1. Brandon Linder, RG
There isn't a better interior lineman anywhere in the conference. He's the total package. He's tough. He's experienced. He's a leader. He's good in the running game and in pass pro. He's arguably Miami's best all-around player heading into the 2012 season.
2. Mike James, RB
He's finally fully healthy again and is fresh off a tremendous preseason camp. James is ready to pick right up where Lamar Miller left off last season. He's the heat and soul of the offense and should have a strong senior season.
3. Allen Hurns, WR
Miami's top returning receiver, Hurns is a possession receiver who moved the chains a lot last season and found the endzone a few times. He will likely be the go-to guy for Morris early in the season.
4. Malcolm Bunche, LT
It's his job to protect Stephen Morris' blindside in 2012. At 6-foot-7 and 320 pounds, he's the strongest player on the team and has had a good offseason. He should be ready for the challenge.
5. Shane McDermott, C
Tyler Horn was an All-ACC performer for the Canes last season and a senior leader. He won't be missed much, though, thanks to the same qualities McDermott brings to the table. He'll be one of the league's best centers by December.
1. Anthony Chickillo, DE
Miami's top pass rusher coming back from last season, Chickillo is the closest thing the Canes have up front to being able to change games around with his play. He has a non-stop motor and is developing into one of the leaders on this year's team.
2. Denzel Perryman, MLB
Clearly the most productive linebacker of the group from last season, Perryman will look to take his game to another level. He has tremendous instincts and will make a lot of plays in 2012.
3. Ramon Buchanan, OLB
After a decent start to his career, Buchanan really started playing well early on last season before a knee injury ended it very early. He was granted an extra year and now looks primed for a strong senior season.
4. Olsen Pierre, DT
The Canes really need someone to emerge as a playmaker at this position. The front four hasn't generated a whole lot of pressure up until now and Pierre emerged as the top guy on the interior. He is the best pass rusher of the group, too.
5. Vaughn Telemaque, SS
Telemaque was a full-time starter in Miami's secondary in Al Golden's first season in 2011. He's had a better career than recently dismissed safety Ray Ray Armstrong and has been more reliable than any of the returning cornerbacks. His career hasn't been great but he's been solid and should be in line for his best season yet.