Non-AQ Top 25 Players: No. 9

We continue with the defensive theme, with yet another defensive end from the WAC. His defense may have ended up having an up-and-down season, but that was no fault of his. In fact, his play helped elevate the defense in one major statistical category.

No. 9 Chris Carter, DE, Fresno State

The Bulldogs were awful at sacking the quarterback in 2009. You want the numbers to prove it? They ranked No. 119 in the nation with 11 total sacks. No way would that be acceptable in 2010. Chris Carter took that mark seriously, having accounted for nearly half (five) of the total sack numbers even with a cast on his hand because of an injury. He and his teammates worked hard in the offseason with the goal of improving their play on the defensive line. Carter more than did that, equaling the 11 sacks his entire team got in 2009. That tied him for No. 9 in the nation. He also tied for second in the WAC in tackles for loss with 16.5 and forced four fumbles on the year. Fresno State ended up tied for No. 9 in the nation with 37 total sacks. Not only that, the entire defense improved from No. 98 in the country to No. 59. For his season, Carter was selected the WAC Defensive Player of the Year over several other impressive players on this list. In December, he told me the big key to his improvement this season was working on his get-offs after practice.

“I do the extra reps after every practice, I get over 1,000 extra get-offs and reps,” he said. “That’s one thing I’ve been able to add to my whole game plan every year. I didn’t do that a lot when I first got here. I did the workouts and practiced hard, but it’s the little things that helped set me apart and helped me excel.”

No. 10 Shea McClellin, DE, Boise State

No. 11 Greg Salas, WR, Hawaii

No. 12 Jeremy Kerley, WR/KR/PR, TCU

No. 13 Vai Taua, RB, Nevada

No. 14 Titus Young, WR, Boise State

No. 15 Bryant Moniz, QB, Hawaii

No. 16 Dontay Moch, DE, Nevada

No. 17 Dwayne Harris, WR/KR, East Carolina

No. 18 Chad Spann, RB, Northern Illinois

No. 19 Reggie Rembert, CB, Air Force

No. 20 T.Y. Hilton, WR/KR, FIU

No. 21 Eric Page, WR/KR, Toledo

No. 22 Jake Kirkpatrick, C, TCU

No. 23 Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple

No. 24 Bobby Rainey, RB, Western Kentucky

No. 25 Roosevelt Nix, DT, Kent State