Unless you did a Rip Van Winkle last fall, you probably noticed that there were a lot of players with sick dreads in uniform on Saturdays in 2012 - way too many to mention them all here. Of those players some have dreads with a greater "wow" factor than others; you know, the kind of dreads that make you say, "Wow! Who is that?" the first time you see them. My 5th annual dread all-America team features 96 Division 1 players whose dreads most definitely rank high when it comes to the "wow" factor.
To even be considered for this team you must have dreads long enough to be seen while you're wearing your helmet. And I don't mean barely seen. I'm talking about long enough that the person sitting in row ZZ at the top of the stadium doesn't need binoculars to know that you have dreads.
The only other prerequisite is that you had to contribute at least something to your team on the field during games this season. If all you did was stand on the sideline all year, you didn't make the team. Reduced dreads? No, not allowed. (Actually there are a couple of players on the team who did have their dreads reduced for a few games; but for the majority of games they had their dreads going at full blast, so I was able to include them on the team.)
Now I realize that many of you probably follow the FCS a little less enthusiastically than I do. So since you might not recognize a lot of the names, I'm going to do things a bit differently this year than in the past. After presenting the 1st team, featuring the players with the best dreads by position in all of Division 1, I'm going to have two 2nd teams - one consisting entirely of players from the more familiar FBS teams and the other with players only on FCS teams. The best of the rest (FBS or FCS) will be on the 3rd team.
To simplify things I'm putting all the offensive lineman (C, G, OT) into one group and all the defensive linemen (DT, DE) into one group. They'll be listed as OL and DL. 26 players who made last year's team are repeat selections for 2012. The numbers in parenthesis following a player's name (1, 2, 3, or HM) indicate that he made either 1st, 2nd, or 3rd team, or honorable mention on the 2011 team. Unfortunately I wasn't able to see all the teams in Division 1 this season, so there may be some players that deserve to be on the team that I'm omitting because I don't know about them. But of all the teams I did see, these are the players I thought had the best dreads. I'm focusing on the dreads here, so several of the photos are rear-view shots that don't include any face time ....... All right, I'll shut up already. Let's begin.
- OL Justin Bell - Mississippi . FR
- OL Lamone Buford (3) - Hampton . SR
- OL Devin Goodman (1) - Arizona State . SOPH
- OL Randall Harris (1) - Towson . JR
- OL Keon Williams - Delaware State . FR
- WR James Green (2) - Toledo . JR
- WR Josh Jarboe (1) - Arkansas State . SR
- WR Tikeem Platt - Hampton . FR
- WR Marquel Thomas (HM) - ODU . JR
- RB Jake Walker (1) - Eastern Illinois . SR
- QB Munchie Legaux (1) - Cincinnati . JR
- KR Tre Henderson - Coastal Carolina . SR
It was impossible not to notice Josh Jarboe on the field with those red dread tips. Jarboe's receiving yards were down (from 730 last year to 570 this year) but his TD catches were up (from 2 to 4). I thought ASU misused his talent this season. He's a big WR (6-3, 215 pounds) and not very elusive, but it seemed like all he ever did was catch sideways passes at the line of scrimmage. I mean, his strength has to be downfield routes, where he can use his height to his advantage. But after wearing out his welcome (quickly) at both Oklahoma and Troy, he was just hoping for anybody to give him another chance, and he ended up playing his final two seasons at Arkansas State. As you may recall before all his stupidity started, Josh was a highly ranked recruit coming out of HS, and the talent no doubt is still there; so just maybe there still might be a pro football career in his future. I really hope so, because I can't get enough of those dreads.
Toledo junior James Green runs after the catch (left) against Eastern Michigan in Week 7 and congratulates QB Terrance Owens (right) after Owens scored a TD against Central Michigan in Week 6. I think Green's dreads would rank the longest among WRs, but unfortunately they weren't on the field often enough in 2012. James injured his knee during training camp; and since he already had used his redshirt year, he couldn't sit out another season. So he rushed back and played at less than 100% all season, finishing with just 8 catches for 104 yards and 1 TD. I know he's more talented than he's shown so far; but if he's planning on playing football for a living, he better show a lot more next season.
As I promised earlier this season, ODU junior Marquel Thomas makes the 1st team. With so many other talented WRs on the ODU roster, Thomas hasn't gotten as much playing time as he'd like so far in his career. But he was on the field often enough in 2012 to catch 27 passes for 288 yards and 2 TD. Look for him to have a big senior season ...... As for the 4th WR on the team, I couldn't find any photos of Tikeem Platt; but trust me, he deserves to be on the 1st team.
