Michigan State DE Shilique Calhoun isn't all that big (6-foot-5, 256 pounds), but he is a physical guy who can rush the passer and also is stout against the run. He had 7.5 sacks, 14 tackles for loss and 18 quarterback hurries last season, and seems destined to get into the double-digits in sacks this fall. Calhoun is an excellent athlete (he averaged a double-double in basketball in high school in New Jersey), and last season was his first as a starter. He scored three defensive TDs in 2013 -- two on fumble returns and one on an interception return.
Pulling back the curtain on the vote
Our panelists either liked Calhoun or loved him. The bottom line, however, is all seven placed him on their personal top-20 player lists. Four of them had Calhoun in their top 10, three of which listed him sixth overall, his highest ranking. His lowest ranking: 17.
What some of our analysts are saying about Calhoun
"He stood out when I studied Big Ten offensive linemen last fall. He is a natural edge rusher." - Daniel Jeremiah
"Disruptive edge player with exceptional strength, power and body control. Rare defender capable of destroying the run or pass from the corner. " - Bucky Brooks
"Rushes off the edge, and gets home like a fast-breaking basketball player." - Charles Davis
"He is a terror off the edge and primed for another huge year of abusing Big Ten offensive tackles." - Bryan Fischer
"A big-play machine and the 2013 Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year, Calhoun scored three defensive touchdowns last season, which tied him for most in the NCAA." - Chase Goodbread
"He was often overlooked on his own defense last season. But that won't be the case this season, when he will show he is the best defensive lineman in a league with a lot of them." - Mike Huguenin
Where do fans rank Calhoun?
We asked Twitter and Facebook users who they considered the best player in college football. Calhoun didn't receive a vote among the more than 19,000 fans who cast a ballot. Then again, only two defensive players received a nomination for top player of the 14 who garnered votes.