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August 23, 2011
Preseason top 20: Linebackers
We continue our breakdown of the nation's best players at each position with a look at linebackers.
"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. Wednesday, we will look at cornerbacks. Here are the linebacker rankings.
20. MICHAEL MAUTI, PENN STATE
19. MYCHAL KENDRICKS, CALIFORNIA
18. RYAN BAKER, LSU
17. KEVIN REDDICK, NORTH CAROLINA
16. TANNER BROCK, TCU
15. KOREY WILLIAMS, SOUTHERN MISS
14. BRUCE TAYLOR, VIRGINIA TECH
13. KEENAN ROBINSON, TEXAS
12. SEAN SPENCE, MIAMI
11. TANK CARDER, TCU
10. COURTNEY UPSHAW, ALABAMA
9. JERRY FRANKLIN, ARKANSAS
8. SHAYNE SKOV, STANFORD
7. DONT'A HIGHTOWER, ALABAMA
6. MANTI TE'O, NOTRE DAME
5. KENNY TATE, MARYLAND
4. LAVONTE DAVID, NEBRASKA
3. VONTAZE BURFICT, ARIZONA STATE
2. TRAVIS LEWIS, OKLAHOMA
1. LUKE KUECHLY, BOSTON COLLEGE
Rankings and player capsules compiled by Olin Buchanan, Tom Dienhart, David Fox, Mike Huguenin and Steve Megargee.