No. 17: Jeremiah Attaochu, DE, Georgia Tech
Previous ranking: No. 8
Making the case for Attaochu: The Georgia Tech senior entered 2013 with massive expectations, and while the Yellow Jackets’ defense stumbled at times, Attaochu still turned in an exceptional season.
In his first year in a new defensive scheme, Attaochu managed to build on his 2012 success, upping his sack total from 10 to 12.5 and finishing with 16 tackles for loss. The 12.5 sacks were the fourth most in Georgia Tech history, and he finished just half a sack behind Clemson’s Vic Beasley for the ACC lead.
Attaochu was a beast all season, even when the Yellow Jackets were struggling. He finished with more tackles and sacks in Tech’s six losses than he did in its seven wins -- including eight tackles and four sacks in the regular-season finale against rival Georgia.
For the season, Attaochu earned first-team All-ACC status from the league’s coaches and was an AP third-team All-American. For his career, Attaochu finished as Georgia Tech’s all-time leader in sacks (31.5) and sixth in tackles for loss (43.5).