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Transfers are a huge part of any  season. Whether it’s a graduate transfer eligible right away or a player that sat out the previous year due to NCAA rules, impact players are available in the transfer ranks every year. A transfer could be a one-year stopgap solution or help a team fill a void for a couple of seasons after a few misses on the recruiting trail. The 2016 season features several players expected to make a significant impact for their new team, including quarterbacks Davis Webb, Trevor Knight, Dakota Prukop and Kenny Hill. The running back position also has its share of players on the move, as Keith Ford (Texas A&M), Duke Catalon (Houston) and Barry Sanders (Oklahoma State) rank among the top 20 impact transfers for this season. On defense, Miami's Gerald Willis and Illinois' linebacker Hardy Nickerson are two players expected to make a huge impact for their new team in 2016.

 

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Which players will make the biggest impact at their new home this fall? Here’s a look at 100 key transfers (plus a few others) to watch this year:

 

College Football's Top 100 Impact Transfers for 2016

 

100. QB Faton Bauta, Colorado State (from Georgia)

Second-year coach Mike Bobo landed a familiar name from his old job to add depth to the quarterback position in 2016. Bauta transfers from Georgia to Fort Collins with an opportunity to push starter Nick Stevens for the starting job. Stevens earned second-team All-Mountain West honors and threw for 2,679 yards and 21 scores in 2015, so it won’t be easy for Bauta to earn the starting job. However, Bauta has good mobility, which could provide a different dimension for Bobo’s offense.

 

99. QB Tyler Matthews, New Mexico State (from Southern Miss)

New Mexico State is Matthews’ third stop at the FBS level. The Texas native has previous stints at TCU and Southern Miss, but he has only four appearances in his career. Matthews was regarded as a four-star prospect out of high school and is expected to push Tyler Rogers for the starting job.

 

98. QB Ricky Town, Arkansas (from USC)

Replacing Brandon Allen won’t be easy, but Arkansas seems to have a capable candidate in Austin Allen, along with good depth in the form of Town, Rafe Peavey and Ty Storey. Town was the highest regarded quarterback out of that mix, ranking as a four-star and top-100 prospect in the 2015 signing class. However, Town didn’t challenge for the starting job in the spring and is likely ticketed as the No. 3 or No. 4 quarterback to open fall practice.

 

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97. RB Deontae Cooper, San Jose State (from Washington)

Knee injuries took a toll on Cooper at Washington, limiting him to just 122 carries from 2013-15. With Tyler Ervin departing, Cooper is expected to challenge Thomas Tucker and Malik Roberson for carries.

 

96. OL Jeremiah Stuckey, California (from Texas A&M)

The Golden Bears could have one of the Pac-12’s best offensive lines in place for 2016. Four starters are back, and the addition of Stuckey is another valuable option for depth or to push one of the returning starters for a job. After one year in the junior college ranks, Stuckey played in 14 games over three seasons with the Aggies. 

 

95. TE Steve Donatell, WKU (from Wake Forest)

A WKU tight end has caught at least 30 passes in back-to-back seasons, and with Tyler Higbee out of eligibility, Donatell will have an opportunity to earn a starting spot.

 

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94. DB Bryson Echols, Arizona State (from Texas)

Echols played in 32 games during his tenure with the Longhorns and his arrival adds much-needed depth to an Arizona State secondary that ranked last nationally in pass defense in 2015.

 

93. OL Jordan Diamond, Miami, Ohio (from Auburn)

Miami is a team on the rise in the MAC, and coach Chuck Martin returns seven starters from an offense expected to show marked improvement in 2016. Four starters are back in the trenches, and the addition of Diamond – a former four-star recruit at Auburn – adds another potential starter and All-MAC contender for the RedHawks.

 

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92. DL Earl Moore, Toledo (from Miami)

Moore recorded six tackles in 23 appearances at Miami from 2012-13. The Rockets are looking for three new starters up front, and it’s expected the Miami transfer will factor into the rotation.

 

91. DL Jelani Hamilton, Akron (from Miami)

Cody Grice and Rodney Coe will be missed on Akron’s defensive line, but the Zips boast the MAC’s top defensive end combination with the return of Jamal Marcus and Se’Von Pittman. Hamilton only played in nine games at Miami, but the former four-star prospect could play a huge role on the interior for coach Terry Bowden. 

 

90. DL Gimel President, Illinois (from Auburn)

President accumulated 45 tackles and three sacks in three years at Auburn and is slated to factor into the defensive line rotation for new coach Lovie Smith. The Fighting Illini return three starters up front, but this unit needs more depth and overall talent after giving up 166.4 rushing yards a game in 2016. 

 

89. TE Kalvin Cline, Texas A&M (from Virginia Tech)

The offseason departure of Jordan Davis opened the door for Cline to land at Texas A&M and play right away as a graduate transfer. He caught 30 passes in three years with the Hokies.

 

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88. QB Conner Manning, Georgia State (from Utah)

Nick Arbuckle finished his Georgia State career in 2015 as one of the nation’s top Group of 5 quarterbacks. En route to earning first-team All-Sun Belt honors, Arbuckle threw for 4,368 yards and 28 scores last season. Manning is part of a three-man battle to replace Arbuckle after transferring from Utah. Manning played in only one game with the Utes and completed two of six passes for 28 yards in 2014. Sophomore Emiere Scaife and redshirt freshman Aaron Winchester will compete with Manning for the starting job in the fall.

 

87. QB Grant Rohach, Buffalo (from Iowa State)

With Grant Merchant transferring at the end of spring ball, Buffalo’s quarterback battle is down to Rohach and promising redshirt freshman Tyree Jackson. Rohach made five starts in three years with the Cyclones and finished his career in Ames with 1,491 passing yards and 10 touchdowns. Rohach also has good mobility and figures to be a solid fit under second-year coach Lance Leipold and coordinator Andy Kotelnicki – if he can edge Jackson for the No. 1 spot. 

 

86. RB Akeel Lynch, Nevada (from Penn State)

Lynch is expected to spell starter James Butler, giving the Wolf Pack one of the Mountain West’s top backfields for 2016.

 

85. WR/TE Chris Johnson, Houston (from Baylor)

Johnson began his career at Baylor as a quarterback and later transitioned to receiver before moving back under center as injuries took a toll on the Bears’ quarterback depth chart last season. The Texas native caught three passes for 37 yards last year and also accumulated 145 rushing yards in two seasons of snaps with Baylor. Johnson will be utilized as a hybrid receiver/tight end for the Cougars.

 

84. OL Jevonte Domond, UTSA (from LSU)

Domond joins former LSU assistant Frank Wilson at UTSA this fall. The Arizona native played in four games in two years with the Tigers after spending two seasons at Glendale Community College. Domond should push for a starting job on an offensive line that returns three starters. 

 

83. LB Davon Durant, Marshall (from Arizona State)

Durant was regarded as one of the top junior college recruits in the 2015 signing class but was dismissed before playing a down with the Sun Devils. The South Carolina native sat out last year after transferring to Marshall and is expected to push for a starting job in the linebacking corps this fall.

 

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82. RB Trey Edmunds, Maryland (from Virginia Tech)

Maryland averaged 203 rushing yards in conference play last season, and there’s an opportunity for carries with the departure of Brandon Ross (958 yards). Edmunds recorded 957 yards and 13 touchdowns in three years at Virginia Tech, including 675 yards as a freshman in 2013.

 

81. DB Lamont Simmons, Georgia Tech (from USC)

Four starters in Georgia Tech’s secondary must be replaced this fall. Simmons – a transfer from USC – is expected to challenge for one of the starting jobs at cornerback. Simmons did not play a down at USC but ranked as a three-star recruit in the 2014 signing class.

 

80. OL Logan Tuley-Tillman, Akron (from Michigan)

Tuley-Tillman was a late June pickup for the Zips, and his decision to transfer to Akron is a huge boost for an offensive line that replaces all five starters in 2016. He was regarded as a four-star prospect coming out of high school and played in one game at Michigan.

 

79. CB Tee Shepard, Miami, Ohio (from Ole Miss)

Shepard’s career began at Notre Dame in 2012, but his stint in South Bend wasn’t long, as he transferred to Holmes Community College in 2013 and later bounced to Ole Miss in 2014. The California native missed 2014 due to injury and played in only five games with the Rebels in 2015. With one year of eligibility remaining, Shepard transferred to Miami, Ohio and has a chance to push for a starting spot in the RedHawks’ secondary this fall. - Update: Shepard decided to enter the NFL's Supplemental Draft in July.

 

78. DE De'Jon Wilson, Syracuse (from Colorado)

A young defensive line is one of the biggest concerns in 2016 for new coach Dino Babers. The addition of Wilson – a graduate transfer from Colorado – provides the Orange defense with an experienced option off the edge. In two years with the Buffaloes, Wilson recorded 19 tackles (two for a loss) and recovered one fumble.

 

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77. QB Zack Greenlee, UTEP (from Fresno State)

With Mack Leftwich sidelined for the 2016 season, Greenlee was a key pickup late in the spring for the Miners. In two years at Fresno State, Greenlee threw for 1,079 yards and 14 touchdowns to six interceptions. The California native did not transfer in time for spring practice but is expected to be locked into a tight battle with sophomores Ryan Metz and Kavika Johnson for the starting nod this fall.

 

76. QB Zach Allen, Rutgers (from TCU)

Quarterback play is one of the biggest areas of concern for new coach Chris Ash. Chris Laviano (2,247 yards) is the team’s top returning option, and Hayden Rettig also received action in five games last season. However, Rutgers has a new offense, and coordinator Drew Mehringer is looking for more running ability out of his signal-caller. Allen announced his intentions to transfer to the team in early June after three years at TCU. The Texas native was used some at receiver during his stint with the Horned Frogs and also completed two passes for 17 yards in 2014. Allen’s mobility should be a good fit for this offense, but the junior has a lot to prove as a passer.

 

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74/75. CB Jarrell Jackson (Hawaii)/Ronald Lewis (Arizona State) to Louisiana Tech

Louisiana Tech’s defense could have four FBS transfers in the starting lineup this season. In addition to linebackers Dalton Santos and Jordan Harris, Jackson and Lewis will push for starting jobs in the secondary. Lewis played in 11 games at Arizona State in 2014, while Jackson participated in three contests with the Rainbow Warriors.

 

73. TE Daniel Imatorbhebhe, USC (from Florida)

Imatorbhebhe spent one semester at Florida before departing for USC. The Georgia native was regarded as a four-star recruit in the 2015 signing class, and the 6-foot-4 target is another valuable weapon for a USC receiving corps that ranks among the nation’s best for 2016.

 

72. DL Nick Dawson-Brents, WKU (from Louisville)

With the departure of Gavin Rocker, Bryan Shorter and Jontavius Morris, WKU’s defensive line is in need of a few reinforcements this year. Dawson-Brents played in 37 games with Louisville and recorded 23 tackles over the last three seasons. Dawson-Brents was a four-star recruit out of high school and should make an instant impact for the Hilltoppers’ defense in 2016.

 

71. S Dallin Leavitt, Utah State (from BYU)

Utah State coach Matt Wells has plenty of voids to fill this offseason, as only three starters return on defense for 2016. However, the secondary is one unit Wells should have confidence in, as cornerback Jalen Davis and safety Devin Centers will challenge for All-Mountain West honors, with Leavitt also expected to step into the lineup after sitting out 2015 due to transfer rules. Leavitt played in 24 games at BYU from 2013-14 and recorded 60 tackles and two pass breakups.   

 

70. QB Kurt Benkert, Virginia (from East Carolina)

Even though Virginia has a returning starter (Matt Johns), new coach Bronco Mendenhall wasn’t afraid of adding competition to boost the team’s overall talent level and depth at quarterback. Benkert was slated to start at East Carolina before a knee injury sidelined him prior to the 2015 campaign. In 2014, Benkert played in three games with the Pirates and completed 8 of 10 passes for 58 yards. Johns is still the favorite to start, but Benkert showed promise in limited snaps at East Carolina and adds competition for a rebuilding Virginia team this fall.

 

69. CB Kamryn Melton, Troy (from Auburn)

After two seasons at Auburn, Melton is making the short drive to Troy to finish his collegiate career. The three-star prospect in the 2013 signing class played in three games with the Tigers as a freshman and redshirted as a sophomore (2014). Melton is expected to start at cornerback for the Trojans this fall.

 

68. QB Chad Voytik, Arkansas State (from Pitt)

Fredi Knighten departs after a successful two-year stint as Arkansas State’s starter, but coach Blake Anderson has two promising options vying for the starting job. Junior college transfer (and former Oklahoma signal-caller) Justice Hansen and Pitt transfer Chad Voytik are set to battle for the No. 1 spot in the fall. Voytik started all 13 games for Pitt in 2014 and threw for 2,223 yards and 16 touchdowns and added 466 yards and three scores on the ground. Voytik lost the starting job at Pitt to Nathan Peterman in 2015 but is a key pickup for Anderson and the potent Arkansas State offense for 2016.

 

67. QB Ryan Finley, NC State (from Boise State)

Jacoby Brissett leaves big shoes to fill in Raleigh this season, and the Wolfpack exited spring with Jalan McClendon and Jakobi Meyers locked into a tight battle for the No. 1 spot. However, McClendon and Meyers will have competition in the fall, as Finley is eligible as a graduate transfer after three years at Boise State. Finley redshirted in his debut with the Broncos and completed 58 passes for 646 yards and three scores over the next two years. Finley was slated to be Boise State’s starting quarterback in 2015 but was sidelined after the third game for the remainder of the season due to an ankle injury.

 

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65/66. RB Derrell Scott, Tennessee to ECU/Jeffrey Coprich, California to ECU

New coach Scottie Montgomery has plenty of talented skill players to work with in his debut with the Pirates. Scott (a transfer from Tennessee) and Coprich (a graduate transfer) will compete with Anthony Scott to form one of the deepest backfields in the American Athletic Conference.

 

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64. WR John Diarse, TCU (from LSU)

The quarterback battle between Kenny Hill and Foster Sawyer will continue into fall practice. However, regardless of which quarterback starts for coach Gary Patterson, the new signal-caller will have one of the deepest groups of skill players in the Big 12. The move to Fort Worth should ensure plenty of targets in Diarse’s direction. After all, TCU attempted 517 passes in 2015, while his former team LSU recorded 277. Diarse caught 28 passes for 412 yards and three touchdowns during a two-year stint with the Tigers. 

 

64. OL Cory Helms, South Carolina (from Wake Forest)

New coach Will Muschamp has a major rebuilding effort on his hands with just seven total returning starters from last year’s 3-9 team. Only two of those starters return in the trenches, but the line should get a boost with Helms stepping into one of the guard spots. The Georgia native started 18 games at Wake Forest before transferring after the 2014 campaign.

 

63. WR JoJo Natson, Akron (from Utah State)

Natson’s career at Utah State ended due to a violation of team rules, but the Florida native is a dynamic playmaker and should make an instant impact on returns. In three years with the Aggies, Natson caught 127 passes for 1,031 yards and added 611 yards and six scores on the ground. Additionally, Natson averaged 11.5 yards on punt returns and scored four times on special teams.

 

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61/62. WR Kendall Sanders (Texas)/Cameron Echols-Luper (TCU) to Arkansas State

The Red Wolves could have three Big 12 transfers starting on offense this fall, as Sanders (Texas), Echols-Luper (TCU) and quarterback Justice Hansen (Oklahoma/junior college recruit) were key pickups on the recruiting trail for coach Blake Anderson. Sanders and Echols-Luper bring dynamic play-making ability and speed for a receiving corps that must replace Tres Houston, J.D. McKissic and tight end Darion Griswold.

 

60. WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, USF (to NC State)

Quinton Flowers was one of the nation’s top breakout quarterbacks last season, and USF coach Willie Taggart hopes to see his junior signal-caller take another step forward in 2016. Flowers should have plenty of help on the outside, as Rodney Adams and Chris Barr are back as returning starters at receiver, and this unit will get deeper with the addition of Valdes-Scantling. In two years at NC State, Valdes-Scantling caught 44 passes for 538 yards and one score. He was one of the spring’s top performers for the Bulls and will be a valuable addition for the passing game. 

 

59. RB I'Tavius Mathers, MTSU (from Ole Miss)

With quarterback Brent Stockstill and receiver Richie James back in 2016, MTSU’s offense should be among the best in Conference USA once again. Mathers rushed for 1,061 yards and seven scores in three years at Ole Miss and is slated to take over the No. 1 job in the backfield for the Blue Raiders. 

 

58. OL Jake Raulerson, Arkansas (from Texas)

Arkansas’ offensive line has a few voids to fill this offseason. Three starters depart the Razorbacks’ front five, but junior Frank Ragnow and senior Dan Skipper provide a good foundation to start the rebuilding effort. Raulerson – a late pickup in June – could contribute right away after transferring in from Texas. He started five games for the Longhorns in 2014 and is versatile enough to see snaps in a variety of spots in the trenches.

 

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57. OL Tyler Catalina, Georgia (Rhode Island)

New line coach Sam Pittman wasted no time looking for upgrades in talent and overall depth up front this spring. Catalina was one of his top pickups on the recruiting trail, as the graduate transfer from Rhode Island was considered one of the top linemen in the FCS ranks. Catalina started 33 games with the Rams and possesses the necessary size (6-foot-6 and 325 pounds) to compete in the SEC. The tougher level of competition will be a challenge, but Catalina is a key pickup for the Bulldogs.

 

55/56. LB Jordan Harris (Iowa State)/Dalton Santos (Texas) to Louisiana Tech

All three starters at linebacker must be replaced for Louisiana Tech’s defense, but this unit received a boost with the post-spring additions of Harris and Santos. Harris ranked third on Iowa State’s defense with 70 stops last season, while Santos played in 36 games during his Texas career. 

 

54. LB Ukeme Eligwe, Georgia Southern (from Florida State)

Eligwe ranked as one of the nation’s top linebacker recruits in the 2012 signing class and played in 14 games before deciding to transfer to Georgia Southern. Eligwe received significant action in the Seminoles’ 2013 title run, recording 28 stops and two tackles in 13 appearances.

 

53. CB Cedric Dozier, Kansas State (from California)

Kansas State’s secondary ranked 112th nationally in pass efficiency defense last season, but help is on the way for coach Bill Snyder. Safety Dante Barnett is back after missing nearly all of 2015 due to an injury, and Dozier is expected to challenge for a starting spot at cornerback after transferring in from California. He recorded 80 tackles and nine passes defended in three years with the Golden Bears.

 

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51/52. CB Jamel Dean (Ohio State)/Marshall Taylor (Miami, Ohio) to Auburn

Sophomore Carlton Davis is already one of the SEC’s top cornerbacks, but the Tigers need to find an answer on the other side. The likely solution comes via the transfer ranks, as Dean – a four-star recruit in the 2015 signing class – and Taylor (a graduate transfer from Miami, Ohio) are expected to battle for a starting spot in the fall. Taylor made 10 starts with the RedHawks and recorded 39 tackles last season.

 

50. LB E.J. Levenberry, UConn (from Florida State)

With six returning starters and one of the nation’s top cornerbacks in Jamar Summers anchoring the secondary, UConn’s defense should be the best in the American Athletic Conference this year. Levenberry’s arrival only adds to the talent level on this unit, as the Florida State transfer is expected to claim a starting spot in the linebacking corps. Levenberry played in 26 games with the Seminoles and recorded 60 tackles in that span. 

 

48/49. LB Courtney Love (Nebraska)/De’Niro Laster (Minnesota) to Kentucky

Kentucky’s defense gave up 27.4 points a game last season and enters 2016 with key question marks at each level. However, some of those concerns could be eased if Love and Laster emerge as key contributors at linebacker. Love played in 12 games in his only season of action at Nebraska, while Laster played in nine contests with Minnesota in 2014. Both players are expected to see a healthy complement of snaps in 2016.

 

47. CB/S Adrian Colbert, Miami (from Texas)

The cornerback spot is a concern for new coordinator Manny Diaz, as the Hurricanes must replace first-round pick Artie Burns and fellow starter Tracy Howard. Colbert is a versatile option for Diaz and could slide into one of the cornerback spots after spending his career at Texas at safety. Colbert recorded 26 tackles in 38 games with the Longhorns.

 

46. WR LaQuvionte Gonzalez, Kansas (from Texas A&M)

Playmakers are in short supply in Lawrence, but coach David Beaty has help coming in the form of Gonzalez. The Texas native played under Beaty at Texas A&M from 2013-15 and caught 26 passes during that span. Gonzalez should step into the starting lineup this fall and is expected to emerge as the go-to target for quarterback Ryan Willis.

 

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45. RB Warren Ball, Akron (from Ohio State)

Akron coach Terry Bowden has added plenty of transfers to the Zips’ roster in his tenure, and Ball has a chance to be another high-impact addition. With Conor Hundley out of eligibility, Akron is looking for a go-to running back for 2016. Ball was a four-star recruit in the high school ranks but recorded only 41 attempts at Ohio State. He is expected to push Van Edwards for the starting job. 

 

44. WR Chris Black, Missouri (from Alabama)

Missouri’s young receiving corps experienced its share of ups and downs last season, but there’s optimism for this group with the team’s top two options – J’Mon Moore and Nate Brown – back in 2016. Black transferred to Columbia in search of more playing time, and the No. 45 overall prospect in the 2012 signing class should be an impact addition for coordinator Josh Heupel. Black caught 25 passes in three seasons of action with the Crimson Tide.

 

43. CB Daquawn Brown, Fresno State (from Washington State)

Prior to his dismissal from Washington State, Brown was considered one of the Pac-12’s rising stars. In two years with the Cougars, Brown registered 132 tackles, 16 pass breakups, two interceptions and earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors in 2014. If Brown picks up where he left off in Pullman, he should emerge as one of the Mountain West’s top defenders. 

 

42. DB Maurice Smith, Alabama to ?

Smith has been a valuable member of Alabama’s secondary over the last three seasons. The Texas native played in 41 contests with the Crimson Tide and recorded 38 tackles, along with five passes defended. Smith’s decision to leave Tuscaloosa came as a surprise in mid-June, but the senior is expected to land at another Power 5 program for 2016.

 

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41. QB Philip Nelson, East Carolina (from Minnesota/Rutgers)

Nelson has traveled an interesting road to East Carolina and has yet to play in a FBS game since the 2013 season. The Minnesota native spent two years with the Golden Gophers from 2012-13 and threw for 2,179 yards and 17 scores in that span. Additionally, Nelson added 548 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. After two seasons with Minnesota, Nelson transferred to Rutgers but was later dismissed from the team after an off-field incident in 2014. Nelson edged Kurt Benkert (transferred to Virginia after spring ball) for the starting the job and has a chance to have a solid senior year with a strong supporting cast at East Carolina.

 

40. LB Keith Brown, WKU (from Louisville)

Brown is the second Louisville defender transferring to WKU to make this list. The Miami native was active around the line of scrimmage in his career with the Cardinals, recording 113 tackles in 37 appearances. Brown has the talent to be one of Conference USA’s top defenders this season.

 

38/39. WR Avery Peterson (LSU)/Jamil Kamara (Virginia) to Cincinnati

The Bearcats must replace their top six statistical receivers from last season, but there’s help on the way in the form of two impact transfers in Kamara (Virginia) and Peterson (LSU). Both players were considered top 250 prospects in their signing class and have three seasons of eligibility at Cincinnati. Kamara and Peterson could be among the top newcomers in the American Athletic Conference in 2016. 

 

37. OL Jimmy Lowery, Boston College (from Eastern Illinois)

The offensive line was a strength for Boston College in coach Steve Addazio’s first two seasons (2013-14), but this unit was inconsistent last fall. Lowery is slated to push for the starting job at left tackle after spending the last three years at Eastern Illinois. The Illinois native started 31 games with the Panthers and earned second-team All-Ohio Valley honors last year. 

 

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36. OL Ryan Ramcyzk, Wisconsin (from Wisconsin Stevens-Point)

Ramczyk will be one of the most interesting transfers on this list to watch in 2016. The Wisconsin native played two years at UW-Stevens Point before transferring to Madison. Ramczyk recorded all-conference honors in both seasons (2013-14) and is slated to take to start at left tackle for the Badgers this fall. 

 

34/35. DB Antonio Crawford (Miami)/Maurice Fleming (Iowa) to West Virginia

West Virginia’s secondary suffered heavy personnel losses and heads into fall practice looking for four new starters. However, help is on the way in the form of two transfers – Crawford and Fleming – as well as a few reinforcements from the junior college ranks. Crawford played in 13 games and recorded 19 tackles with the Hurricanes in 2014. Fleming played in 14 contests last season and finished with 17 tackles and five pass breakups. 

 

33. LB Michael Barton, Arizona (from California)

Improving the defense was the top priority this offseason for coach Rich Rodriguez. The Wildcats have a revamped staff, and a scheme change is likely under new play-caller Marcel Yates. The linebacking corps is expected to be the strength of the defense for Yates, as Barton arrives from Berkeley with one year of eligibility remaining. Barton was a standout performer on California’s defense over the last three seasons, recording 80 stops (7.5 for a loss) in 2014. He should factor prominently into the defense this year. 

 

32. QB Jared Johnson, UTSA (from Sam Houston State)

UTSA ranked 11th in Conference USA in passing offense last season, but new coach Frank Wilson hopes to generate improvement with the addition of Johnson through the graduate transfer rank and the hire of veteran assistant Frank Scelfo to call the plays. Johnson was the Southland Offensive Player of the Year after accounting for 2,686 total yards and 23 overall scores in 2015. Johnson should provide a spark for UTSA’s offense and will be an impact transfer for Wilson.

 

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31. DL Dewayne Hendrix, Pitt (from Tennessee)

If Hendrix lives up to his recruiting hype – four-star recruit in the 247Sports Composite – then Pitt could have one of the nation’s top defensive end combos for 2016. All-America candidate Ejuan Price anchors one side of the line, and Hendrix is penciled in as a key contributor on the other side. Hendrix recorded two tackles in only season (2014) of action at Tennessee.

 

29/30. DL Kolin Hill (Notre Dame)/Ondre Pipkins (Michigan) to Texas Tech

Improvement on defense is a must if Texas Tech wants to exceed last year’s seven-win mark. Help is on the way for coordinator David Gibbs, as Hill (Notre Dame) and Pipkins (Michigan) are eligible after sitting out the 2015 season due to transfer rules. Hill was a three-star recruit in the 2014 signing class and recorded two sacks in his only year with the Fighting Irish. Pipkins was a four-star recruit in the 2012 signing class and played in 23 games with the Wolverines. Both players should push for a starting spot this season.

 

28. WR Rashaad Samples, Houston (from Oklahoma State)

Demarcus Ayers led all Houston receivers with 98 catches last season, but he decided to depart for the NFL, leaving a void on the outside for quarterback Greg Ward. The cupboard isn’t totally bare, as Chance Allen (56 catches) and Steven Dunbar (31) form a solid foundation. Samples is a dynamic pickup for coach Tom Herman and could slide into Ayers’ role as the slot receiver. The junior was regarded as a four-star prospect out of high school.

