The SEC's top 25 players: No. 12

It's hard to imagine the middle of that vaunted Alabama offensive line without this next guy.

No. 12: William Vlachos, C, Alabama, Sr.

Preseason rank: Not ranked

2011 summary: Vlachos was a first-team All-SEC selection by both the coaches and Associated Press and a second-team Walter Camp All-America selection. He was a finalist for the Rimington Trophy as the best center in college football and helped clear the way for an Alabama running attack that led the SEC and was 16th nationally with an average of 214.5 yards per game.

Why he's here: What he lacked in height, the 6-foot-1, 294-pound Vlachos made up for with smarts, strength, toughness and technique. He was a two-time SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week last season and capped his career with his 40th straight start in the BCS National Championship Game. His ability to neutralize the middle of every defensive front the Crimson Tide faced was a big reason they were so balanced. Rarely did the opposing defense get any real push up the middle against Alabama, the only team in the SEC to average more than 200 yards rushing and 200 yards passing per game. Vlachos graded out at 90 percent or better in seven games last season. His consistency and knowledge of the offense gave Alabama an edge that's impossible to put a value on. Not only did Vlachos make all of the calls up front, but he had only eight missed assignments in more than 730 snaps. A three-year starter, Vlachos was a rock against LSU in the BCS National Championship Game and earned his second national championship ring.

  • No. 13: Joe Adams, WR/RS, Arkansas

  • No. 14: Brandon Boykin, CB, Georgia

  • No. 15: Jarius Wright, WR, Arkansas

  • No. 16: Cordy Glenn, OT, Georgia

  • No. 17: Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas

  • No. 18: Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia

  • No. 19: Bacarri Rambo, S, Georgia

  • No. 20: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

  • No. 21: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

  • No. 22: Rueben Randle, WR, LSU

  • No. 23: Casey Hayward, CB, Vanderbilt

  • No. 24: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina

  • No. 25: Michael Dyer, RB, Auburn