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2016 MAC Player Countdown #16: Terence Waugh, DE, Kent State

One of the conference’s top pass rushers returns for a senior season, and it won’t be pretty for opposing quarterbacks

NCAA Football: Kent State at Ohio State Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

All-MAC Defensive End, Terence Waugh

Kent State’s best pass rusher in 2015, and one of the league’s best sits at number 16 on our top 25 player countdown. The senior defensive end from Atlanta, Georgia should be among the best once again in 2016.

Waugh rode the best season of his career to a first team All-MAC selection at defensive end, joining his teammates Demetrius Monday and Nate Holley on the defensive side of the ball for the Flashes. The honor was well earned, as he recorded 12 sacks and 9 tackles for loss, both top 10 marks in the entire league. In fact, he trailed only Akron’s first team All-MAC linebacker Jatavis Brown (12) and Miami’s JT Jones (10) in total sacks, and likely would have held the top spot had he not missed the final two games of the season against Central Michigan and Akron.

If Waugh was a first team selection last season despite appearing in just 10 games, it follows that a full, 12 game season for number 51 should yield a second straight All-MAC selection to the first team as well as a solid claim as the MAC’s best pass rusher. The rest of the country seems to think so too, as Waugh was named to the watch list for the Ted Hendricks award for the second time in as many years. The Hendricks Award is given out to the nation’s best defensive end annually, and the watch list includes just 28 players. That’s some pretty good company.

Putting up first team all conference numbers in 10 games at defensive end requires some big performances, and Waugh is no exception. Last season he recorded a sack in six games, three of which were of the multi-sack variety. His best effort was also in his team’s best game, a double overtime loss to the Marshall Thundering Herd at home.

Thanks to draftbreakdown.com, you won’t have to take my word for it, and you can watch a Waugh-centered highlight reel from the Marshall Game for yourself. I must caution Kent State fans though, the ending is a pretty gut wrenching reminder of a game the Flashes should have won.

Terence Waugh, destroyer of quarterbacks, running backs and pretty much anyone else in his way

If you’re the type of person that likes to marvel at defensive ends stretching outside run plays to the sideline, or if your source of joy in football is watching disciplined edge rushers not getting too far up field, then all 11 minutes of this video are for you. If not, that’s okay, I’ve listed the plays you should definitely fast forward to.

0:30 - How did he do that?

It won’t take you long into the clip to realize that there’s a theme here, and that theme is Terence Waugh putting the Marshall offensive line through personal football hell. His first victim is the left tackle, who he leaves facing the wrong direction as he makes the play just beyond the line of scrimmage. It is a thing of beauty.

4:34 - Sack number one

This time the right tackle is the poor soul tasked with stopping Waugh, and needless to say he did not accomplish this task. Waugh blows past the tackle on the left in one instant, and is on the quarterback the next.

6:41 - Sack number two

Learning from the first sack, Marshall tries to chip the defensive end using a running back. It slows Waugh down for a moment, but not long enough.

8:32 - Thrice is nice

For his third sack of the game, Waugh uses pure speed to dart past the right tackle to his right, converging on the passer so quickly there was no time to even look downfield.

These are the types of plays that are expected of Waugh in 2016, and if he lives up to expectations, he should easily claim his second first team All-MAC selection in a row as an anchor for a strong Kent State defense.