Spring spotlight: SMU

Today brings us to SMU, which returns just nine starters as it gears up for its first season in the Big East.

Spotlight: Linebackers

Why: The Mustangs lose Ja'Gared Davis and Taylor Reed following a 2012 campaign that saw the former notch first-team All-Conference USA honors and the latter garner second-team honors. That's 174 total tackles, 25.5 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, five interceptions, four fumble recoveries and four forced fumbles between the two that are gone from last year's team. Kevin Pope and Robert Seals figure to be the next in line to replace the two, with Pope playing in all 13 games as a junior last season and recovering three fumbles, forcing another and blocking a kick. Seals, meanwhile, saw limited action as a redshirt freshman in 2012, recording three tackles and a quarterback hurry in eight games. SMU is replacing five starters up front from a defense that led Conference USA against the run last season, and coach June Jones will be tasked with quite the reloading job heading into Year 1 of the Big East era.

Previously featured