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The BYU national championship team in 1984 had talented offensive players but it was the Cougar defense that put the team in position to win it all. White was one of the most important players on that squad as a disruptive presence. He ended his career with 249 tackles, 19 pass breakups and 42 quarterback hurries.

When Van Noy was locked in, particularly late in his career, he was unbelievable. He had a knack for making the big play late in games (like at Ole Miss and against San Diego State in the Poinsettia Bowl). He could bust things up in the backfield (61.5 career tackles for a loss) but could also drop back into coverage (seven interceptions). He spearheaded some impressive BYU defenses.

In many ways, I saw Muirbrook as being the epitome of what a linebacker should be during his run in the mid-1990s, particularly during the spectacular 1996 season. He would get into the backfield (19 career sacks, 29 QB hurries), make plays all over the field (345 career tackles) and lead a strong, confident defense to 14 wins. That earned my top spot from an impressive collection of Cougar linebackers.

Muirbrook was a gutty, big-play linebacker repping that terrific 14-1 team in 1996. He was always around the ball and his performance in the Cotton Bowl — 11 unassisted tackles, five tackles for loss, six sacks and a safety — is one of the all-time best in college football bowl history.

Morris — “Freight Train” to his friends — was a force of nature who had a personality as big as his game. Many forget Morris started out as a fullback. When he got back from his LDS mission, he stepped into the middle linebacker role and started tossing people around. His junior year, he had 114 unassisted tackles, 16 tackles for loss and six sacks.

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Texas A&M had five representatives on the preseason All-Southeastern Conference football teams in running back Trayveon Williams (second team), place kicker Daniel LaCamera (second team), center Erik McCoy (third team) and defensive linemen Kingsley Keke (third team) and Landis Durham (third team).

BOURBONNAIS -- It doesn’t seem that long ago that Bears guard Kyle Long was a frisky colt, inexperienced but blessed with enough God-given size, strength and athleticism to make him a first-round draft pick and a 2013 opening-day starter as a rookie.

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TROY – A day after being picked to finish second in the East Division in the Sun Belt Conference Preseason Coaches Poll, Troy received 11 selections on the Preseason All-Sun Belt Team, the league office announced Friday.

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ATLANTA — The four-day hurly burly that is Southeastern Conference media days is a constant scramble for the next story, and then the next. But, in a few quiet moments, there were times this past week to speak to some national college football writers and get an outside perspective on LSU, going into this season and as a program:

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There is no unit on the football field that has to be as cohesive and disciplined as the offensive line. The big guys up front weren't bad for BYU in 2017 but would have an exponentially greater impact if they can take their game to another level. If Ryan Pugh can come in and find ways to build off their past successes, the Cougar offense has a chance to return to being consistently effective.

Over the offseason, thousands of fans voted in our "Team For the Ages" contest to construct the best imaginable 50-man roster from the NFL’s modern era, which began in 1967. The votes have been counted, and we’re unveiling one player each weekday bet…

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney took to the podium on the final day of the ACC Kickoff with a smile and a confidence befitting a man whose team has claimed the league’s title three years in a row, while securing a spot in the College Football Playoff and winning a national title in the same amount of time.

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Ten years ago, the University of Richmond’s football team was preparing to start a season that concluded with a national championship, which seemed highly unlikely after seven games. Generating momentum after a 4-3 start, the Spiders won nine straight, capturing the FCS title with a 24-7 win over Montana.

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Tiger generation gap: ATLANTA — Auburn senior quarterback Jarrett Stidham, a child of the 1990s, said he feels old surrounded by teammates who were born in the 2000s.