USA TODAY Sports
DT Demonte McAllister celebrates with former DC Mark Stoops as FSU wins the ACC Championship.
Demonte McAllister was a monster last year.
Check out the stats: 32 total tackles, 11 of them unassisted! He also had three sacks, showing that McAllister can get to the quarterback.
But I would be remiss to not mention a player who did better than McAllister (statistically speaking): Timmy Jernigan had 43 total tackles and 20 solo tackles. Jernigan, who was dependable throughout the year, really succeeded at making contact late in the season. Against Maryland and Florida, he had 10 tackles. Against Georgia Tech, he had nine (he almost single-handedly won the game). Each of those games mattered—even Maryland. A loss to the Terrapins and Clemson would have made the ACC title game.
Sophomore Eddie Goldman also experienced a bit of play during the 2012 season. Goldman played in five games (the only major one being the ACC Championship Game), finishing with eight tackles for the year. Goldman shows a bunch of promise, but until he plays in a really huge game (like Clemson or Florida), his true talent has yet to be gauged. He should be a backup.
Nile Lawrence-Stample also has the keys to success, but only played Duke last year for one assisted tackle. That's it. Until he has a chance to prove himself on the field, he (like Goldman) should stay in rotation, but not get starting time.
All in all, the defensive tackle position is stable at the starting slot for 2012. Expect great things as these kids become men on the gridiron.