 

27. QB Alec Morris, North Texas (from Alabama)

New coach Seth Littrell has a lot of work to do in his first season in Denton. North Texas finished 1-11 and averaged only 15.2 points a game last year. Littrell is one of the nation’s top offensive minds and should get this program back on track over the next couple of seasons, and there’s immediate help on the way in the form of Morris – a graduate transfer from Alabama. In three seasons with the Crimson Tide, Morris attempted only one pass and played in eight games. However, the Texas native should be a good fit for Littrell’s offense, and the former three-star recruit should provide a spark for the Mean Green attack. 

 

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26. OL Zac Morgan, Oregon (from Dayton)

The Ducks have a bit of work to do up front this offseason, as three starters from last year’s group must be replaced. Junior Tyrell Crosby is an All-America candidate on the left side, but Oregon could turn to a graduate transfer to handle the starting duties at right tackle. Morgan transferred from Dayton to Oregon for his final year of eligibility, and the Illinois native brings good size (6-foot-7 and 280 pounds) and experience (26 career starts) to Eugene. 

 

25. DL Kevin Williams, Michigan State (from Nebraska)

The departures of Shilique Calhoun, Joel Heath and Lawrence Thomas leave big shoes to fill up front for the Spartans. Junior Malik McDowell is one of the nation’s top defensive linemen, but Michigan State will be looking for a few new faces to emerge to keep the attention away from its All-America tackle. With one year of eligibility remaining, Williams is making the in-conference move from Nebraska to East Lansing. Williams played in 23 games with the Cornhuskers and recorded 10 tackles for a loss in that span. He’s expected to be a key contributor for Mark Dantonio’s defense this fall. 

 

24. OL Darius James, Auburn (from Texas)

The exact starting five and positions on Auburn’s offensive line are unsettled headed into fall practice, but the Tigers have the makings of one of the SEC’s top groups. Three starters are back for coach Gus Malzahn, while James – a transfer from Texas – is expected to grab one of the starting jobs at tackle. James ranked as the No. 34 overall prospect by the 247Sports Composite in the 2013 signing class and played in six games (with two starts) as a redshirt freshman in 2014.

 

23. LB Rommel Mageo, Ole Miss (from Oregon State)

Mageo’s post-Signing Day decision to transfer to Ole Miss was a critical pickup for coach Hugh Freeze’s defense. Mageo led Oregon State with 87 tackles in 2015 and also recorded two interceptions, two forced fumbles and one pass breakup. The senior is expected to challenge for the starting job at middle linebacker in Ole Miss’ 4-2-5 scheme. 

 

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22. C Joseph Scelfo, NC State (from South Alabama)

NC State’s line returns only two starters from a unit that helped the ground attack rank fourth in the ACC (202.1 ypg). However, help is on the way in the form of Scelfo. The graduate transfer from South Alabama was one of the top centers in the Group of 5 conferences and started 35 games with the Jaguars. 

 

21. CB Priest Willis, Texas A&M (from UCLA)

Both cornerback spots are up for grabs in College Station with the departure of De’Vante Harris and Brandon Williams. But the Aggies may not see much of a drop at cornerback with the addition of Willis from UCLA, along with Nick Harvey’s development on the other side. Willis was a four-star recruit in the 2013 signing class for the Bruins and recorded 31 tackles in two seasons. 

 

20. QB Darell Garretson, Oregon State (from Utah State)

Oregon State’s offense struggled mightily last season, finishing 12th in the Pac-12 by averaging only 19 points a game. Coach Gary Andersen wasted no time making changes this offseason, as Kevin McGiven and T.J. Woods were promoted to co-coordinators, with last year’s quarterback – Seth Collins – switching to a slash/all-purpose role in 2016. Garretson started seven games at Utah State as a true freshman in 2013 and finished the year with 1,446 passing yards and 10 scores. He was pressed into duty once again due to injuries in 2014 and threw for 1,140 yards and eight touchdowns in five appearances. Garretson also displayed his mobility to make plays on the run with the Aggies, adding 344 yards and 18 scores in two seasons. He's slated to take the take the first snap for Oregon State this fall. 

 

19. DL Stevie Tu'ikolovatu, USC (from Utah)

The addition of Tu'ikolovatu was a key summer pickup for coach Clay Helton. The Trojans are in rebuild mode up front, as four key contributors from last season’s line expired their eligibility after the Holiday Bowl. Tu'ikolovatu played in 25 games at Utah and recorded 28 tackles, including six for a loss in 2015. At 320 pounds, Tu'ikolovatu is a good fit to anchor the interior of coordinator Clancy Pendergast’s hybrid defense. 

 

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18. WR Gehrig Dieter, Alabama (from Bowling Green)

Alabama’s receiving corps was already one of the nation’s best headed into 2016, but this group got even deeper with the addition of Dieter in February. After starting his career at SMU, Dieter transferred to Bowling Green and played two seasons in Dino Babers’ high-powered offense. After catching 35 passes for 460 yards in his first year with the Falcons, Dieter grabbed 94 receptions for 1,033 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. Dieter probably won’t equal those totals in 2016, but he should be another valuable weapon in Lane Kiffin’s offense.

 

17. RB Barry Sanders, Oklahoma State (from Stanford)

Improving the ground game is a must if Oklahoma State wants to challenge Oklahoma or TCU for the Big 12 title. The Cowboys averaged only 126.9 yards a game in 2015, but there’s help on the way in the form of Sanders. The Oklahoma native was a four-star recruit out of high school and rushed for 672 yards and five scores in three years with Stanford. With Christian McCaffrey entrenched as the Cardinal’s starter, transferring to Oklahoma State will allow Sanders to push for a full workload in 2016. 

 

16. LB T.J. Neal, Auburn (from Illinois)

With Kris Frost and Cassanova McKinzy expiring their eligibility, Auburn’s defense needed an impact addition at linebacker to ease the transition to the unit’s younger players. Neal’s arrival should ease some of the concerns for coordinator Kevin Steele, as the Pennsylvania native arrives at Auburn after three productive seasons with the Fighting Illini. In 2015, Neal played in all 12 games for Illinois and recorded 109 tackles and two sacks.

 

15. RB Alex Ross, Missouri (from Oklahoma)

Missouri’s rushing attack struggled mightily last year, managing only 115.4 yards a game and just 3.5 yards per carry. Ish Witter (518 yards) is back, but the ground game is expected to get a boost from the addition of Ross, who reunites with former Oklahoma play-caller Josh Heupel. In three years with the Sooners, Ross recorded 786 yards and five rushing scores and was also a weapon on kickoff returns (25.7 average and two scores from 2014-15). 

 

14. QB Patrick Towles, Boston College (from Kentucky)

Despite owning one of the nation’s top defenses last season, Boston College finished 3-9 and winless in conference play. Offense was the primary culprit for the Eagles, as this unit managed only 9.1 points a game in ACC contests and failed to score more than 20 points in each of the last 10 contests. However, help is on the way for coach Steve Addazio. With Drew Barker entrenched as Kentucky’s starter, Towles transferred to Boston College looking for a starting job for his final year of eligibility. In three seasons of playing time with the Wildcats, Towles threw for 5,099 yards and 24 scores, including two years of 2,000 or more passing yards (2014-15). Towles isn’t expected to push for All-ACC honors, but he should give the Boston College offense a much-needed boost after managing only 110.9 passing yards per game in 2015.

 

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13. QB John O’Korn, Michigan (from Houston)

Jim Harbaugh had a lot of success with a transfer quarterback (Jake Rudock) last season. Could the same formula work once again for the Wolverines in 2016? O’Korn had a promising start to his career at Houston, throwing for 3,117 yards and 28 scores in 2013. However, O’Korn struggled in 2014 and was benched in favor of Greg Ward after tossing eight interceptions through the first five games. The Florida native should benefit from a change of scenery and the opportunity to work under Harbaugh. O’Korn finished spring locked into a tight battle with Wilton Speight for the starting job. 

 

12. QB Mike White, WKU (from South Florida)

Brandon Doughty closed out a prolific career at WKU with a standout senior season as one of the nation’s top quarterbacks. Doughty torched opposing defenses for 5,055 yards and 48 touchdowns in 2015 and earned third-team All-America honors by Athlon Sports. Replacing Doughty’s production won’t be easy, but Jeff Brohm is one of the nation’s top offensive minds and should keep the WKU offense on track. White showed promise in a two-year stint at USF, throwing for 2,722 yards and 11 scores from 2013-14. The junior is the frontrunner to replace Doughty as WKU’s starter for 2016.

 

11. LB Hardy Nickerson, Illinois (from California)

With one season of eligibility remaining, Nickerson left California for Illinois and an opportunity to play under his father – Hardy Nickerson Sr. Over the last three seasons with the Golden Bears, Nickerson recorded 124 tackles (nine for a loss) and forced two fumbles. The senior could be a standout on Illinois’ defense and is expected to challenge for All-Big Ten honors. 

 

10. DL Dee Liner, Arkansas State (from Alabama)

Arkansas State already has one of the top Group of 5 defensive linemen in Ja’Von Rolland-Jones, and the Red Wolves should have another standout in the mix with Liner joining the team after transferring from Alabama. Liner ranked as the No. 46 overall recruit by the 247Sports Composite in the 2015 signing class and recorded three tackles in limited action. Liner should be the Sun Belt’s top newcomer for 2016.

 

9. WR Geno Lewis, Oklahoma (from Penn State)

With Sterling Shepard off to the NFL, Oklahoma’s receiving corps will look a little different this season. The Sooners aren’t hurting for potential targets, as Dede Westbrook and Mark Andrews are back after combining for 55 catches last season, while Lewis is eligible immediately as a graduate transfer from Penn State. Lewis grabbed 90 passes in his career with the Nittany Lions, including 55 receptions for 751 yards in 2014. 

 

8. QB Luke Del Rio, Florida (from Oregon State)

Florida’s offense struggled mightily once Will Grier was lost for the year due to a suspension. The Gators averaged only 22.7 points in SEC contests last season and tossed only five touchdown passes over the final six games. While the offense still has to prove in game action it found the right answers this offseason, it’s hard to envision this unit performing at the same level. Del Rio is eligible after sitting out 2015 as a transfer from Oregon State and finished spring as Florida’s No. 1 quarterback. Luke – the son of NFL coach Jack Del Rio – spent one year at Alabama (2013) and played the 2014 season at Oregon State. In his time with the Beavers, Del Rio completed 8 of 18 passes for 141 yards. His experience is limited, but Del Rio should provide a boost for Florida’s passing game.

 

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7. RB Keith Ford, Texas A&M (from Oklahoma)

Two transfers – quarterback Trevor Knight and Ford – are expected to lead the way for Texas A&M’s offense this season. Ford was a five-star prospect out of high school and originally signed with Oklahoma. In two years with the Aggies, Ford rushed for 526 yards and six scores, including 392 on only 71 attempts in 2014. After sitting out 2015 due to transfer rules, Ford is primed to emerge as one of the SEC’s top running backs this fall. 

 

6. DL Gerald Willis, Miami (from Florida)

New Miami line coach Craig Kuligowski has a strong track record of developing standout linemen from his tenure at Missouri and his arrival will immediately help a defensive front that must improve after ranking 13th in the ACC in run defense last year. Willis ranked as the No. 34 overall prospect in the 247Sports Composite for the 2014 signing class and transferred to Miami after one season with the Gators. The Louisiana native is expected to play a key role on the interior of Miami’s defensive line this year.

 

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5. RB Duke Catalon, Houston (from Texas)

Dynamic senior quarterback Greg Ward leads the way for Houston’s ground attack, but the Cougars must replace their No. 2 and No. 3 rushers from last season. Kenneth Farrow and Ryan Jackson expired their eligibility after the Peach Bowl win against Florida State, leaving a large void at running back headed into spring ball. However, the cupboard is far from bare for coach Tom Herman. Catalon was a four-star recruit for Texas in 2014 and decided to transfer before playing a down with the Longhorns. Catalon has the talent to be one of the American Athletic Conference’s top running backs in 2016.

 

4. QB Dakota Prukop, Oregon (from Montana State)

A graduate transfer (Vernon Adams) from the FCS level at quarterback worked out well for Oregon in 2015. Prukop should be another good fit for the Ducks in their dynamic offense, as he transfers to Oregon after accounting for 3,822 yards and 39 total scores at Montana State last season. Additionally, Prukop earned first-team All-America honors by the Associated Press in 2015. It’s hard to read too much into spring game statistics, but Prukop appears to be making an easy transition into the program. The senior completed 20 of 29 throws for 190 yards and two touchdowns in Oregon’s spring game. While Prukop has an impressive resume from his stint at Montana State, he will be pushed by Travis Jonsen for the starting job. Prukop may not be the dynamic playmaker through the air that Adams was, but he will present a bigger threat on the ground to opposing defenses. 

 

3. QB Trevor Knight, Texas A&M (from Oklahoma)

The December decisions by Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray to transfer from Texas A&M left coach Kevin Sumlin searching for immediate help at quarterback. Sumlin didn’t have to look too far for an answer, as Knight wanted an opportunity to start in his senior year with Baker Mayfield entrenched as Oklahoma’s No. 1 quarterback. Knight appeared to be on the verge of a breakout season after torching Alabama for 348 passing yards and four touchdowns in the 2014 Sugar Bowl. However, Knight didn’t build off that performance and finished the 2014 season with 2,300 passing yards and 14 touchdown passes. Mayfield supplanted Knight as Oklahoma’s starter in 2015. The senior should be a good fit in new coordinator Noel Mazzone’s offense and is surrounded by a deep group of skill players, including one of the SEC's top receiving corps. If Knight can stay healthy, he has a chance to finish 2016 as one of the SEC’s top quarterbacks.

 

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2. QB Kenny Hill, TCU (from Texas A&M)

Even though TCU’s offense suffered some heavy losses, this unit may not slip too far on the stat sheet in 2016. Trevone Boykin leaves big shoes to fill at quarterback, but the Horned Frogs have two capable options – Kenny Hill and Foster Sawyer – waiting in the wings. Hill replaced Johnny Manziel after he left for the NFL in 2014 and started the first eight games of the season. The Texas native threw for 2,649 yards and 23 scores and added 156 yards on the ground during his starting stint. However, Hill struggled midway through the year and was eventually replaced by Kyle Allen. Since the arrival of co-coordinators Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie, TCU has averaged over 40 points in back-to-back seasons. With a loaded group of skill players at his disposal, Hill could be the point guard of an explosive TCU attack in 2016. However, he still has to hold off Sawyer for the starting job this fall.

 

1. QB Davis Webb, California (from Texas Tech)

Replacing the No. 1 overall pick (Jared Goff) in the NFL Draft is never easy, but California’s offense should be set with the addition of Davis Webb under center. Webb was the most sought after graduate transfer quarterback this season and was committed to Colorado before switching to California in May. The transition from Texas Tech’s offense to California’s Bear Raid attack should be an easy one for Webb, as new play-caller Jake Spavital operated a similar scheme at Texas A&M and West Virginia. During his three seasons with the Red Raiders, Webb threw for 5,557 yards and 46 scores. The Golden Bears will have a revamped group of receivers for Webb to throw to, but the senior is considered one of the top prospects at quarterback for the 2017 NFL Draft and should push for All-Pac-12 honors.   

 

Other Key Quarterback Transfers

 

QB Austin Appleby, Purdue to Florida

QB Danny Etling, Purdue to LSU

QB Tyler Ferguson, WKU to Louisville

QB Cole Garvin, South Alabama to Marshall

QB Anthony Jennings, LSU to ?

QB Zach Kline, California to ?

QB Eddie Printz, Missouri to Texas State

QB Asiantii Woulard, UCLA to USF

 

Other Key Running Back Transfers for 2016

 

RB King Burke, SJSU to NMSU

RB Squally Canada, Washington State to BYU

RB Denzell Evans, Arkansas to Kansas

RB Derrick Green, Michigan to ?

RB J.J. Green, Georgia to Georgia Tech

FB Jacob Kraut, Rutgers to FIU

RB Tommy Mister, Indiana to Northern Illinois

RB Omar Stover, Wyoming to WKU

FB Walter Tucker, Miami to FIU

 

Other Key Wide Receiver Transfers for 2016

 

WR Jocquez Bruce, Tennessee to MTSU

WR Dannon Cavil, Oklahoma to UTSA

WR Shelby Christy, Mississippi State to UL Lafayette

WR Jordan Cunningham, Vanderbilt to North Carolina

WR Amba Etta-Tawo, Maryland to Syracuse

WR Harrison Jackson, BC to New Mexico State

WR Marchie Murdock, Illinois to Iowa State

WR Teldrick Morgan, NMSU to Maryland

WR Alfred Smith, Utah to Louisiana Tech

WR Michael Summers, Georgia Tech to Georgia Southern

WR Vic Wharton, Tennessee to California

 

Other Key Tight End Transfers for 2016

 

TE/FB Michael Ferns, Michigan to West Virginia

TE Greg Hart, Nebraska to Kentucky

TE Daniel Helm, Tennessee to Duke

TE Chase Hounshell, Notre Dame to Ohio State

TE Jordan Jones, Gardner-Webb to UTSA

TE Alex Leslie, Iowa State to Houston

 

Other Key Offensive Line Transfers

 

OL Will Adams, Auburn to Boise State

OL Jared Cohen, North Carolina to Virginia

OL Will Dancy, North Carolina to East Carolina

OL Brayden Kearsley, BYU to Oregon State

OL Trey Keenan, Texas Tech to North Texas

OL Dan Samuelson, Michigan to Eastern Michigan

OL Paul Thurston, Nebraska to Colorado State

 

Other Key Defensive Line Transfers

 

DL Ja'merez Bowen, Cincinnati to Indiana

DL Joe Keels, Nebraska to Eastern Michigan

DL Melvin Keihn, Virginia Tech to Maryland

DL Malachi Moore, Boston College to Rutgers

DL Jack Powers, Arizona State to Virginia

DL Gabe Sherrod, Delaware State to ?

DL Tom Strobel, Michigan to Ohio

DL Hez Trahan, Pitt to Temple

DE Jhonny Williams, Notre Dame to Toledo

 

Other Key Linebacker Transfers

 

LB Cecil Cherry, Texas to USF

LB Ronnie Feist, LSU to UTSA

LB Dorian Hendrix, Kentucky to Bowling Green

LB Jeremi Powell, Florida to Toledo

LB Jason Sylva, Western Michigan to Idaho

 

Other Key Defensive Back Transfers

 

DB Eric Amoako, Houston Baptist to Minnesota

DB Evrett Edwards, Duke to Iowa State

DB Desmond Frye, Virginia Tech to Toledo

CB Wesley Green, South Carolina to Indiana

DB Kamel Greene, Washington State to BYU

DB Kevin Houchins, Louisville to HIo

DB Austin Hudson, Wisconsin to USF

CB Bryce Jones, Boston College to Akron

CB Jermaine Kelly, Washington to San Jose State

S Derrick Moncrief, Auburn to Oklahoma State

DB Jalen Ortiz, UCLA to Wyoming

DB Devontre Parnell, Louisville to USM

DB Terry Richardson, Michigan to Marshall

S Shaun Rupert, Missouri to Memphis

DB Prince Sam, Houston Baptist, Louisiana Tech

DB/RB Ross Taylor-Douglas, Michigan to Rutgers

 

Special Teams

 

K/P Satchel Ziffer, Old Dominion to Boston College

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College Football's Top 100 Impact Transfers for 2016
Post date: Wednesday, June 29, 2016 - 13:05
Path: /college-football/big-tens-top-players-returning-injury-2016
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Injuries are an unfortunate part of any college football season and usually take a toll on all 128 teams by the end of the year. Several key players were hit by the injury bug in 2015, including a handful of big names from the Big Ten. Wisconsin running back Corey Clement, Nebraska wide receiver De’Mornay Pierson-El, Michigan State cornerback Vayante Copeland and Penn State linebacker Nyeem Wartman-White are just a few of the top players returning from injury into Big Ten action this fall. 

 

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In addition to Copeland, Pierson-El, Wartman-White and Clement, Purdue linebacker Ja'Whaun Bentley, Rutgers defensive tackle Darius Hamilton and Ohio State receiver Corey Smith are a few of the other names returning to action this fall. Here's a look at the top players back in action after missing significant time in 2015:

 

Big Ten's Top Players Returning from Injury in 2016

 

Ja’Whaun Bentley, LB, Purdue

Bentley was considered one of the Big Ten’s rising stars last season and was expected to challenge for all-conference honors after a standout freshman campaign. In 2014, Bentley played in all 12 games for the Boilermakers and recorded 76 tackles and one interception. And the Maryland native was off to a fast start in 2015, recording 49 stops (7.5 for a loss) and two passes defended before a season-ending ACL tear after the fifth game. Assuming Bentley returns at full strength, he should be the leader for Purdue’s linebacking corps and a contender for All-Big Ten honors.

 

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Corey Clement, RB, Wisconsin

After rushing for 949 yards and nine scores in a backup role to Melvin Gordon in 2014, Clement was all set to take over the No. 1 role in the Wisconsin backfield last year. However, Clement’s season was derailed by a hernia, as he managed only 221 yards in four appearances. With a full offseason to recover, all signs point to Clement returning to full strength and leading the way for Wisconsin’s ground attack.

 

Vayante Copeland, CB, Michigan State

Michigan State’s secondary surrendered 20 touchdown passes last season, which was the program’s highest mark allowed since 2011. The Spartans certainly weren’t awful against the pass last season, but there was room for improvement. This unit will take a step forward in 2016, as the safety combination of Montae Nicholson and Demetrious Cox is the best in the Big Ten, and Copeland’s return should settle one of the cornerback spots. Prior to a season-ending neck injury after Michigan State’s second game last season, Copeland recorded seven tackles and one pass breakup. The sophomore has all of the necessary tools to emerge as one of the Big Ten’s top cornerbacks this season.

 

Ed Davis, LB, Michigan State

Davis has some work to do in order to return to the team in 2016, as the senior has to take summer classes to finish his undergraduate degree. Provided Davis has his undergraduate degree, Michigan State can apply for a sixth year of eligibility after he missed 2015 due to a torn ACL. If Davis returns to East Lansing in 2016, he will add to a linebacking corps that is among the best in the nation. In 13 appearances in 2014, Davis recorded 58 tackles (12 for a loss) and seven sacks and earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors. Even if Davis doesn’t start in 2016, he will be a key cog in the defense and should provide a boost to the pass rush off the edge. 

 

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Dennis Finley, OL, Michigan State

Michigan State’s offensive line has to be retooled following the departure of three starters – Jack Conklin, Jack Allen and Donavon Clark. There’s a good foundation in place with the return of junior Brian Allen and seniors Benny McGowan and Kodi Kieler. Additionally, this unit received a boost in June, as Brandon Clemons was awarded a sixth year of eligibility. Finley played in two games last season but was sidelined after a broken leg against Purdue on Oct. 3. Finley is on track to return to full strength by the opener and is expected to start at left tackle. If Finley returns to 100 percent, his play on the left side could play a key role in stabilizing the rebuilt line.

 

Darius Hamilton, DT, Rutgers

It’s no secret Rutgers has to improve on defense after giving up 34.9 points a game last season. However, new coach Chris Ash was one of the Big Ten’s top defensive assistants at Ohio State and will immediately bolster a unit that returns seven starters. Additionally, Hamilton’s return from injury is a key boost to a front seven that allowed 186.1 rushing yards per game in 2015. Hamilton has played in 39 career games and recorded 110 tackles (24.5 for a loss). The senior should push for All-Big Ten honors this fall.

 

Bryan Mone, DT, Michigan

Mone was slated to play a key role on the interior of Michigan’s defense last season but a broken leg in fall camp kept the Utah native on the sidelines for 2015. Mone played in 12 games in 2014 and recorded nine tackles and one fumble recovery. The sophomore is slated to once again be one of the top interior defenders for new coordinator Don Brown.

 

De’Mornay Pierson-El, WR, Nebraska

Nebraska owns one of the Big Ten’s top receiving corps for 2016, and this unit could be even more dangerous if Pierson-El returns to full strength after a season-ending knee injury on Oct. 31 against Purdue. The knee injury capped a frustrating year for Pierson-El, as an offseason foot injury prevented him from playing in the first four games. However, Pierson-El’s talent was on full display as a freshman in 2014 when he accounted for 1,074 total yards in 13 games. When healthy, Pierson-El is one of the Big Ten’s top all-purpose players and a dynamic option on returns.

 

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David Shaw, DL, Maryland

Shaw opened 2015 as one of the starters for Maryland’s defensive line but suffered a season-ending elbow injury against West Virginia. In four games of action last year, Shaw recorded six tackles, with three coming against the Mountaineers on Sept. 26. With the addition of Virginia Tech transfer Melvin Keihn and freshman Adam McLean, there’s added competition to the Maryland defensive front for 2016. Shaw may not post huge numbers for new coach D.J. Durkin’s defense, but he should be a valuable cog in the line rotation.

 

Corey Smith/Noah Brown, WR, Ohio State

Five of Ohio State’s top six statistical options in the passing game last season won’t return to Columbus for 2016. Thanks to elite recruiting, the Buckeyes aren’t hurting for talent in the receiving corps. However, the rebuilding effort for this unit is likely to start with Smith and Brown – two players coming off season-ending injuries. Brown was expected to play a key role in the receiving corps last season but suffered a leg injury in August and missed the entire year. Smith caught five passes through the first five games last season but suffered a broken leg against Indiana. Both players are expected to factor prominently into the receiving corps this season.

 

Damarius Travis, DB, Minnesota

Standout cornerbacks Eric Murray and Briean Boddy-Calhoun must be replaced, but Minnesota’s secondary will get a boost with the return of Travis from injury. The Florida native made a big impact in the opener against TCU last year, recording 10 stops in a 23-17 loss against the Horned Frogs. However, Travis missed the rest of the season due to a hamstring injury. As a junior in 2014, Travis recorded 61 tackles (3.5 for a loss) and five pass breakups. Even though Murray and Boddy-Calhoun will be missed, the return of Travis into the starting lineup, along with the development of Jalen Myrick and KiAnte Hardin at cornerback should prevent a big drop off in the secondary.

 

Dan Voltz, OL, Wisconsin

The offensive line is usually an annual strength for Wisconsin, but the Badgers had their share of ups and downs up front last season. However, after four sophomores gained valuable experienced in 2015, this unit is expected to take a step forward this fall. Additionally, Voltz is slated to return to the lineup after missing the final six games of 2015 after a knee injury in October. With Michael Deiter emerging at center, Voltz is expected to slide to guard for 2016. Over the last three years, Voltz has started 27 games and played in 32 contests. 

