2. Florida BUZZ: Brandon Spikes gets all the notice, but there are a lot of fast, experienced and nasty 'backers joining him. Five linebackers who started at least three games return.
3. Alabama BUZZ: Three of the four starters return, headed by junior Rolando McClain, a big, physical presence in the middle. Watch for sophomore Dont'a Hightower to emerge as a star this season.
4. Michigan State BUZZ: Coach Mark Dantonio quietly is putting together one of the Big Ten's best defenses. Junior Greg Jones is a productive playmaker. All three starters return, but Adam Decker seems likely to lose his starting job, meaning there is good depth and a lot of speed.
5. North Carolina BUZZ: The Tar Heels have speed in abundance at this position. Quan Sturdivant is underrated nationally, and coaches are raving about sophomore Zach Brown, a first-time starter who might be the fastest player on the team.
6. Georgia BUZZ: Rennie Curran is small (5 feet 11/220 pounds), but he flies to the ball and arrives with a nasty disposition. He is one of two returning starters for a group that has good depth and quickness.
7. Oklahoma BUZZ: Sophomore Travis Lewis burst on the scene in a big way last season, and he could be the best linebacker in the Big 12. Keenan Clayton has good speed on the outside. If oft-injured Ryan Reynolds can stay healthy, this could be a special group. Some preseason injuries have hurt the depth, though.
8. Iowa BUZZ: Pat Angerer leads an underrated group. Angerer had 107 tackles and five picks last season. A.J. Edds and Jerimiha Hunter also are returning starters, and depth looks excellent.
10. Arizona State BUZZ: Travis Goethel and Mike Nixon are a big, productive and experienced duo. If touted true freshman Vontaze Burfict is cleared academically, he will see the field immediately; he is attending class at Arizona State but is awaiting NCAA Clearinghouse approval.