Sean Merriman, web editor, July 10, 2015

Late last month, I posted an article on the top 5 offensive triplets in the Big Ten. The list consisted of the top QB-RB-WR trios in the conference, and was highlighted by Ohio State.

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Now, it's time to flip to the other side of the ball and list the top defensive triplets. For this one, let's go with one defensive lineman, one linebacker, and one defensive back.

Can Ohio State take the top spot in this list, as well?

Here is a look at my top 5 Big Ten defensive triplets heading into 2015.

1. Ohio State: DE Joey Bosa, LB Joshua Perry/Darron Lee, DB Vonn Bell

Good luck scoring on this defense. Bosa is considered by many to be the top defensive lineman in the nation and a sure-bet top 10 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Perry and Lee are as a good as a linebacking duo as you will find in the nation, each recording 80-plus tackles last season. Bell is the leader of the secondary and is one of the most feared safeties in the country. He recorded 92 tackles and picked off six passes last season, as a sophomore. This defense is simply as good as it gets.

2. Michigan State: DE: Shilique Calhoun, LB Ed Davis, DB Montae Nicholson

Despite the loss of DC Pat Narduzzi, the Spartans still feature what should be one of the game's top defenses. Calhoun is one of the top pass-rushers in the nation, recording 16.5 sacks in two years as a starter. Davis, along with Calhoun, was recently selected for the Bednarik Award watch list, which is given to the country's top defensive player. The senior linebacker recorded 58 tackles and seven sacks last season. Nicholson is the most talented player on the Spartans' secondary. He had a standout freshman campaign and should be one of the top safeties in the conference.

3. Penn State: DT Anthony Zettel, LB Nyeem Wartman, DB Jordan Lucas

The Nittany Lions had the top defense in the Big Ten last season, holding opponents to under 280 yards per game. This season, they will rely on the trio of Zettel, Wartman and Lucas to try and duplicate the success. Zettel was selected for the Bednarik Award watch list this season after a breakout 2014 campaign, which saw him record 42 tackles, eight sacks, three interceptions and one touchdown. Wartman is one of the conference's top up-and-coming linebackers, while Lucas is a talented safety who will be the leader of this Nittany Lion secondary.

4. Wisconsin: DE Chikwe Obasih, LB Vince Biegel, DB Michael Caputo

The Badgers were outstanding on defense in 2014, and the story should be much the same in the upcoming season. Obasih is a solid defensive end who should grow after a productive redshirt freshman season that saw him start seven games. Biegel is one of the top returning linebackers in the Big Ten, coming off a season in which he led the Badgers with 16.5 tackles for loss and ranked second on the team with 7.5 sacks. Caputo is the leader of this secondary, a senior safety who led the Badgers with 106 tackles, which ranked ninth in the conference last season. Over Caputo's two seasons as the Badgers' starting safety, Wisconsin ranks No. 3 nationally in total defense, allowing just under 300 yards per game.

5. Minnesota: Theiren Cockran, LB De'Vondre Campbell, DB Eric Murray/Briean Boddy-Calhoun

This is a talented group with plenty of experience. All four of these players are seniors, led by Cockran, who is a force off the edge. The 6-6, 260 pound DE has recorded 11.5 sacks over the past two seasons with the Gophers. Campbell is a talented linebacker who will look to replace the production of Damien Wilson. He is the Gophers' top returning tackler, recording 75 stops in 2014. The Gophers' secondary is arguably the most talented secondary in the Big Ten this season. Both Murray and Boddy-Calhoun are shutdown corners who will be playing on Sundays next year. Murray recorded 69 tackles and a pick last season, while Boddy-Calhoun's five interceptions ranked second among all Big Ten players in 2014.