 

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Nyeem Wartman-White, LB, Penn State

With Bob Shoop leaving to take over the play-calling duties at Tennessee, Penn State’s defense will be the under the direction of Brent Pry in 2016. Pry has worked for the last five years (three at Vanderbilt and two at Penn State) with Shoop, so the overall direction and scheme of the defense shouldn’t change too much. However, Pry has plenty of work to do this offseason, as the Nittany Lions must revamp their defensive line after the departure of three key players. However, the front seven returns a strong linebacking corps, headlined by Brandon Bell and Jason Cabinda after both players turned in solid 2015 campaigns. Additionally, Nyeem Wartman-White rejoins the starting linebacker trio after missing 12 games due to a knee injury last year. However, Wartman-White was a key cog in the defense in 2014, ranking second on the team with 75 tackles (3.5 for a loss) and one interception. Assuming Wartman-White is back to full strength, Penn State’s linebacker unit will rank among the best in the Big Ten. 

Teaser:
Big Ten's Top Players Returning from Injury in 2016
Post date: Monday, June 27, 2016 - 10:00
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Path: /college-football/ranking-college-footballs-top-30-impact-quarterback-transfers-2016
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Quarterback play is always under the microscope for every college football team. This position is the toughest to evaluate, develop and project for upcoming seasons. Finding a new starter or replacing a departing senior comes easy for some teams. While all teams would prefer to develop a quarterback pipeline through the recruiting ranks, a transfer from another program could be the right fit as the new starter. Whether it’s a one-year stopgap solution or a player that could develop into a multi-year starter, transfers can have an immediate impact for any program. It’s no secret transfers are a huge part of any offseason and can help the coaching staff bridge the gap to the next prospect or fill a void after a player didn’t develop as expected.

 

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The transfer carousel featured some big movement in the quarterback ranks this offseason. Here’s a look at the top 30 transfers - ranked by expected impact - at quarterback for the 2016 season:

 

Ranking College Football's Top 30 Impact QB Transfers for 2016

 

30. Zach Kline, California to ?

Kline is a well-traveled passer looking for a new team after spending the spring with Cal. The California native originally started his career in Berkeley and threw for 443 yards and three scores in 2013. Kline transferred to Butte College for the 2014 campaign and landed at Indiana State for the 2015 season. He played in three games with the Sycamores last year and completed 6 of 13 passes for 47 yards. Kline for the upcoming year.

 

29. Anthony Jennings, LSU to ?/Connor Mitch, South Carolina to ?

The transfer destinations for Jennings and Mitch - two former SEC starters - are uncertain. Both players announced their intention to leave their current school as graduate transfers at the end of spring ball. Jennings started 13 games at LSU, while Mitch had two career starts at South Carolina.

 

28. Cole Garvin, South Alabama (from Marshall)

Garvin is part of a three-man quarterback battle at South Alabama. The Marshall transfer did not play in 2014 with the Thundering Herd and sat out 2015 due to NCAA transfer rules. Dallas Davis and Evan Orth ended spring with a slight edge on Garvin for the starting nod.

 

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27. Eddie Printz, Texas State (from Missouri)

Printz played sparingly at Missouri over the last two seasons and left Columbia in search of more playing time. Texas State returns Tyler Jones at quarterback, but there’s a new coach (Everett Withers) and staff in place. Can Printz quickly pick up the new offense and challenge Jones for the starting job?

 

26. Asiantii Woulard, USF (from UCLA)

Woulard was a four-star recruit out of Winter Park High School and spent two years at UCLA before transferring back to his home state. Quinton Flowers is entrenched as USF’s starter, but the Bulls have a good backup plan in Woulard in case of injury.

 

25. Austin Appleby, Florida (from Purdue)

Florida’s offense stalled after Will Grier’s suspension last season, but the quarterback depth in Gainesville looks a lot better for 2016. Appleby and Luke Del Rio are eligible as transfers, while true freshman Feleipe Franks also joined in time for spring ball. Appleby recorded 11 starts in three years at Purdue and threw for 2,777 yards in 17 overall appearances. The senior is likely to open the season as the Gators’ No. 2 quarterback.

 

24. Danny Etling, LSU (from Purdue)

It’s no secret LSU needs more from its passing offense to push Alabama and Ole Miss in the SEC West this season. Brandon Harris threw for 2,158 yards and 13 scores last year and only completed 53.6 percent of his passes. Etling was brought in to push Harris and compete for the starting job and closed spring ball by completing four of eight passes for 93 yards and two interceptions in the final scrimmage. Etling threw for 2,490 yards and 16 scores in two years at Purdue. He’s expected to begin 2016 as LSU’s No. 2 quarterback.

 

23. Tyler Ferguson, WKU (from Louisville)

WKU is Ferguson’s third stop at the FBS level. The California native began his career at the College of the Sequoias and transferred to Penn State in 2013. After playing in five games with the Nittany Lions that season, Ferguson transferred to Louisville and used the 2014 campaign as a redshirt year. With one season of eligibility left, Ferguson is vying with USF transfer Mike White and sophomore Drew Eckels to replace standout Brandon Doughty under center in Jeff Brohm’s high-powered offense.

 

22. Faton Bauta, Colorado State (from Georgia)

Second-year coach Mike Bobo landed a familiar name from his old job to add depth to the quarterback position in 2016. Bauta transfers from Georgia to Fort Collins with an opportunity to push starter Nick Stevens for the starting job. Stevens earned second-team All-Mountain West honors and threw for 2,679 yards and 21 scores in 2015, so it won’t be easy for Bauta to earn the starting job. However, Bauta has good mobility, which could provide a different dimension for Bobo’s offense.

 

21. Tyler Matthews, New Mexico State (from Southern Miss)

New Mexico State is Matthews’ third stop at the FBS level. The Texas native has previous stints at TCU and Southern Miss, but he has only four appearances in his career. Matthews was regarded as a four-star prospect out of high school and is expected to push Tyler Rogers for the starting job.

 

20. Ricky Town, Arkansas (from USC)

Replacing Brandon Allen won’t be easy, but Arkansas seems to have a capable candidate in Austin Allen, along with good depth in the form of Town, Rafe Peavey and Ty Storey. Town was the highest regarded quarterback out of that mix, ranking as a four-star and top-100 prospect in the 2015 signing class. However, Town didn’t challenge for the starting job in the spring and is likely ticketed as the No. 3 or No. 4 quarterback to open fall practice.

 

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19. Conner Manning, Georgia State (from Utah)

Nick Arbuckle finished his Georgia State career in 2015 as one of the nation’s top Group of 5 quarterbacks. En route to earning first-team All-Sun Belt honors, Arbuckle threw for 4,368 yards and 28 scores last season. Manning is part of a three-man battle to replace Arbuckle after transferring from Utah. Manning played in only one game with the Utes and completed two of six passes for 28 yards in 2014. Sophomore Emiere Scaife and redshirt freshman Aaron Winchester will compete with Manning for the starting job in the fall.

 

18. Grant Rohach, Buffalo (from Iowa State)

With Grant Merchant transferring at the end of spring ball, Buffalo’s quarterback battle is down to Rohach and promising redshirt freshman Tyree Jackson. Rohach made five starts in three years with the Cyclones and finished his career in Ames with 1,491 passing yards and 10 touchdowns. Rohach also has good mobility and figures to be a solid fit under second-year coach Lance Leipold and coordinator Andy Kotelnicki – if he can edge Jackson for the No. 1 spot. 

 

17. Zack Greenlee, UTEP (from Fresno State)

With Mack Leftwich sidelined for the 2016 season, Greenlee was a key pickup late in the spring for the Miners. In two years at Fresno State, Greenlee threw for 1,079 yards and 14 touchdowns to six interceptions. The California native did not transfer in time for spring practice but is expected to be locked into a tight battle with sophomores Ryan Metz and Kavika Johnson for the starting nod this fall.

 

16. Zach Allen, Rutgers (from TCU)

Quarterback play is one of the biggest areas of concern for new coach Chris Ash. Chris Laviano (2,247 yards) is the team’s top returning option, and Hayden Rettig also received action in five games last season. However, Rutgers has a new offense, and coordinator Drew Mehringer is looking for more running ability out of his signal-caller. Allen announced his intentions to transfer to the team in early June after three years at TCU. The Texas native was used some at receiver during his stint with the Horned Frogs and also completed two passes for 17 yards in 2014. Allen’s mobility should be a good fit for this offense, but the junior has a lot to prove as a passer.

 

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15. Kurt Benkert, Virginia (from East Carolina)

Even though Virginia has a returning starter (Matt Johns), new coach Bronco Mendenhall wasn’t afraid of adding competition to boost the team’s overall talent level and depth at quarterback. Benkert was slated to start at East Carolina before a knee injury sidelined him prior to the 2015 campaign. In 2014, Benkert played in three games with the Pirates and completed 8 of 10 passes for 58 yards. Johns is still the favorite to start, but Benkert showed promise in limited snaps at East Carolina and adds competition for a rebuilding Virginia team this fall.

 

14. Chad Voytik, Arkansas State (from Pitt)

Fredi Knighten departs after a successful two-year stint as Arkansas State’s starter, but coach Blake Anderson has two promising options vying for the starting job. Junior college transfer (and former Oklahoma signal-caller) Justice Hansen and Pitt transfer Chad Voytik are set to battle for the No. 1 spot in the fall. Voytik started all 13 games for Pitt in 2014 and threw for 2,223 yards and 16 touchdowns and added 466 yards and three scores on the ground. Voytik lost the starting job at Pitt to Nathan Peterman in 2015 but is a key pickup for Anderson and the potent Arkansas State offense for 2016.

 

13. Ryan Finley, NC State (from Boise State)

Jacoby Brissett leaves big shoes to fill in Raleigh this season, and the Wolfpack exited spring with Jalan McClendon and Jakobi Meyers locked into a tight battle for the No. 1 spot. However, McClendon and Meyers will have competition in the fall, as Finley is eligible as a graduate transfer after three years at Boise State. Finley redshirted in his debut with the Broncos and completed 58 passes for 646 yards and three scores over the next two years. Finley was slated to be Boise State’s starting quarterback in 2015 but was sidelined after the third game for the remainder of the season due to an ankle injury.

 

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12. Philip Nelson, East Carolina (from Minnesota/Rutgers)

Nelson has traveled an interesting road to East Carolina and has yet to play in a FBS game since the 2013 season. The Minnesota native spent two years with the Golden Gophers from 2012-13 and threw for 2,179 yards and 17 scores in that span. Additionally, Nelson added 548 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. After two seasons with Minnesota, Nelson transferred to Rutgers but was later dismissed from the team after an off-field incident in 2014. Nelson edged Kurt Benkert (transferred to Virginia after spring ball) for the starting the job and has a chance to have a solid senior year with a strong supporting cast at East Carolina.

 

11. Jared Johnson, UTSA (from Sam Houston State)

UTSA ranked 11th in Conference USA in passing offense last season, but new coach Frank Wilson hopes to generate improvement with the addition of Johnson through the graduate transfer rank and the hire of veteran assistant Frank Scelfo to call the plays. Johnson was the Southland Offensive Player of the Year after accounting for 2,686 total yards and 23 overall scores in 2015. Johnson should provide a spark for UTSA’s offense and will be an impact transfer for Wilson.

 

10. Alec Morris, North Texas (from Alabama)

New coach Seth Littrell has a lot of work to do in his first season in Denton. North Texas finished 1-11 and averaged only 15.2 points a game last year. Littrell is one of the nation’s top offensive minds and should get this program back on track over the next couple of seasons, and there’s immediate help on the way in the form of Morris – a graduate transfer from Alabama. In three seasons with the Crimson Tide, Morris attempted only one pass and played in eight games. However, the Texas native should be a good fit for Littrell’s offense, and the former three-star recruit should provide a spark for the Mean Green attack. 

 

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9. Darell Garretson, Oregon State (from Utah State)

Oregon State’s offense struggled mightily last season, finishing 12th in the Pac-12 by averaging only 19 points a game. Coach Gary Andersen wasted no time making changes this offseason, as Kevin McGiven and T.J. Woods were promoted to co-coordinators, with last year’s quarterback – Seth Collins – switching to a slash/all-purpose role in 2016. Garretson started seven games at Utah State as a true freshman in 2013 and finished the year with 1,446 passing yards and 10 scores. He was pressed into duty once again due to injuries in 2014 and threw for 1,140 yards and eight touchdowns in five appearances. Garretson also displayed his mobility to make plays on the run with the Aggies, adding 344 yards and 18 scores in two seasons. He's slated to take the take the first snap for Oregon State this fall. 

 

8. Patrick Towles, Boston College (from Kentucky)

Despite owning one of the nation’s top defenses last season, Boston College finished 3-9 and winless in conference play. Offense was the primary culprit for the Eagles, as this unit managed only 9.1 points a game in ACC contests and failed to score more than 20 points in each of the last 10 contests. However, help is on the way for coach Steve Addazio. With Drew Barker entrenched as Kentucky’s starter, Towles transferred to Boston College looking for a starting job for his final year of eligibility. In three seasons of playing time with the Wildcats, Towles threw for 5,099 yards and 24 scores, including two years of 2,000 or more passing yards (2014-15). Towles isn’t expected to push for All-ACC honors, but he should give the Boston College offense a much-needed boost after managing only 110.9 passing yards per game in 2015.

 

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7. John O’Korn, Michigan (from Houston)

Jim Harbaugh had a lot of success with a transfer quarterback (Jake Rudock) last season. Could the same formula work once again for the Wolverines in 2016? O’Korn had a promising start to his career at Houston, throwing for 3,117 yards and 28 scores in 2013. However, O’Korn struggled in 2014 and was benched in favor of Greg Ward after tossing eight interceptions through the first five games. The Florida native should benefit from a change of scenery and the opportunity to work under Harbaugh. O’Korn finished spring locked into a tight battle with Wilton Speight for the starting job. 

 

6. Mike White, WKU (from South Florida)

Brandon Doughty closed out a prolific career at WKU with a standout senior season as one of the nation’s top quarterbacks. Doughty torched opposing defenses for 5,055 yards and 48 touchdowns in 2015 and earned third-team All-America honors by Athlon Sports. Replacing Doughty’s production won’t be easy, but Jeff Brohm is one of the nation’s top offensive minds and should keep the WKU offense on track. White showed promise in a two-year stint at USF, throwing for 2,722 yards and 11 scores from 2013-14. The junior is the frontrunner to replace Doughty as WKU’s starter for 2016.

 

5. Luke Del Rio, Florida (from Oregon State)

Florida’s offense struggled mightily once Will Grier was lost for the year due to a suspension. The Gators averaged only 22.7 points in SEC contests last season and tossed only five touchdown passes over the final six games. While the offense still has to prove in game action it found the right answers this offseason, it’s hard to envision this unit performing at the same level. Del Rio is eligible after sitting out 2015 as a transfer from Oregon State and finished spring as Florida’s No. 1 quarterback. Luke – the son of NFL coach Jack Del Rio – spent one year at Alabama (2013) and played the 2014 season at Oregon State. In his time with the Beavers, Del Rio completed 8 of 18 passes for 141 yards. His experience is limited, but Del Rio should provide a boost for Florida’s passing game.

 

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4. Dakota Prukop, Oregon (from Montana State)

A graduate transfer (Vernon Adams) from the FCS level at quarterback worked out well for Oregon in 2015. Prukop should be another good fit for the Ducks in their dynamic offense, as he transfers to Oregon after accounting for 3,822 yards and 39 total scores at Montana State last season. Additionally, Prukop earned first-team All-America honors by the Associated Press in 2015. It’s hard to read too much into spring game statistics, but Prukop appears to be making an easy transition into the program. The senior completed 20 of 29 throws for 190 yards and two touchdowns in Oregon’s spring game. While Prukop has an impressive resume from his stint at Montana State, he will be pushed by Travis Jonsen for the starting job. Prukop may not be the dynamic playmaker through the air that Adams was, but he will present a bigger threat on the ground to opposing defenses. 

 

3. Trevor Knight, Texas A&M (from Oklahoma)

The December decisions by Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray to transfer from Texas A&M left coach Kevin Sumlin searching for immediate help at quarterback. Sumlin didn’t have to look too far for an answer, as Knight wanted an opportunity to start in his senior year with Baker Mayfield entrenched as Oklahoma’s No. 1 quarterback. Knight appeared to be on the verge of a breakout season after torching Alabama for 348 passing yards and four touchdowns in the 2014 Sugar Bowl. However, Knight didn’t build off that performance and finished the 2014 season with 2,300 passing yards and 14 touchdown passes. Mayfield supplanted Knight as Oklahoma’s starter in 2015. The senior should be a good fit in new coordinator Noel Mazzone’s offense and is surrounded by a deep group of skill players, including one of the SEC's top receiving corps. If Knight can stay healthy, he has a chance to finish 2016 as one of the SEC’s top quarterbacks.

 

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2. Kenny Hill, TCU (from Texas A&M)

Even though TCU’s offense suffered some heavy losses, this unit may not slip too far on the stat sheet in 2016. Trevone Boykin leaves big shoes to fill at quarterback, but the Horned Frogs have two capable options – Kenny Hill and Foster Sawyer – waiting in the wings. Hill replaced Johnny Manziel after he left for the NFL in 2014 and started the first eight games of the season. The Texas native threw for 2,649 yards and 23 scores and added 156 yards on the ground during his starting stint. However, Hill struggled midway through the year and was eventually replaced by Kyle Allen. Since the arrival of co-coordinators Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie, TCU has averaged over 40 points in back-to-back seasons. With a loaded group of skill players at his disposal, Hill could be the point guard of an explosive TCU attack in 2016. However, he still has to hold off Sawyer for the starting job this fall.

 

1. Davis Webb, California (from Texas Tech)

Replacing the No. 1 overall pick (Jared Goff) in the NFL Draft is never easy, but California’s offense should be set with the addition of Davis Webb under center. Webb was the most sought after graduate transfer quarterback this season and was committed to Colorado before switching to California in May. The transition from Texas Tech’s offense to California’s Bear Raid attack should be an easy one for Webb, as new play-caller Jake Spavital operated a similar scheme at Texas A&M and West Virginia. During his three seasons with the Red Raiders, Webb threw for 5,557 yards and 46 scores. The Golden Bears will have a revamped group of receivers for Webb to throw to, but the senior is considered one of the top prospects at quarterback for the 2017 NFL Draft and should push for All-Pac-12 honors.   

Teaser:
Ranking College Football's Top 30 Impact Quarterback Transfers for 2016
Post date: Thursday, June 23, 2016 - 10:00
All taxonomy terms: ACC, Air Force Falcons, Akron Zips, Alabama Crimson Tide, Appalachian State Mountaineers, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks, Arkansas State Red Wolves, Army West Point Black Knights, Army Black Knights, Army West Point Black Knights, Auburn Tigers, Ball State Cardinals, Baylor Bears, Boise State Broncos, Boston College Eagles, Bowling Green Falcons, Buffalo Bulls, BYU Cougars, California Golden Bears, Central Michigan Chippewas, Charlotte 49ers, Cincinnati Bearcats, Clemson Tigers, College Football, Colorado Buffaloes, Colorado State Rams, Connecticut Huskies, Duke Blue Devils, East Carolina Pirates, Eastern Michigan Eagles, FAU Owls, FIU Panthers, Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, Fresno State Bulldogs, Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Southern Eagles, Georgia State Panthers, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Hawaii Rainbow Warriors, Hawaii Warriors, Houston Cougars, Idaho Vandals, Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Kent State Golden Flashes, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, Louisville Cardinals, LSU Tigers, Marshall Thundering Herd, Maryland Terrapins, Memphis Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, Miami Ohio RedHawks, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Missouri Tigers, MTSU Blue Raiders, Navy Midshipmen, Navy Midshipmen, NC State Wolfpack, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Nevada Wolf Pack, New Mexico Lobos, New Mexico State Aggies, North Carolina Tar Heels, North Texas Mean Green, Northern Illinois Huskies, Northwestern Wildcats, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Ohio Bobcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Old Dominion Monarchs, Ole Miss Rebels, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Pittsburgh Panthers, Purdue Boilermakers, Rice Owls, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, San Diego State Aztecs, San Jose State Spartans, SMU Mustangs, South Alabama Jaguars, South Carolina Gamecocks, South Florida Bulls, Southern Miss Golden Eagles, Stanford Cardinal, syndicated, Syracuse Orange, TCU Horned Frogs, Temple Owls, Tennessee Volunteers, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, Texas State Bobcats, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Toledo Rockets, Troy Trojans, Tulane Green Wave, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, UAB Blazers, UCF Knights, UCLA Bruins, UConn Huskies, UL Lafayette Ragin Cajuns, UL Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns, UL Monroe Warhawks, UMass Minutemen, UNLV Rebels, USC Trojans, Utah State Aggies, Utah Utes, UTEP Miners, UTSA Roadrunners, Vanderbilt Commodores, Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars, West Virginia Mountaineers, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Western Michigan Broncos, Wisconsin Badgers, Wyoming Cowboys, American Athletic, Big 12, Big Ten, Conference USA, Independents, MAC, Mountain West, Pac 12, SEC, Sun Belt, News
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The 2016  season is just around the corner, and it’s time to honor the best of the best for the upcoming year. The 2016 season features plenty of big names returning to the gridiron, including a standout group of players on offense. Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, LSU running back Leonard Fournette, Florida State running back Dalvin Cook and Stanford running back/all-purpose threat Christian McCaffrey are just a few of the big names returning on offense for 2016. Leading the way on defense is Texas A&M end Myles Garrett and Iowa cornerback Desmond King.

 

Athlon Sports released its 2016 all-conference teams earlier this offseason, and now the focus shifts to the All-America team. Whether it’s quarterback, defensive end or a spot on the special teams, picking the best of the best is no easy task.

 

An important note on the All-America teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2016. Career statistics and previous awards matter in player evaluation, but choosing players for the 2016 All-America team and all-conference teams are largely based on predicting and projecting the upcoming year.

 

2016 Athlon Sports All-Conference Teams
 
Power 5:  |  |  |  |
 
Group of 5:  |  |  |  |
 
 

Athlon Sports 2016 All-America Team

 

First-Team

Offense

Second-Team

Offense

Third-Team

Offense

Fourth-Team

Offense

QB

Deshaun Watson

Clemson 

Baker Mayfield

Oklahoma 

J.T. Barrett

Ohio State 

Greg Ward

Houston 

RB

Dalvin Cook

Florida State 

Royce Freeman

Oregon 

Elijah Hood

UNC 

Jalen Hurd

Tennessee 

RB

Leonard Fournette

LSU 

Samaje Perine

Oklahoma 

Wayne Gallman

Clemson 

Myles Gaskin

Washington 

AP

Christian McCaffrey

Stanford 

Artavis Scott

Clemson 

Charles Nelson

Oregon 

Nick Chubb (RB)

Georgia 

WR

Calvin Ridley

Alabama 

Isaiah Ford

Va. Tech 

Gabe Marks

Wazzu 

Corey Davis

WMU 

WR

JuJu Smith-Schuster

USC 

Christian Kirk

TAMU 

KD Cannon

Baylor 

James Washington

Okla. State 

TE

Jordan Leggett

Clemson 

Jake Butt

Michigan 

Evan Engram

Ole Miss 

OJ Howard

Alabama 

C

Pat Elflein

Ohio State 

Ethan Pocic

LSU 

Tyler Orlosky

WVU 

Jay Guillermo

Clemson 

OL

Zach Banner

USC 

Adam Bisnowaty

Pitt 

Brian Allen

Mich. State 

Dorian Johnson

Pitt 

OL

Dan Feeney

Indiana 

Mitch Hyatt

Clemson 

Mason Cole

Michigan 

Billy Price

Ohio State 

OL

Roderick Johnson

Florida State 

Conor McDermott

UCLA 

Dan Skipper

Arkansas 

J.J. Dielman

Utah 

OL

Cam Robinson

Alabama 

Sean Welsh

Iowa 

Quenton Nelson

Notre Dame 

Mike McGlinchey

Notre Dame 

 

First-Team

Defense

Second-Team

Defense

Third-Team

Defense

Fourth-Team

Defense

DL

Jonathan Allen

Alabama 

Charles Harris

Missouri 

Lowell Lotulelei

Utah 

Carlos Watkins

Clemson 

DL

Derek Barnett

Tennessee 

Arden Key

LSU 

Ejuan Price

Pitt 

Sam Hubbard

Ohio State 

DL

Myles Garrett

TAMU 

Charles Walker 

Oklahoma 

Eddie Vanderdoes

UCLA 

Tyquan Lewis

Ohio State 

DL

Malik McDowell

Mich. State 

DeMarcus Walker

Florida State 

Chris Wormley

Michigan 

Jarrad Davis (LB)

Florida 

LB

Devonte Fields

Louisville 

Zach Cunningham

Vanderbilt 

Josey Jewell

Iowa 

Kendell Beckwith

LSU 

LB

Raekwon McMillan

Ohio State 

Reuben Foster

Alabama 

Keith Kelsey

Louisville 

Riley Bullough

Mich. State 

LB

Anthony Walker

Northwestern 

Jabrill Peppers

Michigan 

Jalen 

Reeves-Maybin

Tennessee 

Tim Williams

Alabama 

CB

Desmond King

Iowa 

Adoree' Jackson

USC 

Cordrea Tankersley

Clemson 

Sidney Jones

Washington 

CB

Jourdan Lewis

Michigan 

Jalen Tabor

Florida 

Tre'Davious White

LSU 

Jordan Thomas

Oklahoma 

S

Jamal Adams

LSU 

Budda Baker

Washington 

Marcus Maye

Florida 

Quin Blanding

Virginia 

S

Derwin James

Florida State 

Eddie Jackson

Alabama 

Jordan Whitehead

Pitt 

Tony Conner

Ole Miss 

 

First-Team

Specialists

Second-Team

Specialists

Third-Team
Specialists

Fourth-Team

Specialists

K

Daniel Carlson

Auburn 

Andy Phillips 

Utah 

Jake Elliott

Memphis 

Griffin Oakes

Indiana 

P

JK Scott

Alabama 

Cameron Johnston

Ohio State 

Hayden Hunt

Colorado State 

Michael Carrizosa

SJSU 

KR

Evan Berry

Tennessee 

Rashaad Penny

SDSU 

Christian McCaffrey

Stanford 

DeVon Edwards

Duke 

PR

Cameron Sutton

Tennessee 

William Likely

Maryland 

Antonio Callaway

Florida 

Ryan Switzer

UNC 

 

 

Conference Breakdown of All-America Selections

  First Second Third Fourth Overall
ACC 6 5 6 6 23
Big 12 0 3 2 2 7
Big Ten 7 5 5 5 22
Pac-12 3 5 5 3 16
SEC 11 8 6 7 32
Independents 0 0 1 1 2
American 0 0 1 1 2
Conference USA 0 0 0 0 0
MAC 0 0 0 1 1
Mountain West 0 1 1 1 3
Sun Belt 0 0 0 0 0

 

Team Breakdown of All-America Selections

Team Number of Selections
Clemson 8
Alabama 8
Ohio State 7
LSU 6
Michigan 5
Tennessee 5
Florida State 4
Pitt 4
Oklahoma 4
Florida 4
Iowa 3
Michigan State 3
USC 3
Utah 3
Washington 3
Louisville 2
North Carolina 2
Indiana 2
Oregon 2
Stanford 2
UCLA 2
Ole Miss 2
Texas A&M 2
Notre Dame 2
Duke 1
Virginia 1
Virginia Tech 1
Baylor 1
West Virginia 1
Oklahoma State 1
Maryland 1
Northwestern 1
Washington State 1
Arkansas 1
Auburn 1
Georgia 1
Missouri 1
Vanderbilt 1
Western Michigan 1
Colorado State 1
San Jose State 1
San Diego State 1
Houston 1
Memphis 1
 
Teaser:
College Football 2016 All-America Team
Post date: Wednesday, June 22, 2016 - 11:00
All taxonomy terms: ACC, Air Force Falcons, Akron Zips, Alabama Crimson Tide, Appalachian State Mountaineers, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks, Arkansas State Red Wolves, Army West Point Black Knights, Army Black Knights, Army West Point Black Knights, Auburn Tigers, Ball State Cardinals, Baylor Bears, Boise State Broncos, Boston College Eagles, Bowling Green Falcons, Buffalo Bulls, BYU Cougars, California Golden Bears, Central Michigan Chippewas, Charlotte 49ers, Cincinnati Bearcats, Clemson Tigers, College Football, Colorado Buffaloes, Colorado State Rams, Connecticut Huskies, Duke Blue Devils, East Carolina Pirates, Eastern Michigan Eagles, FAU Owls, FIU Panthers, Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, Fresno State Bulldogs, Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Southern Eagles, Georgia State Panthers, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Hawaii Rainbow Warriors, Hawaii Warriors, Houston Cougars, Idaho Vandals, Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Kent State Golden Flashes, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, Louisville Cardinals, LSU Tigers, Marshall Thundering Herd, Maryland Terrapins, Memphis Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, Miami Ohio RedHawks, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Missouri Tigers, MTSU Blue Raiders, Navy Midshipmen, Navy Midshipmen, NC State Wolfpack, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Nevada Wolf Pack, New Mexico Lobos, New Mexico State Aggies, North Carolina Tar Heels, North Texas Mean Green, Northern Illinois Huskies, Northwestern Wildcats, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Ohio Bobcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Old Dominion Monarchs, Ole Miss Rebels, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Pittsburgh Panthers, Purdue Boilermakers, Rice Owls, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, San Diego State Aztecs, San Jose State Spartans, SMU Mustangs, South Alabama Jaguars, South Carolina Gamecocks, South Florida Bulls, Southern Miss Golden Eagles, Stanford Cardinal, syndicated, Syracuse Orange, TCU Horned Frogs, Temple Owls, Tennessee Volunteers, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, Texas State Bobcats, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Toledo Rockets, Troy Trojans, Tulane Green Wave, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, UAB Blazers, UCF Knights, UCLA Bruins, UConn Huskies, UL Lafayette Ragin Cajuns, UL Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns, UL Monroe Warhawks, UMass Minutemen, UNLV Rebels, USC Trojans, Utah State Aggies, Utah Utes, UTEP Miners, UTSA Roadrunners, Vanderbilt Commodores, Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars, West Virginia Mountaineers, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Western Michigan Broncos, Wisconsin Badgers, Wyoming Cowboys, American Athletic, Big 12, Big Ten, Conference USA, Independents, MAC, Mountain West, Pac 12, SEC, Sun Belt, News
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Success with any college football team starts with coaching. Even if a program doesn’t have the resources of the nation’s elite jobs, a good coach can elevate a program into national title contention. However, similar to any position on the field, statistics may not tell the full story when judging a coaching tenure.

