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Old 07-24-2014, 04:27 PM    (permalink
Ozzy
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Default Most talented College Football defenses 2014

This list is only including the players that saw action last year. I know a lot will change with the incoming freshman but hard to rate players and prospects one has not seen yet. So here are who I think could be some of the best defensive units next season.

Even though outside of FSU there is not real clear number one defensive, a lot have a few guys here and there but hard to put together a totally complete unit from top to bottom.





#1 Florida State:
Easily is the best secondary in the country, have outstanding talent back there and really will be interesting to see how Andrews develops. Edwards should be the top DE in the country this year with his speed and power. Linebacker is a little inexperienced but have a lot of ability, if they can fill some holes in the middle they will be set.
DE Edwards
DT
DT Lawrence Stample
DE Casher
OLB R. Northrup
ILB T. Smith
OLB M. Thomas
CB PJ Williams
CB R. Darby, N. Waisome
SS Ramsey
FS N. Andrews



#2 Stanford:
Always tough and a few guys get their chance to star. Tarpley is a very productive player at linebacker and look out for Vaughters, expect big things out of him. I think Anderson and Leuters should have really great seasons as well, Leuters has a lot of talent. They got two sound corners in Carter and Lyons and a stud safety in Richards. They should be very hard to handle once more on defense.
DE H. Anderson
DT
DE B. Leuters
OLB K. Anderson
ILB Tarpley
ILB
OLB J. Vaughters
CB W. Lyons
CB A. Carter
SS
FS J. Richards




#3 Alabama:
I know I said I did not include freshman but T. Brown at CB will really make this defense if he is as good as I think, they really need a playmaking corner. They got star safety back in Collins, very experienced linebackers and if one or two can get a better pass rush they will be hard to deal with. DePriest is a solid player and they have some talent and size on the DL. They have to show a lot of improvement though, they lost a lot of talent and productive even though last year a lot of them underachieved.
DE A. Robinson
DT Ivory
DE Pettway
OLB D. Devall
ILB DePriest
ILB R. Ragland
OLB
CB T. Brown
CB Sylve
SS L. Collins
FS N. Perry



#4 UCLA:
With Jack on the team they could be great, just will see how much he plays on defense. Star athlete and Kendricks is another fine linebacker they have, if they can get more production out of Orjioke watchout. Defensive backs are solid, I like Adams at corner and they have solid safeties in Jefferson and Goforth. The defensive line is big and strong with McCarthy in the middle and those two massive ends. Should be another sound defense for UCLA.
DE Odighizuwa
DT McCarthy
DE Vanderdoes
OLB M. Jack
ILB E. Kendricks
ILB
OLB Orjioke
CB I. Adams
CB
SS A. Jefferson
FS R. Goforth



#5 Ohio State:
Have a ton of talent up front, could say they have the best front four of anyone out there. Tons of depth, Bosa is a star DE and Spence is not too bad opposite, then you have two awesome tackles in Washington and Bennett. I really like Perry at linebacker he could be crazy productive and Grant is a solid player as well. Secondary has questions though, few spots to fill at corner and need a lot of improvement out of Belly at safety along with some others. Fill those needs they could be a great defense.
DE Spence
DT A. Washington
DT M. Bennett
DE J. Bosa
OLB J. Perry
ILB C. Grant
OLB
CB D. Grant
CB
SS
FS V. Bell






Virginia Tech:
Nicolas is going to be huge this year and Maddy will be good once again. Have a few questions at linebacker that is for sure but the secondary is rock solid. Full and Facyson could be the best tandem corners in college and Jarrett has a lot of toughness at safety.
DE Nicolas
DT L. Maddy
DT
DE Ekanem
OLB
ILB
OLB R. Vandyke
CB K. Fuller
CB Facyson
SS K. Jarrett
FS D. Bonner



Miami FL:
I like the talent they have despite playing so bad last year. Have a lot of returning guys at DB, Bush is a solid player, Crawford was moved to safety and Jenkins has a lot of talent but has not played all that great. Even with Figueroa being kicked off the team they have a lot of talent at linebacker, Perryman is a stud and Armbrister has tons of potential. McCord can get some push of the edge and Chickillo and Kamalu are solid ends and they are deep at that position. Will see what they can do this year.
DE Chickillo, Kamalu
DT O Pierre
DT
DE Muhammed, T. McCord
OLB Armbrister
ILB D. Perryman
OLB Kirby
CB T. Howard
CB L. Gunter
SS D. Bush, D. Crawford
FS R. Jenkins



Georgia:
Questions on the DL but that linebacker group is arguably the best in the country, star plays all over. Floyd is a great pass rusher, Herrera is solid and Wilson tackles everything, then you have a star pass rusher on the other side in Jenkins. They have two talented corners in Swann and Wiggins, very solid players but will they live up to their playmaking potential, if so they could be great on D.
DE
DT
DE
OLB J. Jenkins
ILB R. Wilson
ILB A. Herrera
OLB L. Floyd, J. DeLoach
CB Swann
CB Wiggins
SS
FS Moore



