The SEC's best 25 players: No. 17

We head to the Bluegrass State for the next hard-hitting member of our top 25 list:

No. 17: Danny Trevathan, LB, Kentucky

2010 numbers: Trevathan led the SEC with 144 tackles last season, averaging 11.1 per game. He also averaged 11.5 tackles in league games and was second in the SEC with four forced fumbles. He had double-digit tackles in 10 games, including the last nine games, and finished the year with 16 tackles for loss, including three sacks.

Most recent ranking: Ranked No. 24 on the 2010 preseason countdown.

Making the case for Trevathan: Talk about someone having a true nose for the ball. Trevathan has accumulated 226 tackles in the past two seasons and has been the best player on Kentucky's defense in that time. Trevathan doesn't just find players with the ball, he flies at them with his 6-foot-1, 234-pound frame. Trevathan might be the heart of Kentucky's defense, but his main goal during the offseason was to become more of a leader. In his final season in Lexington, Trevathan wants to not only wreak havoc on opposing offenses but he wants to elevate the play of his teammates around him.