In the minds of many fans around the league, there’s SEC and then there’s everyone else. In this instance, that line of thinking may be correct.
ESPN.com writer Travis Haney compiled a list of the best “defensive triplets” in the nation, and the SEC ran away with the competition. For purposes of creating the list, each team had one defensive lineman, one linebacker and one defensive back as a piece of the defensive triple-threat.
The top five spots in Haney’s ranks were filled with SEC teams, leaving Clemson as the top non-SEC school at No. 6 on the list.
Here’s how he ranked the Top 5, along with the players he included for each team:
- LSU: DE Lewis Neal, LB Arden Key, S Jamal Adams
- Alabama: DE Jonathan Allen, LB Tim Williams, S Eddie Jackson
- Texas A&M: DE Myles Garrett, LB Shaan Washington, S Armani Watts
- Tennessee: DE Derek Barnett, LB Darrin Kirkland Jr., CB Cameron Sutton
- Florida: DE Cece Jefferson, LB Jarrad Davis, CB Jalen Tabor
The scary part about the strength of the LSU defense is that Haney didn’t even have to utilize linebacker Kendell Beckwith or CB Tre’Davious White, who each have All-SEC talent at their position.
Likewise, Alabama’s Rueben Foster and Tennessee’s Jalen Reeves-Maybin were talented defenders that were not on the triplet list.
Florida, which should have no shame in a No. 5 ranking, could easily make an argument to be higher on the list with one of the nation’s shutdown corners.