Clemson:
Very talented group, have one of the best pars of defensive ends on any team in the country. Beasley is a monster and Crawford is hard to handle as well, just those two will make this a solid defense. I like Anthony a lot at linebacker, they have a few issues at corner potentially but Kearse back at safety could be a star player.
DE Beasley
DT
DT Jarrett
DE C. Crawford
OLB T. Blanks
ILB S. Anthony
OLB T. Steward
CB
CB
SS
FS J. Kearse



Michigan State:
Lost a lot of talent but still have some fine players. Calhoun is a star defensive end and a huge part to that defense, and Rush is not bad either, if they get anything out of Thomas watchout. Bullough is a solid linebacker just like his brother and Jones has a ton of ability and will see if he can play up to that. Two solid secondary guys come back in Waynes a lock down corner and Drummond at safety.
DE Calhoun
DT Heath
DT
DE M. Rush, L. Thomas
OLB R. Bullough
ILB T. Jones
OLB
CB T. Waynes
CB
SS K. Drummond
FS



Oklahoma:
Very hard defensive to go up against with those quick fast linebackers. Shannon and Alexander really played well last year and Striker and Grissom were very hard to deal with as pass rushers. I like Sanchez at corner but they need to fill some spots back there. If they do they could be a very good defense.
DE
DT J. Phillips
DE Tapper
OLB Grissom
ILB D. Alexander
ILB F. Shannon
OLB E. Striker
CB Z. Sanchez
CB
SS
FS Hayes



USC:
Should be a solid team, Williams is a star at defensive line but will see how the defense plays after losing Orgeron. Ruffin has a lot of talent at linebacker and Pullard has been very productive. At DB Shaw is a stud corner and should be one of the best around, and they have arguably one of the best combo safeties in the country, should be great players..
DE L. Williams
DT A. Woods
DE
OLB
ILB H. Pullard
ILB
OLB R. Ruffin
CB J. Shaw
CB
SS Cravens
FS McQuay



Ole Miss:
Could be a very solid defense. Awesome safety talent in Connor and Prewitt, star players who should really play well. Then they have Alford back there as well, a athletic standout for Southern Miss at QB, could be interesting. Shckleford and D. Nkemdiche are back at linebacker and they should be very good. The DL is solid, Nkemdiche could really put himself on another level if he takes up his play just a little. Will see how they come together during the season.
DE CJ. Johnson
DT R. Nkemdiche
DT I. Gross
DE
OLB D. Nkemdiche
ILB Shackleford
OLB
CB S. Golson
CB
SS T. Conner
FS Prewitt, Anthony Alford



Duke:
Some questions at defensive line I think, but have some solid linebackers returning especially Brown. And possibly the one of the top three best secondaries in college football. Tons of talent back there, Cash and Edwards are big time playmakers at safety and I like Borders at corner.
DE
DT
DT
DE
OLB K. Brown
ILB D. Helton
CB Borders
CB Fields
SS D. Norman
S J. Cash
FS D. Edwards
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:25 PM    (permalink
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Eddie Goldman is the starting DT for FSU and an All American candidate. Well, technically he's a 3-4 DE, but has DT responsibilities regardless if the Jack (Casher or Thomas) has his hand in the dirt. It is a real hybrid position in the defense but adds to his value in the NFL. He was the #1 DT in the class of 2012 (or #2 in some services behind Mario Edwards Jr.).

I think the starting LBs will be Terrance Smith, E.J. Levenberry, and Matthew Thomas. Reggie Northrup, Markus Eligwe, and Kain Daub will see lots of time as well.
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Old 07-25-2014, 08:31 AM    (permalink
Don Vito
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozzy View Post
Ole Miss:
Could be a very solid defense. Awesome safety talent in Connor and Prewitt, star players who should really play well. Then they have Alford back there as well, a athletic standout for Southern Miss at QB, could be interesting. Shckleford and D. Nkemdiche are back at linebacker and they should be very good. The DL is solid, Nkemdiche could really put himself on another level if he takes up his play just a little. Will see how they come together during the season.
DE CJ. Johnson
DT R. Nkemdiche
DT I. Gross
DE
OLB D. Nkemdiche
ILB Shackleford
OLB
CB S. Golson
CB
SS T. Conner
FS Prewitt, Anthony Alford
I can always count on Ozzy for Ole Miss love.

You nailed most of it. We have had a weak back end of the defense for as long as I can remember, and this year we could have arguably the best safety group in the country. Prewitt was an All-American last year and Conner could really be the best player on the team. It is probably between him and Laremy Tunsil, Conner was an absolute force as a a true freshman. He can do it all. Anthony Alford and Trae Elston are behind them, they both are talented players as well. Chief Brown was lost for the season, that will hurt. CJ Hampton is a true freshman that was a big time recruit, he will be asked to contribute at safety as well.

