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BECB Preseason Big East Defensive Player of the Year

In this final week before the beginning of training camps, Big East Coast Bias is counting down the days with the announcements of is preseason awards.

Monday: Preseason Defensive Teams

Tuesday: Preseason Offensive Teams

Wednesday: Preseason Defensive Player of the Year

Thursday: Preseason Offensive Player of the Year

Defense wins championships. So goes the old adage.

In the composition of the Big East Conference this year though, it won’t be an old cliché. There are no wide open offenses in the conferences in 2012, so winning games will be determined largely by teams’ ability to stop their opponents.

The individual defensive leaders in the Big East are plentiful. The preseason defensive teams, unveiled earlier this week, contain many names who could ultimately be the Defensive Player of the Year, but the BECB selection is …

Khaseem Greene, Senior, Linebacker, Rutgers

Greene was a first-team All-Big East selection and co-Defensive Player of the Year (with Cincinnati defensive tackle Derek Wolfe) in 2011. He led the conference in tackles with 141 (25 more than his closest competitor), including 17 in Rutgers’ game against South Florida last November. Greene also had 14.5 tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks. He led Rutgers to the best pass defense and best overall defense in the conference last season.

Greene started his college career as a safety bus has adapted well to the position change to linebacker. He suffered a gruesome leg injury in last year’s Pinstripe Bowl victory against Iowa State, but has recovered and is ready to begin training camp with his Rutgers teammates next week. There seems little concern that he will return to form; he has been named to virtually every eligible postseason award watch list.

He has a new coaching staff and a new outlook for 2012. Could it possibly result in a new season outcome for Rutgers in a conference championship? It's by no means a long shot.