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First-Team Defense for Week 11 in College Football

Which defensive players made the first-team College Football Team of the Week for Week 11?

EDGE: Keir Thomas, Florida State

Keir Thomas put on a performance for the ages against Boston College. While Jermaine Johnson II commanded double-teams with his play prior to this game, Thomas demanded attention from the BC offensive line from the first snap. He ripped off 2 sacks, 3 tackles for loss, and another handful of QB hurries. Even more, he had at least a dozen pressures and changed rushing lanes with his quick step. Thomas was a menace to BC in a true game-wrecking performance.

DI: Jalen Redmond, Oklahoma

Jalen Redmond had the play of the game for Oklahoma, scooping up a fumble and rumbling for a 42-yard touchdown just before halftime. Redmond was great the entire contest, pushing the pocket from the interior. He and Perrion Winfrey dominated on the inside while Redmond led the way with 1.5 sacks and an additional 4 QB hurries.

DI: Gabe Hall, Baylor

The Bears’ defense was nearly immovable on Saturday against Kansas State. Gabe Hall exemplified this as he was a stalwart in all facets. He routinely stacked up offensive linemen in the run game. And he was dominant when rushing the passer. Hall recorded 2 sacks, 3 tackles for loss, and a handful of additional QB pressures, helping limit Kansas State to 10 points.

EDGE: Chauncey Manac, Louisiana

Chauncey Manac was unstoppable on Saturday against Liberty. Despite the tough out-of-conference test that is containing QB Malik Willis, Manac and the Cajuns were up to the challenge — and then some. He recorded 4 sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss as he was not only able to record pressure but also bring down Willis. That in and of itself is a feat.

LB: Devin Lloyd, Utah

Recording the hit heard ’round the world, Devin Lloyd was once again in top form for Utah. Lloyd gave a case for not just the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year but also for the Bednarik Award after dominating the action against the Ducks. He finished the game with 6 total tackles, including 1 tackle for loss. But that TFL was a thing of beauty.

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We bet Travis Dye is still sore today after Lloyd thumped him in the backfield. Lloyd possesses all the traits of an elite linebacker. He’s likely to finish his illustrious Utah career with some hardware and a first-round draft selection in April at this rate.

LB: Drake Thomas, NC State

Drake Thomas showed why he’s one of the better linebackers in the ACC this weekend. Against Syracuse, he recorded 8 total tackles, but it was how he recorded those tackles that is important. He had 2 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss, but his patrolling of Syracuse QB Garrett Shrader was next-level. With Thomas’ help, the Wolfpack limited Shrader to just 22 yards on 16 carries, save for his long 48-yard touchdown run.

LB: Jacoby Windmon, UNLV

Perhaps you missed it on Friday night, but Jacoby Windmon was special for the Rebels. Giving everything he had, Windmon was a force for UNLV’s defense, leading the charge with 12 total tackles. He ripped off 3 sacks and 3 tackles for loss as he single-handedly gave UNLV a chance at what would have been an incredible upset. Still, his performance, like that of UNLV’s of late, was incredibly inspiring.

CB: Marcus Jones, Houston

Marcus Jones is having one of those years that turns heads. Not just college football pundits’ heads, but NFL draft pundits’ as well. Jones recorded 2 interceptions back on Friday night against Memphis while also chipping in with 6 total tackles. He’s got incredible skills in the return game, but his ability to cover has shown through. Jones is now tied for the national lead with 5 picks.

CB: Jakob Robinson, BYU

Jakob Robinson had himself a game against Georgia Southern. Putting together the finest performance of a young, bright career, Robinson recorded 2 interceptions (the first 2 picks of his career) against Georgia Southern. He also chipped in with 2 solo tackles as he limited receivers in his coverage with relative ease. Robinson was also solid in run defense, filling gaps on the outside and forcing action back to the interior.

CB: Lu-Magia Hearns III, Cal

The future is bright for the Cal defense as they once again look to have a budding, emerging secondary. True freshman Lu-Magia Hearns III recorded his first career interception against Stanford as the Bears won the Big Game and brought The Axe back to Berkeley. Hearns wasn’t just done with an interception, however. He also made a handful of pass breakups in what could be seen as a breakout performance for the young cornerback.

S: Rashad Wisdom, UTSA

Rashad Wisdom showcased why his teammates voted for him to have No. 0 on Saturday. In the biggest game in UTSA history, and perhaps in the Conference USA’s regular-season history, the Roadrunners kept their dream campaign alive and improved to 11-0. It wasn’t without drama, and it certainly wasn’t without incredible performances. Wisdom absolutely had one of those incredible performances.

He didn’t allow anything to get behind him, and he routinely filled run gaps, racking up 10 total tackles in the process. UAB’s rushing game was kept in check, for the most part, thanks to Wisdom’s ability to fly around the field.

S: Collin Wilder, Wisconsin

Wisconsin is a win away from heading to the Big Ten Championship Game, and they certainly have Collin Wilder to thank for getting them this far. Against Nebraska, Wilder came up clutch with 2 interceptions. His 2 picks didn’t always lead to points, but they did their part in stymying the Cornhuskers and giving the Badgers the momentum back. Wilder patrolled the middle of the field beautifully and didn’t give up any big plays to an offense seemingly dependent on them.

FLEX: Akeem Dent, Florida State

Florida State got a handful of defensive performances of note, and Akeem Dent certainly stood out. Against Boston College, Dent recorded 3 total tackles, but his play in coverage warrants a spot on our Team of the Week.

Sure, his interception came on a late desperation heave from Phil Jurkovec, but he was routinely in position to make plays on the ball for FSU. He didn’t allow a catch in coverage and had a pass breakup to round out his fine outing.

Punter: Matt Araiza, San Diego State

At this point, who else could even come close to the level of play Matt Araiza puts forth on a weekly basis? The answer is no one, at least for the 2021 season. In another example of fine punting, Araiza knocked 5 of his 6 punts inside the 20-yard line and averaged 47.5 yards per kick. Oh, and he was also perfect on extra points for the night, nailing all 4 PATs.

Second-Team Defense

EDGE: Jermaine Johnson II, Florida State
DI: CJ West, Kent State
DI: Junior Tafuna, Utah
EDGE: Brock Martin, Oklahoma State
LB: Tatum Bethune, UCF
LB: Darius Muasau, Hawaii
LB: Chad Muma, Wyoming
CB: Cameron Lockridge, Hawaii
CB: Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson
CB: Nikko Reed, Colorado
S: Dane Belton, Iowa
S: Delarrin Turner-Yell, Oklahoma
FLEX: Mekhi Garner, Louisiana
P: Jordan Stout, Penn State

Honorable Mention Defense

EDGE: Myles Murphy, Clemson
DI: Calijah Kancey, Pittsburgh
DI: Nesta Jade Silvera, Miami FL
EDGE: Carson Wells, Colorado
LB: Clarence Hicks, UTSA
LB: Terrel Bernard, Baylor
LB: Trenton Simpson, Clemson
CB: Al Walcott, Baylor
CB: Justin Hodges, UCF
CB: Bryquice Brown, Georgia State
S: JL Skinner, Boise State
S: Antavious Lane, Georgia State
FLEX: Khoury Bethley, Hawaii
P: Alex Mastromanno, Florida State

Cam Mellor is the Senior Director of the College Football/NFL Draft vertical for Pro Football Network. He is also the co-host of Between the Hashes, a college football and NFL draft podcast. You can find his writing here. Follow him on Twitter @CamMellor


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