Who are the Top Five Defenses in 2018?

By Thomas Jeffrey

Defense wins championships. Everyone knows the saying, and it could very well be true for these five programs because they are going to have monster defenses. Here are the five best defenses in college football.

  1. Clemson Tigers– Clemson’s defensive line may be the best unit in all of college football. It has both depth and talent with players like Christian Wilkins, Clelin Ferrell, Dexter Lawrence, and Austin Bryant, all of whom have legitimate chances to be first round selections in the 2019 NFL Draft. Clemson’s talent does not end at the defensive line though. Tre Lamar and Kendall Joseph are two very good returning linebackers, and cornerback Trayvon Mullen is poised for a big year.
  2. Michigan Wolverines– Michigan lost only two players from their defense this past season. Scarily, the Wolverines had arguably the best defense in the country, so they are showing no signs of slowing down. Michigan has two star defensive ends in Chase Winovich and Rashan Gary, two of the best linebackers in the country in Devin Bush and Khaleke Hudson, and probably the best secondary in college football with David Long, LaVert Hill, and Tyree Kinnel. So yeah, Michigan will be pretty good on defense this year.
  3. Alabama Crimson Tide– All the focus may be on the quarterbacks of the defending national champions, but their defense deserves some attention as well. Raekwon Davis is the best defensive lineman in the SEC, and Anfernee Jennings, Mack Wilson, and Dylan Moses make up what might be the best linebacker unit in the country.
  4. Wisconsin Badgers– The Badgers lost quite a bit of talent and production from 2017 on defense. However, they return veteran players like safety D’Cota Dixon and linebackers T.J. Edwards and Ryan Connelly. Also, Andrew Van Ginkel is ready to have a big year after a red hot ending to 2017.
  5. Miami Hurricanes– Perhaps no defense in college football gets more hype than “The U”. The majority of it is due to the now-famous turnover chain, but Miami does have some studs on defense. Trajan Bandy is a player that coaches can think be a superstar, especially after a superb freshman season, and Sheldrick Redwine, who is a turnover chain regular, is also returning at cornerback. Shaq Quarterman and Michael Pinckney both return at the linebacker position, and Jonathan Garvin has a chance to be a force on the defensive line after his solid true freshman season. With all those players coming back, I think that we will be seeing some more of the turnover chain.
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