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2010 CFN Preview - Unit Rankings, LBs
North Carolina LB Quan Sturdivant
North Carolina LB Quan Sturdivant
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 16, 2010


CFN 2010 Preview Unit Rankings from top to bottom - Linebackers


Preview 2010 - Unit Rankings

Linebackers


2010 CFN Preseason Rankings
- 1 to 5 | 6 to 10 | 11 to 20 | 21 to 30 | 31 to 40 | 41 to 50 | 51 to 60
- 61 to 70 | 71 to 80 | 81 to 90 | 91 to 100 | 101 to 110 | 111 to 120
- CFN Preseason Rankings 2009 | 2008 | 2007

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CFN 2010 Unit Rankings
- Offenses | Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers | Offensive Lines
- Defenses | Defensive Lines | Linebackers | Secondaries  | Special Teams

1. North Carolina
This is going to be fun to watch. If you enjoy the kind of linebackers who impose their will on every facet of opposing offenses, do not miss this ensemble. Quan Sturdivant and Bruce Carter are sure-fire NFL players, and Kevin Reddick will get there once he has enough experience. Zach Brown provides a speedy and seasoned option off the bench.

2. Michigan State
With Greg Jones and Eric Gordon, the Spartans have a tremendous twosome to solidify one of the best linebacking corps in the Big Ten. Throw in the potential of William Gholston and Max Bullough, and the Spartans have the makings for a devastating group if everything comes together. This is a great-tackling group of difference makers revolving around Jones, one of the best players in college football.

3. Georgia
The Georgia linebacking corps should be entertaining. The call has gone out for the defense to come up with more big plays, and this group will have the opportunity with Justin Houston, Cornelius Washington, and Akeem Gamble on the outside wreaking havoc on quarterbacks. The 130 tackles and steady, underappreciated play of Rennie Curran will be missed, but the production will be matched by several good young prospects.

4. Oklahoma
This should be a fantastic group of linebackers with good quickness, big hitting ability, and lots of upside. Travis Lewis will be the All-American, Ronnell Lewis will be a great All-Big 12 running mate, and everyone else will fill in the gaps. This group won’t miss many stops and everyone plays fast and physical. The defensive front will do its part to allow the linebackers room to make things happen, but this corps has no problems doing things on its own.

5. Maryland
When all else fails, you can always count on Maryland to cobble together a solid corps of linebackers. This season will certainly be no different. Alex Wujciak is a legitimate Butkus Award contender, and Adrian Moten and Hartsfield will be downright disruptive from the outside positions. Together, they’ll make a bunch of big plays and keep the Terps in certain games this fall.

6. Boston College
In reality, any grading of the Boston College linebackers has to be considered an incomplete until the full potential of Mark Herzlich for 2010 is determined. If he winds up being an emotional leader from the sidelines, it’s still a solid group with a budding superstar in the middle. If he’s the player he was two years ago, the Eagles could boast one of the two or three best starting units in America. With Luke Kuechly as the poster child, all of the Eagle linebackers do an exceptional job of reading, reacting, and sniffing out running plays. Collectively, they’re smart, hard-working defenders, and a huge reason why Boston College ranked 14th nationally at stopping the run.

7. Ohio State
As long as Ross Homan and Brian Rolle hold up, the linebackers will be a strength once again. If Etienne Sabino becomes the player many believe he can be, and if Dorian Bell can start to live up to his prep hype, then the linebacking corps goes from great to phenomenal. There might not be an A.J. Hawk or a James Laurinaitis in the group, but the two seniors (Homan and Rolle) are on the verge of being phenomenal. These two combined for over 200 tackles last year and they should do the same again. They’ll make up for any mistakes made by the front four.

8. USC
While the learning curve was a little steeper than anyone anticipated a year ago, the linebackers return a season older and with even more depth now that Devon Kennard has joined. Collectively, they’ve got enough athleticism to make a ton of big plays, blitzing the quarterback and defending the pass. Kennard’s role will be one of the most talked about defensive subjects throughout the summer. Unlike a year ago, when USC was in full rebuilding mode, this year’s edition welcomes back four players who started a bunch of games in 2009. Throw in Shane Horton, along with starters Chris Galippo, Malcolm Smith, and Michael Morgan, and USC has five fantastic playmakers.

