No. 16 Kevin Reddick, LB, North Carolina
2012 stats: Reddick notched career highs in several categories -- tackles (85), tackles for loss (18.5) and sacks (6.5) -- en route to being selected to the All-ACC first team by the coaches and the media. His total tackles for loss ranked him No. 1 in the ACC, and his average of 1.54 per game tied him for No. 12 in the country.
Previous ranking: NR.
Making the case: During media day in July, Reddick talked excitedly about the new defensive scheme being brought in to Chapel Hill, realizing that he would have an opportunity to make many more plays behind the line of scrimmage. Reddick promised he would be used more as a blitzing linebacker, something he had not been asked to do previously. You saw the results. Coaches put Reddick in the best position to succeed, and he flourished in the most productive season of his career.
Reddick had always been relied upon to wrap up and tackle. But the added dimension to his game made him more productive. Look at the tackles for loss and sacks. Going into 2012, Reddick had a COMBINED 17.5 tackles for loss and two sacks in nearly three seasons as a starter. He easily beat those marks this past season. Not only did he have one of the best tackles for loss totals in the nation, Reddick also had the ninth-highest total in UNC single-season history.
No. 17 Stefon Diggs, WR, Maryland