1. Jeremy Cash, SENIOR, SAFETY
Last Week: 1
Cash continues to maintain his status at the top of the rankings. He's been everywhere this season, making plays all over the field for one of top ranked defenses in the country. Rather than recounting his many accomplishments over the course of the first six weeks of the season, it may be easiest to refer to his head coach's description:
"Jeremy Cash is a great football player. Just a great -- I don't have any problem using that adjective, and I don't use it very often, but he is. That impacts your entire team."
2. Devon Edwards, SOPHOMORE, SAFETY
Last Week: 2
Edwards ranks third on the team in tackles and helps Cash and company own the middle of the field in against most opponents. That's good enough to rank highly on the list, but it's his contribution in the kicking game that bumps Edwards to No. 2. He's one of the best kick returners in college football, averaging nearly 40 yards per attempt with two touchdowns.
3. Dwayne Norman, SENIOR, LINEBACKER
Norman is settling in well as the starting linebacker and led the team in tackles against Boston College and again against Army. Through six games this season Norman leads the team in tackles with 51 and has 6.5 tackles for loss.
4. Thomas Sirk, JUNIOR, QUARTERBACK
Last Week: 7
Sirk had struggled against Georgia Tech and Northwestern, but was much better against both Boston College and Army. And, for the most part, Sirk's faults this season have been born out of a desire to protect the football. Still, it's hard to argue with the numbers as the junior leads the team in rushing and has passed at more than a 62 percent clip on the year.
5. Ross Martin, SENIOR, KICKER
Martin has been perfect on the season, making each and every field goal attempt as well as all his extra points. It's hard to do much better than that.
6. A.J. Wolf, JUNIOR, DEFENSIVE LINEMAN
Last Week: 4
While the defensive backfield will continue to get a lot of the praise for the Blue Devils' success, it's the improvement up front that has been the major difference from a season ago. Both Wolf and Carlos Wray are not only holding the line, they are getting penetration into the opponents' backfield as well.
7. Breon Borders, JUNIOR, CORNERBACK
Last Week: 6
Borders is clearly Duke's best defenisve back in coverage. However, he's not been challenged in a huge way to this point as many of Duke's opponents have been far more capable in the run game than through the air. That's going to change starting this week.
8. Will Monday, SENIOR, PUNTER
Lask Week: 8
Monday has been terrrific thorughout the season (along with Martin), and aside from one or two bad moments against Boston College, he's been just as consistent as Martin as a specialist.
9. Shaquille Powell, SENIOR, RUNNING BACK
Powell remains the team's strongest and steadiest runner, and he's back to getting help with the return of Jela Duncan. Duncan is going to push for addtional carries, but Powell is still the lead back for now.
10. Tinashe Bere, FRESHMAN, LINEBACKER
Last Week: 10
Bere got his third straight start against the Army and seems to have the middle linebacker postion locked down. He ranks fourth on the team with 35 stops.