No. 10: Alani Fua, BYU senior linebacker

Note: As the final month before the BYU football team starts fall camp ticks away, here is Jared Lloyd's list of the Top 25 individuals who will have the biggest impact on the success of the Cougars in 2014.

Here we are at the Top 10, and it kicks off with a powerhouse at outside linebacker, a guy BYU superstar linebacker Kyle Van Noy insisted would be better than he was.

It might be premature to put Fua in that category right now, but he certainly showed flashes of brilliance in the past two years.

His numbers were noteworthy in 2013, as he tallied 63 tackles, five tackles for a loss, three sacks, had two interceptions, 10 pass breakups and one quarterback hurry.

But Fua had the advantage of playing opposite of Van Noy last year, and benefited from the attention the Cougar great received. 

Now is the senior's chance to step out of Van Noy's considerable shadow and come into his own.

He certainly has the physical tools and the experience to have an explosive year. Question marks at the other linebacking spots, however, put extra pressure on Fua's shoulders.

BYU needs to have Fua be a disruptive presence in defending both the run and the pass.

If he can make himself become a guy opposing offenses always have to account for, the BYU defense should be able to maintain its level of play even with Van Noy having moved on to the NFL.

Daily Herald sports editor ​Jared Lloyd can be reached at 801-344-2555 or jlloyd@heraldextra.com. Twitter: @JaredrLloyd. Instagram: @JaredrLloyd.

Jared is the Sports Editor and BYU football reporter for the Daily Herald.