 

This is not simply a list of coaches ranked by accomplishment or wins. While those aspects are important, it doesn’t provide a complete picture of how successful coaches are. Winning 10 games at Alabama is different than winning 10 games at Kentucky. Also, every program has a different amount of resources available. Hierarchy in college football also plays a vital role in how successful programs are. It's always easier for programs with more built-in advantages to contend for a national title on a more consistent basis.

 

A couple of other factors to consider when ranking coaches: How well are the assistants paid? A staff with two of the nation’s top coordinators could be a sign the head coach is better as a CEO and may not be as strong in terms of developing gameplans. How is the coach in the X’s and O’s? Can the coach recruit? Are the program’s facilities on par with the rest of the conference? Much like assistants, a program needs good facilities to win big. If a team is winning at a high level with poor facilities and a small budget, it reflects positively on the head coach. Is the coach successful at only one stop? Or has that coach built a solid resume from different jobs?

 

Again, wins are important. But our rankings also take into account a blank slate. If you start a program from scratch, which coach would you hire knowing what they accomplished so far and their career trajectory? Remember, you don't get the assistants - only the head coach. And head-to-head wins do not matter for this ranking. Athlon's editorial staff has voted on a ranking of coaches for all 10 conferences. Here’s the full 128 list of coach rankings, as voted on by the Athlon Sports staff for 2016.

 

By Conference (Power 5):  |  |  |  | 

 

By Conference (Group of 5):  |  |  |  | 

 

Ranking All 128 College Football Head Coaches for 2016

 

128. Mike Jinks, Bowling Green

Bowling Green hit a home run with its last coaching hire (Dino Babers), and the program is hoping Jinks keeps the Falcons at the top of the MAC East. Jinks’ hire came as a surprise to most, as he had only three seasons as an assistant (Texas Tech) at the FBS level prior to his hire in Bowling Green. Additionally, Jinks has never worked as a coordinator at this level. His only experience as a head coach came in the high school ranks, spending one year at Burbank High School (2005) and a handful at Cibolo Steele (2006-12). Considering Jinks’ stint at Texas Tech came under Kliff Kingsbury, the transition on offense from Dino Babers’ attack should be minimal.

 

127. Mike Neu, Ball State

Neu – a former Ball State quarterback from 1990-93 – returns to Muncie as the program’s head coach in 2016. Neu has garnered a variety of experience over the last 18 seasons, spending time as a head coach in the Arena Football League (New Orleans), as a college assistant with Tulane (2012-13) and in the NFL with the Saints (2014-15). While Neu is a former Ball State player and had a one-year stint as a graduate assistant with the program, this is his first opportunity to be a head coach at the FBS level.

 

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126. Frank Wilson, UTSA

Wilson is regarded as an ace recruiter, and his ability to attract talent to a program should be a huge benefit to UTSA. There’s no shortage of talent in San Antonio and the surrounding area, but the first-year coach has to prove he’s more than just a recruiter. Wilson has never worked as a head coach or a coordinator at the FBS level. His only experience as a head coach came in high school, leading O.P. Walker High School from 2000-03. 

 

125. Paul Haynes, Kent State

After a 9-26 record through three seasons, Haynes is entering a critical 2016 campaign. The Golden Flashes had a standout defense in 2015, but the offense averaged a paltry 9.1 points in MAC games last year. Fixing the offense is Haynes’ top offseason priority if Kent State wants to win more than four games for the first time in four seasons. As a former player and assistant with the Golden Flashes, Haynes certainly knows what it takes to win at this program. However, the pressure is starting to build after last year’s 3-9 record.

 

124. Doug Martin, New Mexico State

This is a tough job, and Martin’s outlook at New Mexico State is only getting tougher with conference uncertainty. The Aggies are slated to be a FBS Independent in 2018, which is not an easy road for a program that has only one winning record since 2000. Martin is 7-29 in three seasons at New Mexico State, but there was progress in 2015. The Aggies finished 3-9 overall but won three games in conference play and lost four by nine points or less. With 11 returning starters – including one of the nation’s top running backs in junior Larry Rose – the Aggies could push for a .500 mark in league play.  

 

123. Seth Littrell, North Texas

Littrell looks like a good fit at North Texas, but he inherited a team in need of a lot of help after a 1-11 record in 2015. Littrell comes to Denton after two seasons at North Carolina, working under coach Larry Fedora as the program’s offensive coordinator. Prior to North Carolina, Littrell worked as an assistant at Indiana, Arizona and Texas Tech. The Oklahoma native’s background with the Air Raid offense should help North Texas attract plenty of offensive talent into the program.

 

122. Brad Lambert, Charlotte

Building a program from scratch isn’t easy. And it’s even harder to accomplish that goal by transitioning from the FCS to the FBS level. That’s the challenge facing Lambert at Charlotte, as the 49ers are 12-22 over the last three seasons, including a 2-10 mark in their first year at the FBS level in 2015. Prior to taking over as Charlotte’s head coach, Lambert worked from 2001-10 under Jim Grobe at Wake Forest. The fourth-year coach seems to have this program trending in the right direction.

 

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121. Chris Creighton, Eastern Michigan

Eastern Michigan is arguably the toughest job in college football. This program has only season of more than two wins since 2009, with the last winning record coming in 1995. Considering the lack of success by the program in recent years and the roster situation he inherited, immediate success wasn’t going to be easy for Creighton. Through two years, Creighton is 3-21 overall and 1-15 in conference play. But prior to Eastern Michigan, Creighton went 42-22 at Drake, 63-15 at Wabash and 32-9 at Ottawa.

 

120. Paul Petrino, Idaho

Idaho has made some progress under Petrino’s watch. After winning two games from 2013-14, the Vandals finished 4-8 last season and could push for a .500 record in 2016. Petrino’s also deserves credit for the developing the offense, which averaged 30.3 points a game in 2015. However, Petrino’s job isn’t going to get any easier over the next two years, as the Vandals are dropping to the FCS level after the 2017 campaign. 

 

119. Scottie Montgomery, East Carolina

Montgomery has been on a fast rise through the assistant ranks and lands at one of the better jobs in the American Athletic Conference for his first FBS coaching opportunity. The North Carolina native started his coaching career under David Cutcliffe at Duke from 2006-09 as a wide receivers coach and later spent three years (2010-12) with the Steelers in the same capacity. Montgomery returned to Duke in 2013, spending one year as a receivers coach before a promotion to offensive coordinator in 2014. This is Montgomery’s first head coaching opportunity, but he’s learned under one of the top FBS coaches (Cutcliffe) and his background on offense should be a good fit at East Carolina. 

 

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118. Tyson Summers, Georgia Southern

Willie Fritz set the bar high for Tyson Summers. Fritz helped Georgia Southern transition to the FBS level, as the Eagles finished 18-7 over the last two years and lost only two conference games in that span. Summers has never been a head coach at the FBS level, but he’s a Georgia native and has previous coaching experience at the school as an assistant (2006). Summers also has stops on his resume from stints at UAB, UCF and Colorado State. Georgia Southern returns a strong core of talent for 2016, so Summers will be expected to keep this team near the top of the Sun Belt.

 

117. Everett Withers, Texas State

Withers was a long-time assistant at a handful of stops before landing his first full-time head coaching opportunity at James Madison in 2014. Over the last two years, Withers guided the Dukes to an 18-7 record and led the program to back-to-back playoff berths. Prior to James Madison, Withers worked as an assistant under Urban Meyer for two years at Ohio State and also worked as the interim coach at North Carolina in 2011. He also has stops as an assistant at Minnesota, Texas, Southern Miss, Louisville and in the NFL with the Titans. Texas State finished 3-9 last year, but there’s a lot of promise for this program with Withers at the helm. 

 

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116. David Beaty, Kansas

Beaty inherited a program in need of a massive overhaul and finished his debut in Lawrence with an 0-12 record. The lack of success in 2015 was no surprise, as Beaty needs another recruiting class (or two) just to get this program competitive on an annual basis in the Big 12. In an effort to spark improvement on offense, Beaty is taking over the play-calling duties for the offense in 2016. However, the Jayhawks are likely staring at another double-digit loss season. Beaty is known as a good recruiter and his ties to the state of Texas should help in upgrading the program’s overall talent level over the next few years. Beaty still has plenty to prove in his first opportunity to be a head coach at the FBS level and has to show he can build a program – not just recruit talent to Lawrence.

 

115. Mark Whipple, UMass

UMass faces an uphill battle as a FBS Independent, but the program is in good hands with Whipple leading the way. Whipple is 6-18 over the last two years, but he posted five winning records in six years with the Minutemen from 1998-03, went 24-16 at Brown from 1994-97 and 48-17 at New Haven from 1988-93. In between the stints at UMass, Whipple worked as an assistant in the NFL with the Steelers, Browns and Eagles and also spent two years at Miami.

 

114. Nick Rolovich, Hawaii

After the disappointing four-year run under Norm Chow, Hawaii’s program is in good hands with Rolovich. The California native has plenty of work to do over the next few seasons, but there’s not a better coach to rebuild the Rainbow Warriors into a consistent winner. Rolovich played at Hawaii from 2000-01 and also coached in Honolulu as an assistant under Greg McMackin from 2008-11. Since 2011, Rolovich has worked at Nevada as the offensive coordinator. This is Rolovich’s first opportunity to be a head coach and it’s not an easy job. However, the Rainbow Warriors should show improvement over the next few seasons.

 

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113. Charlie Partridge, FAU

Partridge was known for his recruiting connections in the state of Florida when he was hired as FAU’s head coach in 2014. As expected, the Owls have recruited well over the last three classes, and there’s a strong core of promising players in place for 2016. The on-field results have been slow for Partridge, as he’s posted back-to-back 3-9 campaigns to start his tenure. Prior to taking over at FAU, Partridge was an assistant under Bret Bielema at Wisconsin and Arkansas and also had a stint at Pittsburgh from 2003-07. This is his first opportunity to be a head coach, so it’s no surprise Patridge is still learning on the job entering year three.

 

112. Ron Turner, FIU

Turner wasn’t the most popular hire after Mario Cristobal’s firing, but FIU has increased its win total in back-to-back years after a 1-11 mark in 2013. The Panthers finished 4-8 in 2014 and nearly qualified for a bowl with a 5-7 mark last season. Turner also has prior stints as a head coach from stops at San Jose State (1992) and Illinois (1997-04). His all-time record as a coach is 52-87, but he did lead the Fighting Illini to a Sugar Bowl appearance in 2001. With 13 starters back, Turner has a good chance to lead FIU to a bowl game in 2016.

 

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111. Tony Sanchez, UNLV

Hired from Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Sanchez was one of the nation’s most intriguing first-year coaches in 2015. The Rebels finished 3-9 in Sanchez’s debut – a one-game improvement from 2014 – but lost four games by eight points or less, a clear sign the program is trending in the right direction. Sanchez also reeled in the Mountain West’s No. 4 recruiting class in the 2016 247Sports Composite and is positioned to push for a .500 mark in conference play in 2016.

 

110. Matt Viator, ULM

ULM quietly made one of the best coaching hires of offseason in Viator. The Louisiana native takes over in Monroe after a successful 10-year run at McNeese State. From 2006-15, Viator guided the Cowboys to a 78-33 record and five appearances in the FCS playoffs. Additionally, McNeese State did not have a losing record in Viator's tenure and posted three seasons of double-digit victories. 2016 could be a struggle for ULM, but Viator should help this program take a step forward over the next few years.

 

109. Scott Frost, UCF

After a winless 2015 campaign, a new regime and direction should be a huge positive for UCF. There’s no shortage of potential for this program, and Frost’s background on offense and history with Oregon should attract plenty of recruits to Orlando. Frost arrives at UCF after spending seven seasons with the Ducks. He spent the last three years there as the team’s play-caller, guiding the offense to a top-10 finish in scoring each season. This is Frost’s first opportunity to be a head coach at the FBS level, but there’s a lot to like about this hire for UCF.

 

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108. Tim DeRuyter, Fresno State

DeRuyter appeared to be one of college football’s rising stars in the head coach ranks after a 20-6 start to his tenure at Fresno State. During that two-year run, the Bulldogs claimed a share of the conference title in 2012 and won the league championship outright in 2013. However, replacing Derek Carr has been a challenge. Fresno State is just 9-17 over the last two seasons and slumped to 3-9 in 2015 – only the fourth time since 1969 the program has won fewer than four contests. Can DeRuyter get this program back on track?

 

107. Ron Caragher, San Jose State

Caragher hasn’t had the easiest of paths in his two stints as a head coach. He replaced Jim Harbaugh at San Diego but guided the Toreros to a 44-22 mark from 2007-12. Under Caragher’s direction, San Diego recorded at least eight wins in four out of his six seasons. He left San Diego to replace Mike MacIntyre at San Jose State – just one year after the Spartans won a school-record 11 games in 2012. Through three seasons, Caragher has compiled a 15-22 mark at San Jose State but guided the program to a bowl trip last year. With 15 starters returning this fall, Caragher should have his best team since taking over at San Jose State.

 

106. Jason Candle, Toledo

Candle is one of the rising stars in the Group of 5 coaching ranks and should move near the top of this list over the next few seasons. Candle’s career path is similar to former coach Matt Campbell, as both played at Mount Union before later coaching with the Purple Raiders as an assistant, followed by a stop in Toledo in the same capacity. Candle was promoted to head coach after Campbell left for Iowa State. The Rockets won’t miss a beat with Candle in charge.

 

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105. Jeff Monken, Army West Point

Army has only two winning seasons since 1994, so Monken has a tough assignment on his hands. Through two years, Monken is 6-18 at West Point, but he went 38-16 during four seasons at Georgia Southern (2010-13). Even though last season’s record (2-10) wasn’t pretty, Army lost seven games by a touchdown or less. Monken seems to have Army West Point moving in the right direction but a bowl game might be a year away. 

 

104. Sean Kugler, UTEP

Injuries hit UTEP hard last season, including an early season-ending ailment to standout running back Aaron Jones. As a result, the Miners slipped to 5-7 in Kugler’s third year on the job. However, UTEP is just one season removed from a 7-6 mark and a bowl appearance in 2014, and a quick rebound should be anticipated for 2016. Kugler is 14-23 in three seasons with the Miners.

 

103. Chuck Martin, Miami, Ohio

Miami is one of the MAC’s top jobs, but the RedHawks have fallen on hard times. However, Martin seems to have this program moving back in the right direction. After an 0-12 record in Don Treadwell’s last season (2013), Martin is 5-19 over the last two years, but the RedHawks were more competitive in 2015 and return 13 starters for 2016. Prior to Miami, Martin went 74-7 at Grand Valley State and guided the Lakers to three Division II titles.

 

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102. Darrell Hazell, Purdue

Purdue is a tough job, but Hazell looked like the right coach to help this program take a step forward when he was hired in 2013. Prior to becoming the head coach for the Boilermakers, Hazell worked at Ohio State under Jim Tressel as an assistant from 2004-10 and went 16-10 at Kent State (2011-12), including an impressive 11-3 season in 2012. But success at Purdue has been tough to come by for Hazell. The Boilermakers are just 6-30 over the last three years and have only two Big Ten wins in that span. Hazell is on the hot seat entering 2016, but there’s some optimism with 16 returning starters and new coordinators on both sides of the ball.

 

101. Tracy Claeys, Minnesota

Jerry Kill’s sudden retirement was a setback for a Minnesota program that enters 2016 with four consecutive bowl trips. But the Golden Gophers are hoping to continue Kill’s success with one of his long-time assistants – Tracy Claeys. The Kansas native worked under Kill for 20 years and also served as the program’s interim coach in 2013 and once again in 2015. Under Claeys’ watch, Minnesota finished 2-4 over its final six games last season, including a 21-14 victory over Central Michigan. However, the Golden Gophers were competitive against Michigan, Iowa and Wisconsin. Claeys has big shoes to fill in replace his mentor, but Minnesota returns 14 starters and has a favorable schedule that should allow the program to reach at least six wins in 2016.

 

100. Chris Ash, Rutgers

The Big Ten East Division is one of college football’s toughest divisions, and Rutgers is facing an uphill battle to compete with Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State and Penn State on an annual basis. But after making more headlines for off-field news than actual on-field results in 2015, this program took a step in the right direction by cleaning house in the athletic department. New athletic director Patrick Hobbs picked Ash as Kyle Flood’s replacement, and the Iowa native seems to be the right fit for the Scarlet Knights. Ash is well versed in the division after spending the last two years at Ohio State as a co-defensive coordinator and he also has a prior stop in the Big Ten from three seasons at Wisconsin (2010-12). Ash also has stops on his resume from stints at Arkansas (2013), Iowa State and San Diego State. This is his first opportunity to be a head coach at the FBS level, but Ash has worked for one of the nation’s best coaches (Urban Meyer) and seems to have the right blueprint and long-term vision to help this program.

 

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99. Mike Norvell, Memphis

Justin Fuente leaves big shoes to fill at Memphis after a 19-6 record over the last two seasons. However, Mike Norvell was one of the rising stars in the assistant ranks and should keep this program trending up for 2016 and beyond. Norvell worked as an assistant under Todd Graham at Tulsa (2007-10), at Pittsburgh (2011) and from 2012-15 at Arizona State. Norvell called the plays all four seasons for the Sun Devils, guiding the offense to an average of at least 34 points every year. Fuente set the bar high, but Norvell is an outstanding hire for this program.

 

98. Chad Morris, SMU

Expect to Morris move up this list in future seasons. The Texas native took over at SMU after spending four years guiding Clemson’s offense (2011-14). The Tigers’ offense emerged as one of the nation’s most-explosive attacks under Morris’ direction, including back-to-back seasons (2012-13) by averaging over 40 points a game. SMU finished 2-10 in Morris’ first season on the job, but the Mustangs should take a step forward in 2016. Prior to Clemson, Morris worked at Tulsa for one year (2010) and was a high school coach at five different stops from 1994-2009.

 

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97. Lance Leipold, Buffalo

Leipold was one of the top coaching hires in the 2015 carousel, leaving Wisconsin-Whitewater after guiding the program to a 109-6 mark from 2007-14. Winning at the FBS level would require a few adjustments for Leipold and his staff, and the Bulls finished 5-7 in 2015. However, Buffalo just missed out on a bowl after losing three games by five points or less. Year one was just a small speed bump for this staff. The future is still bright for the Bulls with Leipold at the helm. 

 

96. Mike Bobo, Colorado State

Bobo had big shoes to fill in Fort Collins last season. In 2014, Jim McElwain guided Colorado State to a 10-3 mark and an appearance in the Las Vegas Bowl. But with some key personnel losses to overcome and a tough schedule, the Rams dipped to 7-6 in Bobo’s first season. However, Colorado State wasn’t too far from matching the 2014 win total, as the program lost three games by five points or less, including a three-point defeat against rival Colorado. After spending most of his coaching career at Georgia and as a first-time head coach, Bobo is still learning on the job. However, the future looks bright for Colorado State with Bobo at the helm.

 

95. Neal Brown, Troy

Expect to see Brown move up this list over the next few seasons. In his debut at Troy, there were signs of progress for the Trojans, as this team finished 4-8 overall and 3-5 in league play. Brown is a disciple of the Air Raid offense and learned under two of the best offensive minds in Mike Leach and Tony Franklin. Prior to taking over as the head coach at Troy, Brown spent two years as Kentucky’s play-caller (2013-14) and three seasons as Texas Tech’s offensive coordinator (2010-12). Additionally, he also worked as an assistant under Larry Blakeney at Troy from 2006-09. Brown’s first year was promising, and more progress should be notable in 2016.

 

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94. John Bonamego, Central Michigan

Considering Bonamego had never coached anything other than special teams since 1999, his hire came as a surprise at Central Michigan. However, Bonamego quickly showed he was capable of keeping this program near the top of the MAC, as the Chippewas gave Oklahoma State all it could handle in the season opener. Central Michigan finished 7-6 in Bonamego’s debut, which included a victory over MAC West champion Northern Illinois and a three-point loss at Syracuse. With a full offseason to put his stamp on the program, Bonamego should keep the Chippewas trending up in 2016.

 

93. Joey Jones, South Alabama

Jones was instrumental in getting South Alabama’s football program started and also guided the Jaguars to the FBS ranks in 2012. South Alabama went 7-0 in its first season in 2009 and finished 16-4 over the next two years. The Jaguars moved to the FBS ranks in 2012 and struggled to a 2-11 finish. However, Jones quickly brought the program up to a competitive level, recording back-to-back six-win seasons from 2013-14, including the program’s first bowl trip in 2014. The Jaguars slipped to 5-7 last year, but Jones should have this team back in the mix for a winning mark in 2016.  

 

92. Jay Hopson, Southern Miss

Hopson is stepping into one of the most favorable roster situations of any first-year coach in 2016. Southern Miss returns 12 starters – including star quarterback Nick Mullens – from last season’s 9-5 team that claimed the Conference USA West Division title. Hopson has several stops as an assistant on his resume, including stints at Marshall, Ole Miss, Michigan, Memphis and Southern Miss. The Mississippi native was hired as Alcorn State’s head coach in 2012 and guided the Braves to a 32-17 mark in four seasons. With previous experience at Southern Miss, success in his only head coaching stop and ties to the state, Hopson looks like a good fit in Hattiesburg.

 

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91. Brian Polian, Nevada

Following Chris Ault wasn’t easy, but Polian has stabilized the program after a 4-8 debut in 2013. The Wolf Pack have recorded back-to-back 7-6 records and finished 2015 on a high note by beating Colorado State in the Arizona Bowl. Prior to taking over at Nevada, Polian was an assistant from 2005-09 at Notre Dame and at Stanford from 2010-11. He’s regarded as a good recruiter and has the Wolf Pack positioned for improvement with the return of nine starters on offense in 2016.

 

90. Bob Davie, New Mexico

Davie inherited a mess after Mike Locksley’s three-year stint at New Mexico. The Lobos won just three games from 2009-11, but this program showed immediate improvement under Davie’s watch, finishing with a 4-9 mark in 2012. After winning 11 games through the first three seasons, Davie had a breakthrough 2015 campaign. The Lobos finished 7-6 last year and claimed the program’s first bowl trip since 2007. 

 

89. David Bailiff, Rice

With its tough academic standards, Rice is one of the toughest jobs in the Group of 5 ranks. While Bailiff has experienced his share of ups and downs since taking over in 2007, the program has won 53 games in nine years and made four bowl trips. Additionally, the Owls won the 2013 Conference USA title and have recorded two winning marks in league play over the last three seasons. After a 5-7 record last year, Bailiff will be looking to guide Rice to its fourth bowl in five years in 2016.

 

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88. Bobby Wilder, Old Dominion

Old Dominion is a program with a lot of potential, and Wilder has the Monarchs poised to challenge for a bowl bid in their third season at the FBS level. Wilder is the first coach at Old Dominion since the program returned to the gridiron in 2009. The Monarchs went 9-2 in their first season, followed by an 8-3 mark in 2010. Wilder led the program to an 21-5 record from 2011-12, which included back-to-back trips to the FCS playoffs. After finishing 8-4 in a transition year to the FBS level, Old Dominion is 11-12 over the last two seasons and just missed on a bowl appearance last year. Wilder should have the Monarchs in contention for a winning record this fall.

