Friday, March 18, 2011
Non-AQ Top 25 Players: No. 2
By Andrea Adelson
No. 2 Tank Carder, LB, TCU
Tank Carder made several big plays in TCU's win over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.
The third Horned Frog makes his appearance in the top 5. This one could be the subject of debate for TCU fans. Linebacker Tank Carder is in this spot, ahead of Andy Dalton and Tejay Johnson. The three were invaluable leaders TCU relied on big time in its undefeated, Rose Bowl-winning season. But Carder emerged as an immovable force this season and one of the best linebackers in the country. For a team that is known for its defense, his gigantic play in the Rose Bowl gave him the slight edge to land here at No. 2.
Forget about his stats. Opponents quickly learned it would be rough going if they decided to come across the middle this season. That was never more obvious against Wisconsin, when he jumped high and batted down a 2-point conversion pass with the clock ticking down to preserve the win. His penchant for big plays was obvious, and landed him on several All-America lists. He also won Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year honors and set himself up to be a consensus All-American in 2011.