2. Earl Wolff -- N.C. State. At 6-feet and 210 pounds, Wolff emerged as one of the best players for the Wolfpack in 2011. He finished the season with 105 tackles, three interceptions, and three caused fumbles. He's around the ball a lot and makes a lot of plays. There aren't going to be many defensive backs on his level all around the conference this season.
3. Isaiah Johnson -- Georgia Tech. At 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds, Johnson was very active in the secondary for the Yellow Jackets last season. He finished with 78 tackles, three interceptions, and two caused fumbles. He's very athletic, active, and will be one of the leaders on what should be a solid Tech defense.
4. Ty Zimmerman -- Kansas State. After being named a freshman All-American in 2010, Zimmerman continued his strong play as a sophomore in 2011. He finished with two interceptions and was one of the best defensive players for the Wildcats. At 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds, he's now one of the best safeties in the entire Big 12 conference.
5. Walt Canty -- Duke. At 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds, Canty is built almost like a linebacker and could probably play there effectively. Instead, he's Duke's best defensive back and is coming off a strong junior season. He finished the year with 87 tackles, five pass breakups, and three caused fumbles. He will help anchor an improved Duke defense.