 

87. Trent Miles, Georgia State

Georgia State is the second program Miles has brought significant improvement to in a short amount of time. He took over at Indiana State in 2008, and after a 1-22 mark through the first two years, Miles guided the Sycamores to 19 wins from 2010-12. Miles was picked as the second coach in Georgia State program history and inherited a team in need of major repair. The Panthers were still transitioning to the FBS level and were short on depth and overall talent. This program has made significant strides over the last three seasons, as Miles guided Georgia State to a 6-7 record last season and an appearance in the Cure Bowl. Even though Miles’ record in Atlanta is just 7-30, he’s a coach on the rise for 2016.

 

86. Clay Helton, USC

Helton enters 2016 with plenty to prove and no shortage of pressure. After filling in as an interim coach for the 2013 Las Vegas Bowl and again last year after Steve Sarkisian was dismissed, Helton was promoted to the full-time job at the end of the 2015 regular season. Helton is 6-4 in his limited stint as the program’s head coach and guided USC to the Pac-12 South title last year. However, this is his first opportunity to be a head coach on a full-time basis – and he’s doing it at one of the nation’s top programs. Helton wasted no time putting his stamp on the program by overhauling the staff and finished strong on the recruiting trail by signing the No. 8 class in the nation in February. Helton doesn’t have the big-time name recognition that Lane Kiffin or Sarkisian brought to the program when they were hired. Could that be a good thing for USC? Only time will tell how this hire will work out.

 

85. Barry Odom, Missouri

Odom has the tough assignment of following Gary Pinkel at Missouri. Pinkel finished his career in Columbia with a school-record 118 victories and guided the program through a transition to the SEC. While Odom has big shoes to fill, he’s certainly up to the task. He’s a former Missouri player (1996-99) and later worked in Columbia as an off-field assistant with Pinkel from 2003-08, before coaching safeties from 2009-11. In 2012, Odom was hired at Memphis as the defensive coordinator and helped the Tigers engineer significant improvement on that side of the ball. Odom was hired as Missouri’s defensive signal-caller last year and led this unit to a No. 2 finish in the SEC in scoring defense. There’s no question about Odom’s ability to coordinate a defense. However, this is his first opportunity to be a head coach at the FBS level.  

 

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84. Derek Mason, Vanderbilt

After a rough 3-9 debut in 2014, Vanderbilt showed improvement in Mason’s second season with a 4-8 finish. The Commodores also went 2-6 in SEC play after a winless conference record in 2014. Mason’s decision to assume play-calling duties on defense helped to spur the improvement in the win column, as Vanderbilt limited opponents to 21 points a game and 5.2 yards per play. With the defense on track, Mason’s next goal is to generate more improvement out of an offense that managed only 15.2 points a game last season. If the offense takes a step forward, Vanderbilt could push for a bowl game in 2016.

 

83. Mark Stoops, Kentucky

Stoops is making progress at Kentucky, as the Wildcats have recorded back-to-back 5-7 finishes after a 2-10 record in 2013. However, while 2016 isn’t necessarily a make-or-break year for Stoops, getting to a bowl game is a reasonable expectation. The roster talent has improved over the last four years, with Kentucky recording four straight top-40 signing classes. Additionally, Stoops upgraded his staff with the addition of offensive coordinator Eddie Gran. With three winnable SEC games in Lexington, getting to 6-6 isn’t out of the question for Stoops in 2016. The fourth-year coach isn’t on the hot seat, but the pressure is starting to build.

 

82. Jim Grobe, Baylor

Turmoil has surrounded Baylor’s football program this offseason and continued with the dismissal of coach Art Briles in late May. Instead of promoting from within, the Bears are turning to Grobe as the program’s head coach for the 2016 season. Grobe has been out of coaching since the end of the 2013 season, but he should be a stabilizing force for Baylor. Grobe coached at Ohio from 1995-00 and accumulated a 33-33-1 record with two winning seasons. He was hired at Wake Forest in 2001 and brought significant improvement to one of the ACC’s toughest jobs. Grobe went 77-82 from 2001-13 in Winston-Salem, which included an ACC title and an Orange Bowl appearance in 2006. Grobe isn’t the long-term answer at Baylor, but he’s a good one-year solution. 

 

81. Kalani Sitake, BYU

As a former BYU player, there’s not a coach better equipped to lead the program than Sitake. He does not have any prior head coaching experience, but Sitake has developed a strong resume as an assistant, including stops at Oregon State, Utah and Southern Utah. Sitake also worked under two good head coaches in Utah’s Kyle Whittingham and Oregon State’s Gary Andersen. The schedule isn’t easy for Sitake’s debut, but the Cougars are in good hands with the former Cougar fullback at the helm.

 

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80. Philip Montgomery, Tulsa

Chad Morris and Tom Herman garnered most of the offseason attention among the coaching hires in the American Athletic Conference last year, but Montgomery quietly pieced together an impressive debut. Tulsa went 6-7 last season, which represented a four-game improvement from 2014. Prior to taking over as Tulsa’s head coach, Montgomery worked as an assistant under Art Briles at Houston (2003-07) and again at Baylor from 2008-14. Montgomery is a sharp offensive mind and should have Tulsa back in contention for a bowl trip in 2016.

 

79. Will Muschamp, South Carolina

Muschamp was fired at Florida after a 28-21 four-year stint from 2011-14, but he’s getting a second chance in the SEC. After one season as Auburn’s defensive coordinator, Muschamp was hired at South Carolina to replace Steve Spurrier. While Muschamp is certainly familiar with life in the SEC, he’s inheriting a program that needs major repair after a 3-9 2015 campaign. And it’s no secret the challenges of winning at Florida and South Carolina are different. Muschamp hired a good staff and is known as a good recruiter, but the access to talent is different at South Carolina. Muschamp will be better in his second stint as a head coach in the SEC. However, this job is more challenging than the one in Gainesville. 

 

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78. Bob Diaco, UConn

Offense seems to be the focal point for a league that features coaches like Houston’s Tom Herman, SMU’s Chad Morris and Tulsa’s Philip Montgomery. However, defense leads the way at UConn with Diaco in charge. The New Jersey native was regarded as one of the nation’s top assistants during a stint as Notre Dame’s defensive coordinator (2010-13) and helped the Fighting Irish reach the national championship game in 2012. Diaco went 2-10 in his debut (2014), but the Huskies showed improvement in 2015 by finishing with a 6-7 record. Diaco is building a stellar defense in Storrs, and with a little improvement by the offense in 2016, UConn could push for seven or eight wins this fall.

 

77. Terry Bowden, Akron

Bowden guided the Zips to a breakthrough season in 2015. Akron won eight games – the most in school history – and claimed the program’s first bowl victory (Famous Idaho Potato Bowl). Bowden is 19-30 through four seasons at Akron, but the program has showed marked improvement under his watch. After a 1-11 debut in 2012, the Zips finished 5-7 in back-to-back years before the 2015 breakout campaign. Prior to his stint at Akron, Bowden went 29-9 at North Alabama, 47-17-1 at Auburn, 45-23-1 at Samford and 19-13 at Salem.

 

76. Craig Bohl, Wyoming

Bohl is just 6-18 through two years at Wyoming, but there’s no reason to panic. After all, this is the coach that went 104-32 at North Dakota State and won three consecutive national championships from 2011-13. It’s only a matter of time before Bohl has Wyoming back in the mix for winning seasons, and 2015 was clearly a rebuilding year with youth littering the depth chart on both sides of the ball. Progress in the win column could be minimal in 2016, but Bohl is still the right coach for this program.

 

75. Mike MacIntyre, Colorado

MacIntyre inherited a mess and a program that went 4-21 from 2011-12 under former coach Jon Embree. There were no quick fixes in MacIntyre’s rebuilding effort, and the former San Jose State coach has made some progress over the last three seasons. The Buffaloes finished 4-8 in MacIntyre’s first year (2013), regressed to 2-10 in 2014 but finished 4-9 last season. While Colorado has been more competitive under MacIntyre’s watch, this program still has only two Pac-12 wins over the last three seasons. Prior to Colorado, MacIntyre went 16-21 in three years at San Jose State, including a 10-2 record in 2012.

 

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74. Blake Anderson, Arkansas State

After cycling through four different full-time head coaches in four years, Arkansas State has stability at the top. Anderson enters his third season with the Red Wolves and has guided the program to back-to-back bowl appearances and a 16-10 record. Arkansas State claimed the Sun Belt title last season and begins 2016 as one of the favorites to win the league crown once again. Prior to Arkansas State, Anderson worked for two years under Larry Fedora at North Carolina and also has stops on his resume as an assistant from Southern Miss, UL Lafayette, MTSU and New Mexico.

 

73. Rick Stockstill, MTSU

Consistent. That’s the best way to describe Stockstill’s tenure at MTSU. Since taking over the program in 2006, Stockstill has guided the Blue Raiders to a 64-61 record and has four bowl appearances over the last seven years. MTSU has a winning mark in league play over the last four seasons and has only one year of fewer than six wins since 2009. With one of the league’s top quarterback-receiver combinations (Brent Stockstill to Richie James) in place, 2016 could be the perfect opportunity for Stockstill to break through and win the Conference USA East title.

 

72. Skip Holtz, Louisiana Tech

Holtz’s three-year run at South Florida ended after a 16-21 record, but the rest of his resume as a head coach features plenty of highlights. After a four-year stint as an assistant at Notre Dame from 1990-93, Holtz was hired as UConn’s head coach and recorded a 34-23 mark in five seasons. With a chance to work under his father Lou Holtz, Skip returned to the assistant ranks in 1999 at South Carolina and remained with the Gamecocks until 2004. Holtz took over East Carolina’s program in 2005 and guided the Pirates to a 38-27 record and four consecutive bowl trips. While the stint at USF was a disappointment, Holtz is back on track with a 22-17 mark in three years at Louisiana Tech.

 

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71. Rod Carey, Northern Illinois

Carey inherited big shoes to fill from Dave Doeren in 2012. Doeren guided Northern Illinois to a BCS bowl appearance that year, with the Huskies losing 31-10 in the Orange Bowl to Florida State. The program hasn’t slipped under Carey’s watch, as Northern Illinois is 31-11 and has three trips to the MAC title game over the last three seasons. The Huskies finished 8-6 last year, but the program was hit hard by injuries at the quarterback position. Carey should have Northern Illinois back in the mix to win the MAC once again in 2016.

 

70. Doc Holliday, Marshall

Holliday is known for his recruiting prowess, but he’s doing more than just winning on signing day for the Thundering Herd. Holliday is 50-28 in six seasons and has guided Marshall to three consecutive years of at least 10 wins. The Thundering Herd won the 2014 Conference USA title and finished No. 23 nationally in the Associated Press poll. Additionally, Marshall is 4-0 in bowl games under Holliday’s watch. 

 

69. Frank Solich, Ohio

Solich is the dean of MAC coaches and enters 2016 with a 138-80 record in his career. Solich guided Nebraska to a 58-19 record from 1998-03 and was hired at Ohio in 2005. The Bobcats are 80-61 under Solich and only have two losing seasons since his arrival. Additionally, Ohio has played in six bowl games over the last seven years and recorded three trips to the MAC title game since 2006. Solich isn’t flashy, but he’s brought consistent success to the Bobcats.

 

68. Mark Hudspeth, UL Lafayette

Hudspeth opened his tenure at UL Lafayette with four straight 9-4 campaigns and four consecutive trips to the New Orleans Bowl. Even though the Ragin’ Cajuns had personnel losses to overcome for 2015, this program wasn’t expected to suffer too much in the win column. However, Hudspeth’s team slipped to 4-8 and finished the year with a four-game losing streak. Was 2015 just a small speed bump for Hudspeth? The guess here is yes, as the Ragin’ Cajuns should rebound back into a bowl this fall.

 

67. Scott Satterfield, Appalachian State

Replacing a coaching legend like Jerry Moore wasn’t easy for Satterfield, but the former Appalachian State quarterback has settled in and emerged as the top coach in the Sun Belt. Satterfield went 4-8 in his debut with the Mountaineers in 2013 but guided the program to a 7-5 mark in its first year at the FBS level. Appalachian State fell just short of a Sun Belt title last season with an 11-2 record and also earned the program’s first bowl victory with a 31-29 win over Ohio in the Camellia Bowl. Prior to taking over as the head coach at Appalachian State, Satterfield worked from 1998-08 as an assistant under Moore and also had short stints at Toledo (2009) and FIU (2010-11).

 

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66. Matt Wells, Utah State

Last season’s 6-7 record represented Utah State’s first losing mark since 2010. Even though the six victories was a disappointment, this program has progressed significantly after recording zero winning seasons from 1998-2010. Wells is 25-16 over the last three years and has not finished lower than second in the Mountain West’s Mountain Division. Additionally, Utah State has played in three consecutive bowl games. Injuries and turnover in the assistant coach ranks have hit the program hard over the last couple of seasons, but the Aggies are still in good shape with Wells on the sidelines.

 

65. Lovie Smith, Illinois

Even though the timing (March) was unusual, new athletic director Josh Whitman wasted no time putting his stamp on the program. On his first official day on the job, Whitman fired Bill Cubit and made a standout hire by bringing Smith to Champaign. While Smith hasn’t coached in college since 1995, he brings plenty of name value to Illinois, which should add credibility on the recruiting trail. In 11 seasons as a head coach in the NFL, Smith went 89-87 and guided the Bears to a Super Bowl appearance in 2006. It may take a year for Smith to adjust to the collegiate ranks, and he’s already getting a late start due to the March hire. However, he hired a good staff to ease the transition and there’s plenty of potential for this program to improve in the Big Ten West.

 

64. Dave Clawson, Wake Forest

Clawson wasn’t going to be able to immediately turn around Wake Forest in his first two seasons, but there have been signs of improvement. The Demon Deacons are 6-18 under Clawson’s direction and have recorded back-to-back 1-7 records in ACC play. But the program’s depth and talent level is improving, as evidenced by four losses coming by eight points or less in 2015. Clawson is a proven winner from three prior stops – Bowling Green, Richmond and Fordham – and has a blueprint for getting Wake Forest back in contention for winning seasons. With a favorable schedule ahead in 2016, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Demon Deacons hit the six-win mark.

 

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63. Dave Doeren, NC State

Doeren replaced Tom O’Brien at NC State after a successful two-year stint at Northern Illinois and has made steady progress over the last three seasons in Raleigh. The Wolfpack went 3-9 in Doeren’s debut but rebounded with an 8-5 mark in 2014 and finished 7-6 last year. Additionally, NC State has recorded back-to-back bowl trips and has inked three consecutive top 50 recruiting classes. While there are signs of progress, Doeren is just 6-18 in conference play and has yet to defeat a Power 5 opponent that finished a season with a winning record. The 2016 schedule is challenging, and the Wolfpack have to break in a new quarterback with Jacoby Brissett out of eligibility. This fall should provide good insight into just how far this program has developed under Doeren’s watch.

 

62. P.J. Fleck, Western Michigan

Fleck is known for his energy and ability to recruit. However, through three seasons at Western Michigan, Fleck is proving to be more than a coach that just wins on signing day. After a 1-11 record in Fleck’s first season (2013), the Broncos are 16-10 over the last two years. Additionally, the program is coming off back-to-back bowl games for the first time in program history. Fleck also guided Western Michigan to its first postseason win by defeating MTSU 45-31 in the Bahamas Bowl last year. With 13 returning starters back for 2016, Western Michigan should challenge for its first trip to the MAC title game since 2000.

 

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61. Jeff Brohm, WKU

In just two seasons at WKU, Brohm has quickly emerged as the No. 1 coach in Conference USA. Brohm was promoted to head coach in 2014 after Bobby Petrino left to return to Louisville. The Hilltoppers finished 8-5 in Brohm’s first year but claimed the Conference USA title with a 12-2 mark in 2015. Additionally, Brohm has emerged as one of the top offensive minds in the Group of 5 ranks. WKU has ranked inside of the top 10 nationally in scoring offense over the last two seasons and finished third nationally by averaging 7.23 yards a play in 2015. Even with quarterback Brandon Doughty off to the NFL, WKU’s program is in good hands with Brohm leading the way.

 

60. D.J. Durkin, Maryland

Durkin was considered one of the rising stars in the assistant ranks over the last few seasons and lands at a program (Maryland) with some upside. The Ohio native comes to College Park after one season at Michigan, where he coordinated a Wolverine defense that ranked third in the Big Ten in fewest points allowed. Prior to Michigan, Durkin worked for five seasons at Florida and also spent time at Stanford (2007-09) and Bowling Green (2005-06). Durkin has a lot of work ahead in 2016 after Maryland finished 3-9 last year. However, Durkin hired a good staff and should be able to utilize his experience as an assistant under two of the nation’s best coaches – Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh – to help Maryland improve over the next few seasons.

 

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59. Tommy Tuberville, Cincinnati

After back-to-back 9-4 seasons, Tuberville slipped to 7-6 in his third year at Cincinnati. The win total regression was largely due bad luck with a minus-19 turnover margin. A quick rebound to nine wins again wouldn’t be a surprise for the Bearcats, as there’s a track record of success for Tuberville. He went 20-17 at Texas Tech from 2010-12, 85-40 at Auburn from 1999-08 and 25-20 at Ole Miss from 1995-98. In Tuberville’s 20-year coaching career, he’s had only four seasons with losing records. 

 

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58. Matt Rhule, Temple

Rhule delivered a breakout season for Temple in 2015, as the Owls tied a program record with 10 victories. Temple finished 10-4 overall last year and claimed the American Athletic East Division title. Rhule is no stranger to success at Temple, as he worked as an assistant under Al Golden from 2006-10 and again for one year with Steve Addazio (2011). Rhule also has one season of experience in the NFL, working with the Giants’ offensive line in 2012. After three years at Temple, it’s clear Rhule is one of the top coaches in the Group of 5 ranks.

 

57. Bryan Harsin, Boise State

The bar is set high at any program whenever nine wins is considered a disappointing year. That’s the standard set at Boise State, as the Broncos are one of the top Group of 5 programs and should challenge for the bowl spot in the New Year’s Six on an annual basis. Harsin did just that in year one, finishing 12-2 with a victory over Arizona in the Fiesta Bowl in 2014. However, the Broncos slipped to 9-4 last year and lost the division title to Air Force. Don’t expect Boise State to be under 10 wins for too long, as Harsin has this program on the verge of a quick rebound in 2016.

 

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56. Willie Taggart, South Florida

Taggart was feeling the pressure to produce after a 6-18 start to his tenure at South Florida. But Taggart certainly eased concerns about the direction of the program with an 8-5 mark and a trip to the Miami Beach Bowl last year. The 8-5 record improved Taggart’s overall mark at USF to 14-23, and the Bulls should start out 2016 as the favorite to win the American Athletic East Division. Prior to taking over at USF, Taggart went 16-20 in three years at WKU, which included back-to-back 7-5 campaigns. After a slow start to his tenure, Taggart seems to have this program trending up for 2016 and beyond.

 

55. Rocky Long, San Diego State

With a fertile recruiting area in its backyard, San Diego State has been considered a sleeping giant. After having some sporadic success from 1986-2009, this program took a big step forward in 2010 with a 9-4 mark in Brady Hoke’s second year with the Aztecs. After Hoke left for Michigan, Long was promoted to the top spot. Under his watch, San Diego State continues to climb even higher in the Mountain West. The Aztecs have earned four consecutive bowl trips and finished 2015 by tying the school record with 11 victories. Long also worked as New Mexico’s head coach from 1998-08, guiding the program to a 65-69 record with five bowl trips. He’s also regarded as one of the top defensive minds in the Group of 5 conferences and should have San Diego State in contention for 10 (or more) wins in 2016.  

 

54. Kirby Smart, Georgia

Smart patiently waited for his first opportunity to be a head coach, and the former Georgia defensive back lands at his alma mater after nine seasons at Alabama. While Smart is back at his alma mater, there’s plenty of pressure to win right away. After all, he’s replacing a coach (Mark Richt) who won 145 games in 15 seasons. The challenge for Smart is simple: Elevate Georgia into contention for playoff berths and be a consistent SEC title contender. That’s something that has eluded the Bulldogs in recent years, as the program’s last SEC title was in 2005. Smart certainly has the right background and experience to win big. However, this is his first opportunity to be a head coach and it comes at one of top 10 jobs in the nation.

 

53. Willie Fritz, Tulane

Tulane made one of the offseason’s best coaching hires by bringing Fritz to New Orleans after a successful two-year stint at Georgia Southern. From 2014-15 with the Eagles, Fritz went 17-7 and helped the program complete a successful transition to the FBS level. Prior to taking over at Georgia Southern, Fritz guided Sam Houston State to 40 wins from 2010-13 and back-to-back appearances in the FCS Championship (2011-12). He also coached at Central Missouri from 1997-09, recording a 97-47 mark in that span. Fritz has been a winner at each coaching stop and should continue that track record at Tulane over the next few years.

 

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52. Matt Campbell, Iowa State

Campbell was an outstanding hire for Iowa State and easily one of the best coaching moves of the 2015-16 carousel. The 36-year-old coach comes to Ames after four full seasons (and one bowl game in 2011), earning a 35-15 record with the Rockets. Toledo did not have a losing season under Campbell’s watch and recorded bowl trips in three out of four years. Campbell has been on a fast rise through the coaching ranks and played his college ball at the ultra-successful Mount Union program. Iowa State is a tough job, so Campbell will find it tough to match is win total from Toledo on an annual basis. However, the Cyclones should take a step forward under Campbell’s direction and contend for bowl games on a consistent basis.

 

51. Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech

Kingsbury is known as one of the nation’s top offensive-minded coaches and has Texas Tech trending up after a 7-6 mark in 2015. The Red Raiders went 8-5 in Kingsbury’s debut (2013) but regressed to 4-8 in 2014. However, Texas Tech had a solid rebound year last season and could challenge for a winning mark in Big 12 play in 2016. Prior to taking over as the head coach in Lubbock, Kingsbury engineered some of the nation’s top offenses at Houston and Texas A&M. At 36 years old, Kingsbury is still learning on the job and could move up this list in future seasons.

 

50. Troy Calhoun, Air Force

Air Force has been a consistent winner under Calhoun’s watch, and the program is coming off its first trip to the Mountain West Conference title game. The Falcons won the Mountain Division last year and lost by three points on the road at San Diego State in the conference title game. Calhoun has recorded a 67-50 mark since replacing Fisher DeBerry in 2007. Air Force also has eight bowl appearances under Calhoun and just one season of fewer than six wins. Calhoun is also the Mountain West’s longest-tenured coach and the 18 victories over the last two years is the best mark by the program since posting 22 from 1997-98.

 

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49. Paul Chryst, Wisconsin

Chryst had a solid debut in his return to Madison, as the Badgers finished 10-3 and capped the 2015 season with a victory over USC in the Holiday Bowl. Chryst is entrenched in the program, as he’s a Madison native, played his college ball with the Badgers and spent time as an assistant at Wisconsin under Barry Alvarez in 2005 and with Bret Bielema from 2006-11. However, Chryst will be tested in 2016, as Wisconsin takes on a brutal schedule, including a non-conference game versus LSU and crossover matchups in Big Ten play against Michigan, Ohio State and Michigan State. Prior to taking over for Gary Andersen at Wisconsin, Chryst went 19-19 in three years at Pittsburgh. So far, so good for Chryst at his alma mater.

 

48. Kevin Wilson, Indiana

Things are looking up for Indiana after the Hoosiers reached the postseason for the first time in Kevin Wilson’s tenure. After a 1-11 debut in 2011, Indiana has made progress under Wilson’s watch, finishing with at least four wins in each of the last four seasons. That may seem like a small feat, but this job is the toughest in the Big Ten East and has only two bowl appearances since 1994. Indiana has been more competitive under Wilson, and he was rewarded with a contract extension at the end of the 2015 season. Additionally, the program is investing more into facilities and stepped up in assistant salaries to hire Tom Allen as the program’s new defensive coordinator. The Big Ten East isn’t forgiving, but Indiana will be a tough out for the rest of the division with Wilson continuing to push this program to improve over the next few years. 

 

47. Steve Addazio, Boston College

After starting his tenure at Boston College with back-to-back 7-6 records, the Eagles regressed with a 3-9 mark in 2015. However, it’s unfair to penalize Addazio too much for last year’s record, as the Eagles were hit hard by injuries on offense and averaged only 9.1 points in ACC contests. Can Addazio quickly get Boston College back on track? The defense ranked among the nation’s best last year and still returns enough of a core (six starters) to prevent a huge drop in production. Additionally, the addition of transfer quarterback Patrick Towles should provide some stability to the offense. Prior to Boston College, Addazio went 13-11 in two years at Temple and also worked as an assistant at Florida, Indiana and Notre Dame.

 

46. Dino Babers, Syracuse

Babers is one of the top coaching hires in the 2015-16 coaching carousel and comes to Syracuse after a successful two-year stint at Bowling Green. The Orange needed to get this hire right, as the program can’t afford to fall too far behind in the top-heavy ACC Atlantic. Under Babers’ watch, the Falcons won back-to-back MAC East titles and finished 18-9 from 2014-15. Prior to Bowling Green, Babers went 19-7 in two seasons at Eastern Illinois (2012-13) and also made stops as an assistant at Baylor, UCLA, Pittsburgh, Texas A&M and Arizona. Babers’ four-year stint at Baylor as an assistant under Art Briles proved to be one of the most influential stops in his career and helped the California native emerge as one of the nation’s top offensive minds. Babers led Bowling Green’s offense to an average of 42.2 points a game last season and also developed Jimmy Garoppolo into a NFL draft pick while at Eastern Illinois. Hiring Babers should help get Syracuse moving back in the right direction.

 

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45. Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia

Holgorsen enters 2016 in an interesting position. Last season, the Mountaineers recorded their highest win total (eight) since joining the Big 12 in 2012. However, contract negotiations between Holgorsen and athletic director Shane Lyons ended earlier this spring. Holgorsen is not signed beyond 2017, so there’s some uncertainty about his future in Morgantown. Under Holgorsen’s watch, West Virginia is 36-28 overall and has played in four bowl games over the last five years.

 

44. Sonny Dykes, California

Coming off his best season at California (8-5 in 2015), Dykes has momentum and a contract extension on his side. The Golden Bears went 1-11 in Dykes’ first year with the program but improved to 5-7 in 2014 and recorded their first winning season since 2011 with a solid 8-5 campaign in 2015. Additionally, quarterback Jared Goff went No. 1 in the NFL Draft, which certainly doesn’t hurt Dykes on the recruiting trail. The Golden Bears also received good news in mid-May, as transfer quarterback Davis Webb is headed to California instead of Colorado. Repeating last year’s 8-5 mark will be tough, but Dykes has this program trending in the right direction.

 

43. Bronco Mendenhall, Virginia

Mendenhall might be one of the nation’s most intriguing coaches to watch in 2016. Virginia’s decision to hire Mendenhall to replace Mike London was arguably the biggest surprise of the offseason coaching carousel. Mendenhall has spent most of his career out west, including stops as an assistant at Oregon State, Northern Arizona, New Mexico and BYU. Mendenhall was promoted to head coach at BYU in 2005 and led the Cougars to 99 wins over the last 11 years. Mendenhall has a strong track record of success and is regarded for his work with defenses. However, the schedule will be tough on annual basis and adapting to a new recruiting area and conference opponents will require a transition period.

