Power Ranking Top 10 College Football Linebackers For 2015 Season
2015 College Football Season
July 30, 2015
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As we get closer to the 2015 college football season, it’s time to take a look at the top linebackers in the country.
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1. Scooby Wright, Arizona Wildcats - Scooby Wright went from being a low recruited player to possibly the best defensive player in college football. Scooby led the country with 29 tackles for loss, six forced fumbles and 163 tackles last season. Wright is simply all over the place and has a nose for the football. Scooby is one of just a few defensive players who can really change the outcome of a game by himself, as he truly never stops making plays.
2. Myles Jack, UCLA Bruins - Myles Jack has made a name for himself as a two-way player, as he’s shined in a limited role at running back. As a linebacker, Jack is one of the best players when pursuing a ball carrier and is one of the harder hitters at his position. Jack had 87 tackles last season and seven pass deflections. Jack is an old school style football player and helps give UCLA that edge.
3. Su'a Cravens, USC Trojans - What’s with all these Pac-12 players, huh? Anyway, Su'a Cravens is a versatile player, as he was recruited to play safety and kind of spends time playing all over the field despite being listed as a linebacker. Cravens had 17 tackles for loss last season, which was tied for 17th in the country and he has seven interceptions in his first two seasons. Cravens is great at playing close to the line and dropping back in coverage due to his instincts. Linebacker or safety, the USC defender has to make this list.
4. Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Jaylon Smith has improved in each of his first two seasons with Notre Dame, and he’s just beginning to tap into his potential. Smith led Notre Dame last season with 111 tackles, which was also good for 50th in college football. Smith is rangy, super athletic and should be a lot more aggressive in the sack department now that he has two years under his belt. Keep an eye on this kid, as the sky's the limit.
5. Reggie Ragland, Alabama Crimson Tide - It was only a matter of time before an Alabama player made this list, and Reggie Ragland fits the bill. In his first season as a starter, Ragland finished with 93 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss and three passes broken up. Ragland is that massive, physical defender that Nick Saban likes and he’ll set the tone for the Crimson Tide this season. Ragland is the next great defender to be added to a long history of them to come out of Tuscaloosa.
6. Darron Lee, Ohio State Buckeyes - Darron Lee had a freshman season that everybody dreams of having. Lee had 81 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks and two interceptions. Oh, Lee also happen to win a national championship. Lee covers a ton of ground and always seems to be in the right spot. Lee is one of the main guys on Ohio State’s defense and helps give the team an honest shot of repeating.
7. Eric Striker, Oklahoma Sooners - Eric Striker is the defensive playmaker for the Oklahoma Sooners. Striker finished 18th in the country last season with 17 tackles for loss and had 68 tackles along with nine sacks. Striker is an explosive athlete and one of the top pass-rushing linebacker the college game has this season. You can expect another big season from the senior LB at OU.
8. Nick Vigil, Utah State Aggies - Nick Vigil has racked up 25.5 tackles for loss in his first two seasons and finished last season with 123 tackles, which was good for 21st in the country. Like a lot of linebackers on this list, Vigil is simply a playmaker, which includes forcing five fumbles last season. If only Utah State got more national attention.
9. Vince Biegel, Wisconsin Badgers - Last season, Wisconsin had a defense that featured a ton of new faces but still ranked fourth in the country. Vince Biegel was a big reason why. Biegel finished last season with 56 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. Biegel brings energy to the Badgers defense and in a way makes everyone him perform better with his intensity. He may not be as flashy as some of the other guys on this list, but Biegel gets the job done.
10. Curt Maggitt, Tennessee Volunteers - Curt Maggitt really broke out last year as a junior with 11 sacks, 15 tackles for loss and 48 tackles. Maggitt proved that when he’s healthy and actually given a chance to contribute, he can play this position with just about anybody in college football. Tennessee has become the trendy pick to win the SEC this season, and it helps having Maggitt at linebacker.