2012 Boston College Football Preview: Defensive MVP

CLEMSON, SC - OCTOBER 8: Steele Divitto #49 and Al Louis-Jean Jr. #5 of the Boston College Eagles defend a pass against Brandon Ford #80 of the Clemson Tigers in the first half of their game at Memorial Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Yesterday we took a look at the offensive players that could become the most valuable player for the Eagles. Today we take a look at defense. Luke Kuechly is gone, and that means there are Paul Bunyon sized shoes to fill this year. Who will be take the reigns of the defense and make the big plays? Will it be a defensive lineman like Kaleb Ramsey or Dominic Appiah? Or will it be another linebacker such as Steele Divitto, Kevin Pierre Louis or Sean Duggan?

Let's take a look at the suspects:

Kevin Pierre-Louis (LB) Even with injuries that caused him to miss three games last year, he still finished second on the team in tackles. He makes the instinctual plays that you would expect from BC linebackers, and without Kuechly there, most experts predict he will be the heir apparent. But will he stay healthy enough to be that rock?

Brian Mihalik (DE) During the 2011 freshman Appiah stepped up to earn the starting role due to his physical play and ability to get into the backfield. With a whole season under his belt, it may be up to him to get pressure on the quarterback. Could he be the pressuring defensive lineman BC has sorely lacked recently?

Jim Noel (Safety) BC's secondary was very inconsistent in 2011, and it will be up to the captain and senior leader Jim Noel to provide some stability in the backfield. Injuries limited him to nine games in '11, but he looks to turn it around this year and be the physical presence in the back end.

Sean Duggan (LB) Last season we saw just a glimpse of what could be with Duggan. As a freshman Duggan was seventh on the team in tackles, only playing in nine games. Smart and intuitive, it could be Duggan that becomes the next dominant linebacker for the Eagles.

Kaleb Ramsey (DL) The most seasoned of anyone on the defensive line, Ramsey missed all of 2011 due to injury. But he is back, and was named one of the captains this past week. He can be disruptive in the backfield, but will need to stay healthy.

Steele Divitto (LB) The man with the greatest name on the Eagles (Spiffy Evans is a close 2nd) had a fantastic 2011, and is posed to continue his success in 2012. He finished last season with 72 tackles, third best on the team, and had one interception.

Other Is there a player not named that could lead the BC Eagles on defense? Maybe a player in the secondary like Al Louis Jean or Dominique Williams. Or could it be a defensive lineman such as Dominic Appiah or Kasim Edebali. Or maybe a rookie such as Steven Daniels?

Who will be the defensive MVP? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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