Some hit with teeth-rattling impact. Some swoop down on quarterbacks like buzzards on road kill. Others have so much big-play ability that quarterbacks only throw in their direction as a last resort – that is, if they throw that way at all.
Putting together a list of college football’s scariest defensive players isn’t easy because scary has different definitions. Some may be physically imposing. Some are just athletically intimidating.
Scary doesn’t necessarily translate to best, either, because all coaches want players that are efficient and consistent.
Still, there are players who can wreck a play, wreck a running back and make a quarterback a nervous wreck. Here’s the list.
10. Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State: He’s a two-time All-Big Ten selection, and opponents think twice before throwing Jenkins’ way. The problem there, though, is that the Buckeyes often will have him change sides to face the opponents’ best receiver. Jenkins, who has 4.3 speed, has grabbed four interceptions in each of the past two seasons, and last year posted 47 tackles.
9. Greg Hardy, Ole Miss, DE: Though playing just 10 games as a sophomore last season and starting only four, Hardy posted 10 sacks and had 18.5 tackles for losses, which is second-most among players returning in ’08. His 63 total tackles last season were the most among SEC linemen. Hardy, a 6-foot-4, 265-pounder who also has played for the Ole Miss basketball team, should be better in ’08 with a year of experience behind him.