SEC Football Top 150 Players: No. 74, Josh Boyd, Mississippi State DL
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The SEC Blog will be counting down the top 150 players in the SEC every day, concluding on Aug. 30, at the start of the college football regular season.
74. Josh Boyd, No. 97, Mississippi State Defensive Tackle
2011 stats: 51 tackles, eight tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks
Fletcher Cox got all of the publicity on Mississippi State's defensive line last year, but Josh Boyd was no slouch either. The 6'3", 300-pound rising senior has been a contributor ever since he stepped foot on the field for Mississippi State in 2009. He's a force inside that routinely is in the opponent's backfield, and takes up double teams to free up pass rushers off the edge.
Now that Cox is gone, it's up to Boyd to be the leader of the defensive line. We will know early whether Boyd was a product of too much attention being paid to Cox off the edge, or if he is the catalyst that makes the Bulldogs line click.
Boyd is set up for a solid campaign in his senior season. Mississippi State's defensive line is an underrated unit, and the addition of junior college transfer Denico Autry at defensive end should benefit Boyd in the middle of the line. It all starts up front, and it's up to Boyd to be the leader in 2012.
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