1) Dawuane Smoot – Illinois – (6’3” / 265)
A three-star recruit out of Groveport Madison High (OH), Smoot was named his team’s Defensive MVP in both his junior and senior seasons. He also earned three varsity letters and competed at the national level in track (discus, hurdles, and shot put). He played in just seven games as a true freshman at Illinois in 2013, posting a modest eight tackles and one sack. He saw action in every game in 2014, collecting 33 tackles (7.5 for loss), including 2.5 sacks, and batting down two passes. Smoot racked up 40 total tackles and broke up two passes as a junior. His 15.0 tackles for loss, 8.0 sacks, and three forced fumbles were all tops among Fighting Illini defenders, helping him earn All-Big Ten honorable mention honors in his first season as a full-time starter.
Smoot has an exceptionally quick (read more…)