Corner is not as deep as safety, but we have two guys that are going to be very good players. Senquez Golson is experienced and is a solid player and good athlete, really improved last season after a rough year before that. The guy that everyone is excited about is Derrick Jones. He is one of those big, athletic corners that everyone is looking for these days. 6-3 200 and started as a true freshman, some people think his name should be in there with Tunsil, Treadwell, Conner, and Nkemdiche as guys with first round ability in the future. Had a great year last year and is extremely talented. Mike Hilton is experienced and solid, has been more of a rover but should be asked to play some corner this year. Tee Shepard is going to be asked to play right away.

The DL should be the best it has been since the Greg Hardy and Peria Jerry days. CJ Johnson is the leader of the defense and a great pass rusher, Nkemdiche came on as a freshman and has all of the talent in the world, and Isaac Gross is undersized but has been very solid for us. There are expectations for guys like Carlos Thompson, Lavon Hooks, and Jeremy Liggins as well, we just don't even know where they will be playing yet. True freshmen Breeland Speaks and Garrald McDowell will be asked to contribute.

A lot of our fans are excited about the linebacker group, I am not sold. Denzel Nkemdiche took steps back both on and off the field last year, we need him to bounce back in a major way. Shackleford is a great story and a great leader, but he has suffered some severe injuries. There is nobody I want to succeed more than him, but if we are banking on him then that is risky business. The best linebacker we have is Serderius Bryant, he is short but other than that he is a stud and complete player. All over the field and just an absolute missile. Keith Lewis really came on last year as well, he will be asked to do a lot. Temario Strong is a young guy with a lot of talent, people think he could break out this year.

Overall, I am very excited about this unit. There is a ton of talent at the top, but we do not have the depth that the best SEC teams possess. That is part of the rebuilding process, but Freeze has done an amazing job amassing talent on this side of the ball. This could be a great unit.
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Old 07-28-2014, 09:41 AM    (permalink
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Oh and I forgot to mention someone for Ole Miss..DL Fadol Brown. He is a transfer, but looks like an absolute beast. Can play inside and outside. Couldn't play last year because of transfer rules like Anthony Alford, but people were saying at times that Brown and Alford looked like the best athletes on the practice field last season.
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Old 07-28-2014, 07:03 PM    (permalink
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Should be interesting to see how Saban handles the young guys on defense. I wouldn't be surprised if Da'Shawn Hand redshirts or doesn't get much playing time, but I expect Jonathan Allen and Dee Liner to compete and get a decent amount of snaps. Also expect Reuben Foster to compete for one of the LB spots that is open.

I really like SC and Ole Miss as well. SC's safety duo of Cravens and McQuay should be fun to watch. It will be interesting to see how SC handles their third defensive coordinator in three years though.

But after watching Michigan State last year, and with the talent they have coming back, I think they are going to be the best. Calhoun and Drummond are both incredible players and I expect Waynes to do what Dennard did this year. I feel like Narduzzi can just plug guys into his system and make it work. I expect Taiwan Jones and Marcus Rush to be senior leaders like Denicos Allen was last year. Also, they have Malik McDowell coming in who could play right away.
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Old 07-28-2014, 08:39 PM    (permalink
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Quote:
Jcn92 Should be interesting to see how Saban handles the young guys on defense. I wouldn't be surprised if Da'Shawn Hand redshirts or doesn't get much playing time, but I expect Jonathan Allen and Dee Liner to compete and get a decent amount of snaps. Also expect Reuben Foster to compete for one of the LB spots that is open.

I really like SC and Ole Miss as well. SC's safety duo of Cravens and McQuay should be fun to watch. It will be interesting to see how SC handles their third defensive coordinator in three years though.

But after watching Michigan State last year, and with the talent they have coming back, I think they are going to be the best. Calhoun and Drummond are both incredible players and I expect Waynes to do what Dennard did this year. I feel like Narduzzi can just plug guys into his system and make it work. I expect Taiwan Jones and Marcus Rush to be senior leaders like Denicos Allen was last year. Also, they have Malik McDowell coming in who could play right away.
I hope Michigan State is awesome this year, they could be but I think they will miss Bullough a lot, sure they won the Rose Bowl without him but he was a very good inside linebacker. Too bad Kyler Elsworth was a senior last year he would have got a ton more playing time this season. And like you said Allen was very good as well and Dennard, well simply put Waynes will never be as good as Dennard was at corner. That is a huge loss.

Will see how they play, a ton of guys are going to have to step up, but yes they are two stars in Calhoun and Drummond for sure.


And with Bama, they really need a linebacker that can rush the passer, Hubbard showed so much talent early on but sucked kind of last year but still went out for the draft. Upshaw and Hightower were beasts and they have not really had anyone like him since they left. Also the corner spot simply has to improve and Brown should be the player to help that.
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Old 07-28-2014, 08:42 PM    (permalink
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I fully expect Marlon Humphrey to get some looks at corner this year for Alabama as well.
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