Our countdown of the Pac-12’s Top 25 players from the 2013 season continues.
You can review our 2013 preseason Top 25 here.
No. 20: Trevor Reilly, DE/OLB, Utah
2013 numbers: Reilly was fourth in the Pac-12 with 100 tackles and fifth in sacks (8.5) and tackles for a loss (16). He also forced a fumble, recovered three of them and had an interception.
Preseason ranking: Unranked
Making the case for Reilly: You combine passion for football with a motor that won’t quit and you have Reilly. While Star Lotulelei got a lot of the ink for the Utes the last couple of years, Reilly has really been the anchor of the defense for some time. And this season he had the spotlight all to himself and made the most of it. He landed on the first-team All-Pac-12 squad as a defensive lineman, though he was just as versatile as a rush backer or dropping back into coverage. A former walk-on, he played through -- not with, through -- a torn ACL in 2012. That kind of grit earns you respect from your teammates and coaches, which is why he was a team captain. He’s probably better suited for a 3-4 scheme at the next level, but with some weight he could be a 4-3 outside linebacker. He has coverage skills and a run-stopping nose for the football. It seemed only fitting that it was Reilly who snagged the game-winning interception in the season finale against Colorado. And Reilly’s performance against Stanford -- probably the biggest home win in school history -- stands out for his team-high seven tackles, forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.