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Top MAC Football Players of 2013: #54 Trent Voss, Toledo LB

There's a Dan Molls-sized hole in the linebacker ranks, but Voss has already filled it once.

Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

You don't get a more difficult start to your career than Trent Voss has. Sidelined by ineligibility in 2011, and missing the first couple of games of 2012 with an injury, a kid in that position could start to feel like he was going to be left behind.

That is, until his first play from scrimmage, where he sacked Bowling Green QB Matt Schilz near the end of the first half, forcing the Falcons into a field goal. Over the course of his freshman season, he'd notch 47 tackles, earn a starting role in the Akron game (12 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 1 INT), and register 7 tackles in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, stepping in for an injured Dan Molls (no one will ever convince me that putting Molls on kick return coverage that day was a good idea).

Now Molls is gone, along with Robert Bell. Two massive holes in the defense that has many questioning Toledo's ability to repeat their success from last year. Can't blame them -- it's not often a MAC school loses the NCAA leader in tackles. But even with a pair of seniors in the linebacker corps (Vlad Emelien and Ethan Kagy), there's no one Coach Matt Campbell trusts more than Voss to begin to fill those holes. The kid who started last year 4th on the ILB depth chart is now starting first in the star linebacker spot. He can play inside, outside, and even float out to safety if they need him.

Voss will certainty get a workout this year -- losing eight of your defensive starters (including most of your D-line) means there's going to be a lot of action that comes his way. He'll be one of the anchors (Spoiler Alert: there's only one other Toledo defensive player on this list.) that Toledo will building on in order to keep the other teams' offenses in check.