9. Texas
The linebackers didn’t quite get the attention they deserved, and losing Roddrick Muckelroy, even though he was dinged up with a knee problem, isn’t a plus, but now the group should get plenty of press. Emmanuel  Acho and Keenan Robinson are talented veterans, while Sustin Earnest is ready to shine now that he has the chance. If the true freshmen are half as good as the hype, the corps will be rock solid.

10. Ole Miss
There isn’t a Patrick Willis-like star in the bunch, but there are several very good, very quick defenders who get the benefit of playing behind a special defensive front. Everyone can tackle and everyone can move, and now this is a veteran corps that should keep the mistakes to a minimum and should be more disruptive. This is a nice group that won’t get a lot of press because of the spotlight on the line, but it’ll be good.

COULD EASILY BE IN TOP TEN

Auburn SEC
Boise State WAC
Connecticut Big East
Florida SEC
NC State ACC
Northwestern Big Ten
Oregon Pac 10
Pitt Big East
Purdue Big Ten
Syracuse Big East
West Virginia Big East

SOLID, WILL BE A POSITIVE

Alabama SEC
Arizona State Pac 10
Arkansas SEC
California Pac 10
Cincinnati Big East
Clemson ACC
Colorado   Big 12
Florida State ACC
Georgia Tech ACC
Illinois Big Ten
Iowa Big Ten
Kansas Big 12
Kentucky SEC
LSU SEC
Miami   ACC
Michigan Big Ten
Mississippi State SEC
Missouri Big 12
Nebraska Big 12
Notre Dame Ind
Oregon State Pac 10
Penn State Big Ten
Rutgers  Big East
South Carolina SEC
South Florida Big East
Southern Miss C-USAE
Stanford Pac 10
TCU M-West
Tennessee SEC
Texas A&M Big 12
Texas Tech Big 12
UCLA  Pac 10
Vanderbilt SEC
Virginia Tech ACC
Washington   Pac 10
Wisconsin Big Ten

AVERAGE

Air Force M-West
Arizona Pac 10
Arkansas State Sun Belt
Army Ind
Baylor Big 12
BYU M-West
Colorado State M-West
Duke ACC
Indiana  Big Ten
Louisiana Tech WAC
Louisville  Big East
Marshall C-USAE
Oklahoma State Big 12
UCF C-USAE
Virginia   ACC
Wake Forest ACC

NEEDS WORK

Akron MAC
Central Michigan MAC
Fresno State WAC
Houston C-USAW
Iowa State Big 12
Kansas State Big 12
Nevada WAC
New Mexico   M-West
Northern Illinois MAC
Ohio   MAC
SMU C-USAW
Temple MAC
UNLV M-West
Washington State Pac 10

A PROBLEM

Ball State MAC
Buffalo MAC
East Carolina C-USAE
FIU Sun Belt
Florida Atlantic Sun Belt
Hawaii WAC
Kent State MAC
Memphis C-USAE
Middle Tennessee Sun Belt
Minnesota Big Ten
Navy Ind
North Texas Sun Belt
Rice C-USAW
San Diego State M-West
San Jose State WAC
Troy Sun Belt
Tulsa C-USAW
UAB C-USAE
UL Lafayette Sun Belt
UL Monroe Sun Belt
Utah   M-West
UTEP C-USAW
Western Michigan MAC

THE BOTTOM TEN

Bowling Green MAC
Eastern Michigan MAC
Idaho WAC
Miami Univ. MAC
New Mexico State WAC
Toledo MAC
Tulane C-USAW
Utah State WAC
Western Kentucky Sun Belt
Wyoming M-West

CFN 2010 Unit Rankings
- Offenses | Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers | Offensive Lines
- Defenses | Defensive Lines | Linebackers | Secondaries  | Special Teams

2010 CFN Preseason Rankings
- 1 to 5 | 6 to 10 | 11 to 20 | 21 to 30 | 31 to 40 | 41 to 50 | 51 to 60
- 61 to 70 | 71 to 80 | 81 to 90 | 91 to 100 | 101 to 110 | 111 to 120
- CFN Preseason Rankings 2009 | 2008 | 2007