Sunday, March 3, 2013

2012 College Football Dread All-America (Part 2)

Let's continue now with more of the best dreads on Saturdays in 2012 .....

3rd TEAM

OFFENSE
  • OL Jonathan Cooper - North Carolina . SR
  • OL Seantrel Henderson - Miami (F) . JR
  • OL Patrick Lewis - Texas A&M . SR
  • OL Tyrus Thompson - Oklahoma . SOPH
  • OL Brennan Williams - North Carolina . SR
  • WR Javon Bell - Texas Tech . JR
  • WR Kitaro Lewis - Morehead State . SOPH
  • WR J.D. McKissic - Arkanas State . FR
  • RB Cassius McDowell (HM) - Toledo . SOPH
  • RB Kenny Miles (HM) - South Carolina . SR
  • QB Devin Powell - Tulane . FR
  • KR Tavares Crawford  (2) - Eastern Illinois . JR



Oklahoma sophomore Tyrus Thompson (left), one of 6 players on the team from the Big 12, gets his helmed knocked out while blocking Texas DE Jackson Jeffcoat in Week 7. Thompson played in all 13 games, starting 5, this season. 










Javon Bell (right) runs after the catch against New Mexico in Week 3. Javon, a JC transfer, was off to a good start in his first season with the Red Raiders until his season unfortunately ended when his broke his foot during a practice in mid-October. He played in only 4 games (so he might be eligible to use this as a redshirt season), finishing with 17 catches for 269 yards and 1 TD. Cassius McDowell (below), a HS teammate of Denard Robinson at Deerfield Beach, FL, can't make the catch here but finished 2012 with 21 catches for 187 yards and 1 TD. He also rushed for 372 yards and 3 TD as Toledo's 2nd string RB.


                                                                      















True freshman Devin Powell (above) got a chance to get his feet wet early in the season, appearing in 2 games while starter Ryan Griffin was injured. He went 30 for 57 for 255 yards and 1 TD with 3 INT in 2012 and will take the field (hopefully as Tulane's sarting QB) as a redshirt freshman next season.
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DEFENSE
  • DL Damien Lee - Arkansas-Pine Bluff . JR
  • DL Jerry Mathis - Samford . SOPH
  • DL Melvin Payne (HM) - Alabama A&M . SR
  • DL Romale Tucker (3) - Towson . SR
  • LB Derrell Johnson - East Carolina . JR
  • LB Darius Taylor - Sam Houston State . SR
  • CB Cortez Davis - Clemson . FR
  • CB Devin Drane (HM) - Cincinnati . JR
  • CB Dayonne Nunley (3) - Miami (Ohio) . JR
  • S Josh Richmond (HM) - Akron . SR
  • S Jarius Williams - Murray State . SR
  • PR Cameron Saddler - Pittsburgh . SR

Alabama A&M is the school with the most players to make the team. Senior DE Melvin Payne (left), is one of 4 AAMU Bulldogs to make the squad. Payne tied for the team lead with 4 sacks this season, including this one of Southern QB Dray Joseph in Week 10.




























Here are a couple more sick sacks - Samford sophomore DT Jerry Mathis (right) drops Appalachian State QB Jamal Jackson for a loss of 10 (right) on 3rd and 7 during Week 7, while East Carolina LB Derrell Johnson (below) wraps up UTEP QB Nick Lamaison for a 3-yard loss in Week 5. Mathis finished this season with 2.5 sacks. Johnson, also a 3rd team selection on my all-America with dreads team, had 7 sacks in 2012. 






















They may be on the 3rd team, but as you can see sick senior safeties Josh Richmond (right) and Jarius Williams (below) have dreads worthy of being on the 1st team. Richmond and Williams had 1 INT each in 2012.









Junior Dayonne Nunley (below) earned 1st team all-MAC honors at CB for the 2nd straight year, although he had a tough time in the opener against Ohio State, here getting beat by WR Corey Brown.










Freshman Cortez Davis had a close encounter with 2nd teamer Justice Cunningham (above) when Clemson and South Carolina met in Week 13. Davis played mostly on special teams this season and finished with 18 tackles. Can't wait to see what these dreads look like by the time he's a senior.

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HONORABLE MENTION

It seems like it gets harder and harder each year to make the team (and that's a good thing). I mean, there are some truly awesome dreads that had to settle for honorable mention. I'm sorry. guys. I really like your dreads, but I can't include everybody on the team.

