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August 22, 2011
Preseason top 15: Defensive tackles
Stud defensive tackles are worth their weight in gold, and it's a heck of a lot easier to win titles if you have a top-flight player at the position.
Think of the recent national titlists and who they had playing defensive tackle: Auburn with Nick Fairley last season, Alabama with Terrence Cody in '09, LSU with Glenn Dorsey in '07, Florida with Ray McDonald in '06, Texas with Rodrique Wright in '05, USC with Mike Patterson and Shaun Cody in '04 - well, you get the idea.
That means the teams mentioned in this listing have reasons to be excited about the season, as we continue our breakdown of the nation's best players at each position with a look at defensive tackles.
"Best" doesn't necessarily mean the most pro potential or even the most talent. Instead, it's a mix of what the player has accomplished and how we think the player will do this season. But production does trump potential.
We will look at a position a day until Aug. 29, when we rank all 120 of the nation's quarterbacks. Tuesday, we will look at linebackers. Here are the defensive tackle rankings.
15. J.R. SWEEZY, N.C. STATE
14. KENDALL REYES, CONNECTICUT
13. ROOSEVELT NIX, KENT STATE
12. TYDREKE POWELL, NORTH CAROLINA
11. MARCUS FORSTON, MIAMI
10. JOE VELLANO, MARYLAND
9. JUSTIN WASHINGTON, ARIZONA
8. JEREL WORTHY, MICHIGAN STATE
7. TRAVIAN ROBERTSON, SOUTH CAROLINA
6. JOHN SIMON, OHIO STATE
5. KHEESTON RANDALL, TEXAS
4. MALIK JACKSON, TENNESSEE
3. MIKE MARTIN, MICHIGAN
2. BILLY WINN, BOISE STATE
1. JARED CRICK, NEBRASKA
Rankings and player capsules compiled by Olin Buchanan, Tom Dienhart, David Fox, Mike Huguenin and Steve Megargee.