 

42. Gary Andersen, Oregon State

Andersen’s decision to leave Wisconsin for Oregon State came as a surprise. In his two seasons with the Badgers, Andersen went 19-7 and guided the program to a Big Ten West Division title in 2014. And prior to Wisconsin, Andersen went 26-24 at Utah State and finished his tenure in Logan with back-to-back bowl appearances. While Andersen’s hire came as a surprise, Oregon State’s 2015 performance was not. The Beavers were in clear rebuild mode last year and struggled to a 2-10 finish. Andersen has a track record of success but it’s going to take some time to get the Beavers back in contention for winning seasons.

 

41. Mike Riley, Nebraska

A 6-7 record in his first season at Nebraska certainly isn’t what Riley had in mind. However, a deeper look at the Cornhuskers’ 2015 season shows this team wasn’t far from eight or nine wins. Six of Nebraska’s seven losses came by eight points or less, with the close defeats largely fueled by a minus-12 turnover margin. With small improvement in the turnover department, the Cornhuskers should be able to rebound back into the right side of the winning column in 2016. Prior to Nebraska, Riley went 93-80 at Oregon State – one of the Pac-12’s toughest jobs – and also spent time in the NFL as a head coach with the Chargers. And here’s another positive sign for Nebraska: The Cornhuskers are off to a great start on the recruiting trail for the 2017 signing class. Riley didn’t inherit a team stocked with depth and was hit by some bad luck last year. 2016 should provide some better insight into the direction of this program under Riley’s watch. 

 

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40. Ken Niumatalolo, Navy

Navy embarked on a new era for its football program in 2015 by joining the American Athletic Conference. However, the change from being a FBS independent to a conference member didn’t have any impact on the Midshipmen. Niumatalolo guided Navy to a school-record 11 wins last season and finished No. 18 in the final Associated Press poll. Under Niumatalolo’s direction, the Midshipmen are 68-37 since the 2007 Poinsettia Bowl and have only one season of fewer than eight wins.

 

39. Pat Narduzzi, Pittsburgh

Narduzzi ranks ninth among his ACC counterparts for 2016, but the second-year coach should move up this list in future seasons. In his first year in the Steel City, Narduzzi led Pittsburgh to an 8-5 overall record and a second-place finish in the ACC’s Coastal Division. Three of the five losses last season were by a touchdown or less, with the other two defeats coming at the hands of Notre Dame and Navy (in its home stadium in the Military Bowl). Narduzzi has Pittsburgh trending in the right direction and should have this team positioned for another run at eight or nine wins in 2016.

 

38. Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech

A case could be made for Johnson to rank higher among his ACC counterparts here, but the Yellow Jackets are coming off their worst season (3-9) since a 1-10 mark in 1994. Despite the disappointing 2015 campaign, Georgia Tech is 61-44 under Johnson’s direction and is just one year removed from winning 11 games and the Orange Bowl in 2014. Additionally, the Yellow Jackets have just one losing season (2015) in ACC play under Johnson. A quick turnaround in 2016 wouldn’t be a surprise with Johnson’s track record, as he went 62-10 in five seasons at Georgia Southern (1997-01) and 45-29 at Navy (2002-07) before landing at Georgia Tech in 2008.

 

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37. Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M

Sumlin has slipped on this list over the last few seasons, and 2016 will be an important year for the fifth-year coach. After an 11-2 finish in 2012, Texas A&M went 9-4 in 2013 and recorded back-to-back 8-5 campaigns. Additionally, the Aggies are just 11-13 in SEC play over the last three seasons and have not finished in the top 25 over the last two years. Sumlin’s program also suffered a setback with the departure of two talented quarterbacks – Kyler Murray and Kyle Allen – prior to last season’s bowl game. Graduate transfer Trevor Knight alleviates some of the concern under center, but the Aggies are also breaking in a new offense behind coordinator Noel Mazzone. Sumlin took a step forward by hiring John Chavis to coordinate the defense last year, and now it’s up to Mazzone to provide stability on offense.

 

36. Larry Fedora, North Carolina

Fedora delivered a breakout year in his fourth season in Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels finished 11-3, won the Coastal Division and finished No. 15 nationally in the Associated Press poll. The 11-win season was a huge boost for Fedora after 6-7 mark in 2014. Fedora has a solid 32-20 record over the last four years and has never finished below .500 in ACC play. Prior to North Carolina, Fedora had a successful stint at Southern Miss, recording a 34-19 mark in four seasons. The Tar Heels face a tougher schedule and have a few key personnel question marks to address, but Fedora’s team opens 2016 as the favorite in the ACC Coastal. 

 

35. Jim Mora, UCLA

The Pac-12 has one of the nation’s deepest collections of coaches. Need evidence? Mora ranks eighth on this list, but a strong argument could be made for the UCLA head coach to rank higher after a 37-16 mark over the last four seasons. Under Mora’s watch, the Bruins have won at least eight games every year and claimed the Pac-12 South title in 2012. UCLA has some key players to replace from its 2015 team, but a favorable schedule and the development of sophomore quarterback Josh Rosen has this program poised to enter the 2016 season as the favorite in the South Division.

 

34. Mark Helfrich, Oregon

Life after Marcus Mariota wasn’t going to be easy, but Oregon’s 2015 season was hindered by an early-season injury to quarterback Vernon Adams. After a 3-3 start, Helfrich guided the Ducks to a 9-4 final record in 2015, which included road wins at Washington, Arizona State and Stanford. The nine-win season elevated Helfrich to 33-8 in three years at Oregon and an impressive 22-5 mark in Pac-12 play. Helfrich faces a couple of challenges in 2016, as the Ducks need to improve on defense and find a quarterback to replace Adams. The hire of Brady Hoke as the team’s new defensive coordinator should help, and Helfrich seems to have two capable quarterbacks in Dakota Prukop and Travis Jonsen. 

 

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33. Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech

Fuente has big shoes to fill in replacing Virginia Tech coaching legend Frank Beamer. However, as Fuente’s four-year run at Memphis showed, he’s certainly capable of keeping Virginia Tech near the top of the ACC. Fuente inherited a Memphis program that was in disarray and won three games in the two years prior to his arrival. The Tigers showed steady improvement under his watch, winning four games in 2012 and transitioned to the American Athletic Conference in 2013. Memphis went 3-9 in the tougher AAC but finished 19-6 from 2014-15. The Tigers’ 10-win season in 2014 set a new program high for wins and also resulted in Memphis’ first top 25 finish in the Associated Press poll. Fuente is also regarded for his work with quarterbacks and played a key role in Andy Dalton’s development at TCU during his stint as the offensive coordinator from 2009-11.

 

32. Charlie Strong, Texas

With an 11-14 record through two seasons in Austin, the pressure is starting to build on Strong to turn things around. While Strong didn’t inherit a roster filled with talent, Texas is one of college football’s best jobs and the expectation level is certainly higher than six wins. After a 6-7 record in his first year, Strong went 5-7 last season and the losing mark prompted changes. Five new assistants were hired, including Sterlin Gilbert as the team’s play-caller on offense to bring a new spread, up-tempo approach to Texas. Strong has a track record of turning around programs, as evidenced by his 37-15 mark in four years at Louisville (2010-13). Assuming Texas continues to recruit at a high level and the offense improves in 2016, the future still looks bright for Strong’s long-term outlook in Austin.

 

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31. James Franklin, Penn State

After a 24-15 three-year stint at Vanderbilt, high expectations surrounded Franklin’s arrival at Penn State. However, improvement has been tough to come by for the Nittany Lions over the last two seasons. Penn State has posted back-to-back 7-6 records under Franklin, but the program was still digging out from recent NCAA sanctions. Entering 2016, Penn State’s overall depth has improved with back-to-back top 20 signing classes, and Franklin is attempting to fix the offensive woes by hiring Joe Moorhead as the program’s new play-caller. Franklin didn’t have the instant success most predicted at Penn State, but there’s still plenty of time for the third-year coach to get the Nittany Lions closer to Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State in the Big Ten East pecking order.

 

30. Jim McElwain, Florida

An argument could be made for McElwain to rank higher on this list after leading the Gators to a SEC East title and a 10-4 record in his first season in Gainesville. McElwain’s first year came with its share of obstacles, as Florida lost starting quarterback Will Grier to a midseason suspension and struggled on offense in the second half of 2015. Despite the offensive woes, the Gators still managed to hold onto the East title and head into 2016 as a projected top 25 team. Prior to Florida, McElwain went 22-16 at Colorado State, increasing his win total each year after a 4-8 debut in 2012. One area for McElwain to work on - recruiting. Florida has ranked No. 13 (2016) and No. 21 (2015) after three top-10 finishes from 2012-14.

 

29. Gus Malzahn, Auburn

Malzahn’s tenure at Auburn started on a high note with a 12-2 record and an appearance in the national championship. The Tigers fell short of winning it all in 2013, but all signs seemed to point to this program as one on the rise. However, that hasn’t been the case. Over the last two seasons, Auburn is just 15-11 and needed a win over Memphis in the Birmingham Bowl to avoid a losing record (7-6). Additionally, the 2-6 mark in SEC play last year was the program’s lowest win total in conference action since 2012. Another problem spot for Malzahn was his side of the ball - the offense. The Tigers averaged 5.4 yards per play – the lowest of Malzahn’s tenure as head coach. With a declining win total in each of the last two seasons, 2016 is shaping up to be a critical year for Malzahn.

 

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28. Rich Rodriguez, Arizona

A year after a Pac-12 South title and a trip to the Fiesta Bowl, Arizona took a step back in the win column with a 7-6 overall mark and a 3-6 record in league play. The seven wins in 2015 were the fewest by Arizona under Rodriguez’s watch, but despite injuries to key players on offense, the Wildcats earned their fourth consecutive winning record. Rodriguez is widely regarded as one of the nation’s top offensive minds and should get this program back on track over the next two seasons. Scoring points won’t be a problem for the Wildcats, but the defense has to improve. Rodriguez took steps to fix this unit in the offseason, hiring new play-caller Marcel Yates to highlight a revamped staff. Prior to taking over in Tucson, Rodriguez went 60-26 at West Virginia from 2001-07 and 15-22 in three years at Michigan.  

 

27. Todd Graham, Arizona State

High expectations surrounded Arizona State last season, but the Sun Devils finished with their lowest win total (six) in Todd Graham’s four years in Tempe. The 6-7 record last season was just the second losing mark in Graham’s 10-year career as a FBS head coach. However, it’s safe to assume Graham won’t allow Arizona State to be down for long. Graham has a strong track record of success at the FBS level, leading Rice to a six-game improvement in the win column in his only year with the Owls (2006), finishing 36-17 at Tulsa from 2007-10 and leading Pittsburgh to a 6-6 mark in one season (2011) with the Panthers.

 

26. Mike Leach, Washington State

Entering his fifth year in Pullman, Leach seems to have Washington State poised to challenge for eight or nine wins on a consistent basis. After a surprising loss to Portland State in Week 1 last season, the Cougars rebounded by winning nine games and finished 6-3 in league play – the program’s first winning mark in Pac-12 action since 2003. Under Leach’s watch, Washington State is 21-29 overall and has played in two bowl games over the last four years. Success is nothing new to Leach, as he went 84-43 at Texas Tech from 2000-09. Leach is one of college football’s top offensive-minded coaches and returns one of the nation’s top quarterbacks for 2016 in Luke Falk. 

 

25. Les Miles, LSU

Miles might be the toughest coach to rank in the SEC. He’s won 112 games in 11 seasons, guided LSU to the 2007 national championship and a No. 2 finish in 2011. However, Miles was nearly fired at the end of 2015 and the Tigers have not finished higher than No. 13 in the Associated Press poll over the last four years. That’s not ideal for a program that has the No. 4 roster in the nation and averages a  over the last five seasons. Additionally, LSU is just 14-10 in SEC play in the last three years. With Leonard Fournette and a strong defense returning, the Tigers could win it all in 2016. However, after last year’s bizarre coaching drama and recent finishes, LSU – just like its coach – is one of the hardest teams to figure out this offseason.

 

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24. Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern

A quick peek at Northwestern’s year-by-year history provides plenty of insight into why Fitzgerald deserves a spot among the Big Ten’s top coaches. The Wildcats have made 12 bowl trips in program history, with six coming under Fitzgerald’s watch. Additionally, two of the program’s four double-digit win seasons occurred in Fitzgerald’s tenure. Overall, the former Northwestern linebacker has guided his alma mater to a 70-56 record and two top 25 finishes in the Associated Press poll. Winning at Northwestern isn’t easy, but Fitzgerald has transformed this program into a consistent bowl team.

 

23. Butch Jones, Tennessee

Tennessee has made steady progress over the last three seasons and is poised to win the SEC East in 2016. Jones is the driving force behind the improvement, as the Volunteers have increased their win total by two games in each of the last two years. Tennessee went 5-7 in Jones’ first season (2013) but rebounded to 7-6 in 2014 and finished 9-4 in 2015. Last year’s nine wins were the most for this program since a 10-win season in 2007. The Volunteers are also recruiting at a higher level, inking three consecutive top-15 classes after recording a No. 24 finish in 2013 and a No. 20 rank in 2012. Tennessee isn’t the first successful coaching stop for Jones, as he went 27-13 in three years at Central Michigan (2007-10) and finished 23-14 in three seasons at Cincinnati (2010-12).

 

22. Kyle Whittingham, Utah

Whittingham’s stock continues to rise among Pac-12 coaches after leading Utah to a 10-3 record last season – the program’s best mark since joining the league in 2011. Additionally, the Utes have back-to-back finishes (2014-15) in the Associated Press poll for the first time since 2008-09. Whittingham has only two losing seasons in his Utah tenure and has four years of at least 10 wins, including a perfect 13-0 mark in 2008. Utah doesn’t recruit on the same level as South Division rivals UCLA or USC, but the Utes will always be a factor in the Pac-12 with Whittingham leading the way.

 

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21. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State has emerged as an annual threat to win the Big 12 title under Gundy’s watch, and last year’s 10-3 mark represented the Cowboys fourth double-digit win season over the last six years. The 10-win season was capped by an appearance in the Sugar Bowl, giving Gundy 10 consecutive bowl trips. In 11 years guiding his alma mater, Gundy is 94-47 and is already the winningest coach in program history. The Cowboys finished No. 3 nationally in 2011 and have not experienced a losing season since 2005. 

 

20. Dan Mullen, Mississippi State

Mississippi State is the toughest job in the SEC West, but the program has made steady progress under Dan Mullen’s watch. The Bulldogs have recorded six consecutive winning seasons and set a school record with 19 victories over the last two years. Additionally, Mullen has guided Mississippi State to six straight bowl games after the program recorded just one postseason trip from 2001-09. The Bulldogs also spent time as the No. 1 team in the College Football Playoff committee rankings in 2014. Despite losing quarterback Dak Prescott and a couple of other key contributors in 2016, Mullen won’t let Mississippi State slide too far in the SEC West.  

 

19. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa

Ferentz’s tenure at Iowa seemed to be at a crossroads entering 2015. After an 11-2 finish in 2009, the Hawkeyes failed to win more than eight games in a season over the next five years, which included a 4-8 mark in 2012. And after a 7-6 record in 2014, Ferentz’s seat was starting to warm. However, Ferentz and Iowa responded with a school-record 12 wins, fell just short of winning the Big Ten title and made the program’s first trip to the Rose Bowl since 1990. Since taking over in 1999, Ferentz has recorded a 127-87 record and has only one losing season since 2001.

 

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18. Bret Bielema, Arkansas

Bielema inherited a program in need of repair after a 4-8 mark under John L. Smith in 2012. Establishing a foundation for success took a year, as the Razorbacks went 3-9 in Bielema’s debut, but there were signs of progress late in the 2013 season. Arkansas used that momentum to finish 7-6 in 2014, which included a 31-7 Texas Bowl blowout over Texas. And the Razorbacks took another step forward in 2015, finishing 8-5 and 5-3 in conference play and just outside of the top 25 in the final Associated Press poll. Considering how difficult the SEC West is, going from 0-8 in conference play (2013) to 5-3 (2015) is quite an accomplishment for Bielema. Entering 2016, it’s clear Bielema has this program trending up and on stable ground.

 

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17. Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss

Over the last few seasons, no team in the  West has improved its standing nationally more than Ole Miss. Freeze is a big reason for the improvement, as he came to Oxford with a track record of success. Freeze went 20-5 in two seasons at Lambuth and finished 10-2 in his only year at Arkansas State (2011). It didn’t take long for Freeze to generate improvement at Ole Miss, as the Rebels increased their win total by five games in his first year. And after an 8-5 finish in 2013, Ole Miss continued its rise with a 9-4 record in 2014, followed by a 10-3 mark in 2015. The program has recorded back-to-back New Year’s Six bowl appearances and finished No. 10 in the Associated Press poll last year. While three NFL first-round picks must be replaced in 2016, Ole Miss is equipped to handle the transition with four straight top-20 recruiting classes.

 

16. Mark Richt, Miami

Despite winning 145 games in 15 seasons at Georgia, Richt was dismissed at the 2015 regular season. While Richt won plenty of games at Georgia, a change of scenery (for both parties) and a return to his alma mater isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Richt seems to be energized by transition to Miami, and his return to Coral Gables should help this program take a step forward. The Hurricanes are still looking for their first trip to the ACC title game, and Richt should be the right coach to get this team back in contention for division titles and top 25 finishes. Another bonus for Miami in the coaching transition: Richt plans on calling the plays in 2016.

 

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15. David Cutcliffe, Duke

Thanks to Cutcliffe’s nine-year run with the Blue Devils, Duke is no longer an easy pick to finish in the cellar of the ACC Coastal. Prior to Cutcliffe’s arrival in 2008, the Blue Devils recorded 13 consecutive losing seasons. Cutcliffe guided the program to 15 wins in his first four years, before leading Duke to a 6-7 mark and a bowl trip in 2012. Since 2012, the Blue Devils are 27-13 and have played in three consecutive bowls, with an ACC Coastal title in 2013.

 

14. Tom Herman, Houston

The H-Town Takeover for Herman and Houston’s football program is officially underway. In Herman’s first season, the Cougars won the American Athletic Conference, finished with a 13-1 record and defeated Florida State in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. And with a strong core of talent returning for 2016, Herman has Houston positioned as the top Group of 5 program once again this season. Herman was regarded as one of the nation’s top assistant coaches prior to his hire with the Cougars. Herman worked as Ohio State’s offensive coordinator under Urban Meyer from 2012-14 and was an instrumental part of the Buckeyes’ 2014 championship team. Herman also has stops as a play-caller at Iowa State, Texas State and Rice. Herman is the top coach from the Group of 5 ranks.

 

13. Chris Petersen, Washington

Petersen’s record through two seasons in Seattle is only 15-12, but there are plenty of signs this program is on the right path. The Huskies went 8-6 in Petersen’s first year (2014) and finished 7-6 last season. Despite the slight decrease in wins, Washington was considered a . The seven-win 2015 campaign featured a handful of underclassmen in key roles and an additional year of experience should allow the Huskies to push for a breakout year and contend for the Pac-12 title. Prior to Washington, Petersen went 92-12 and claimed two BCS bowl victories in eight seasons at Boise State. Although it’s a small sample size, Petersen has already emerged one of the Pac-12’s top coaches.

 

12. Bobby Petrino, Louisville

If this list was just based on the X’s and O’s ability of a coach, Petrino would be ranked No. 2 in the ACC over Clemson’s Dabo Swinney. In his second stint with the Cardinals, Petrino – regarded as one of the nation’s top offensive-minded coaches – is 17-9 over the last two seasons and has Louisville projected to  for 2016. Petrino also has stops on his resume from Arkansas (2008-11) and WKU (2013), with a four-year run at Louisville from 2003-06. Entering 2016, Petrino has the program on stable ground and poised to be a consistent top 25 team over the next few seasons.

 

11. Bill Snyder, Kansas State

An argument could be made for Snyder as the top Big 12 coach in Athlon’s 2016 rankings. The Wildcats are always a dangerous opponent with Snyder on the sidelines, and the 76-year-old coach has completely changed the outlook of this program. Prior to Snyder’s arrival in 1989, Kansas State had only two winning seasons since 1955 and just one bowl appearance in program history. After a 1-10 mark in 1989, Snyder went 5-6 in his second year and has won at least four games in every season since his debut. Snyder had a brief retirement in 2006, but he returned to the sidelines in 2009 and has guided Kansas State to six straight bowl appearances and recorded 21 wins from 2011-12. Considering how difficult of a job Kansas State is and the lack of success prior to 1989, it’s a strong testament to Snyder’s coaching ability for this program to have 193 wins under his watch.

 

10. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame

The Fighting Irish just missed out an appearance in the College Football Playoff last season, but Kelly has the program on stable ground and poised for another run at the top four in 2016. Since taking over in South Bend in 2010, Kelly is 55-23 at Notre Dame, including an appearance in the BCS National Championship game in 2012. The Fighting Irish have won at least eight games in each of Kelly’s seasons at the helm and finished No. 11 in the Associated Press poll last year. Winning at a high level at different programs is nothing new for Kelly. From 1991-03, Kelly went 118-35-2 at Grand Valley State, including back-to-back Division II titles (2002-03). Additionally, he went 19-16 in three years at Central Michigan (2004-06) and 34-6 at Cincinnati from 2004-06. Kelly is a proven winner at four different jobs and clearly has a place among the top 15 coaches in the nation.

 

9. Dabo Swinney, Clemson

Swinney continues to raise expectations at Clemson. The Tigers fell just short in their quest to win the national title last season and are loaded for another run in 2016. Under Swinney’s watch, Clemson has shed its underachieving label. The Tigers have won at least 10 games in each of the last five seasons and claimed the 2011 and 2015 ACC Championships. Swinney has surrounded himself with a good staff of assistants, including one of the nation’s top defensive minds in Brent Venables. Clemson’s recruiting is also trending up. The Tigers average a 13.2 finish nationally over the last five seasons, which is second in the ACC to Florida State (4.6).

 

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8. David Shaw, Stanford

Stanford’s rigid academic standards are no secret, but the tough admissions and smaller prospect pool hasn’t stopped Shaw from transforming this program into a top 10-15 team nationally on an annual basis. Over the last five seasons, Shaw has guided Stanford to a 54-14 record, and the Cardinal finished No. 3 in the final Associated Press poll last year. Additionally, Stanford has claimed three out of the last four Pac-12 titles and has only one season (2014) of fewer than 11 wins under Shaw’s direction. Despite losing several key pieces from last year’s 12-2 team, Shaw’s leadership should ensure the Cardinal won’t slip too far in the national rankings.

 

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7. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State

Fisher has returned Florida State to a spot among the nation’s elite. In six seasons under Fisher, the Seminoles are 68-14 and have won at least 10 games in five of those years. Additionally, Florida State won the 2013 national championship, made the College Football Playoff in 2014 and played in a New Year’s Six Bowl (Peach) last season. Fisher is not only a strong recruiter and a sharp offensive mind, he’s got an eye for identifying talent and moving players from one side of the ball to another or to a different position to find the best fit for their skill set. After winning 10 games in a rebuilding year, Fisher has Florida State poised to contend for a playoff spot and a national title in 2016.

 

6. Gary Patterson, TCU

As mentioned with Bob Stoops, there’s very little separation among the top three coaches – Stoops, Patterson and Snyder – in the Big 12. With that in mind, we wouldn’t disagree with a ranking that listed Patterson as the No. 1 coach from the Big 12. Patterson has been instrumental in TCU’s rise into a Big 12 title contender, recording a 143-47 record since becoming the program’s coach at the end of the 2000 season. The Horned Frogs have shifted conferences three times under Patterson but appear to be fully entrenched in the Big 12 after winning 23 games over the last two years. Not only is Patterson one of the nation’s top coaches, he’s also one of the best at developing talent and gameplans on defense. 

 

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5. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma

There’s very little separation among the top three coaches in the Big 12. Stoops returns the No. 1 spot in Athlon’s rankings after slipping down the list last season. After an 8-5 record in 2014, Stoops hit the reset button on offense and made significant changes to his staff. The moves paid off in a big way for Oklahoma, as the Sooners finished 11-2, won the Big 12 title and played in the College Football Playoff. The eight-win season in 2014 was only the fourth time in Stoops’ 17-year tenure Oklahoma won fewer than 10 games. Maintaining a high level of success at any program for nearly 20 years isn’t easy. But Stoops continues to push the right buttons and should have the Sooners in the mix to earn another trip to the playoffs in 2016.

 

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4. Mark Dantonio, Michigan State

Dantonio has elevated Michigan State to new heights and the Spartans have emerged as an annual contender for the Big Ten title. Under Dantonio’s watch, Michigan State is 87-33 since 2007 and claimed the conference title for the second time in three seasons in 2015. Additionally, last year’s 12-win campaign resulted in a trip to the College Football Playoff. Dantonio has guided the program to at least 11 victories in five out of the last six seasons and has only one losing record (2009) in his tenure in East Lansing. The Spartans lose a handful of key players from last year’s playoff team, but Dantonio should keep Michigan State among the top 10-15 teams in the nation.

 

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3. Jim Harbaugh, Michigan

As expected, it didn’t take long for Harbaugh to return Michigan back among the nation's best. The Wolverines finished 10-3 in Harbaugh’s first season – a five-game improvement from the previous year. Additionally, the 10 wins last season nearly matched the program’s combined victory total from 2013-14 (12). And the expectation level is high going into 2016, as the Wolverines are picked among the favorites to contend for a spot in the College Football Playoff. Prior to Michigan, Harbaugh won 44 games in four seasons with the 49ers, transformed Stanford into a top-five team over four years and also went 29-6 at San Diego. Winning at a high level (and right away) is nothing knew for Harbaugh.

 

2. Urban Meyer, Ohio State

With 50 wins, a national championship and three top-five finishes in the Associated Press poll in the last four years, Meyer continues to set the bar high for success in the Big Ten. Ohio State is 50-4 overall under Meyer’s watch and has lost only one regular season league contest over the last four years. Success at a high level is something Meyer has experienced at each stop in his coaching career. In two years at Bowling Green, Meyer guided the Falcons to a 17-6 record and went 22-2 in two seasons at Utah. At Florida, Meyer won 65 games in six years and claimed two national titles (2006 and 2008). Despite heavy personnel losses in 2016, Meyer won’t allow Ohio State to slip too far in the win column, which should allow the Buckeyes to compete for another playoff bid this fall.

 

1. Nick Saban, Alabama

With three national championships over the last five years, the rest of college football is chasing Alabama and Nick Saban. Under Saban’s direction, the Crimson Tide have won 105 games since 2007 and are the only team to make the College Football Playoff in back-to-back seasons. Alabama has only lost more than one game in SEC play once since 2008 and has not finished outside of the Associated Press top 10 since 2007. There’s no question the bar is set high at Alabama and maintaining this level of success isn’t easy for any program. However, Saban is the unquestioned No. 1 coach in the nation and continues to reel in elite talent every year.

