The SEC's best 25 players: No. 20

August, 2, 2011
8/02/11
11:39
AM ET
This next guy started his career in the Pac-10, but is making a name for himself now in the SEC:

No. 20: Malik Jackson, DT, Tennessee

[+] EnlargeMalik Jackson
Kirby Lee/Image of Sport/US PresswireMalik Jackson made a huge impact for the Tennessee defense last season.
2010 numbers: Jackson started in 12 games last season, the last eight coming at defensive tackle. He finished with 48 total tackles and led the Vols with 11 tackles for loss, including five sacks. He was named second-team All-SEC by the Associated Press.

Most recent ranking: Not ranked in the 2010 postseason countdown.

Making the case for Jackson: Transferring in from Southern California, Jackson was a huge pickup for the Vols. His natural position is defensive end, which is where he played the first month of the season a year ago. But Tennessee was in desperate need of help inside and moved Jackson to tackle for the last eight games. He flourished and proved in his first season in the SEC that he's going to be a difference-maker no matter where he lines up. Jackson said he hopes to get closer to 280 pounds for his senior season, but insists he hasn't lost any of his burst off the edge to get to the passer. He could still move outside to end some depending on the situation. There aren't a lot of guys who can play at an All-SEC level at both tackle and end. The 6-foot-5, 270-pound Jackson is one of those guys, and he'll be even better his second time through the league.

Previously

  • No. 21: Orson Charles, TE, Georgia
  • No. 22: Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
  • No. 23: Casey Hayward, CB, Vanderbilt
  • No. 24: Jaye Howard, DT, Florida
  • No. 25: Janzen Jackson, S, Tennessee

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