Desmond Bozeman, Western Michigan's third team All-MAC linebacker, breaks the top 30 on our list.
Bozeman, an incoming senior, recorded 90 tackles for the Broncos on their way to a 4-8 season. That was good for third on his team, though he was tied with his teammate Justin Currie for tackles per game with 8.2. Currie finished with 98 tackles.
Without question, Bozeman is a presence on the Western Michigan defense. He missed a game, and I would be willing to bet that if he would have been allowed a full season, including bowl game, he would be on the tops of our list and on statistical categories in the MAC. Instead, he is "just" 14th in tackles in the league.
One of Bozeman's highlights that got everyone talking was his force fumble and touchdown recovery against UCONN. It really showed his athleticism and his awareness, and for it he was named MAC West Defensive Player of the Week. He is built like a truck, but he was able to fleet by hardly touched and create the play.
The important thing about Bozeman however, is that he was a part of a young defense last season. He will now be a leader on one of the more veteran defenses in the conference. Their top three tacklers (#1 Johnnie Simon is the only one that has not been mentioned yet) are returning.
The Western Michigan Broncos will be on the rise once again. The question remains if they can stay healthy and play to their potential, but I would not discredit a pundit if they choose them as a sleeper pick in the Mid-American Conference.