OL Rashad Fortenberry - Texas Tech . JR
TE Alex DeLeon (HM) - FAU . SOPH
TE Marcel Jensen (2) - Fresno State . SR
WR Kyle Griswould - MTSU . JR
WR Patrick Harris - Bethune-Cookman . JR
WR Stewart Hartman (HM) - Howard . SOPH
WR Allen Hurns (3) - Miami (F) . JR
WR Julian Jones - Arkansas State . JR
WR Akeem Moore - Duquesne . SR
WR Torre Price - Bethune-Cookman . SOPH
WR Lamar Scruggs (HM) - North Carolina Central . JR
WR Je'Ron Stokes - Bowling Green . JR
RB D.D. Goodson (HM) - Colorado . SOPH
RB Matt Jones - Florida . FR
RB Darrell Smith (HM) - Clemson . JR
RB Jordan Stanley (HM) - FAMU . SOPH
RB Martin Ward - Marshall . SR
QB MarQueis Gray - Minnesota . SR
KR Isaiah Burse . Fresno State . JR
KR Sammy Watkins - Clemson . SOPH
DL Lesley Deamer - Northwestern State . JR
LB Patrick Atkinson - Central Connecticut State . JR
LB Damario Jeffery - South Carolina . SR
CB Cantrell Andrews - Southeast Missouri State . JR
CB Isaac Baugh - Buffalo . SR
CB Shaq Bell (HM) - Colorado State . JR
CB Finnis Caldwell - Northern Colorado . SR
CB James Davis - Northern Colorado . SOPH
CB Eriq Lewis (3) - ODU . SOPH
CB Demetrious Nicholson (HM) - Virginia . SOPH
CB Floyd Raven - Texas A&M . SOPH
CB Stephan Robinson - Louisville . SOPH
CB Antoine Tharp - Massachusetts . JR
S Dominique Battle - Cincinnati . SR
S Nick Beard (HM) - Eastern Illinois . JR
S Sharrod Golightly - South Carolina . SOPH
S Adrien Grant - Prairie View A&M . JR
S Demetrius Pettway (HM) - Western Michigan . JR
S Mandela Sheaffer - Princeton . SR
S Deionte Williams - Youngstown State . SR
PR Darreion Robinson (HM) - Georgia Southern . SR

(I left Florida S Josh Evans off the list because he doesn't have dreads anymore.)

As usual, cornerbacks faced the stiffest competition trying to get on the team, as evidenced by the fact that Isaac Baugh (above), James Davis (upper right), and Cantrell Andrews (lower right) had to settle for HM this season.









Arkansas State has two WRs on the team, and junior Julian Jones almost made it three. Jones caught only 13 passes in 2012, but they went for 394 yards and 7 TD.








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2012 ALL-DREAD SIDELINE

These are those awesome dreads you only see on the sideline - players, usually with their helmets off, who rarely (or never) get the chance to play. Several of these players are youngsters that we'll hear from in the years ahead. But several others, sadly, have these great dreads but just aren't talented enough to get on the field and show them off. Whatever the reason, we recognize these players whose dreads never (or almost never) were seen on the field during games in 2012.

WR Marcell Bates - Houston . SR - 0 games played in his career (all his bio on the UH  website says is "was a member of the squad")
OL Keathric Brown - Arkansas-Pine Bluff . JR
RB Nygee Carmichael (HM) - Towson . JR - finished with negative yards rushing for the season (1 carry for minus 3) ouch!
TE Traes Ceasar - Norfolk State . JR
WR Kyle Dockins - Virginia . FR - was in uniform for 7 games but never played, allowing him to use this season as a redshirt
RB Miles Drummond - Missouri . FR
TE Trey Foster - Nebraska . FR
QB Melvin German - FAU . JR
DB Jerredith Jiles - Georgia Tech . FR
TE Devonte Lindsey - Morgan State . SOPH
DL Terangi Phifer - Southeastern Louisiana . FR
CB Dionte Ponder (HM) - Troy . SOPH
WR Darrius Preston - New Mexico State . SR - playing time dropped throughout his career - had 0 receptions as a senior
DB Xavier Pryce - Florida State . JR
S Roderick Ryles - Pittsburgh . FR - is transferring elsewhere after 0 games played in 2 seasons
S Aaron Taylor - Ball State . FR
CB Jamil Thomas - Appalachian State . FR
DB Donovan Todd - Florida State . JR
OL Dyron White - Southern Mississippi . SR
RB Issac Whitworth - Bryant . SR - 4 carries for 4 yards in his senior season
WR Rokeem Williams - Miami (O) . FR
DL DeJazz Woods - Illinois . SOPH
WR William Woods - Kent State . FR - really looking forward to seeing him on the field in the future





Ever see a QB with dreads like this? I thought it was going to happen this year. But Melvin German (above) had eligibility issues after transferring from JC, so his debut in an FAU uniform was delayed until next season after the coaching staff decided to redshirt him ..... Dionte Ponder (below) was in action during Troy's spring game last March but has been on the field for only 1 game so far in his first three seasons on the team.  


DISQUALIFIED

Whether they were ordered to keep their dreads confined inside their helmets or the affliction was self-imposed, these players with sick dreads were disqualified from consideration for this year's team because their dreads were reduced and/or hidden on all or almost all game days in the 2012 season.

