Top opponent defensive players

On July 8th ArmySports.com took a look at the top offensive players Army will face this season. Now, let's look at the top defensive studs who will be in the face of Carson Williams and the gang. In alphabetical order, here they are.

Nelson Coleman, Tulsa: Coleman is the headliner of a nasty Tulsa linebacking group. He's another fast and physical LB the Black Knights will have to deal with. Coleman was an all-Conference USA first team selection last fall. Coleman has played in 28 games, making 22 starts. He made 81 tackles last year.

Aaron Curry, Wake Forest: Curry is fast and versatile. He can do just about everything at linebacker. He made 83 tackles last year, including 52 solo. Curry helped Wake Forest hold opponents to an average of 15.4 points per game last season.

Red Keith, Central Michigan: Check out this guy's tackle numbers from last season: 127! According to Central Michigan's athletic website, Keith leads all returning players in Football Bowl Subdivision with 326 career tackle, whatever the heck that means. Keith has been Central Michigan's leading tackler the last three years.

Brion Stokes, Akron: The guy can flat out hit, so let's Stokes doesn't get up close and personal with anyone on Army's offense in the season-opener. Stokes, a senior linebacker, is a great pass rusher and his numbers showed that last year. Stokes had 79 tackles and 5.5 sacks.

Brian Toal, Boston College: Army might want to watch out for Toal on both sides of the ball. Toal is a stud linebacker, but also lines up as a fullback in fourth-and-goal situations. Boston College students adapted the slogan "Fourth and Toal". He scored a touchdown against Army in the Black Knights' season-opener in 2005.

Toal finished the 2006 season with 180 career tackles (98 solos), 16.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. He's been named to The Sporting News Preseason All-ACC second team.

Philip Wheeler, Georgia Tech: Georgia Tech's defense is blitz heavy and attacks quarterbacks from all angles. Wheeler, a senior linebacker, is the main man on 'D'. He had 89 tackles and nine sacks last year and is one of the best in the nation. Wheeler has been named to the preseason watch list for the 2007 Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which is presented by the Football Writers Association of America to the best defensive player in college football.

Jamaal Westerman, Rutgers: The resurgant Scarlet Knights got it done on both sides of the ball last year.

Westerman was one of the leaders on defense last season. The defensive end led the team with eight sacks. Westerman, a senior, had 30 tackles and was an All-Big East second-team selection.


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