1. Manti Te'o -- Notre Dame. At 6-foot-2 and 250 pounds, Te'o has been one of the nation's best linebackers in each of the last two seasons. He has close to 300 tackles over the last two years. His size and athletic combination is outstanding and he's always around the ball. He's a game changer and will be one of the top few overall players Miami faces in 2012.
2. Arthur Brown -- Kansas State. At 6-foot-1 and 230 pounds, Brown is a former Hurricane. A five-star recruit from the state of Kansas, Brown left Miami and ended up at K-State, where he had a tremendous season in 2011. He finished the year with 101 tackles, two sacks, and one interception. He has all the tools to become one of the nation's best in 2012.
3. Bruce Taylor -- Virginia Tech. At 6-foot-2 and 250 pounds, Taylor was one of the best in the league as a sophomore in 2010 when he had 15.5 tackles for lloss and six sacks. Despite missing five games last season he still had 53 tackles, seven for loss, and five sacks. If he can stay healthy all year, he has a chance to be the most productive linebacker in the entire league.
4. Kevin Reddick -- North Carolina. At 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds, Reddick finished last season with 71 stops for a good Tar Heel defense. He's a three-year starter with 190 career tackles. He has ideal size, he's active, and he has lots of experience. He should be one of the best in the league in 2012.
5. Steve Greer -- Virginia. At 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, Greer was part of a defense that improved tremendously from 2010 to 2011. He was a big reason why and is the top returning linebacker from that unit. He finished last season with 103 tackles, six for loss, and two sacks and should improve on those numbers in 2012.