- Edward Aschoff, ESPN Staff Writer
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All three have been great and they deserve plenty of attention.
But there's a name missing from the list -- a very important name, mind you. A name that has struck fear into the hearts of many SEC quarterbacks.
It's Texas A&M defensive end Damontre Moore, and although he might not have the SEC history that the trio mentioned earlier has, I don't see how he was left off this list. He's just been way too dominant this year.
The award is given annually to the nation's best defensive player, and Moore has certainly been one of the best defensive players in the country this season. He might be one of the best overall players, too.
Let's take a look at some of his key stats from the season:
Tackles: 74 (leads team)
Tackles for loss: 20 (leads nation)
Sacks: 12.5 (tied for first nationally)
Moore has three more tackles for loss than Jones and Clowney. He also has two more sacks than Jones and three more than Clowney. He also has way more total tackles than either Jones or Clowney.
As for the other two finalists, Moore has 4.5 more sacks than Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner and 7.5 more tackles for loss. Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o has been an absolute beast. He has 92 tackles right now, with 5.5 for loss. He has also recorded a team-high six interceptions.
But Moore deserved to be on this list. He's just been too good this season. He's been almost unblockable and has true game-changing ability.
Moore is averaging 1.25 sacks per game, which is more than 15 FBS teams. He's also averaging two tackles for loss a game, which is tied for second nationally. The last defensive lineman to lead Texas A&M in tackles was Sam Adams, who led the Aggies with 78 tackles in 1993.
When I spoke with Moore last week about the lack of national attention he was receiving, he shrugged it off to an extent. He said he wasn't bothered about being overlooked by guys looking up at him in the stat book, but he did say that it motivated him on the field. He feels he's had to prove something every week this year and it pushes him to outplay his opponents each game -- which he has.
You have to think that deep down this kind of stuff gets to Moore. He's way too talented to be overlooked like this, but I'm sure he wouldn't trade any of the Aggies' wins for accolades.
Still, where's the love?
4dSam Khan and Greg Ostendorf