Alabama's Trey DePriest and Reggie Ragland, and Auburn's Kris Frost carry the weight of expectations into the 2014 season.
All three are on the watch list for the Dick Butkus Award, given to the top linebacker in college football.
DePriest and Frost were starters last year, while Ragland's main contributions came on special teams. Ragland will be looked upon to fill part of the void left by last year's Butkus Award recipient, C.J. Mosley.
DePriest has been a starter each of his first two years at Alabama. He has 124 tackles in his college career.
Frost started just game last year but is one of the top tacklers the Tigers return from 2013.