The SEC's best 25 players: No. 18

The defensive line is what separates the SEC, and this next guy will be a force in the middle of that Alabama defensive line in 2012:

No. 18: Jesse Williams, NG, Alabama, Sr.

2011 summary: In his first season with the Crimson Tide after coming over from junior college, Williams started all 13 games at defensive end and finished with 24 total tackles, including four tackles for loss and three quarterback hurries.

Most recent ranking: Not ranked in the 2011 postseason countdown.

Making the case for Williams: He's known as "ThaMonstar" and for good reason. The 6-4, 320-pound Williams put up 600 pounds on the bench-press earlier this month and could have gone higher had the Alabama strength staff not stopped him right there. He's moving from end to nose guard in Alabama's 3-4 scheme and played some inside last season when the Tide went to a four-man front on passing downs. Alabama coach Nick Saban called Williams the most underrated player on Alabama's national championship defense last season, although those days are likely gone. That's because Williams is poised for a huge senior season, and everybody will know who he is by season's end. He may not put up eye-popping statistics playing the nose, but his relentless push up the middle will wreck more than a few opposing offensive game plans. Williams didn't start playing football until he was 15, so his best is yet to come.

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