No. 21: Denzel Perryman, LB, Miami
Previous ranking: Not ranked
Making the case for Perryman: The junior from Coral Gables, Fla. was the cornerstone of a much-improved Miami defense in 2013, landing on numerous first-team All-ACC lists. Perryman led the Hurricanes with 108 tackles (good for fifth in the ACC) and had six different games in which he recorded at least 10 tackles.
No game was bigger -- for Perryman or Miami’s season -- than a September victory over Florida that vaulted the Hurricanes back into the national spotlight. Perryman was a one-man wrecking crew, racking up 13 tackles and recording a crucial forced fumble in the win. Perhaps as noteworthy, Perryman was at his best when his team was struggling the most. In losses to Florida State, Virginia Tech and Duke, Perryman was one of Miami’s few bright spots, compiling 39 tackles, including 2.5 for loss.