ACC: George Byran

Revised top 25 countdown: No. 9

March, 9, 2011
3/09/11
9:00
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No. 9. Nate Irving, LB, NC State

[+] EnlargeNate Irving
Douglas Jones/US PresswireLinebacker Nate Irving, left, was a playmaker for the Wolfpack last season.
2010 numbers: He set a memorable FBS record of eight tackles for loss against Wake Forest. He led the team with 97 tackles, including 20.5 tackles for loss (second in the ACC) and 6.5 sacks. He also had seven quarterback pressures, three pass breakups, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Previous ranking: Not ranked.

Making the case for Irving: After suffering serious injuries in a car crash that sidelined him for the entire 2009 season, Irving made a remarkable comeback last season. There’s no question he has made an impact during his career, as NC State was 18-8 with him in the lineup. He made game-changing plays like the fumble recovery that sealed the win against FSU, and he was a team captain and leader.

The countdown:

No. 10 Greg Reid, CB, Florida State

No. 11 Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland

No. 12 Brandon Jenkins, DE, Florida State

No. 13 Quinton Coples, DT, North Carolina

No. 14 Kenny Tate, S, Maryland

No. 15 DeAndre McDaniel, S, Clemson

No. 16 Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia

No. 17 Montel Harris, RB, Boston College

No. 18 T.J. Yates, QB, North Carolina

No. 19 Alex Wujciak, LB, Maryland

No. 20 Jarvis Jenkins, DT, Clemson

No. 21 Chris Hairston, OT, Clemson

No. 22 Anthony Allen, RB, Georgia Tech

No. 23 Brandon Washington, OL, Miami

No. 24 George Bryan, TE, NC State

No. 25 Conner Vernon, WR, Duke

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