Anthony Chickillo -- After emerging as one of the better players on defense at the end of his freshman season in 2011, Chick started all 12 games and rarely left the field. He finished with 45 tackles and four sacks. He plays with a non-stop motor that helps him make a lot of plays that a lot of defensive ends don't make but he offers below average pass rushing help due to limited athleticism.
Shayon Green -- A lightly recruited linebacker from the state of Georgia, Green logged just eight tackles in his first three seasons here. He won one of the defensive end jobs, pretty much by default, back in the spring and never looked back. His non-stop motor helped him log 67 tackles. However, he offers absolutely nothing as a pass rusher, and has zero sacks in four seasons now.
Tyriq McCord -- The team's top pass rusher in 2012, McCord played in all 12 games. He finished the season with 3.5 sacks and three more quarterback hurries.
Jelani Hamilton -- A four-star recruit in the 2012 class, Hamilton played some but didn't make an impact. He played in five games and managed six tackles, and no sacks.
Kelvin Cain -- After being moved to defensive end from outside linebacker in the spring, Cain was pretty much a non-factor all season. His speed and athleticism didn't translate to pass rushing ability, as he logged just one sack in nine games.
Ricardo Williams -- After redshirting in 2011, Williams played in just one game (UNC) this season. He's still trying to add weight and strength but for someone who was brought in as a pass rushing specialist, Williams has been somewhat of a disappointment so far.
Dwayne Hoilett -- Redshirted.
Jake O'Donnell -- Redshirted.
2012 Recap: Chick and Green were the only two players on the roster capable of holding up against the run. Because of that, they played a tremendous amount of snaps in 2012. McCord was the pass rushing specialist, especially late in the season. The rest played small roles, and didn't offer much impact.
Looking ahead to 2013: Everyone's back. Chick should be solid again. Green will be decent. McCord will add weight and play a bigger role next season. He will likely be the team's top pass rusher but keep an eye on Hoilett in that role. He's expected to be a potential difference maker there too. O'Donnell could be a tight end before next season. One of the team's biggest recruiting priorities in its 2013 class is pass rushing defensive ends.