USC Trojans

Pick 6: Gary, Evans, Sweat are defenders set to rise in '17

In his first season as a starter, Malik Hooker blossomed into one of the best defensive players in college football.

The Ohio State safety had mostly played on special teams before stepping into a major role in his third season for the Buckeyes and turned into an All-American and first-round NFL draft pick.

Jonathan Allen went from a key member of Alabama's defensive line rotation in 2015 to the Crimson Tide's most dominant lineman and a Heisman Trophy contender in 2016.

Who will be this season's breakout stars on defense? Here are six possibilities:

Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama

Since 2011, Alabama has had a first-team All-America linebacker every year but...

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