Friday, November 19, 2010

Four Names You Should Know in College Football - (Jeff Bailey)

I try to come up with a list every year of the top players in the country that are not household names but should be.  Even though we are 11 weeks into the season, the four players listed below are still not known by a very large majority of college football fans.  I am not saying these guys will make great NFL players, but they are all great college players.  All stats listed below are through week 11 of the 2010 season.

4. Justin Blackmon, Soph, Oklahoma St, WR
This one is probably the most known of the four players on the list, but a lot of people still don’t know the name.  Blackmon is only a sophomore but leads the country in receiving yards (currently 1430 yards) by almost 200 yards.  If that isn’t impressive enough, he missed one game earlier in the season for a DUI arrest.  Not only is he leading the nation in receiving yards, but he is also #1 in the country in receiving TDs with 16.  Along with the stats, he is a long shot in the Heisman race and is #5 in ESPN’s Heisman Watch list.  Blackmon was also named a finalist for the Maxwell Award, which goes to the nation’s best player as seen by coaches, sportswriters and sportscasters.  I also expect Blackmon to be named a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award which goes to the top WR in the country.  I personally believe Justin Blackmon is the best WR in college football.  Since he is only a sophomore he will be back next year, so be on the lookout for him.

3. Ryan Kerrigan, Sr, Purdue, DE
Kerrigan is the first of two DE’s on my list.  Defensive players never get the recognition that offense players get in football but they are still amazing play makers.  Kerrigan is currently #2 in the country in sacks with 11.5.  This is not foreign territory for Kerrigan because he was tied for #4 in the country with 12 sacks last year, and led the Big Ten.  Ryan might be considered a sack machine college, but a major stat that has been totally overlooked for him is forced fumbles.  This past week, Kerrigan recorded his 13th and 14th career forced fumbled which put him in the top spot for that statistic in Big Ten football history.  To go along with his stats, he is a finalist for the Lombardi Award which goes to the county’s best lineman or linebacker.  He is also projected as a top 10 pick in next year’s NFL Draft.

2. Da'quan Bowers, Jr, Clemson, DE
Bowers is the 2nd DE on my list.  It amazes me that he is not a household name yet.  I believe Bowers is the best DE, and maybe the best defensive player in college football right now.  From the beginning people should have known his name.  When Bowers was coming out of high school he was ranked by multiple sources as the #1 high school football prospect in the country.  He as more then lived up to the hype.  Bowers currently leads the nation in sacks with 13.5.  Even though he is only a junior he is considered by many to be a top 5 pick in the upcoming 2011 NFL draft.  Bowers also joins Kerrigan as a finalist for the Lombardi Award and is also a finalist for the Bednarik Award which goes to the best defensive player in the nation.  I expect Bowers to go pro after this season, but if he doesn’t watch out for him next season.

1. Colin Kaepernick, Sr, Nevada, QB
Drum roll please….the #1 player on my list that should be a household name is Colin Kaepernick from Nevada.  This guy has been on my list the past 3 years, yet people still do not know who he is.  In my book Colin will go down as one of the best college football players ever.  Sure he plays for Nevada in the WAC, but what he has done on the field is insane.  Over his four year career he is averaging (using his 2010 stats from week 11) 2300 yards passing, 20 passing TDs, 965 yards rushing, and 14 rushing TDs per season.  That is an average of over 3200 total yards of offense and 34 TDs per season.  These numbers are guaranteed to go up since he still has 3 games, plus a bowl game to play this season.  The past three seasons, including 2010, he has gone for over 2000 yards passing and over 1100 yards rushing.  These numbers are very impressive, but let’s look at where he is on the all time NCAA lists for some stats.  With 3 games plus a bowl game left this season his stats will definitely go up, but the current numbers are through week 11 of the 2010 season.
Kaepernick has just over 13,000 total yards of offense in his career.  The record is 16,910, so it will be a stretch for him to break the record.  He currently has 132 total TDs in his career.  The record is 152, so it will be another stretch to break that, but he should lock up the #2 position.  #2 is currently held by Tim Tebow with 140 TDs.  He is only 8 TDs behind Tebow so it shouldn’t take him too long to break.  Kaepernick is averaging 3.2 TDs per game and with 4 games left, so he should easily become #2 all time.  Lastly, he has 54 rushing TDs in his career.  The record for most rushing TDs by a QB is 59 set by Eric Crouch.  This record should be his by the end of the season if he keeps up with his current pace.  On top of all the insane stats, Kaepernick was put on the watch list for 6 awards going into the season.

And there you have it; the top 4 players you should know in college football for 2010.  Now you can bust out new names when talking college football with your friends and family.  Enjoy!

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