Top 25 player countdown: No. 1

No. 1. Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College

2010 stats: As a sophomore, Kuechly led the nation in tackles (183) and solo stops (110). He has registered 10 or more tackles in 22 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the nation. Last year he had 10.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, three interceptions, three fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles.

Previous ranking: No. 4

Making the case for Kuechly: He has already made a case for being one of the best defenders in the country, and he did it in just two seasons. Recognized last year as a consensus All-American, Kuechly reached the 200 tackle mark faster than any other player in school history. He is the only player in school history to reach 300 tackles in his first two seasons, and is a candidate for this year’s ACC Defensive Player of the Year. He is more than just a tackle machine, though. He is an instinctive player who finds the ball and continues to put in the work to become even better. He can make game-changing plays and find the ball, and is the heart and face of the Boston College defense.

No. 2 Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina

No. 3 Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech

No. 4 Brandon Jenkins, DE, Florida State

No. 5. Montel Harris, RB, Boston College

No. 6 Donte Paige-Moss, DE, North Carolina

No. 7 Andrew Datko, LT, Florida State

No. 8 Sean Spence, LB, Miami

No. 9 Kenny Tate, LB, Maryland

No. 10 David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech

No. 11 Dwight Jones, WR, North Carolina

No. 12 Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State

No. 13 Brandon Washington, OL, Miami

No. 14 Danny O'Brien, QB, Maryland

No. 15 Sean Renfree, QB, Duke

No. 16 Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia

No. 17 Cam Johnson, DE, Virginia

No. 18 Greg Reid, CB, Florida State

No. 19 Ray-Ray Armstrong, S, Miami

No. 20 Lamar Miller, RB, Miami

No. 21 Conner Vernon, WR, Duke

No. 22 Jarrett Boykin, WR, Virginia Tech

No. 23 Omoregie Uzzi, OG, Georgia Tech

No. 24 Andre Ellington, RB, Clemson

No. 25 EJ Manuel, QB, Florida State