Dominant defenders in college football are not commonplace by any stretch of the imagination. Out of the 120-plus FBS football programs, less than 16 percent are represented on this list.
Some teams have a wealth of talent and have more than one player listed, while other teams have none. For a defender to be dominant, there have to be a medley of circumstances occurring at once.
The defender has to be a cut above the rest of his teammates, or else the team will dominate and the player will simply be another faceless contributor to a massive juggernaut.
The defender must produce at a level that will get him noticed. Finally, his stats must support that he is a specialist in some way.
Whether he's great one-on-one, as a pass rusher or as a ball hawk, the defender must dominate in one or more areas to be considered a threat worthy of making the list.
In rare cases, the player can be part of a tandem in one area of the defense. If that's the case, then two players may have lower numbers than others, but their combination threat is enough to get them spots here.
Here are the 20 defenders who will dominate the 2013 season, presented in alphabetical order (by last name).