Thursday, March 13, 2014

2013 College Football All-America with dreads

"It's not at all out of the question that at least a dozen FBS running backs with dreads will top the 1,000-yard mark by the end of the season."

Well, as it turned out, all of the running backs with dreads on FBS teams couldn't quite live up to that lofty prediction I made in my Week 2 report back in September. Nevertheless it was an outstanding season for many of them, as there were 8 who rushed for more than 1,000 yards; and it would've been 9 if Todd Gurley hadn't lost his helmet against South Carolina in Week 2 (photo on right), forcing the play to be blown dead while he still had a chance to gain some more yards.

Of the 10 conferences in the FBS, three had a RB with dreads earn 1st team all-conference honors, and three others had RBs with dreads on their 2nd team all-conference list. In the FCS there were 5 running backs with dreads who made 1st team all-conference. In all of Division 1, there was at least one RB with dreads who earned all-league honors in 14 of the 22 conferences.

Of course, on my 6th annual All-America with dreads team, we recognize all of the outstanding players with dreads, not just the RBs. It's a list of who I thought were college football's best players with dreads during the recently completed 2013 season.
Same as always, there's no voting involved. The team is solely my opinion, and I made the selections based on a number of factors, the most important of which being the players' stats for the season and the all-conference honors they earned. I also take into consideration what conference a player plays in along with the NFL prospect rankings on the CBS website. This is just my opinion; it's not a perfect list. If all the coaches voted for this, no doubt some of the selections would be different. But I try to be as objective as possible.

Looking back, of the 71 players who made the 2012 team, 41 were either seniors or underclassmen who declared themselves eligible for the NFL draft. Of those 41, 25 players were drafted by NFL teams, and another 6 made it to the NFL despite not being drafted. Of the remaining 30 players who stayed in college, 20 are repeat selections on this year's team, while 6 didn't do well enough to repeat, and 4 don't have dreads anymore.

149 players with dreads earned all-conference honors (1st, 2nd, or 3rd team or honorable mention) this season, including 50 of which who were 1st team selections and 10 who made the Associated Press's (AP) All-America teams (FBS and FCS). The 149 is down slightly from the 152 honored last season. But remember, there was one less conference this season after the WAC decided to drop football.

In addition to the running backs, I would consider the receivers, defensive ends, and safeties the strongest positions on this year's team. I'd say the 1st team O-line is solid, but the depth behind them is questionable. And now that Denard Robinson has moved on to the NFL, finding an outstanding QB with dreads was a major problem. But given all the great players around them, I believe the 3 QBs I picked likely would play much better on this team than they did for their respective teams.

As usual, no tight ends played well enough to make the team, so I'm going with a 3-WR lineup. And also as usual, I'm going with two running backs instead of one RB and one FB. The number in parenthesis next to a players name (1, 2, 3, HM) indicates where he ranked on last year's team (that is, 1st team, 2nd team, 3rd team, or honorable mention). Stats are for the 2013 season only, including bowl games. I hope I didn't miss anybody. But if I did, and somebody I omitted obviously should be on the team, I need for you to give him a shout out.



--- Antonio Richardson (1) - Tennessee - SR - 2nd team all-SEC
--- Billy Turner (HM) - North Dakota State - SR - 1st team all-Missouri Valley - 1st team AP FCS all-America


--- A.J. Cann (3) - South Carolina - JR
--- Cyril Richardson (1) - Baylor - SR - Big 12 offensive lineman of the year - 1st team AP all-America


--- Josh Allen (2) - Louisiana-Monroe - SR - 1st team all-SBC


--- Kelvin Benjamin - Florida State - SOPH - 2nd team all-ACC - 54 receptions for 1,011 yards and 15 TD
--- Deontay Greenberry - Houston - SOPH - 1st team all-AAC - 82 receptions for 1,202 yards and 11 TD
--- Sammy Watkins (HM) - Clemson - JR - 1st team all-ACC - 2nd team AP all-America - 101 receptions for 1,464 yards and 12 TD


--- Todd Gurley (1) - Georgia - SOPH - 165 carries for 989 yards (6.0 average per carry) and 10 TD; 37 receptions for 441 yards and 6 TD
--- Tre Mason (3) - Auburn - JR - SEC offensive player of the year - 2nd team AP all-America - 317 carries for 1,816 yards (5.7) and 23 TD; 12 receptions for 163 yards and 1 TD


--- Maikhail Miller - Murray State - SOPH - 219 for 327 (67.0%) for 2,221 yards and 18 TD (11 INT); 119 carries for 429 yards and 5 TD


--- Xavier Roberson (HM) --- Southeastern Louisiana - SOPH - 1st team all-SLC - 26 KR for 915 yards (35.2) and 3 TD

Antonio Richardson (top photo) and Cyril Richardson (bottom) are not related, but both are no strangers to the team. Antonio, shown celebrating with DE Malik Brown after Tennessee's victory over South Carolina in Week 8, is a starter for the 2nd straight year. Cyril, blocking Oklahoma DE Charles Tapper (who doesn't have dreads anymore, and that's another story) in Baylor's Week 11 win, is a starter for the 3rd year in a row and was named the top O-lineman in the Big 12 for the 2nd straight season. Look for both Richardsons in the NFL this fall.

What's this? An FCS O-lineman on the 1st team? Well, Billy Turner (top photo) is legit. He was a 4-year starter for the Bison, a 3-time champion, and a 2-time all-America - and probably will be a Day 2 selection in the NFL draft. A.J. Cann (bottom photo), who started all 13 games in 2013, also is an NFL prospect but is returning to the Gamecocks for his senior season.

