Though he is just a redshirt sophomore, our next player on our Top 50 MAC Football Players for 2014 is poised to become one of the dominant defensive forces in the MAC. Treyvon Hester was a Third-Team All MAC Selection in 2013 as a redshirt freshman, the lone freshman defensive lineman to be recognized as an all-conference performer.
A native of the Rocket's recruiting hot bed of Penn Hills High School, Hester was a highly sought after First-Team All-State recruit coming out of the Western, Pennsylvania power, but academic concerns landed Hester in Toledo where he took a gray shirt year in 2012 and didn't see any action..
The 6-foot-3, 290 pound wall of a man appeared in all 12 games for the Rocket's last season, starting nine, while racking up 7.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. The Rockets' defensive line should once again be strong in 2014, despite replacing Jayrone Elliott, a First-Team All-MAC selection at defensive end last season.
Hester along with junior Allen Covington and senior Ray Bush will provide a stout defensive front, which should be the strength on that side of the ball for UT this season. As a unit the defense returns 10 players with starting experience of which six earned All-MAC recognition in 2013.
We're not the only ones who think highly of Hester. He is receiving national attention as the 2014 season approaches too. He was tabbed by Athlon Sports and Phil Steele as a preseason First-Team All-MAC selection, and recently named to the watch list for the 2014 Rotary Lombardi Award, which honors the top lineman or linebacker in the nation each season.
Hester also seems poised with a breakout year to move up the draft boards in the 2016 NFL Draft as DraftInsider.net projects him as a fifth-sixth round pick already in the 2015 draft.