No. 21. Jeremiah Attaochu, LB, Georgia Tech
2011 stats: He started 10 of 11 regular-season games he played in and missed the Maryland and Virginia games with an injury. He led the team and ranked fifth in the ACC with six sacks. He also led the team and ranked sixth in the ACC with 11.5 tackles for loss. He was third on the team in total tackles with 59, and had one interception, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery.
Previous ranking: Not ranked.
Making the case for Attaochu: Defensive coordinator Al Groh will be putting Attaochu in position to rush the passer more this year, so he should have more sacks and even better numbers. Attaochu, though, is not just a tackling machine. He has the ability to change the game and an instinct for finding the ball. He fits the true mold of an outside linebacker in Groh’s 3-4 scheme. He’s tall and rangy (6-foot-3, 240 pounds) and has good speed. Those within the program know how good he is. He was voted by his teammates the player “most likely to be an NFL star.”