The SEC's best 25 players: No. 23

We're at No. 23 on our countdown of the SEC's best 25 players for the 2012 season, and this next guy was a first-team all-conference player in another league last season.

No. 23: Sean Porter, LB, Texas A&M, Sr.

2011 summary: Porter led the Big 12 with 9.5 sacks last season and was tied for 16th nationally. He tied for third in the Big 12 with 17 tackles for loss and had four or more tackles in every game. Porter was a first-team All-Big 12 selection by the media.

Most recent ranking: Not ranked in the 2011 postseason countdown.

Making the case for Porter: New defensive coordinator Mark Snyder wants to play faster than fast this season, and that's right up Porter's alley. The Aggies are switching from a 3-4 to 4-3 alignment on defense, which means the 6-foot-2, 230-pound Porter will go from a stand-up outside linebacker to a more traditional outside linebacker. He's proven how polished he is as a pass-rusher, and you can bet the Aggies will get him in position to rush the passer on key passing downs this season. But Porter will also be able to showcase his other skills and how complete he is as a linebacker in this new role. There's a chance that his sack numbers could go down in a 4-3 scheme. But as an overall playmaker on defense, Porter should still rate up there among the best in the league in what will be his first and only season in the SEC.

The rundown