Pollack, James tough to block

Derrick Johnson and Erasmus James highlight Scouts Inc.'s list of the nation's elite players defensive players.

Originally Published: November 5, 2004
By Todd McShay | Scouts, Inc.
The BCS standings and Heisman Trophy race tend to occupy most of the attention this time of year. Lost in the shuffle are the defensive standouts who, in some cases, play an even bigger role than the offensive stars when it comes to the success of their respective teams.

Sure, the Bronko Nagurski, Lombardi and Butkus awards recognize college football's elite defensive players. But even the award winners rarely get the props they deserve.

With just over a month remaining in the 2004 college football regular season, the cream of the crop has had ample time to rise to the top. It is a good a time to take a look at the 10 biggest impact defensive players in the nation.

Todd McShay

ESPN Senior Writer