College Football 2013: With Manti Te'o gone, who are this year's top linebackers?

With Te'o gone, who is this year's best linebacker?

3/27/13 in NCAAF   |   Tyler_Waddell   |   426 respect

Earlier today, I released a piece ranking 2013’s top college quarterbacks heading into the spring session. As we all know, the quarterback is the most vital position for numerous reasons, including on-field performance and off-field leadership.Blog Photo - College Football 2013: With Manti Te'o gone, who are this year's top linebackers?

But what about the defensive side of the ball?

The equivalent here would be the middle linebacker – the guy that anchors the front seven and leads the defense from all standpoints.

Despite the overwhelming controversy that surrounds him, former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o was the most important piece to an Irish defense that found much success in 2012.

Not only did he lead by example, but he was an idol for underclassmen to look up to and set a standard for themselves.

That said, here is a list containing linebackers that I believed are poised to have breakout seasons on the field, including those that line up on the outside.

Outside linebacker
Dion Bailey, USC
9. Ryan Shazier, Ohio State
8. Lamin Barrow, LSU
7. Trent Murphy, Stanford
6. Adrian Hubbard, Alabama
5. Denicos Allen, Michigan State
4. Anthony Barr, UCLA
3. Christian Jones, Florida State
2. Kyle Van Noy, BYU
1. C.J. Mosley, Alabama

Inside linebacker
Bryce Hager, Baylor
9. Yawin Smallwood, Connecticut
8. Shayne Skov, Stanford
7. A.J. Johnson, Tennessee
6. Erik  Kendricks, UCLA
5. Greg Blair, Cincinnati
4. Trey Depriest, Alabama
3. Chris Borland, Wisconsin
2. Andrew Jackson, Western Kentucky
1. Max Bullough, Michigan State

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3/27/13   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

Murphy and Skov get the publicity, but the entire Stanford linebacking core is absolutely nasty. They have 7 or 8 guys who could be all-conference performers.