Defensive Line
North Carolina State - Chuck Amato is at it again…from Tallahassee to Raleigh, Amato is well known for recruiting top defensive linemen. The Pack gave up a stingy 102.4 ypg on the ground last fall while yielding only 6 rushing TDs. Reading into things deeper, this group was never offered much help, with the offensive ineptitude State practiced. Led by future NFL bookends Mario Williams and Manny Lawson, this unit returns all four of its key personnel. Keep an eye on backup DeMario Pressley, who was rated the nation's No. 1 DT out of high school by just about every major recruiting service.

Texas - Physicality and toughness once were considered a problem in Austin. Ostensibly, the thrashings dished out by Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry have forced Mack Brown to reevaluate his front units. With two potential all-Americans at tackle - in seniors Larry Dibbles and Rodrique Wright - "The Eyes of Texas" are looking for another trip to Pasadena this time around.

Louisiana State - The SEC's No. 1 rush defense returns three top-notch performers in seniors Claude Wroten, Kyle Williams and Melvin Oliver. Each was recruited from adjacent towns near Baton Rouge, keeping that magical, local flavor to fall Saturdays. Only the departure of first-round pick Marcus Spears (the DE went 20th to Dallas) keeps this unit from sitting atop the list.

Virginia Tech - The essence of "Beamer Ball" starts with defense, and this group will carry on the tradition of bringing intense pressure on QBs. DE Darryl Tapp is a NationalChamps.net first team Preseason All-American, and rated as one of the top two pass rushers in I-A. These Hokies were responsible for holding Auburn's vaunted two-headed rushing attack to a meager 2.6 ypc in the Sugar Bowl, and three of those Techsters will return to defend their ACC crown.

Tennessee - The re-emergence of Tennessee as a favorite in the SEC East has to do with better production from its defensive front seven, which will be just as menacing with three starters back on the line. Small-but-quick rush end Parys Haralson is one of the best defenders in the SEC. (300-lb.) Hawaiian native Jesse Mahelona leads our site's first team Defensive Tackle preseason list. Depth exists as well, giving Phil Fulmer a major leg-up early in the SEC (East) race.

Just Missed: Nebraska, Purdue


May 23- Wide Receivers
May 16 - Offensive Line
May 12 - Defensive Backs
May 4 - Linebackers
April 28 - Defensive Line