A second member of the Florida secondary cracks our countdown at No. 16 on the list:
No. 16: Ahmad Black, S, Sr., Florida
2010 numbers/honors: Led Florida with 108 total tackles, five interceptions and three forced fumbles. Black was also second on the team with 11 tackles for loss. A second-team All-America selection by the Associated Press and consensus first-team All-SEC selection.
Preseason ranking: Not ranked in the 2010 preseason countdown.
Making the case for Black: It wasn’t a season to remember for the Gators, but Black put together one of the more complete seasons a safety has had in this league in a long time. He was the only defensive back in the country to register more than 100 tackles and also intercept five passes. He led all SEC defensive backs with 73 total tackles in league games, which ranked him third among all players. Despite not having great size (5-foot-9 and 190 pounds), Black was a big-time hitter who had all three of his forced fumbles against SEC teams. He was solid in coverage, too, and the leader of a Florida defense that finished second in the SEC in total defense. Black’s most memorable play last season ended up being one of the final ones of his college career, and one that sent Urban Meyer out a winner in his final game as the Gators’ head coach. Black’s 80-yard interception return for a touchdown with Penn State driving in the final minute sealed Florida’s 37-24 win in the Outback Bowl.
No. 17: Arkansas TE D.J. Williams
No. 18: Alabama S Mark Barron
No. 19: Florida CB Janoris Jenkins
No. 20: Mississippi State LB Chris White
No. 21: LSU RB Stevan Ridley
No. 22: Mississippi State OT Derek Sherrod
No. 23: Alabama DE Marcell Dareus
No. 24: Kentucky LB Danny Trevathan
No. 25: Alabama LB Courtney Upshaw