No. 10. Kyle Fuller, DB, Virginia Tech
2011 stats: Fuller led the team in tackles for loss with 14.5 and was fourth on the team in tackles with 65. He also had 4.5 sacks, seven pass breakups, two interceptions, five quarterback hurries, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Previous ranking: No. 16
Making the case for Fuller: You could make the case he was the Hokies’ top defensive player last year, and he could be again this season. He is a solid, smart tackler who can play man coverage and is versatile enough to line up just about anywhere Bud Foster asks him to. Last year he started all 14 games, and split time at two different positions. He started at nickel back/whip linebacker for seven games and at corner for the other seven. He played over 850 snaps on defense and 112 on special teams. His contributions were invaluable, and he’s also a leader on and off the field.