Scooby Wright III enters 2015 after having one of the finest seasons by a defender in college football history. The Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year collected 163 total tackles (tops among all FBS defenders), a staggering 29 tackles for loss (tops in FBS) and had 14 sacks (fourth in FBS). On average, Wright had 12 tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack per game in 2014. For his efforts, he took home the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, the Rotary Lombardi Award and the Chuck Bednarik Award, all given annually to the nation's top defender.
Pulling back the curtain on the vote
Wright earned votes from five of seven CFB 24/7 experts. Few players in this countdown had a greater discrepancy in voting. Wright was ommitted altogether on two experts' ballots, but received one first-place vote and two more top-five votes.
What some of our analysts are saying about Wright
"The Wildcats star cleaned up on the individual awards circuit last year (Nagurski, Bednarik, Lombardi), and deservedly so. He spends so much time in opponents' offensive backfields, he might as well get his mail there." -- Chase Goodbread
"Wright is a good, not great athlete and when you see the production that he posts, it is a clear indication of the type of instincts and competitiveness he brings to the table. He's a great leader on the field and leads by example at all times." -- Lance Zierlein
"It is simple: Phillip 'Scooby' Wright is a great football player. He does it all from attacking the quarterback to patrolling the second level in coverage." -- Chad Reuter
"The numbers don't lie, but the big plays, in big situations speak louder. Overlooked no more." -- Charles Davis
"The next Luke Kuechly. Had 165 tackles last year. Makes plays all over the field for the Wildcats." -- Gil Brandt
Where do fans rank Wright?
We asked Twitter users who they considered the best player in college football. Wright finished 13th in the fan vote, the fourth-highest among defensive players.