Who are the leading tackle machines for the 2020 college football season? Let’s see which players are leading the NCAA in making tackles through the month of November.
In this article, I am going to look at some of the nation’s leading tackle machines and how they have performed this season. Some are well-known and some may be breaking out for the first time. Either way, they have been making plays all over the field and making it hard for opposing offenses to get anything going. Tackle numbers can be tricky depending on how the stat crew sees it, but for now, I will look at total tackles. Let’s take a look at who these tackling machines are.
LB, Isaiah McDuffie, Boston College Eagles
The first tackle machine on this list is junior linebacker, Isaiah McDuffie, of Boston College. After a great sophomore season, big things were expected from him. Unfortunately, last year, he suffered a lower-body injury that cost him the first eight games. Now that he’s healthy, he’s picked up right where he left off. McDuffie is leading the NCAA in total tackles (87) and in solos tackles (49), which are personal bests. He’s also assisted on 38 tackles – including six TFLs. He’s also contributed some big plays – INTs (1), and fumble recoveries (1). McDuffie is set to break his sack total with his next QB takedown. My Projected Draft Grade: 3rd/5th round
LB, Grant Morgan, Arkansas Razorbacks
My next tackling machine on the list is senior linebacker, Grant Morgan, of Arkansas. Morgan has written quite the story of going from being a walk-on linebacker to being a scholarship team captain. His SEC-leading 85 total tackles, rank 2nd in the nation and he leads the NCAA in assisted tackles (57). Morgan ranks in the SECs top ten in PBUs with four and has a personal-best five TFLs on the season. Arkansas has been one of the biggest stories in the SEC and Morgan has been a big reason why for them defensively.
My Projected Draft Grade: 6th/7th round
LB, Max Richardson, Boston College Eagles
Up next on the list is another tackling machine from Boston College, Max Richardson. Richardson along with teammate Isaiah McDuffie, form one of the nation’s best linebacking duos in the country. Richardson is tied for 2nd in total tackles (85), just behind McDuffie. He also ranks 5th nationally in solos tackles (45), while leading the ACC in assisted tackles (40). His 9.4 tackles per game rank among the nation’s leaders. Richardson has already tied his career-best mark in sacks (3.5) and should surpass that by the season’s end.
My Projected Draft Grade: 5th/6th round
LB, Tony Fields, West Virginia Mountaineers
The next tackle machine on the list is transfer Tony Fields. When Covid-19 hit and the Pac-12 decided not to play fall sports, Fields packed up, left the desert in Arizona, and moved east to the mountains of West Virginia. During his time with Arizona, he was one of the best linebackers in the Pac-12, as he finished ranks 23rd in conference history in tackles (287). Now in his first year with West Virginia, he leads one of the nation’s best defenses in total tackles (79) and assisted tackles (50), which rank 4th and 2nd respectively in the country.
My Projected Draft Grade: 3rd/4th round
LB, Ernest Jones, South Carolina Gamecocks
The last tackle machine on the list is junior linebacker Ernest Jones of South Carolina. He is following up a sensational sophomore season where finished in the SECs top ten in total tackles (97), solos (59), and assisted (38). Fast forward to this season and Jones is playing lights out for the Gamecocks as he ranks tied for 5th in the nation (2nd in SEC) in total tackles (78), 8th in the nation (3rd in SEC) in assisted tackles (41), and 2nd in the SEC with 37 solos. In what’s been a disappointing season for South Carolina, he’s been one of the few bright spots.
My Projected Draft Grade: 7th round/UDFA