The SEC's 25 best players: No. 15

The No. 15 guy on our 2012 postseason countdown got off to a late start but closed with a flurry.

No. 15: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia, Jr.

2012 summary: A second-team All-SEC selection by both the Associated Press and the coaches, Ogletree led Georgia with 111 total tackles and was second on the team with 11.5 tackles for loss, including three sacks. He added nine quarterback hurries to go along with two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and one interception.

Most recent ranking: Ranked No. 21 in the 2012 preseason countdown.

Making the case for Ogletree: The only thing keeping Ogletree from being a top-10 player in our countdown was his four-game suspension to start the season for reportedly failing a drug test. He was a tackling machine and one of the top playmakers in the league as both a run defender and pass-rusher when the Bulldogs asked him to blitz. His athleticism was off the charts, and the 6-foot-3, 236-pound Ogletree was always around the football. He only played in 10 games, but still managed to rack up more than 100 tackles. He averaged 11.1 tackles per game, which was third in the league, and had double-digit tackles in eight of his 10 games. When the Bulldogs moved Ogletree from linebacker to safety prior to his sophomore season, the rationale was to get him closer to the line of scrimmage and take advantage of his ability to go get the football. Ogletree announced that he was leaving early for the NFL draft following Georgia's 45-31 win over Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl, but he went out in style with a team-high 13 tackles, including three for loss, and a forced fumble that he recovered. He also had a big game against Alabama in the 32-28 SEC championship game loss. Ogletree's 55-yard touchdown return on a blocked field goal gave the Bulldogs a 21-10 lead in the third quarter and he finished with a game-high 11 tackles against the Crimson Tide. In fact, in his last four games against FBS foes (Nebraska, Alabama, Georgia Tech and Auburn), he totaled 49 tackles. Most analysts have Ogletree rated as the top inside linebacker in the NFL draft and pegged to be a top-15 pick.

The Rundown