ACC Football: Top 5 Linebackers For 2015

The 2015 season countdown continues on InsideTheACC, as we take a look at some of the top defensive anchors in the conference. The linebacker position is deep, young, and extremely talented in the ACC, so let’s take a look at who the top contributors should be heading into the season.

The Top Five

5.)  P.J. Davis, Georgia Tech

If Georgia Tech wants to return to the ACC Championship this season, they are going to need to have another solid defense to go along with their highly powered rushing attack. Junior linebacker P.J. Davis could go a long way in determining just how good this Yellow Jacket defense can be in 2015. As a sophomore, Davis was named an All-ACC Honorable Mention after recording 119 tackles, and the hope is that he continues with his development and becomes even more impactful this season.

4.)  Brandon Chubb, Wake Forest

While Wake Forest isn’t expected to emerge out of the basement of the ACC in 2015, they will have an outstanding playmaker at linebacker this season. Brandon Chubb, cousin of Georgia’s stud running back Nick Chubb, recorded 109 tackles and three sacks last season for the Demon Deacons, as he cemented himself as one of the lone bright spots on the 2014 squad. Although the team be just as bad as it was last season, expect Chubb to continue to play well for Wake and emerge as a top five linebacker in the conference.

3.)  Keith Kelsey, Louisville

As a sophomore last season, Keith Kelsey emerged as one of the prime backers on the defense for Bobby Petrino’s Cardinals squad. After recording 87 tackles and six sacks, Kelsey turned the heads of the coaching staff, which in turn should springboard him into an even larger role heading into this season. With the help of fellow linebacker James Burgess, Kelsey should lead a productive Louisville defense into the spotlight in 2015.

2.)  DeVonte Fields, Louisville

Before being dismissed from TCU last season for an off-field issue, DeVonte Fields was named the preseason Big 12 Player of the Year. While Fields was more of a stand up defensive end at TCU, it is expected that he will move back to the second level and play more in a position of a linebacker this upcoming season. If he stays on the field and keeps himself out of trouble, there is little doubt that he will be one of the most transformative players in the conference for 2015. In 2012, Fields recorded 10 sacks which led the Horned Frogs, but he missed all but three games of the following season with a foot injury. His 2014 year was non-existent due to his off the field shortcomings, but if he is half the player he was in 2012, he will be one of the best linebackers in the ACC.


1.)  Terrance Smith, Florida State

Terrance Smith has emerged as one of the best linebackers in the ACC, and across the country, in his three seasons at Florida State. He highlights what should be another very good Florida State defense, as his 37 career starts make him second in the conference among active players. As Smith enters his senior season, he will look to improve on last year’s Second Team All-ACC honors, in which he finished with 87 tackles despite missing two games to injury. If all goes according to plan, Smith could very well be the best linebacker in the ACC in 2015.


Follow me on Twitter @mikem92VT and check out InsideTheACC on Facebook and on twitter @InsideTheACC.


Leave a Reply