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Chase Thomas

Linebacker | Stanford

No one in the Pac-12 had more tackles for loss last season (17.5) than Stanford outside linebacker Chase Thomas -- who is widely regarded as the best linebacker in the conference and one of the best in the nation. He was tied for second in sacks (8.5) and those numbers should go up as the Cardinal return six of their front seven from last season and get a boost with the return of Shayne Skov, who missed most of 2011 with a knee injury. Thomas is a pass-rush specialist, but he's also an effective run-stopper who forced five fumbles last year.

-- Kevin Gemmell