WR Kenny Bell - Alabama . JR
CB Lafredo Brady - Morgan State . JR
WR Lennel Elmore - South Carolina State . SR
OL Rogers Gaines - Tennessee State . SR
WR Travis James (HM) - Tennessee State . SR
QB Greg Jenkins (HM) - Alabama State . SR
RB Eddie Lacy - Alabama . JR
S Robert Lester - Alabama . SR
CB Junior Mertile - FIU . SR
RB Angelo Pease - Kansas State . SR
OL Dallas Thomas - Tennessee . SR
DL Lamar Wallace - Tennessee State . SR
RB Quenshaun Watson - Tennessee . FR



















As you can see, Dallas Thomas' dreads (above during Tennessee media day on Aug. 18) are longer than just about everybody's; but they never looked like this on game days ....... Coach Saban would go ballistic if one of his players took the field with dreads spilling out of the helmet the way Robert Lester's were during the Senior Bowl (left) on Jan. 26. I always suspected that Lester had long dreads, and I guess this proves it. BTW, instead of wearing his usual #37 on his Alabama helmet, he's wearing 251, the area code of his hometown, Mobile, which also where the Senior Bowl is played each year.

SPECIAL MENTION

PART 1 - DEVON WALKER
Devon would have made the 2nd team had not his season and career ended with the tragic neck injury he suffered during Tulane's Week 2 game at Tulsa. At least there is a bit of good news, as he is on the road to recovery, and hopefully some day he'll be able to walk again. Devon's family understandably was tight-lipped about his condition in the days and weeks after his injury. But if you'd like some information (and you have a few extra minutes), the two links below should give you some. The first is an article from the New Orleans Times-Picayune from around Christmas. The second (and I strongly recommend this) is a 7-minute video report from New Orleans TV station WWL.
http://www.nola.com/tulane/index.ssf/2012/12/tulanes_devon_walker_is_home_f.html

http://www.wwltv.com/news/With-life-changed-forever-Davon-Walker-talks-about-his-future-189447731.html
May God bless you Devon in your recovery.

PART 2 - THE 'U' - D3 STYLE

I spend almost zero time following the lower level divisions of NCAA football. So I'm always thankful in early December each year when ESPN televises the D-2 and D-3 (real) championship games. Although I missed most of this season's D-3 title game, I still thought I'd give a quick shout out to the WR with the awesome dreads who played in it.
I don't know if Mount Union fans refer to their team as 'the U' (the way Miami fans and players do theirs), but they certainly could. The school about halfway between Cleveland and Pittsburgh has been a dynasty in Division 3, appearing in the championhip game the last 8 years in a row (!), winning 4 of them. Contributing in no small part to this season's championship was senior WR Chris Denton, who finished the year with 73 receptions for 960 yards and 6 TD, including a key 17-yard TD in the 28-10 victory of St. Thomas for the title. Nice going, Chris.
I seriously doubt we'll be seeing these dreads on Sundays in the future. But don't laugh. Redskins WR Pierre Garcon and Jaguars WR Cecil Shorts have proven than you can make it to the NFL from D-3's version of 'the U'.

PART 3 - THE LONGEST
ODU is well represented on the 2012 team, with two 1st team selections. But if everything had gone according to plan, there would have been three. With dreads even longer than Nick Mayers and Marquel Thomas, JC transfer Ervin Johnson signed with the Monarchs last winter. But after he participated in spring practice, I was more than a bit disappointed to find out he wasn't on the roster anymore when training camp began in August. Johnson ended up playing his junior season as a LB for D-2 school Merrimack, where he finished with 51 tackles (34-17), 3 TFL, 2 PBU, and 2 INT, one of which was a pick 6. Ervin wins the award for having the longest dreads for any college player I saw in 2012.

 
PART 4 - VUL

I was searching for photos of 2nd team DL Eric Harper when I found one (below) of what looked like him making a tackle - only to realize (after a closer look) that his dreads were almost completely blown away by the dreads of the player he was tackling.
Since the photo was in a group of homecoming photos, I was able to figure out the other player played for a team called Virginia University of Lynchburg - not even a member of the NCAA, VUL is part of something called the USCAA (Grambling pulled out all the stops to assure a victory on homecoming, I guess, because they knew they couldn't beat anybody else. The defending SWAC champs finished 1-10 this season, and btw the Grambling men's basketball team is currently 0-27). I immediately went to the VUL website - and to my delight was greeted by a whole team with the 'wow' factor. I mean, look at the team photo.
Mercy, almost half the players have dreads! Well, not quite. I count 15 out of the 44 players in the picture that have dreads. That's still a higher percentage of dreadheads than any other team I've ever seen. I think the player in the first photo is  RB Macha Shinhoster, but I'm not sure. Anyway, here's the link (below) to the team roster, just in case you wanted to get to know everybody. (As of now, the 2012 roster is still on the page; but if by the time you read this a more current roster is on the page, just click on the little box in the upper right and change the year back to 2012). On the field the Dragons finished with a 2-8 record this season. But regardless of the record, they take the award for the sickest team of 2012.
http://vulathletics.com/roster.aspx?path=football
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Ladies and gentlemen, the 2012 dread all-America team. If this were a banquet, a lengthy round of applause would be in order ...... Anyway, if there's someone not on the team that you think should be, please let me know about it.   











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