No. 18: Corico Hawkins

Up again on the top 25 player countdown is yet another player from the defensive side of the ball.

18. MLB Corico Hawkins, Jr.
Hawkins made a name for himself as a freshman when he was given the starting nod in the Music City Bowl in place of an injured Brandon Maye. Since then, Hawkins has held on to the starting MIKE linebacker job and done an admirable job in the middle despite his lack of size.

THE RESUME: An important piece of the ‘Dandy Dozen' signing class in 2009, Hawkins was the No. 23 middle linebacker in the country, according to

Snaps were at a premium during his freshman year. Hawkins played 119 in 12 games, during which he recorded 19 tackles and two sacks. During the 40 snaps he played against Kentucky in the bowl game, Hawkins was in on seven tackles.

He moved into the full-time starter's role in the spring of 2010. Hawkins finished the season third on the team in snaps (758), tackles (71) and sacks (three). He was also second with 10 tackles for loss.

MOVING FORWARD: His role as the starter in the middle of Kevin Steele's defense continued through this spring. Hawkins, who registered four tackles in the Orange and White spring game, enters preseason camp as the starter.

He may have to fend off some younger competition during preseason camp. Not only could Justin Parker push for time, but so could freshmen Stephone Anthony and Tony Steward. Top Stories