Teaser:
Ranking All 128 College Football Head Coaches for 2016
Post date: Tuesday, June 21, 2016 - 10:00
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Oklahoma is the Big 12’s clear favorite this season, and despite the loss of a couple of key players on both sides of the ball, the Sooners lead the way on Athlon’s All-Big 12 team with 18 selections for 2016. Additionally, eight Oklahoma players – including running back Samaje Perine and quarterback Baker Mayfield – are projected to earn first-team honors this year. TCU (15) and Oklahoma State (13) are just behind Oklahoma in overall selections, while Texas checks in with 11 picks.  

 

Athlon Sports released its full predictions for the Big 12 last week. Now, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor the top players in the league with a release of first, second, third and fourth all-conference teams for 2016.

 

Related: 

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2016. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2016 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

 

Big 12 Team Previews for 2016
           
 

National

Rank:

25 71 99 48 6
 

National

Rank:

24 17 43 42 40

 

Visit the  to order a copy of the 2016 Big 12 Preview Magazine, which features in-depth analysis and previews for all 10 teams, predictions, rankings and features to prepare for the upcoming year. 

 

 

Athlon's 2016 All-Big 12 Team

 

First-Team

Offense

Second-Team

Offense

Third-Team

Offense

Fourth-Team

Offense

QB

Baker Mayfield

Oklahoma 

Patrick Mahomes

Texas Tech 

Seth Russell

Baylor 

Mason Rudolph

Okla. State 

RB

Samaje Perine

Oklahoma 

Shock Linwood

Baylor 

Rushel Shell

WVU 

Johnny Jefferson

Baylor 

RB

Mike Warren

Iowa State 

D'Onta Foreman

Texas 

Chris Warren

Texas 

Kyle Hicks

TCU 

AP

Joe Mixon

Oklahoma 

Justin Stockton

Texas Tech 

Shelton Gibson (WR)

WVU 

Winston Dimel

K-State 

WR

Allen Lazard

Iowa State 

Marcell Ateman

Okla. State 

Mark Andrews

Oklahoma 

Devin Lauderdale

Texas Tech 

WR

James Washington

Okla. State 

Dede Westbrook

Oklahoma 

John Burt

Texas 

Geno Lewis

Oklahoma 

WR

KD Cannon

Baylor 

KaVontae Turpin
TCU 

Ian Sadler

Texas Tech 

Deante' Gray

TCU 

C

Tyler Orlosky

WVU 

Dalton Risner

K-State 

Jonathan Alvarez

Oklahoma 

Austin Schlottman

TCU 

OL

Kyle Fuller

Baylor 

Kyle Bosch

WVU 

Zachary Crabtree

Okla. State 

Victor Salako

Okla. State 

OL

Patrick Vahe

Texas 

Baylen Brown

Texas Tech 

Adam Pankey
WVU 

Aviante Collins

TCU 

OL

Connor Williams

Texas 

Jake Campos

Iowa State 

Kent Perkins

Texas 

Yodny Cajuste

WVU 

OL

Orlando Brown

Oklahoma 

Joseph Noteboom

TCU 

Dru Samia

Oklahoma 

Dom Desouza

Baylor 

 

First-Team

Defense

Second-Team

Defense

Third-Team

Defense

Fourth-Team

Defense

DL

Josh Carraway

TCU 

James McFarland

TCU 

Breiden Fehoko

Texas Tech 

K.J. Smith

Baylor 

DL

Noble Nwachukwu

WVU 

Demond Tucker

Iowa State 

Poona Ford

Texas 

Aaron Curry

TCU 

DL

Charles Walker

Oklahoma 

Vincent Taylor

Okla. State 

Jordan Brailford

Okla. State 

Matt Romar

Oklahoma 

DL

Will Geary

K-State 

Jordan Willis

K-State 

Christian Brown

WVU 

Dorance Armstrong

Kansas 

LB

Elijah Lee

K-State 

Jordan Burton

Okla. State 

Chad Whitener

Okla. State 

Joe Dineen

Kansas 

LB

Malik Jefferson

Texas 

Taylor Young

Baylor 

Travon Blanchard

Baylor 

Charmeachealle

Moore

K-State  

LB

Jordan Evans

Oklahoma 

Travin Howard

TCU 

Willie Harvey

Iowa State 

Montrel Wilson

TCU 

CB

Jordan Thomas

Oklahoma 

Ashton Lampkin

Okla. State 

Holton Hill

Texas 

Ranthony Texada

TCU 

CB

Davante Davis

Texas 

Brian Peavy

Iowa State 

Duke Shelley

K-State 

Orion Stewart (S)

Baylor 

S

Jordan Sterns

Okla. State 

Steven Parker

Oklahoma 

Fish Smithson

Kansas 

Jah'Shawn Johnson

Texas Tech 

S

Dante Barnett

K-State 

Denzel Johnson

TCU 

Ahmad Thomas

Oklahoma 

Dravon

Henry-Askew

WVU 

 

First-Team

Specialists

Second-Team

Specialists

Third-Team

Specialists

Fourth-Team

Specialists

K

Matthew McCrane

K-State 

Clayton Hatfield

Texas Tech 

Austin Seibert

Oklahoma 

Ben Grogan

Okla. State 

P

Austin Seibert

Oklahoma 

Zach Sinor

Okla. State 

Michael Dickson

Texas 

Nick Walsh

K-State 

KR

KaVontae Turpin

TCU 

Justin Stockton

Texas Tech 

Shelton Gibson

WVU 

Ryan Schadler

Kansas 

PR

KaVontae Turpin

TCU 

Joe Mixon

Oklahoma 

Trever Ryen

Iowa State 

De'Quan Bowman

Texas Tech 

 

 

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2016 All-Big 12 Team
  First Second Third Fourth

Baylor

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Iowa State

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Kansas

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Kansas State

Offense: 0

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Oklahoma

Offense: 4

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 3

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Oklahoma State

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

TCU

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 2

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 4

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 0

Texas

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Texas Tech

Offense: 0

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 1 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

West Virginia

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

 

 

Teaser:
Big 12 Football 2016 All-Conference Team
Post date: Friday, June 17, 2016 - 10:30
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Body:

There’s plenty of intrigue in Conference USA for 2016. The league’s top four teams – WKU, Marshall, MTSU and Southern Miss – all have key players to replace from last year’s squad, but there’s no shortage of talent returning to start the process of making another run at a conference title. On Athlon’s projected All-Conference USA team for 2016, WKU leads the way with 14 selections, with Marshall and MTSU tied for second with 10 picks. Southern Miss is just a step behind with eight selections, but four of those picks earned first-team honors. 

 

Athlon Sports released its full predictions for the Conference USA last week. Now, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor the top players in the league with a release of first, second, third and fourth all-conference teams for 2016.

 

Related: 

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2016. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2016 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

Conference USA 2016 Team Previews
East Division
 

National

Rank:

125 103 105 73 70 104 76
West Division
 

National

Rank:

85 128 109 68 92 123

 

Visit the  to order a copy of the 2016 National College Football Preview Magazine, which features in-depth analysis and previews for all 128 teams, predictions, rankings and features to prepare for the upcoming year. 

 

 

Athlon's 2016 All-Conference USA Team

  First-Team
Offense
Second-Team
Offense

Third-Team

Offense

Fourth-Team

Offense

QB

Nick Mullens

USM 

Brent Stockstill

MTSU 

Chase Litton

Marshall 

Alex McGough

FIU 

RB

Ray Lawry

ODU 

Aaron Jones

UTEP 

Kalif Phillips

Charlotte 

I'Tavius Mathers

MTSU 

RB

Anthony Wales

WKU 

Jarveon Williams

UTSA 

Jeffrey Wilson

North Texas 

Darik Dillard

Rice 

AP

Richie James (WR)

MTSU 

Ito Smith (RB)

USM 

Alex Gardner (RB)

FIU 

Carlos Henderson

La. Tech 

WR

Taywan Taylor

WKU 

Zach Pascal

ODU 

Thomas Owens

FIU 

Deon-Tay McManus

Marshall 

WR

Trent Taylor

La. Tech 

D.J. Thompson

USM 

Nicholas Norris

WKU 

Zach Wright

Rice 

TE

Jonnu Smith

FIU 

Ryan Yurachek

Marshall 

Hayden Plinke

UTEP 

Connor Cella

Rice 

C

Cameron Tom

USM 

Michael Montero

FIU 

Kaydon Kirby

North Texas 

Max Halpin

WKU 

OL

Reggie Bain

FAU 

Darrell Brown

La. Tech 

O'Shea Dugas

La. Tech 

Dillon DeBoer

FAU 

OL

Forrest Lamp

WKU 

Will Hernandez

UTEP 

Jordan Budwig

FIU 

Calvin Anderson 

Rice 

OL

Michael Selby

Marshall 

Brandon Ray

WKU 

Jamal Covington

Charlotte 

Daniel Stephens

MTSU 

OL

Clint Van Horn

Marshall 

Maurquice Shakir

MTSU 

Kelly Parfitt

FAU 

Jerome Daniels

UTEP 

 

First-Team

Defense

Second-Team
Defense

Third-Team

Defense

Fourth-Team

Defense

DL

Dylan Bradley

USM 

Ryan Bee

Marshall 

Chris Hale

MTSU 

Omarius Bryant

WKU 

DL

Jaylon Ferguson

La. Tech 

Marcus Davenport

UTSA 

Hunter Snyder

FAU 

Graysen Schantz

Rice 

DL

Trey Hendrickson

FAU 

Larry Ogunjobi

Charlotte 

Jarrian Roberts

North Texas 

Jimal McBride

MTSU 

DL

Gary Thompson

Marshall 

Oshane Ximines

ODU 

Derik Overstreet

WKU 

Nick

Dawson-Brents

WKU 

LB

T.J. McCollum

WKU 

D'Nerius Antoine

USM 

Dalton Santos

La. Tech 

Davison Colimon

FIU 

LB

T.J. Ricks

ODU 

Keith Brown

WKU 

Alvin Jones

UTEP 

Shawn Petty

Marshall 

LB

Anthony Wint

FIU 

Alex Lyons

Rice 

Azeez Al-Shaair

FAU 

Nick Usher

UTEP 

CB

Cornell Armstrong

USM 

Mike Minter

MTSU 

Terrance Winchester

Charlotte 

C.J. Reavis

Marshall  

CB

Jeremy Cutrer

MTSU 

Aaron Young

ODU 

Jalen Young (S)

FAU 

Brandon Addison

ODU 

S

Tiquan Lang

Marshall 

Kishawn McClain

North Texas 

Ocie Rose

FAU 

Devin Cockrell

UTEP 

S

Xavier Woods

La. Tech 

Marcus Ward

WKU 

Michael Egwuagu

UTSA 

Picasso Nelson

USM 

 

First-Team

Specialists

Second-Team

Specialists

Third-Team

Specialists

Fourth-Team

Specialists

K

Jonathan Barnes

La. Tech 

Jay Mattox

UTEP 

Trevor Moore

North Texas 

Austin Taylor 

FIU 

P

Dalton Schomp

FAU 

Alan Luna

UTEP 

Eric Keena

North Texas 

Gerald Shouse

La. Tech 

KR

Kylen Towner

WKU 

Carlos Henderson

La. Tech 

Anthony Jones

FIU 

Terry Juniel

UTEP 

PR

Trent Taylor

La. Tech 

Richie James

MTSU 

Anthony Jones

FIU 

Nacarius Fant

WKU 

 

 

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2016 All-C-USA Team
  First Second Third Fourth

Charlotte

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

FAU

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense:  0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 4

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

FIU

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Louisiana Tech

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Marshall

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

MTSU

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

North Texas

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Old Dominion

Offense: 1

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Rice

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 4

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Southern Miss

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

UTEP

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 1

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

UTSA

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

WKU

Offense: 3

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

 

Teaser:
Conference USA Football 2016 All-Conference Team
Post date: Friday, June 17, 2016 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/pac-12-football-2016-all-conference-team
Body:

An intriguing race is set to unfold in the Pac-12 this season, as there’s not a clear frontrunner or team projected to finish in the top four and in the mix for a playoff berth. However, while the league may not have a dominant team in place for 2016, there’s no shortage of talent across the conference for all 12 teams. UCLA leads the way on Athlon’s projected All-Pac-12 team with 15 selections, while Washington is the top team from the North with 14 picks. USC (12), Utah (10), Stanford (11) and Arizona State (12) also hit the double-digit mark in selections for Athlon’s All-Pac-12 team for 2016. 

 

Athlon Sports released its full predictions for the  last week. Now, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor the top players in the league with a release of first, second, third and fourth all-conference teams for 2016.

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2016. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2016 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

Related: 

 

 

Pac-12 Team Previews for 2016
North Division
 

National

Rank:

44 23 90 12 11 30
South Division
 

National

Rank:

50 46 61 14 22 32

 

 

Visit the  to order a copy of the 2016 Pac-12 Preview Magazine, which features in-depth analysis and previews for all 12 teams, predictions, rankings and features to prepare for the upcoming year. 

 

 

Athlon's 2016 All-Pac-12 Team

 

First-Team

Offense

Second-Team

Offense

Third-Team

Offense

Fourth-Team

Offense

QB

Josh Rosen

UCLA 

Luke Falk

Wazzu 

Jake Browning

Washington 

Davis Webb

California 

RB

Royce Freeman

Oregon 

Ronald Jones

USC 

Soso Jamabo

UCLA 

Nick Wilson

Arizona 

RB

Myles Gaskin

Washington 

Demario Richard

Arizona State 

Joe Williams

Utah 

Justin Davis

USC 

AP

Christian McCaffrey

Stanford 

Charles Nelson

Oregon 

Victor Bolden

Oregon State 

Kalen Ballage

Arizona State 

WR

Gabe Marks

Wazzu 

Darren Carrington

Oregon 

Darren Andrews

UCLA 

John Ross

Washington 

WR

JuJu

Smith-Schuster

USC 

Michael Rector

Stanford 

Tim White

Arizona State 

Samajie Grant

Arizona 

TE

Dalton Schultz

Stanford 

Darrell Daniels

Washington 

Pharaoh Brown

Oregon 

Kody Kohl

Arizona State 

C

Riley Sorenson

Wazzu 

Toa Lobendahn

USC 

Coleman Shelton

Washington 

Alex Kelley

Colorado 

OL

Tyrell Crosby

Oregon 

Trey Adams

Washington 

Jacob Alsadek

Arizona 

Casey Tucker

Stanford 

OL

Zach Banner

USC 

Johnny Caspers

Stanford 

Chris Borrayo

California 

Kenny Lacy

UCLA  

OL

J.J. Dielman

Utah 

Chad Wheeler

USC 

Cole Madison

Wazzu 

Sean Harlow

Oregon State 

OL

Conor McDermott

UCLA 

Isaac Asiata

Utah 

Damien Mama

USC 

Scott Quessenberry

UCLA 

 

First-Team

Defense

Second-Team

Defense

Third-Team

Defense

Fourth-Team

Defense

DL

Kylie Fitts

Utah 

Hunter Dimick

Utah 

Greg Gaines

Washington 

Rasheem Green

USC 

DL

Eddie Vanderdoes

UCLA 

Hercules Mata'afa

Wazzu 

Takkarist McKinley

UCLA 

Josh Tupou

Colorado 

DL

Lowell Lotulelei

Utah 

Elijah Qualls 

Washington 

Henry Mondeaux

Oregon 

James Looney

California 

DL

Solomon Thomas

Stanford 

JoJo Wicker

Arizona State 

Tashon Smallwood

Arizona State 

Torrodney Prevot

Oregon 

LB

Salamo Fiso

Arizona State 

Peter Kalambayi

Stanford 

Keishawn Bierria

Washington 

Deon Hollins

UCLA 

LB

Cameron Smith

USC 

Peyton Pelluer

Wazzu 

Jayon Brown

UCLA 

Paul Magloire

Arizona 

LB

Azeem Victor

Washington 

Christian Sam

Arizona State 

Derek McCartney

Colorado 

Addison Gillam

Colorado 

CB

Adoree' Jackson

USC 

Chidobe Awuzie

Colorado 

Alijah Holder

Stanford 

Darrien Molton

Wazzu 

CB

Sidney Jones

Washington 

Iman Marshall
USC 

Marcus Rios

UCLA 

Dominique Hatfield

Utah 

S

Budda Baker

Washington 

Randall Goforth

UCLA 

Shalom Luani

Wazzu 

Kareem Orr

Arizona State 

S

Marcus Williams

Utah 

Jaleel Wadood

UCLA 

Tedric Thompson

Colorado 

Fabian Moreau (CB)

UCLA 

 

First-Team

Specialists

Second-Team

Specialists

Third-Team

Specialists

Fourth-Team

Specialists

K

Andy Phillips

Utah 

Aidan Schneider

Oregon 

Conrad Ukropina

Stanford 

Zane Gonzalez

Arizona State 

P

Matt Haack

Arizona State 

Nick Porebski

Oregon State 

Alex Kinney

Colorado 

Mitch Wishnowsky

Utah 

KR

Christian McCaffrey

Stanford 

Tim White

Arizona State 

John Ross

Washington 

Charles Nelson

Oregon 

PR

Dante Pettis

Washington 

Adoree' Jackson

USC 

Christian McCaffrey

Stanford 

Ishmael Adams

UCLA 

 

 

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2016 All-Pac-12 Team
  First Second Third Fourth

Arizona

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Arizona State

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

California

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Colorado

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Oregon

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Oregon State

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Stanford

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

UCLA

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

USC

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Utah

Offense: 1

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Washington

Offense: 1

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Washington State

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1 

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Teaser:
Pac-12 Football 2016 All-Conference Team
Post date: Thursday, June 16, 2016 - 12:00
Path: /college-football/mountain-west-football-2016-all-conference-team
Body:

Boise State and San Diego State are the favorites to meet in the Mountain West title game in early December, and the Broncos and Aztecs feature plenty of representation on the Athlon Sports 2016 All-Mountain West team. The Broncos lead all Mountain West teams with 15 selections, while the Aztecs feature 11 picks. Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien and San Diego State running back Donnel Pumphrey are two of the top players in the Group of 5 ranks, with both claiming first-team honors for 2016. San Jose State (11), Nevada (12) and Utah State (10) also hit double-digit selections on the projected all-conference team. 

 

Athlon Sports released its full predictions for the Mountain West last week. Now, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor the top players in the league with a release of first, second, third and fourth all-conference teams for 2016.

 

Related: 

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2016. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2016 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

Mountain West Conference 2016 Team Previews
Mountain Division
 

National

Rank:

51 34 89 93 82 114
West Division
 

National

Rank:

108 121 86 36 96 106

 

 

Visit the  to order a copy of the 2016 National College Football Preview Magazine, which features in-depth analysis and previews for all 128 teams, predictions, rankings and features to prepare for the upcoming year. 

 

 

Athlon's 2016 All-Mountain West Team
 

First-Team

Offense

Second-Team

Offense

Third-Team

Offense

Fourth-Team

Offense

QB

Brett Rypien

Boise State 

Kent Myers

Utah State 

Nick Stevens

Colorado State 

Kenny Potter

SJSU 

RB

Brian Hill

Wyoming 

James Butler

Nevada 

Paul Harris

Hawaii 

Teriyon Gipson

New Mexico 

RB

Donnel Pumphrey

SDSU 

Jacobi Owens

AFA 

Devante Mays

Utah State 

Dalyn Dawkins

Colorado State 

AP

Jeremy McNichols (RB)

Boise State 

Timothy McVey

AFA 

Tyler Winston

SJSU 

Chaz Anderson

Boise State 

WR

Devonte Boyd

UNLV 

Tanner Gentry

Wyoming 

Jalen Robinette

AFA 

Jamire Jordan

Fresno State 

WR

Thomas Sperbeck

Boise State 

Hasaan Henderson

Nevada 

Jerico Richardson

Nevada 

Marcus Kemp

Hawaii 

TE

Billy Freeman

SJSU 

Jake Roh

Boise State 

Jarred Gipson

Nevada 

Wyatt Houston

Utah State 

C

Jake Bennett

Colorado State 

Austin Stephens

Utah State 

Will Kreitler 

UNLV 

Arthur Flores

SDSU 

OL

Chase Roullier

Wyoming 

Dejon Allen

Hawaii 

Kwayde Miller

SDSU 

Kyle Saxelid

UNLV 

OL

Nico Siragusa

SDSU 

Austin Corbett

Nevada 

Travis Averill

Boise State 

Zach Wallace

Wyoming 

OL

Mario Yakoo

Boise State 

Jake Simonich

Utah State 

Colin Sandor

AFA 

Jeremiah Kolone

SJSU 

OL

Fred Zerblis

Colorado State 

Nate Velichko

SJSU 

Reno Henderson

New Mexico 

Steven Baggett

Boise State 

 

First-Team

Defense

Second-Team

Defense

Third-Team

Defense

Fourth-Team

Defense

DL

Alex Barrett

SDSU 

Kyle Kelley

SDSU 

Gabe Perez

Boise State 

Nate Madsen

Fresno State 

DL

Nik D'Avanzo

New Mexico 

Ricky Ali'fua

Utah State 

Carl Granderson

Wyoming 

Isaiah Irving

SJSU 

DL

Travis Seefeldt

Utah State 

Sam McCaskill

Boise State 

Malik Reed

Nevada 

Keenan Sykes

SJSU 

DL

Kennedy*

Tulimasealii

Hawaii 

Ryan Watson

AFA 

Kory Rasmussen

Hawaii 

Mike Hughes

UNLV 

LB

Calvin Munson

SDSU 

Dakota Cox

New Mexico 

Tau Lotulelei

UNLV 

D.J. Dunn

AFA 

LB

Christian Tago

SJSU 

Kevin Davis

Colorado State 

Lucas Wacha

Wyoming 

Jeff Camilli

Fresno State 

LB

Tanner Vallejo

Boise State 

Ben Weaver

Boise State 

Jerrol 

Garcia-Williams

Hawaii 

Ryan McAleenan

UNLV 

CB

Damontae Kazee

SDSU 

Jalen Davis

Utah State 

Daquawn Brown

Fresno State 

Andre Chachere

SJSU 

CB

Ronald Ladipo

AFA 

Jonathan Moxey

Boise State 

Tyquwan Glass

Fresno State 

Torry McTyer

UNLV 

S

Weston 

Steelhammer

AFA 

Dylan 

Sumner-Gardner

Boise State 

Asauni Rufus

Nevada 

Maurice McKnight

SJSU 

S

Andrew Wingard

Wyoming 

Dameon Baber

Nevada 

Malik Smith

SDSU 

Dallin Leavitt

Utah State 

 

First-Team

Specialists

Second-Team

Specialists

Third-Team

Specialists

Fourth-Team

Specialists

K

Tyler Rausa

Boise State 

Brent Zuzo

Nevada 

Nicolai Bornand

UNLV 

Wyatt Bryan

Colorado State 

P

Hayden Hunt

Colorado State 

Michael Carrizosa

SJSU 

Rigoberto Sanchez

Hawaii 

Alex Boy

Nevada 

KR

Rashaad Penny

SDSU 

D.J. May

Wyoming 

Elijah Mitchell

Nevada 

Keelan Ewaliko

Hawaii 

PR

Andrew Rodriguez

Utah State 

Tanner Gentry

Wyoming 

Andrew Celis

Nevada 

Mikah Holder

SDSU 

 

 

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2016 All-Mountain West Team
  First Second Third Fourth

Air Force

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Boise State

Offense: 4

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 4

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Colorado State

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Fresno State

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Hawaii

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Nevada

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

New Mexico

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

San Diego State

Offense: 2

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

San Jose State

Offense: 1

Defense:  1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 4

Sp. Teams: 0

UNLV

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 0

Utah State

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 3

Defense:  2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Wyoming

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

* Tulimasealii was dismissed from the team in late June - after Athlon's All-Mountain West team was released for 2016.

Teaser:
Mountain West Football 2016 All-Conference Team
Post date: Thursday, June 16, 2016 - 11:00
Path: /college-football/big-ten-football-2016-all-conference-team
Body:

Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Iowa are projected to be the Big Ten’s top four teams this season, so it should be no surprise these programs dominate the Athlon Sports projected All-Big Ten team for 2016. Michigan leads the way with 13 overall selections, while Iowa and Michigan State rank a close second with 12 picks. Ohio State returns only six starters, but the Buckeyes have a strong showing on Athlon’s projected all-conference team with 10 selections. 

 

Athlon Sports released its full predictions for the  last week. Now, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor the top players in the league with a release of first, second, third and fourth all-conference teams for 2016.

 

Related: 

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2016. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2016 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

Big Ten Team Previews for 2016

East Division
 

National

Rank:

55 66 5 13 3 39 87
West Division
 

National

Rank:

74 19 60 31 45 95 33

 

Visit the  to order a copy of the 2016 Big Ten Preview Magazine, which features in-depth analysis and previews for all 14 teams, predictions, rankings and features to prepare for the upcoming year. 