Tre Henderson (above) - more career kickoff return yards (1,380) and longer dreads (arguably) than anyone to ever wear a Coastal Carolina uniform. Munchie Legaux (left), passed for 1,716 yards and 13 TD in Cincinnati's first 8 games of the season before being benched. Munchie is a repeat selection at 1st team QB, but he might get a serious challenge next season.
- DL Ken Bishop - Northern Illinois . JR
- DL Cleveland Davis - LSU . SR
- DL Bakari Smith (1) - Morgan State . SR
- DL Jared Williams (1) - Rice . SR
- LB Thomas Best - Delaware State . SR
- LB Robert Nelson - Alabama A&M . SOPH
- CB Darryl Hamilton (3) - Richmond . SR
- CB K.J. Morton (2) - Baylor . JR
- CB Jeremy Woodson (HM) - Bryant . JR
- S Jahleel Addae (3) - Central Michigan . SR
- S Kevin Eugene - Mississippi Valley State . JR
- PR Nick Mayers - ODU . SR
D-linemen Ken Bishop (left) and Jared Williams (right) put the heat on QB Dayne Crist during victories over Kansas early in the season. Bishop had 9.5 TFL and 2 sacks among his 55 tackles for the season and got some playing time on offense as a 308-pound FB in his first season for NIU after a transfer from JC. Williams (right) tied for the team lead with 5.5 sacks in his senior season for Rice. This likely will be the end of Williams' career, so I thought we'd take a look at the highlight of his career - there's a website featuring Rice football that did a mini photo gallery of his pick 6 against Memphis in 2011: http://www.ricefootball.net/11umpix1.htm
Bryant junior Jeremy Woodson. I don't know how someone from Houston ended up at a school in Rhode Island, but Bulldog fans are glad he did. The 5-7, 150-pounder has played big in the Bryant secondary, earning 2nd team all-NEC honors for the 2nd straight year. He finished 2012 with 54 tackles (38-16), 9 PBU, 2 INT , and 1 TD on a 95-yard scoop and score.
I ranked Jahleel Addae (left) and Kevin Eugene (above) as the sickest safeties in the D-1 this season. Addae, shown tackling UMass QB A.J. Doyle, made 89 tackles and had 2 sacks , 5 PBU, and 4 INT as he earned all-MAC honors for the 3rd season in a row. I didn't see Jahleel at last week's NFL Combine, but there is a chance we'll be seeing those blonde tips on Sundays next season. In his first season for MVSU after a transfer from JC, Eugene, shown here making little effort to shed a block by Prairie View A&M WR Spencer Nelson, tied for 2nd in the SWAC with 4 INT, including a pick 6 in Week 12. He also had a 100-yard scoop and score in that game, which you can see (kind of) by clicking on this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MlSHPLwIuk
2nd TEAM - FBS
- OL Josh Allen - Louisiana-Monroe . JR
- OL Chris Davenport - LSU .JR
- OL Quinterrius Eatmon (3) - South Florida . SOPH
- OL Cyril Richardson (2) - Baylor . JR
- OL Devin Smith - Purdue . JR
- TE Justice Cunningham - South Carolina . SR
- WR Jazz King (HM) - Marshall . SOPH
- WR Chris Williams - Troy . JR
- RB James Baker - Idaho . JR
- RB Bradley Battles (3) - South Florida . JR
- QB Denard Robinson (3) - Michigan . SR
- KR Rannell Hall - UCF . SOPH
Josh Allen (left), one of 12 players to make both of my all-America teams, was the starting C for all 13 ULM games this season. Hopefully there will be an NFL career in his future. Chris Davenport (right) consoles K Drew Alleman after a tough night against Alabama. Davenport didn't play much from scrimmage but was a regular on the FG team. In search of more playing time he is transferring elsewhere for his senior season.
- DL Rod Davis - New Mexico . SR
- DL Corey King - Miami (F) . FR
- DL Isaiah Ross - Maryland . JR
- DL Ugo Uzodinma (2) - New Mexico . SR
- LB Vaness Harris - San Diego State . JR
- LB T.J. Stripling (1) - Georgia . JR
- CB Jalen Collins - LSU . FR
- CB Charles Sawyer (1) - Mississippi . JR
- CB Jason Verrett (HM) - TCU . JR
- S Tre Boston (HM) - North Carolina . JR
- S Marcus Trice - North Texas . JR
- PR Kiante Minor (HM) - Arkansas . SOPH
On the line for the 2nd team D are two of the 7 ACC players on the team - Isaiah Ross (right) of Maryland and Corey King (below) of the U. Ross, shown trying to shed the block of FSU G Tre' Jackson, was a reserve DE in 2012. Unfortunately he just got suspended for the 2013 season. So unless that suspension is lifted (or shortened), his career is over. King has a brighter future after recording 13 tackles (6-7) as a redshirt freshman.
