College football expert Bruce Feldman has put together a list of top five Heisman finalists so far this season and usually these kinds of lists only feature offensive players. However, Feldman’s list has one defensive player on it and it isn’t Michigan’s do-everything man Jabrill Peppers.
Instead it’s Derek Barnett of Tennessee who has four sacks, 8.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble on the year. Feldman is impressed by Barnett’s leadership and the things he does that don’t always show up on the stat sheet.
Feldman on Derek Barnett:
Once again, the junior D-lineman helped bail the Vols out of a deep hole. His sack/forced fumble gave UT a lead at UGA and a few minutes later, he got pressure on Jacob Eason and forced an INT. Barnett’s leadership is also off the charts, as Tennessee finds its way back to prominence despite being without three of their best players on D.
Here’s the full list:
- Lamar Jackson (Louisville)
- J.T. Barrett (Ohio State)
- Greg Ward (Houston)
- Derek Barnett (Tennessee)
- Mitch Trubisky (North Carolina)
[h/t FOX Sports]