Top 5 Scariest Defenders

The "30 lists in 30 days" series is designed to lead us into the camp circuit. Have your own thoughts on one of our lists? Feel free to debate on the message boards. Today and yesterday, we look at the five scariest defenders opposing teams have to deal with this season.

5.) DL/FB Marcus Thompson — Even if Thompson does not move back to defense, the 225-pounder will still be a scary member of kickoff coverage. Thompson is an extremely physical player no matter which side of the ball he ends up playing.

Whether he is barreling over defenders as a lead blocker or pass-rushing, Thompson will make some big hits when he is on the field.

4.) LB Steve Beauharnais — Moving back outside is key for Beauharnais in his junior year.

By giving Ka'lial Glaud control of the defense, Beauharnais can simply focus on playing football. Beauharnais has 115 tackles, 13 TFLs, 6.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in his first two seasons.

Beauharnais has the speed and athleticism to make a lot of big plays this season.

3.) DE Justin Francis — Francis came in as an athletic beast and, as a fifth-year senior, is more physically developed than ever

Until this season, Francis did not have the opportunity to fully showcase his ability with Jonathan Freeny and Alex Silvestro ahead of him on the depth chart. This season, Francis is the most experienced defensive end and the 260-pounder will make his fair share of big hits this season.

For his career, Francis has 42 tackles, 5.5 sacks, nine TFLs and a forced fumble.

2.) DT Scott Vallone — To running backs looking to run up the middle this season, do so at your own risk.

Even before this season, Vallone may be the top defensive tackle in the Big East. Entering his fourth year in the program, the red-shirt junior is the anchor of the Rutgers defense and destined to knock over plenty of offensive linemen en route to stops in the backfield.

1.) LB Khaseem Greene — Greene was among the most feared safeties in the Big East last year. Moving him closer to the line of scrimmage, especially with the complex linebacker blitz packages in the Rutgers defense, only gives him more chances to make hits.

Greene bulks up considerably each season and is a true student of Jay Butler in the weight room. With Joe Lefeged no longer around, opposing quarterbacks' biggest fear this season will be No. 20.

Scarlet Report Top Stories