Vaness Harris (below), goes over a speed bump as he tries to sack the Fresno State QB in Week 5. Harris had 31 tackles (25-6), including 6 TFL and 3 sacks this season as a reserve LB for SDSU.
Tre Boston (left), one of three Tar Heels to make the team, had the great season to match his great dreads, earning honorable mention all-ACC honors after recording 86 tackles, 6 PBU and 4 INT this season.
Mississippi junior Charles Sawyer (left) slipped from 1st to 2nd team this year, but that's not because there's anything wrong with his dreads. After redshirting in 2009, Charles has been on the field in the Ole Miss secondary for every game the last three seasons. There's a very good chance the NFL could be in his future after next season. And there's a very good chance the NFL could be in the future of Jalen Collins (above) two years from now. As a 6-2, 195-pound true freshman this season, he had 6 PBU and 2 INT for LSU, and things are only going to get better from here.
Arkansas sophomore Kiante Minor (right), one of 10 players from the SEC on the team, brings back a punt against Kentucky in Week 7. Minor returned 9 punts in 2012, the longest of which was for 25 yards.
2nd TEAM - FCS
- OL Drew Bellamy (2) - Towson . SOPH
- OL Bradley Bush-Johnson - Howard . SR
- OL Terell Hawkins (3) - Howard . SR
- OL Tywan Lee - Delaware State . SR
- OL Gideon Scott (3) - South Carolina State . SR
- WR Kenneth Dabney (3) - Mississippi Valley State . JR
- WR Rodney Gould - Lafayette . SR
- WR Patrick Robertson (HM) - Murray State . SR
- RB Xavier Roberson - Southeastern Louisiana . FR
- RB John Toney - Arkansas-Pine Bluff . JR
- QB David Isabelle (2) - Alabama A&M . SR
- KR Jacobi Green - Richmond . FR
David Isabelle (below) caught more passes (4) than he threw (2) this season. But if AAMU starting QB Deaunte Mason had gotten injured at all, we would have seen Isabelle in the lineup. David, who played two seasons at UAB before transferring home (Huntsville) to AAMU for his last two years, certainly had the running ability but just never was a good enough passer to get on the field more often throughout his career.
- DL Quincy Barr - Delaware . SR
- DL Eric Harper - Grambling . SR
- DL Dwayne Montgomery - Bethune-Cookman . SOPH
- DL Jacoby Sessions - Western Illinois . JR
- LB Raheem Cardwell - Prairie View A&M . JR
- LB Anthony McIntyre - North Carolina Central . SOPH
- CB Marcus Berg (2) - Alabama State . SOPH
- CB Jaleel Lorquet - Western Carolina . FR
- CB Tremaine Shepherd - Alabama A&M . JR
- S Robert Gray - Jacksonville State . JR
- S Serge Kona (3) - Duquesne . SR
- PR B.W. Webb - William & Mary . SR
Eric Harper (left) has had an interesting career, which began as a DE at Louisiana Tech in 2008. Then he switched to TE for two seasons (and had 2 TD catches in 2010) before switching back to defense. After transferring to Grambling for his senior year, Harper probably played more this season than in the other four combined, finishing 2012 with 55 tackles (37-18), 13 TFL, 4 sacks, 1 FR, and 2 FF.
Jacoby Sessions (left) played in all 11 games (starting 6) and finished with 26 tackles in his first season for WIU after a transfer from JC. Raheem Cardwell (getting set to tackle MVSU RB Tray Bateaste above) had at least 4 tackles in every game, with a season high of 10, in a solid junior season for Prairie View. If I had gone with 3 LBs on the 1st team, Raheem would have been the third.
Serge Kona (right) leaves his feet to tackle the Dayton ball carrier in Week 2, giving Duquesne fans a rare chance to see the #32 on the back of his jersey. Kona, from the DC metro area, had perfect attendance during his career at Duquesne, playing all 44 games. He was named 1st team all-NEC the last two seasons (and defensive player of the year in 2011), which isn't as impressive as being 1st team in the SEC; but at least it's good enough to get him a look at some NFL team's rookie minicamp coming up in a couple of months from now. B.W. Webb (above), on the other hand, will get more than just a look at rookie minicamp. These dreads will be coming to an NFL stadium near you. After earning all-CAA honors as a CB all 4 seasons at W&M, he's likely to be a 2nd day draft pick.
OK, time for a break. So that I don't completely overload the Blogger system, I'll have the rest of the team in a separate post. So for some more sick dreads as well as who almost made the team along with some other special features, go to Part 2 of the Dread all-America team.