Eric ReidSafety | LSU
The lone returning starter in the Tigers' secondary, Reid's leadership was a big reason LSU hardly took a step back after losing three defensive backs to the NFL and a fourth, Heisman Trophy finalist Tyrann Mathieu, who was dismissed from the team in August. A steady presence at free safety, Reid was third on the team with 81 often bone-jarring tackles. More important, his tremendous closing speed turned many a promising play into a minimal gain and went a long way in defining the Tigers' defense as one with prototypical "SEC speed."
-- Gary Laney