nesheim as a third- or fourth-round pick.


24. Lawrence Guy, DT, Arizona State; Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State
25. Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford
26. Tyson Alualu, DE, California
27. Devin Ross, CB, Arizona
28. Keaton Kristick, LB, Oregon State
29. Brooks Reed, DE, Arizona
30. Everson Griffen, DE, USC

Ranking the Pac-10's 30 best players: No. 24 (xTwo!)

March, 16, 2009
3/16/09
3:30
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

Folks... we have an accounting error. Just realized my master list -- reorganized, like, 50 times -- doubled up a number so I have 31 guys.

So we have two defensive tackles at No. 24.

Yes, I'm copping out. I refuse to drop either guy.

Just see this as sort of like the Big Ten [11] now. The 30 best players are actually 31.

No. 24

Guy

Lawrence Guy, DT, Arizona State: This one is a nod to upside. Potential first-round NFL draft choice upside. As a true freshman, Guy took over as the starting defensive tackle five games into the season, but still led all Sun Devils defensive linemen with 44 tackles -- 10 for a loss -- with two sacks. Word is the Freshman All-American has added 20 pounds of muscle to his 6-foot-5 frame since arriving in Tempe, so Guy could become Man inside in 2009.

Paea

Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State: Another nod to upside. Paea, a junior, has only played football four years, but he managed to lead all Pac-10 interior linemen with five sacks in 2008. The native of Tonga also had 41 tackles, with 11 coming for a loss, and a forced fumble. Built low to the ground at 6-foot-1, 293 pounds with tremendous natural strength, Paea also figures to be a force inside in 2009.


25. Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford
26. Tyson Alualu, DE, California
27. Devin Ross, CB, Arizona
28. Keaton Kristick, LB, Oregon State
29. Brooks Reed, DE, Arizona
30. Everson Griffen, DE, USC

Ranking the Pac-10's 30 best players: No. 26

March, 13, 2009
3/13/09
3:30
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

No. 26 

  Alualu

Tyson Alualu, DE, California: Alualu isn't much of a talker but he's been Cal's best defensive lineman the past two seasons, earning second-team All-Pac-10 honors in 2008, when the Bears ranked second in the conference in scoring defense (19.9 points per game). While officially listed as an end in the 3-4 scheme, the 6-foot-3, 292-pounder is really a tackle and that's where he'll be projected in the 2010 NFL draft. Last year, he led the D-line with 62 tackles and six sacks and tied with fellow end Cameron Jordan with 11 tackles for loss. He also forced two fumbles and recorded six quarterback hurries, which may have played a part in the Bears' 24 interceptions -- ranking third in the nation. A defense doesn't pick off that many passes without opposing quarterbacks fretting the pass rush.

Oh ... and there will be a feature on Alualu later this afternoon.


27. Devin Ross, CB, Arizona
28. Keaton Kristick, LB, Oregon State
29. Brooks Reed, DE, Arizona
30. Everson Griffen, DE, USC

Ranking the Pac-10's 30 best players: No. 27

March, 13, 2009
3/13/09
11:18
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

No. 27

  Ross

Devin Ross, CB, Arizona: Big corners are in vogue now, and at 5-foot-10, 178 pounds, Ross isn't big, but he has a chance of making it into the first day of the NFL draft this fall because of one thing: He's got cover skills. Just ask California, which saw Ross take an interception back 21 yards for a touchdown that broke open Arizona's 42-27 victory over the Bears, the Wildcats biggest win in 2008. Ross earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors after breaking up 13 passes and intercepting three. His 16 passes defended ranked 16th in the nation, and he also had 50 tackles. The Wildcats ranked 14th in the nation in pass efficiency defense and yielded just 12 touchdown passes, tied for second fewest in the conference with Cal.


28. Keaton Kristick, LB, Oregon State
29. Brooks Reed, DE, Arizona
30. Everson Griffen, DE, USC

Ranking the Pac-10's 30 best players: No. 28

March, 12, 2009
3/12/09
4:52
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

No. 28

Keaton Kristick, LB, Oregon State: Kristick played as a freshman and sophomore but he had to wait his turn at Oregon State, which likes to bill itself as a West Coast Linebacker U. It was worth the wait as he was a key reason the Beavers, despite completely rebuilding their front seven from 2007, ended up ranked second in the Pac-10 in total defense (312.2 yards per game). Playing from the strongside, the 6-foot-2, 226-pound Kristick ranked second on the Beavers with 82 tackles and his 14 tackles for loss ranked eighth in the conference. He also had 3.5 sacks and broke up four passes. He earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors, which is no shame considering USC's Rey Maualuga and Brian Cushing and California's Zach Follett -- all seniors -- were the first-team guys.

And... in a total coincidence -- grin -- Kristick is the subject of a blog entry that will be posted in a couple of hours.

So stay tuned.

Teaser: Find out why the Pac-10 blog believes this Beavers linebacker should now be known as Keaton "Kaffeinated" Kristick (though Paul Buker of The Oregonian deserves credit for uncovering Kristick's addiction).

29. Brooks Reed, DE, Arizona
30. Everson Griffen, DE, USC

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