Ranking the 5 best Linebackers in the ACC for 2011

We’ve reached our ACC linebacker rankings, and at this position the ACC has some of the best linebackers in the country. CollegeFootballRivals.com seems to think so as well.

Well let’s get right to it and see which players make up this talented group.

Completed Rankings

Running Backs | Quarterbacks  | Wide Receivers | Offensive Linemen | Tight Ends | Defensive Linemen | Cornerbacks | Safeties | Special Teams

1) Luke Kuechly, Boston College

Keuchly has gone from being relatively unknown coming out HS, to surprising freshman, to a player to keep an eye on as a sophomore, to one of the very best players in college football as junior. I honestly don’t know what else to say about Kuechly. He’s a consensus All-American pick, and is this year’s favorite to win the Butkus Award given to the country’s best linebacker. He’s an outstanding football player. It’s that simple.

2) Sean Spence, Miami

You get an idea of how great a linebacker Luke Kuechly is when someone as good as Sean Spence is rated behind him. Spence is hard hitter who has good speed and tremendous instincts. He had 111 tackles last season, and created all kinds of havoc in opponent’s backfield with 17 tackles for losses. He’s projected to be a 2nd round NFL pick.

3) Kenny Tate, Maryland

Kenny Tate was an All-ACC safety last year, but he so versatile and talented he might be All-ACC linebacker this season. He will be what is known Star Linebacker, which is basically an outside linebacker. He averaged nearly 8 tackles a game from his safety position  and I expect that will go up this year from the linebacker spot. Do you need safety or linebacker? Tate can be both.

4) Bruce Taylor, Virginia Tech

Bruce Taylor is coming off a 2nd team All-ACC season and is one of  the Hokies best defensive players. He had off-season shoulder surgery, but should be ready by the time the season starts. He had a team high 91 tackles with 6 sacks last season. Taylor is a physical if not the fastest linebacker around, and is a rock solid tackler. Bud Foster doesn’t have to worry about this position.

5) Nigel Bradham, Florida State

I keep waiting for Bradham to live up to his billing as the number 1 ranked middle linebacker player coming out of high school according to scout.com. While he hasn’t been spectacular he has been very good, leading FSU in tackles the last 2 years. He’s an athletic player that occasionally lacks consistency. If that’s improves Bradham could have a truly monster season.

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