Oct 22, 2011; San Francisco CA, USA; Utah Utes defensive tackle Star Lotulelei (92) after the play during the third quarter against the California Golden Bears at AT

NFL Draft 2013: Top College Defenders To Watch This Upcoming Season

Dec, 27, 2011; Charlotte, NC, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack cornerback David Amerson (1) reacts after returning an interception for a touchdown in the third quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

It is never too early to look ahead to next year’s draft and the Lott Impact Trophy Award announced its watch list for the upcoming season made looking forward at some of the nation’s top defenders that much easier. The Lott IMPACT Trophy Award is given to the player that “exhibits the same characteristics Ronnie Lott embodied during his distinguished career: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.”

42 players were on the initial watch list and it included a number of players who are considered potential first-round picks in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Some of the most notable players were North Carolina State cornerback David Amerson, stud Utah defensive lineman Star Lotulelei, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, Georgia pass rusher Jarvis Jones, LSU defensive end Sam Montgomery, USC safety TJ McDonald, Stanford linebacker Chase Thomas and many others. Here is the complete watchlist, in alphabetical order:

  • David Amerson, CB, North Carolina State
  • Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
  • Chris Borland, LB,. Wisconsin
  • John Boyett, FS. Oregon
  • Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State
  • Brodrick Brown, CB, Oklahoma State
  • Jonathan Brown, LB, Illinois
  • Max Bullough, LB, Michigan State
  • Tra’ves Bush, S, Navy
  • Kyle Fuller, DB, Virginia Tech
  • Steve Greer, LB, Virginia
  • Gerald Hodges, LB, Penn State
  • Demontre Hurst, DB, Oklahoma
  • Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas
  • Brandon Jenkins, DE, Florida State
  • Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia
  • A.J. Klein, LB, Iowa State
  • Jake Knott, LB, Iowa State
  • Jordan Kovacs, S, Michigan
  • Patrick Larimore, LB, UCLA
  • Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
  • Brandon Magee, LB, Arizona State
  • T.J. McDonald, S, USC
  • Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
  • Brandon Ogletree, LB, BYU
  • Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
  • J.C. Percy, LB, Boise State
  • Ray Polk, S, Colorado
  • Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State
  • Kevin Reddick, LB, North Carolina
  • Eric Reid, S, LSU
  • Luke Ruff, S, Wyoming
  • Kawaan Short, DT, Purdue
  • John Simon, DT, Ohio State
  • Baker Steinkuhler, DT, Nebraska
  • Mike Taylor, LB, Wisconsin
  • Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame
  • Chase Thomas, LB, Stanford
  • Joe Vellano, DT, Maryland
  • Bjoern Warner, DE, Florida State
  • Zach Watts, LB, Army
  • Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama

Which of the defenders are you looking forward to watching the most this upcoming season? While Te’o may be the most popular choice, I am very excited to watch Amerson and Lotulelei play out this year. Both, in my eyes, are potential top five picks and could really take college football by storm.

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Tags: Chase Thomas David Amerson Jarvis Jones Manti Te'o NFL NFL Draft NFL News Sam Montgomery Star Lotulelei TJ McDonald

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