SEC Football:  The West’s Most Important Defensive Players in 2015

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Jan 1, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Reggie Ragland (19) hits Ohio State Buckeyes running back Jalin Marshall (17) knocking his helmet off during the third quarter in the 2015 Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

It was only a few years ago that the defenses of SEC were the conference’s pride and joy.  With spreads being implemented across the West, however, the division that once housed power running games paired with stifling defenses is becoming an offensive juggernaut instead.

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Texas A&M came from the Big 12, which is constantly called a league with no defense.  While A&M has not won an SEC title, they have not done any worse in the SEC than they were doing in the Big 12.  Their spread offense transitioned smoothly and has proceeded to tear apart SEC defenses…at least sometimes.

Auburn runs a spread running attack, Alabama now airs it out, Ole Miss and State mix it up with their spread attacks.  LSU and Arkansas are really the only two teams left who have the weekly plan of ball control and clock management for victory.  With so many teams now being offensively focused, defensive stalwarts are all the more important.

Who are the most important defensive players in the SEC West heading into the 2015 season?  Some are the best player on their team, others must provide solid contributions for the unit to function.

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