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CFN All-Decade Defense - 2000 to 2009
Troy Polamalu, A.J. Hawk, & Tommie Harris
Troy Polamalu, A.J. Hawk, & Tommie Harris
Posted Dec 21, 2009

Who were the best players of the decade? Based on college production (and not NFL potential), stats, awards, titles, and legendary status, these were the best defensive and special teams players over the last ten years led by Oklahoma's Tommie Harris, USC's Troy Polamalu, and Ohio State's A.J. Hawk.

CFN 2000-2009 All-Decade Team

Defense & Special Teams

- 2000-2009 CFN All-Decade Offense 

UP NEXT Top Coaches of the Decade, Top 50 Games, Top 50 Players   

Compiled by the CFNers, here are the best players of the decade starting in 2000 (remember, for example, Michael Vick's huge year came in 1999). Here were the basic rules of thumb.

1. Pro potential and production means nothing here. The NFL doesn't exist in this world. The selections are only based on what happened in college.
2. Talent has something to do with this, but college production is the key factor. Were Jason White and Ken Dorsey among the most talented quarterbacks of the decade? Not really, but they were among the most celebrated and accomplished players. However ...
3. Stats don't mean everything. They help, but sheer numbers aren't enough. 
4. The eardrum test. Are these players legends by name recognition alone? Heismans, All-America honors, and other awards help the cause. Being the star on conference and national title are a really big deal.

Defensive Linemen

 CFN First-Team All-Decade
1. DE David Pollack, Georgia
2. DE Julius Peppers, North Carolina
3. DT Tommie Harris, Oklahoma
4. DT Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska

CFN Second-Team All-Decade
5. DT Glenn Dorsey, LSU 
6. DE Jerry Hughes, TCU
7. DT John Henderson, Tennessee
8. DE Terrell Suggs, Arizona State

CFN Third-Team All-Decade
9. DE Mathias Kiwanuka, Boston College
10. DT Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma
11. DE Dwight Freeney, Syracuse
12. DT Terrence Cody, Alabama

CFN Honorable Mention All-Decade
13. DT Haloti Ngata, Oregon
14. DT Rien Long, Washington State
15. DE Kenechi Udeze, USC
16. DE Justin Smith, Missouri


CFN First-Team All-Decade

1. A.J. Hawk, Ohio State
2. James Laurinaitis, Ohio State
3. E.J. Henderson, Maryland

CFN Second-Team All-Decade
4. Rey Maulauga, USC 
5. Rocky Calmus, Oklahoma
6. Derrick Johnson, Texas

CFN Third-Team All-Decade
7. Patrick Willis, Ole Miss
8. Paul Poszluszny, Penn State
9. Teddy Lehman, Oklahoma

CFN Honorable Mention All-Decade
10. Jonathan Vilma, Miami
11. Aaron Curry, Wake Forest
12. Levar Fisher, NC State
13. Gerald McRath, Southern Miss
14. Dan Morgan, Miami
15. Chad Greenway, Iowa

Defensive Backs

CFN First-Team All-Decade

1. S Ed Reed, Miami
2. S Roy Williams, Oklahoma
3. S Troy Polamalu, USC
4. CB Terence Newman, Kansas State

CFN Second-Team All-Decade
5. S Mike Doss, Ohio State
6. CB Joe Haden, Florida
7. S Eric Berry, Tennessee 
8. CB Carlos Rogers, Auburn

CFN Third-Team All-Decade
9. CB Derrick Strait, Oklahoma
10. CB Corey Webster, LSU
11. S Sean Taylor, Miami
12. CB Malcolm Jenkins, Ohio State

CFN Honorable Mention All-Decade
13. CB/S Michael Huff, Texas
14. CB Antoine Cason, Arizona
15. CB Aaron Ross, Texas
16. S Bob Sanders, Iowa


CFN First-Team All-Decade

1. Daniel Sepulveda, Baylor

CFN Second-Team All-Decade
2. Ryan Plackemeier, Wake Forest

CCFN Third-Team All-Decade
3. Durant Brooks, Georgia Tech

CFN Honorable Mention All-Decade
4. Brandon Fields, Michigan State
5. Kevin Stemke, Wisconsin
6. Matt Fodge, Oklahoma State
7. B.J. Sander, Ohio State
7. Mark Mariscal, Colorado
8. Dustin Colquitt, Tennessee
9. Kyle Larson, Nebraska 
10. Chris Miller, Ball State


CFN First-Team All-Decade

1. Mike Nugent, Ohio State 

CFN Second-Team All-Decade
2. Art Carmody, Louisville

CFN Third-Team All-Decade
3. Alexis Serna, Oregon State

CFN Honorable Mention All-Decade
4. Louie Sakoda, Utah
5. Billy Bennett, Georgia
6. Nate Kaeding, Iowa 
7. Kai Forbath, UCLA
8. Jeremy Ito, Rutgers 
9. Stephen Gostowski, Memphis
10. Steve Azar, Northern Illinois

Punt/Kick Returners

First Team All-Decade
1. Devin Hester, Miami 

CFN Second-Team All-Decade
2. Wes Welker, Texas Tech 

CFN Third-Team All-Decade
3. Reggie Bush, USC

CFN Honorable Mention All-Decade
4. Felix Jones, Arkansas 
5. Antonio Perkins, Oklahoma
6. Bernard Berrian, Fresno State
7. Devin Thomas, Michigan State
8. Dan Sheldon, Northern Illinois
9. Maurice Drew, UCLA
10. C.J. Spiller, Clemson