 

 

Athlon's 2016 All-Big Ten Team

 

First-Team

Offense

Second-Team

Offense

Third-Team

Offense

Fourth-Team

Offense

QB

J.T. Barrett

Ohio State 

C.J. Beathard

Iowa 

Tommy Armstrong

Nebraska 

Wes Lunt

Illinois 

RB

Saquon Barkley

Penn State 

Corey Clement

Wisconsin 

Devine Redding

Indiana 

LeShun Daniels

Iowa 

RB

Justin Jackson

Northwestern 

LJ Scott

Michigan State 

Mike Weber

Ohio State 

Shannon Brooks

Minnesota 

AP

Jordan Westerkamp (WR)

Nebraska 

Curtis Samuel 

Ohio State 

Ke'Shawn Vaughn

Illinois 

Markell Jones

Purdue 

WR

Jehu Chesson

Michigan 

Simmie Cobbs

Indiana 

R.J. Shelton

Michigan State 

Malik Turner

Illinois 

WR

Chris Godwin

Penn State 

Amara Darboh

Michigan 

Matt VandeBerg

Iowa 

D.J. Moore

Maryland 

TE

Jake Butt

Michigan 

Josiah Price

Michigan State 

Brandon Lingen

Minnesota  

George Kittle

Iowa 

C

Pat Elflein

Ohio State 

Michael Deiter

Wisconsin 

Dylan Utter

Nebraska  

Michael Dunn

Maryland 

OL

Brian Allen

Michigan State 

Cole Croston

Iowa 

Christian DiLauro

Illinois 

Jordan Roos

Purdue 

OL

Mason Cole

Michigan 

Nick Gates

Nebraska 

Kodi Kieler

Michigan State 

Blake Hance

Northwestern 

OL

Sean Welsh

Iowa 

Erik Magnuson

Michigan 

Andrew Nelson

Penn State 

Dimitric Camiel

Indiana 

OL

Dan Feeney

Indiana 

Billy Price

Ohio State 

Jonah Pirsig

Minnesota 

Kyle Kalis

Michigan 

 

 

First-Team

Defense

Second-Team

Defense

Third-Team

Defense

Fourth-Team

Defense

DL

Malik McDowell

Michigan State 

Taco Charlton

Michigan 

Darius Hamilton

Rutgers 

Freedom Akinmoladun

Nebraska 

DL

Tyquan Lewis

Ohio State 

Jaleel Johnson

Iowa 

Demetrius Cooper

Michigan State 

Parker Hesse

Iowa 

DL

Sam Hubbard

Ohio State 

Garrett Sickels

Penn State 

Tyler Lancaster

Northwestern 

Bryan Mone

Michigan 

DL

Chris Wormley

Michigan 

Dawuane Smoot

Illinois 

Jake Replogle

Purdue 

Olive Sagapolu

Wisconsin 

LB

Raekwon McMillan

Ohio State 

Vince Biegel

Wisconsin 

Hardy Nickerson

Illinois 

Brandon Bell

Penn State 

LB

Jabrill Peppers

Michigan 

Riley Bullough

Michigan State 

Jason Cabinda

Penn State 

Jack Lynn

Minnesota 

LB

Anthony Walker

Northwestern 

Josey Jewell

Iowa 

T.J. Edwards

Wisconsin 

Marcus Oliver

Indiana 

CB

Desmond King

Iowa 

Gareon Conley

Ohio State 

Matthew Harris

Northwestern 

Vayante Copeland

Michigan State 

CB

Jourdan Lewis

Michigan 

William Likely

Maryland 

Sojourn Shelton

Wisconsin 

Grant Haley

Penn State 

S

Nate Gerry

Nebraska 

Marcus Allen

Penn State 

Jonathan Crawford

Indiana 

Demetrious Cox

Michigan State 

S

Montae Nicholson

Michigan State 

Godwin Igwebuike

Northwestern 

Damarius Travis

Minnesota 

Taylor Barton

Illinois 

 

First-Team

Specialists

Second-Team

Specialists

Third-Team

Specialists

Fourth-Team

Specialists

K

Griffin Oakes

Indiana 

Drew Brown

Nebraska 

Ryan Santoso

Minnesota 

Rafael Gaglianone

Wisconsin 

P

Cameron Johnston

Ohio State 

Sam Foltz

Nebraska 

Jake Hartbarger

Michigan State 

Joe Schopper

Purdue 

KR

Janarion Grant

Rutgers 

Solomon Vault

Northwestern 

Desmond King

Iowa 

Jourdan Lewis

Michigan 

PR

William Likely

Maryland 

Desmond King

Iowa 

De'Mornay Pierson-El

Nebraska 

Jabrill Peppers

Michigan 

 

 

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2016 All-Big Ten Team
  First Second Third Fourth

Illinois

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0 

Offense: 0 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Indiana

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Iowa

Offense: 1 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Maryland

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense:  1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Michigan

Offense: 3

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 2

Michigan State

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Minnesota

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Nebraska

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Northwestern

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Ohio State

Offense: 2

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Penn State

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Purdue

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Rutgers

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Wisconsin

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Teaser:
Big Ten Football 2016 All-Conference Team
Post date: Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - 10:30
Path: /college-football/mac-football-2016-all-conference-team
Body:

The balance of power in the MAC clearly resides in the West Division this season, as 38 of the selections on Athlon’s projected all-conference team for 2016 come from the league’s top three teams – Northern Illinois, Toledo and Western Michigan. The Rockets lead the MAC with 15 selections, while the Huskies check in at No. 2 with 12. Bowling Green takes the top spot among East Division programs with 10 selections on Athlon’s All-MAC team.  

 

Athlon Sports released its full predictions for the MAC last week. Now, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor the top players in the league with a release of first, second, third and fourth all-conference teams for 2016.

 

Related: 

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2016. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2016 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

MAC 2016 Team Previews

East Division
 

National

Rank:

98 97 113 118 112 91
West Division
 

National

Rank:

116 88 124 80 79 69

 

 

Visit the  to order a copy of the 2016 National College Football Preview Magazine, which features in-depth analysis and previews for all 128 teams, predictions, rankings and features to prepare for the upcoming year. 

 

 

Athlon's 2016 All-MAC Team

 

First-Team

Offense

Second-Team

Offense

Third-Team

Offense

Fourth-Team

Offense

QB

Zach Terrell

WMU 

Cooper Rush

CMU 

Drew Hare

NIU 

Thomas Woodson

Akron 

RB

Kareem Hunt

Toledo 

Jamauri Bogan

WMU 

Warren Ball

Akron 

Darian Green

Ball State 

RB

Joel Bouagnon

NIU 

Terry Swanson

Toledo 

A.J. Ouellette

Ohio 

Fred Coppet

BGSU 

AP

Jerome Lane (WR)

Akron 

Jordan Johnson (RB)

Buffalo 

Shaq Vann (RB)

EMU  

Alfonso Smith (RB)

Miami 

WR

Corey Davis

WMU 

Jesse Kroll

CMU 

Marcus McGill

Buffalo 

JoJo Natson

Akron 

WR

Kenny Golladay

NIU 

Sebastian Smith

Ohio 

KeVonn Mabon

Ball State 

Jordan Reid

Ohio 

WR

Ronnie Moore

BGSU 

Cody Thompson

Toledo 

Rokeem Williams

Miami 

Corey Willis

CMU 

C

Tim McAuliffe

BGSU 

John Keenoy

WMU 

James O'Hagan

Buffalo 

Mitch Palmer

Miami 

OL

Jacob Bennett

BGSU 

Mike Ebert

Toledo 

Josh Ruka

NIU 

Reno Reda

Kent State 

OL

Taylor Moton

WMU 

Zach Hovey

Miami 

Troy Watson

Ohio 

Ryan Hunter

BGSU 

OL

Levon Myers

NIU 

Drake Miller

Ball State 

Logan Dietz

BGSU 

Paul Perschon

Toledo 

OL

Storm Norton

Toledo 

Darien Terrell

EMU 

Max Scharping

NIU 

Chukwuma Okorafor

WMU 

 

First-Team

Defense

Second-Team
Defense

Third-Team

Defense

Fourth-Team

Defense

DL

J.T. Jones

Miami 

Ikeem Allen

Miami 

Luke Maclean

EMU 

Brandon Crawford

Buffalo 

DL

Jamal Marcus

Akron 

Treyvon Hester

Toledo 

Terrance Bush

BGSU 

Earl Moore

Toledo 

DL

Josh Posley

Ball State 

Pat O'Connor

EMU 

Tarell Basham

Ohio 

Kurt Laseak

Ohio 

DL

Terence Waugh

Kent State 

Se'Von Pittman

Akron 

Keion Adams

WMU 

Joe Ostman

CMU 

LB

Quentin Poling

Ohio 

Brandon Berry

Buffalo 

Sean Folliard

NIU 

Jeremi Powell

Toledo 

LB

Austin Valdez

BGSU 

Blair Brown
Ohio 

Paul Moses

Miami 

Elcee Refuge

Kent State 

LB

Sean Wiggins

Ball State 

Jaylen Coleman

Toledo 

Trenton Greene

BGSU 

Caleb Bailey

WMU 

CB

Shawun Lurry

NIU 

Darius Phillips

WMU 

Heath Harding

Miami 

DeAndre Scott

Akron 

CB

Demetrius Monday

Kent State 

Boise Ross

Buffalo 

Najee Murray

Kent State 

Amari Coleman

CMU 

S

Asantay Brown

WMU 

Tony Annese

CMU 

Ryan Williamson

Buffalo 

Martez Hester

Ball State 

S

Nate Holley

Kent State 

DeJuan Rogers

Toledo 

Brandon Mayes

NIU 

Zach Guiser

Akron 

 

First-Team

Specialists

Second-Team

Specialists

Third-Team

Specialists

Fourth-Team

Specialists

K

Christian Hagan

NIU 

Jameson Vest

Toledo 

Brian Eavey

CMU 

Morgan Hagee

Ball State 

P

Joe Davidson

BGSU 

Austin Barnes

EMU 

Kyle Schmidt

Ball State 

Nick Ellis

Toledo 

KR

Aregeros Turner

NIU 

KeVonn Mabon

Ball State 

Darius Phillips

WMU 

Diontae Johnson

Toledo 

PR

Corey Jones

Toledo 

JoJo Natson

Akron

Corey Lacanaria

Ball State 

Shawun Lurry

NIU 

 

 

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2016 All-MAC Team
  First Second Third Fourth

Akron

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Ball State

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Bowling Green

Offense: 3

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 1 

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1 

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Buffalo

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Central Michigan

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Eastern Michigan

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Kent State

Offense: 0

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Miami

Offense: 0 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Northern Illinois

Offense: 3

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3 

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Ohio

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Toledo

Offense: 2 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 3

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 2

Western Michigan

Offense: 3

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Teaser:
MAC Football 2016 All-Conference Team
Post date: Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/sec-football-2016-all-conference-team
Body:

The SEC – college football’s best conference – is never short on talent and features some of the nation’s best players once again in 2016. The balance of power in the SEC is tilted to the West this fall, with 63 of the 108 selections on Athlon’s projected all-conference team coming from this division. Alabama leads the way with 14 overall selections, followed by LSU with 12, with Tennessee, Georgia and Florida tied with 11. The Volunteers, Bulldogs and Gators account for 33 of the East Division’s 45 selections on Athlon’s 2016 All-SEC team. 

 

Athlon Sports released its full predictions for the SEC last week. Now, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor the top players in the league with a release of first, second, third and fourth all-conference teams for 2016.

 

Related: 

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2016. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2016 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

SEC 2016 Team Previews
East Division
 

National

Rank:

20 16 56 62 63 7 57
West Division
 

National

Rank: 

1 26 35 9 41 10 28

 

Visit the  to order a copy of the 2016 SEC Preview Magazine, which features in-depth analysis and previews for all 14 teams, predictions, rankings and features to prepare for the upcoming year. 

 

Athlon's 2016 All-SEC Team
  First-Team
Offense

Second-Team

Offense

Third-Team

Offense

Fourth-Team

Offense

QB

Chad Kelly

Ole Miss 

Joshua Dobbs

Tennessee 

Brandon Harris

LSU 

Jacob Eason

Georgia 

RB

Leonard Fournette

LSU 

Nick Chubb

Georgia 

Ralph Webb

Vanderbilt 

Jovon Robinson

Auburn 

RB

Jalen Hurd 

Tennessee 

Sony Michel

Georgia 

Bo Scarbrough

Alabama 

Keith Ford

Texas A&M 

AP

Boom Williams

Kentucky 

Alvin Kamara 

Tennessee 

Speedy Noil

Texas A&M 

Terry Godwin (WR)

Georgia 

WR

Christian Kirk

Texas A&M 

Fred Ross

Miss. State 

Josh Reynolds

Texas A&M 

Malachi Dupre

LSU 

WR

Calvin Ridley

Alabama 

Damore'ea Stringfellow

Ole Miss 

Drew Morgan

Arkansas 

Antonio Callaway

Florida 

TE

Evan Engram

Ole Miss 

O.J. Howard

Alabama 

Jeremy Sprinkle

Arkansas 

Jeb Blazevich

Georgia 

C

Ethan Pocic

LSU 

Jon Toth

Kentucky 

Brandon Kublanow

Georgia 

Jamaal Clayborn

Miss. State 

OL

Alex Kozan

Auburn 

Will Clapp

LSU 

Javon Patterson

Ole Miss 

David Sharpe

Florida 

OL

Cam Robinson

Alabama 

Avery Gennesy

Texas A&M 

Andrew Jelks

Vanderbilt 

Maea Teuhema

LSU 

OL

Dan Skipper

Arkansas 

Braden Smith

Auburn 

Austin Golson

Auburn 

Martez Ivey

Florida 

OL

Jashon Robertson

Tennessee 

Greg Pyke

Georgia 

Ross Pierschbacher

Alabama 

Dylan Wiesman

Tennessee 

 

First-Team

Defense

Second-Team
Defense

Third-Team

Defense

Fourth-Team
Defense
DL

Myles Garrett

Texas A&M 

Charles Harris

Missouri 

Trent Thompson

Georgia 

Da'Shawn Hand

Alabama 

DL

Jonathan Allen

Alabama 

Deatrich Wise

Arkansas 

Davon Godchaux

LSU 

A.J. Jefferson

Miss. State 

DL

Derek Barnett

Tennessee 

Carl Lawson

Auburn 

Lewis Neal

LSU 

Caleb Brantley

Florida 

DL

Arden Key

LSU 

Marquis Haynes

Ole Miss 

Cece Jefferson

Florida 

Montravius Adams

Auburn 

LB

Zach Cunningham

Vanderbilt 

Kendell Beckwith

LSU 

Richie Brown

Miss. State 

Oren Burks

Vanderbilt 

LB

Reuben Foster

Alabama 

Jarrad Davis

Florida 

Brooks Ellis

Arkansas 

Michael Scherer

Missouri 

LB

Jalen 

Reeves-Maybin

Tennessee 

Tim Williams

Alabama 

Ryan Anderson

Alabama 

Lorenzo Carter

Georgia 

CB

Jalen Tabor

Florida 

Minkah Fitzpatrick

Alabama 

Torren McGaster

Vanderbilt 

Aarion Penton

Missouri 

CB

Tre'Davious White

LSU 

Cam Sutton

Tennessee 

Carlton Davis

Auburn 

Chris Westry

Kentucky 

S

Jamal Adams

LSU 

Tony Conner

Ole Miss 

Armani Watts

Texas A&M 

Johnathan Ford

Auburn 

S

Eddie Jackson

Alabama 

Marcus Maye

Florida 

Dominick Sanders

Georgia 

Brandon Bryant

Miss. State 

 

First-Team

Specialists

Second-Team

Specialists

Third-Team

Specialists

Fourth-Team

Specialists

K

Daniel Carlson

Auburn 

Adam Griffith

Alabama 

Gary Wunderlich

Ole Miss 

Eddy Pineiro

Florida 

P

JK Scott

Alabama 

Johnny Townsend

Florida 

Trevor Daniel

Tennessee 

Sean Kelly

South Carolina 

KR

Evan Berry 

Tennessee 

Speedy Noil

Texas A&M 

Brandon Holloway

Miss. State 

Johnathan Ford

Auburn 

PR

Cameron Sutton

Tennessee 

Antonio Callaway

Florida 

Christian Kirk

Texas A&M 

Isaiah McKenzie

Georgia 

 

 

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2016 All-SEC Team
  First Second Third Fourth

Alabama

Offense: 2

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1 

Defense: 2 

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Arkansas

Offense: 1 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Auburn

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Florida

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Georgia

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Kentucky

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

LSU

Offense: 2

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Missouri

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Miss. State

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Ole Miss

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

South Carolina

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0 

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Tennessee

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Texas A&M

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Vanderbilt

Offense: 0

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

 

 

Teaser:
SEC Football 2016 All-Conference Team
Post date: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - 10:30
Path: /college-football/sun-belt-football-2016-all-conference-team
Body:

Arkansas State, Georgia Southern and Appalachian State were the top three teams in the Sun Belt last season and open 2016 at the top of predictions for this conference. Considering the strong returning core of talent for the Red Wolves, Mountaineers and Eagles, it should be no surprise these three teams dominate the Athlon Sports 2016 All-Sun Belt team. The Red Wolves lead the way with 19 overall selections, with the Mountaineers checking in second with 16 picks. Georgia Southern and Georgia State are tied for third with 12 selections, with South Alabama (10) and Idaho (10) up next.  

 

Athlon Sports released its full predictions for the Sun Belt last week. Now, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor the top players in the league with a release of first, second, third and fourth all-conference teams for 2016.

 

Related: 

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2016. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2016 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

2016 Sun Belt Team Previews
             
 

National

Rank:

58 78 81 110 119 107
   

National

Rank:

126 120 115 122 102  

 

Visit the  to order a copy of the 2016 National College Football Preview Magazine, which features in-depth analysis and previews for all 128 teams, predictions, rankings and features to prepare for the upcoming year. 

 

Athlon's 2016 All-Sun Belt Team 

 

First-Team

Offense

Second-Team

Offense

Third-Team

Offense

Fourth-Team

Offense

QB

Taylor Lamb

App. State 

Kevin Ellison

Ga. Southern 

Brandon Silvers

Troy 

Matt Linehan

Idaho 

RB

Matt Breida

Ga. Southern 

Elijah McGuire

ULL 

L.A. Ramsby

Ga. Southern 

Jalin Moore

App. State 

RB

Larry Rose

NMSU 

Xavier Johnson

South Alabama 

Johnston White

Ark. State 

Jordan Chunn

Troy 

AP

Marcus Cox (RB)

App. State 

Callen Hightower

Idaho 

Cameron 

Echols-Luper

Ark. State 

Warren Wand (RB)

Ark. State 

WR

Robert Davis

Georgia State 

Ajalen Holley

ULM 

Tyrian Taylor

NMSU 

Josh Magee

South Alabama 

WR

Penny Hart

Georgia State 

Dijon Paschal

Ark. State 

Shaedon Meadors

App. State 

Marcus Green

ULM  

TE

Gerald Everett

South Alabama 

Buck Cowan

Idaho 

Keith Rucker

Georgia State 

Deon Watson

Idaho 

C

Andy Kwon

Ga. Southern 

Devin Mondie

Ark. State 

Steven Matlock

Idaho 

Eddie Gordon

ULL 

OL

Jemar Clark

Ark. State 

Colby Gossett

App. State 

Jeremiah Culbreth

Ga. Southern 

Frank Sutton

ULM 

OL

Parker Collins

App. State 

Ryan Melton

Texas State 

Alex Stoehr

Georgia State 

Gabe Mobley

Georgia State 

OL

Antonio Garcia

Troy 

Beau Nunn

App. State 

Joseph Bacchus

Ark. State 

Curtis Williams

South Alabama 

OL

Colton Jackson

Ark. State 

Jordan Rose

Idaho 

Anthony McMeans

NMSU 

Tommy Boynton

Ga. Southern 

 

First-Team

Defense

Second-Team

Defense

Third-Team

Defense

Fourth-Team

Defense

DL

Rashad Dillard

Troy 

Tre Alford

South Alabama 

Waylon Roberson

Ark. State 

Mario Osborne

ULL 

DL

Jay Ellison

Ga. Southern 

Bernard Dawson

Ga. Southern 

Jamal Stadom

Troy 

Mackendy Cheridor

Georgia State 

DL

Dee Liner

Ark. State 

Shawayne Lawrence

Georgia State 

Jamal Johnson

Ga. Southern 

Tyson Fernandez

App. State 

DL

Ja'Von

Rolland-Jones

Ark. State 

Nate Norwood

App. State 

Dallas McClarty

Texas State 

Jimmie Gipson III

South Alabama 

LB

Eric Boggs

App. State 

Ironhead Gallon

Ga. Southern 

Rodney Butler

NMSU 

Ukeme Eligwe

Ga. Southern 

LB

John Law

App. State 

Alonzo McGee

Georgia State 

Roman Buchanan

South Alabama 

Devan Stringer

App. State 

LB

Xavier

Woodson-Luster

Ark. State 

Otha Peters

ULL 

Kaden Elliss

Idaho 

Khari Lain

Ark. State 

CB

Latrell Gibbs*

App. State 

Chandon Sullivan

Georgia State 

Jayshawn Jordan

Idaho 

Lenzy Pipkins

ULM 

CB

Jeremy Reaves

South Alabama 

Blaise Taylor

Ark. State 

Jerome Smith

Georgia State 

Kamryn Melton

Troy 

S

Cody Brown

Ark. State 

Bobby Baker

Georgia State 

Alex Gray

App. State  

Tre Hunter

ULM 

S

Kalen Jackson

South Alabama 

Savion Brown

ULL 

Tracy Walker

ULL 

Chris Humes

Ark. State 

 

First-Team

Specialists

Second-Team

Specialists

Third-Team

Specialists

Fourth-Team

Specialists

K

Austin Rehkow

Idaho 

Aleem Sunanon

South Alabama 

J.D. Houston

Ark. State 

Younghoe Koo

Ga. Southern 

P

Austin Rehkow

Idaho 

Bentlee Critcher 

App. State 

Lumi Kaba

Texas State 

Steven Coutts

ULL 

KR

Blaise Taylor

Ark. State 

Marquan Greene

Georgia State 

Marcus Green

ULM 

Gabe Fuselier

ULL 

PR

Blaise Taylor

Ark. State 

Brandon McDowell

Texas State 

Gary Haynes

ULL 

Latrell Gibbs

App. State 

 

 

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2016 All-Sun Belt Team
  First Second Third Fourth

Appalachian State

Offense: 3

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Arkansas State

Offense: 2

Defense: 4

Sp. Teams: 2 

Offense: 2

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Georgia State

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 4

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Georgia Southern

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1 

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Idaho

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 3

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

UL Lafayette

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 2

ULM

Offense: 0 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

New Mexico State

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

South Alabama

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Texas State

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Troy

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0 

 

* Gibbs was later ruled academically ineligible for the 2016 season in early July.

 

 

Teaser:
Sun Belt Football 2016 All-Conference Team
Post date: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/acc-football-2016-all-conference-team
Body:

The ACC featured four teams – Clemson, Florida State, Louisville and North Carolina – in Athlon's projected top 25 for 2016, and those four teams are home to a good chunk of the league’s talent this fall. The Tigers lead the way with 14 overall selections on Athlon’s 2016 All-ACC team, while North Carolina and Louisville are tied for second with 12. Projected ACC champion Florida State is slightly behind Clemson, North Carolina and Louisville with 10 overall selections. 

 

Athlon Sports released its full predictions for the ACC last week. Now, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor the top players in the league with a release of first, second, third and fourth all-conference teams for 2016.

 

Related:

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2016. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2016 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

ACC 2016 Team Previews

Atlantic Division
 

National

Rank:

65 4 2 18 59 75 64
Coastal Division
 

National

Rank:

53 49 27 21 38 72 29

 

Visit the  to order a copy of the 2016 ACC Preview Magazine, which features in-depth analysis and previews for all 14 teams, predictions, rankings and features to prepare for the upcoming year. 

 

Athlon's All-ACC Team for 2016
 

First-Team

Offense

Second-Team

Offense

Third-Team

Offense

Fourth-Team

Offense

QB

Deshaun Watson

Clemson 

Brad Kaaya

Miami 

Lamar Jackson

Louisville 

Mitch Trubisky

North Carolina 

RB

Dalvin Cook

Florida State 

Elijah Hood

North Carolina 

Matt Dayes

NC State 

Joseph Yearby

Miami 

RB

Wayne Gallman

Clemson 

James Conner

Pitt 

Travon McMillian

Va. Tech 

Jon Hilliman

Boston College 

AP

Artavis Scott

Clemson 

Jaylen Samuels

NC State 

Taquan Mizzell (RB)

Virginia  

James Quick (WR)

Louisville 

WR

Isaiah Ford

Va. Tech 

Mack Hollins

North Carolina 

Stacy Coley

Miami 

Ryan Switzer

North Carolina 

WR

Mike Williams

Clemson 

Travis Rudolph

Florida State 

Jamari Staples

Louisville 

Steve Ishmael

Syracuse 

TE

Jordan Leggett

Clemson 

Bucky Hodges

Va. Tech 

Cam Serigne

Wake Forest 

Cole Hikutini

Louisville 

C

Jay Guillermo

Clemson 

Lucas Crowley

North Carolina 

Freddie Burden

Ga. Tech 

Jackson Matteo

Virginia 

OL

Roderick Johnson

Florida State 

Geron Christian

Louisville 

Kareem Are

Florida State 

Tony Adams

NC State 

OL

Mitch Hyatt

Clemson 

Jon Heck

North Carolina 

Casey Blaser

Duke 

Jonathan McLaughlin

Va. Tech 

OL

Dorian Johnson

Pitt 

Caleb Peterson

North Carolina 

Danny Isidora

Miami 

Jon Baker

Boston College 

OL

Adam Bisnowaty

Pitt 

Tyrone Crowder

Clemson 

Wyatt Teller

Va. Tech 

Gabe Brandner

Duke 

 

First-Team

Defense

Second-Team

Defense

Third-Team

Defense

Fourth-Team

Defense

DL

Ejuan Price

Pitt 

Ken Ekanem

Va. Tech 

DeAngelo Brown

Louisville 

KeShun Freeman

Ga. Tech 

DL

DeMarcus Walker

Florida State 

Harold Landry

Boston College 

Bradley Chubb

NC State 

Nazair Jones

North Carolina 

DL

Carlos Watkins

Clemson 

Josh Sweat

Florida State 

Duke Ejiofor

Wake Forest 

A.J. Wolf

Duke 

DL

Al-Quadin
Muhammad

Miami 

Christian Wilkins

Clemson 

Derrick Nnadi

Florida State 

B.J. Hill

NC State 

LB

Ben Boulware

Clemson 

Micah Kiser

Virginia 

P.J. Davis

Ga. Tech 

Connor Strachan

Boston College 

LB

Devonte Fields

Louisville 

Marquel Lee

Wake Forest 

Matt Galambos

Pitt 

Zaire Franklin

Syracuse 

LB

Keith Kelsey

Louisville 

Matt Milano

Boston College 

Jermaine Grace

Miami 

Ro'Derrick Hoskins

Florida State 

CB

Marquez White

Florida State 

Des Lawrence

North Carolina 

Trumaine Washington

Louisville 

Brandon Facyson

Va. Tech 

CB

Cordrea Tankersley

Clemson 

M.J. Stewart

North Carolina 

Brad Watson

Wake Forest 

Corn Elder

Miami 

S

Derwin James

Florida State 

Quin Blanding

Virginia 

Chuck Clark

Va. Tech 

Donnie Miles

North Carolina 

S

Jordan Whitehead

Pitt 

J. Harvey-Clemons

Louisville 

DeVon Edwards (CB/S)

Duke 

Shaq Wiggins (CB)

Louisville  

 

First-Team

Specialists

Second-Team

Specialists

Third-Team

Specialists

Fourth-Team

Specialists

K

Greg Huegel

Clemson 

Michael Badgley

Miami 

Cole Murphy

Syracuse 

Chris Blewitt

Pitt 

P

Justin Vogel

Miami 

Nicholas Conte

Virginia 

Ryan Winslow

Pitt 

A.J. Cole

NC State 

KR

DeVon Edwards

Duke 

Artavis Scott

Clemson 

Michael Walker

Boston College 

Nyheim Hines

NC State 

PR

Ryan Switzer

North Carolina 

Brisly Estime

Syracuse 

Bra'Lon Cherry

NC State 

Jaire Alexander

Louisville 

 

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2016 All-ACC Team
  First Second Third Fourth
Boston College

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Clemson

Offense: 7

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Duke

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1 

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Florida State

Offense: 2

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Georgia Tech

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Louisville

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2 

Defense: 2 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Miami

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

North Carolina

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 5

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

NC State

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1 

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 2

Pitt

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Syracuse

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Virginia

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Virginia Tech

Offense: 1 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Wake Forest

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2<