ACC Top 25 player countdown: No. 6

No. 6. Quan Sturdivant, LB, UNC

2009 numbers: He led the team with 79 tackles, and was second with 12 tackles for loss, and one sack. He had one fumble recovery and one forced fumble, and also had three pass breakups and six quarterback hurries.

Most recent ranking: No. 12

Making the case for Sturdivant: Entering his fourth season as a starter, Sturdivant should be one of the top outside linebackers in the ACC. He’s a fast, instinctive player who lined up at both middle and outside linebacker last year. He has good speed and is rarely out of position. While teammate Bruce Carter gets much of the attention for his freakish athleticism, it’s Sturdivant who has been the most productive and was a first-team all-conference selection last year. He’s the leader of the group and makes all of the defensive calls.

No. 7 Russell Wilson, QB, NC State

No. 8 Joshua Nesbitt, QB, Georgia Tech

No. 9 Rodney Hudson, LG, Florida State

No. 10 Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

No. 11 Allen Bailey, DE, Miami

No. 12 (tie) S Deunta Williams, CB Kendric Burney, UNC

No. 13 Bruce Carter, LB, North Carolina

No. 14 Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College

No. 15 Brandon Harris, CB, Miami

No. 16 Jacory Harris, QB, Miami

No. 17 Tyrod Taylor, QB, Virginia Tech

No. 18 Donovan Varner, WR, Duke

No. 19 Alex Wujciak, LB, Maryland

No. 20 Montel Harris, RB, Boston College

No. 21 Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland

No. 22 Greg Reid, CB, Florida State

No. 23 Anthony Allen, RB, Georgia Tech

No. 24 Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia

No. 25 Mark Herzlich, LB, Boston College