We continue our countdown of the top 25 players in the Pac-12 heading into the 2015 season.
If you're feeling nostalgic, here is how last year's preseason list looked. We'll continue to count things down, five players a day, until the series concludes Friday with Nos. 1-5.
16. Hunter Dimick, DL, Utah
Posted 10 sacks and 14.5 tackles for a loss last season, elevating him into the company of some of the nation’s best pass rushers. The Pac-12 owned backfield defensive stats last year, and Dimick was a big part of it. The big question is whether Dimick can break out on his own without the assistance of Nate Orchard.
17. Eddie Vanderdoes, DL, UCLA
He makes up one half of arguably the top 1-2 defensive line punch in the conference, maybe the country. He posted 50 tackles last year, including 5.5 for a loss and a pair of sacks. Along with Kenny Clark, Vanderdoes plugs gaps and allows UCLA’s linebackers to make plays. Worth noting: Last year he also carried the ball five times for four yards and a touchdown.
18. Byron Marshall, WR, Oregon
There’s a very good chance we’ll see him in the top 10 of the final rankings. He’s pure explosion, be it from his wide receiver spot or the backfield. Last year he caught 74 balls for 1,003 yards and six touchdowns, but also carried 52 times for 392 yards and a score. This is, of course, on the heels of a 1,000-yard rushing season in 2013. In a league packed with versatile playmakers, Marshall is one of the most dynamic. Speaking of which ...
19. D.J. Foster, WR, Arizona State
... The Pac-12 has gotten so tired of 1,000-yard rushers, they just keep moving them to wide receiver. Foster is cut from the same cloth as Marshall -- versatile and explosive. Foster’s move from RB to WR makes sense. The Sun Devils are pretty deep at running back and not so much at receiver, especially with the departure of Jaelen Strong. Foster was fine as the primary back (1,081 yards last year, nine touchdowns) but also has been a major contributor in the receiving game throughout his career. This move should prove fruitful for all parties.
20. Budda Baker, DB, Washington
After earning all-conference honorable mention last year, look for the talented safety to take on an even greater role on the defense as the Huskies replace some elite playmakers. He notched 80 tackles in his debut season, snagged one interception and forced a pair of fumbles. And his talents are recognized nationally, as the sophomore was named to the Hornung, Bednarik, Nagurski and Thorpe preseason watch lists. He's even gotten some looks at running back and could be featured in the return game.