NOTE: This is the fourth installment of our series projecting the Top 10 players at each position for the 2012 Big Sky Conference football season.
They say games are won and lost in the trenches. Considering Montana State's depth of talent up front on defense, that's probably one reason why both the media and coaches picked the Bobcats to win the Big Sky Conference in 2012.
Headed up by All-America tackle Zach Minter, the Bobcats are loaded along the line defensively (as you'll see below). But MSU doesn't own a monopoly on D-line talent in the Big Sky. There's plenty to go around for everyone.
The new season figures to be a big year for the big boys up front on D, especially with four new teams coming to play in the Big Sky. And we've got the names to prove it.
Following is our projection of the Top 10 defensive linemen in the Big Sky Conference for the upcoming season. Read and enjoy (or curse, whichever suits you):
TOP 10 DEFENSIVE LINEMEN FOR 2012
2. CODY LARSEN, SR., SOUTHERN UTAH2011: 26 tkl, 7.5 tfl, 7 sacks, 1 int, 3 hurries, 1 ff, 1 fum rec.THE BUZZ FOR 2012: At nearly 290 pounds, Larsen is a load to handle in the middle. He was a two-time first-team All-Great West Conference pick, and transitioning to the Big Sky won't be an issue because Larsen can hold his own against anybody. The Sports Network tabbed him as a second-team preseason All-American. Perhaps his best attribute is his versatility: Larsen has lined up at all three defensive line positions in his three years with the Thunderbirds. Teams in the Big Sky will get a heavy dose of Larsen this season.