As you may have noticed, there’s a little different look to our web site. That transition, and a couple other commitments today, have me getting the next player on our countdown up a little late today. But here it is, No. 6 on our list, middle linebacker Cort Dennison (pictured in the Holiday Bowl in a Dean Rutz photo).
The senior projects as one of the leaders and heart-and-soul men of the 2011 defense. Any middle linebacker holds particular importance since the MLB usually calls the plays. In Dennison’s case, he’s also the only linebacker with any significant experience and will be called on to add a steadying influence to the one area of the UW defense undergoing a major makeover. As evidence of his leadership status, he was elected by teammates as one of four captains for this season,
Dennison started 12 games last season, missing the first contest against Nebraska with a concussion, and ranked fourth in the Pac-10 in tackles last year with 92, including 8.5 for a loss. He also won the team’s defensive weightlifting award at the end of the season.
Dennison isn’t the flashiest of players, and may not project heading into his senior season to be as high an NFL prospect as Mason Foster and Donald Butler the last two years. But his importance this year doesn’t figure to be any less.