The Defense Starting Lineup

The 2018 Defense Starting Lineup is headlined by five unanimous selections including one two-time first-team All-America selection.

Clemson’s Christian Wilkins was also named to our Starting Lineup in 2016, and his decision to return for one final season paid off in a big way. In addition to the individual honors, he’ll cap his career by leading his Tigers into the College Football Playoff for the fourth straight year.

There’s a good chance he’ll run into a familiar foe. The Tigers have faced off against Alabama in the playoff in the previous three seasons, and they occupy the top two seeds heading into this playoff as well. Two sophomore Crimson Tide defenders are also in our 2018 Starting Lineup – defensive tackle and Outland Trophy winner Quinnen Williams and linebacker Dylan Moses.

Northern Illinois junior defensive end Sutton Smith, meanwhile, moves up from his Second String selection in 2017 to the Starting Lineup as well after another big season for the Huskies. A unanimous choice, he joins Wilkins and Williams on a deep defensive line that also includes surprise selection Jaylon Ferguson of LA Tech. Ferguson, a senior stat machine, enters LA Tech’s Hawaii Bowl appearance just two sacks shy of the NCAA career record with 42.5 in his four years as a starter in Ruston.

The linebacker corps features an All-SEC lineup. Joining Alabama’s Moses are two more unanimous selections in Kentucky senior Josh Allen and LSU junior Devin White. Together, Allen and White swept all the major defensive awards for their position with Allen taking home the Bednarik Award and the Nagurski Trophy as the nation’s defensive player of the year. White, meanwhile, picked up the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker.

The secondary is paced by senior Thorpe Award winner Deandre Baker of Georgia, a unanimous selection at cornerback. Notre Dame junior Julian Love mans the other corner while Andre Cisco of Syracuse and Richie Grant of UCF are the safeties. Grant is a sophomore, but Cisco is the only true freshman among the 22 players named to our Offense and Defense Starting Lineups.

The Defense Starting Lineup

  • DT – Christian Wilkins, Clemson, SR
  • DT – Quinnen Williams, Alabama, SO
  • DE – Jaylon Ferguson, LA Tech, SR
  • DE – Sutton Smith, Northern Illinois, JR
  • LB – Josh Allen, Kentucky, SR
  • LB – Dylan Moses, Alabama, SO
  • LB – Devin White, LSU, JR
  • CB – Deandre Baker, Georgia, SR
  • CB – Julian Love, Notre Dame, JR
  • S – Andre Cisco, Syracuse, FR
  • S – Richie Grant, UCF, SO

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