There are only 3 centers with dreads that I know of in Division 1, so it was impossible for them not to make the team; but Josh Allen (setting up to block Western Kentucky LB Terran Williams in photo on right) is on the team legitimately after having earned all-SBC honors during his senior season for ULM.

Kelvin Benjamin didn't do much in his first two years in Tallahassee; but he certainly did something this season, you think? His 15 TD catches, the last of which was the game-winner in FSU's BCS title game win over Auburn, were 3rd most in the FBS.


Sammy Watkins, a 1st team selection in 2011, is back on the 1st team (where he belongs) this year after bouncing back strong from his sophomore slump. His 1,464 yards receiving ranked 5th in the FBS. You better hope your favorite NFL team isn't in the same division as the team that drafts him.

Deontay Greenberry caught 82 passes in a sensational sophomore season, but UH fans wish it had been 83. This pass that fell barely out of his reach in the closing seconds in Week 11 would have given the Cougars a big road win over UCF.

A sight Auburn fans never got tired of seeing in 2013, no matter how many times it happened: Tre Mason heading for the end zone (against Georgia in Week 12). Only two players in the FBS scored more TD than Tre, and his 1,816 rushing yards were the most ever in one season by an Auburn player.

Did several other RBs with dreads have a lot more yards rushing than Todd Gurley? No doubt. But I couldn't with a clear conscience keep him off the 1st team. Gurley, shown here running past Florida LB Neiron Ball in Georgia's Week 10 victory), finished just under 1,000 yards for the season only because he missed 3 games due to an ankle injury. That plus the fact that he was also very productive catching passes is why I picked him for the 1st team.

Two more players from FCS teams round out the 1st team. Maikhail Miller (above), who began his career in the FBS at Mississippi before transferring to Murray State, had by far the best season of any D-1 QB with dreads. His 135.5 passer rating ranked 43rd among FCS QBs. Although there were several excellent kickoff returners with dreads in the FBS, Xavier Roberson (below, celebrating Southeastern Louisiana's big win over Sam Houston State in Week 12) gets the 1st team nod after leading the FCS with a ridiculous 35.2 average and taking 3 returns to the house.



--- Will Clarke - West Virginia - SR - 2nd team all-Big 12 - 49 tackles (36-13), 17 TFL, 6 sacks, 3 PBU, 1 FF, 1 FR 
--- Jadeveon Clowney (1) - South Carolina - JR - 1st team all-SEC - 40 tackles (28-12), 11.5 TFL, 3 sacks, 4 PBU, 1 FF


--- Ken Bishop - Northern Illinois - SR - 1st team all-MAC - 70 tackles (34-36), 7 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 1 PBU, 2 INT, 1 FR
--- Will Sutton (1) - Arizona State - SR - Pac 12 defensive player of the year - 1st team AP all-America - 48 tackles (29-19), 13.5 TFL, 4 sacks, 3 PBU, 1 INT, 1 FR


--- Lamin Barrow (2) - LSU - SR - 2nd team all-SEC - 91 tackles (23-68), 5.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 2 PBU, 1 FR
--- A.J. Johnson (1) - Tennessee - JR - 1st team all-SEC - 106 tackles (60-46), 8.5 TFL, 0 sacks, 3 PBU, 1 FR
--- Ramik Wilson - Georgia - JR - 1st team all-SEC - 133 tackles (76-57), 11 TFL, 4 sacks, 3 PBU


--- Bradley Roby (1) - Ohio State - JR - 1st team all-Big 10 - 69 tackles (54-15), 2 TFL, 13 PBU, 3 INT, 2 BLK, 2 TD
--- Jason Verrett (1) - TCU - SR - Big 12 co-defensive player of the year, 2nd team AP all-America - 39 tackles (31-8), 3.5 TFL, 1 sack, 14 PBU, 2 INT, 1 FF


--- Anthony Harris - Virginia - JR - 1st team all-ACC - 80 tackles (42-38), 3.5 TFL, 1 sack, 6 PBU, 8 INT, 1 FF, 1 BLK
--- Calvin Pryor (3) - Louisville - JR - 1st team all-AAC - 75 tackles (54-21), 5.5 TFL, 4 PBU, 3 INT, 2 FF


--- Devon Smith - Marshall - SR - 2nd team all-CUSA - 26 PR for 381 yards (14.7) and 1 TD

Jadeveon Clowney (left photo above, sacking Tajh Boyd in South Carolina's victory over Clemson in Week 14) and Will Sutton (right photo above) didn't come close to duplicating the fantastic numbers they put up in 2012, but they still were pretty good this season. Clowney, much-maligned by the media for a variety of reasons, was voted all-SEC by the SEC coaches (who know better) and still has a chance to be the 1st player picked in the NFL draft. Sutton, who had 9 fewer sacks than last season, nevertheless was named Pac 12 defensive player of the year for the 2nd straight year. He also will be playing on Sundays next season.

Joining Clowney and Sutton on the D-line are Will Clarke (top right photo, sacking Texas QB Case McCoy in Week 11), whose 17 TFL were the most by any FBS D-lineman with dreads this season and Ken Bishop (bottom right photo), who had the most tackles (70) by any FBS D-lineman with dreads.

All three LBs on the 1st team play for SEC teams, and all three led their teams in tackles in 2013. Lamin Barrow brings the pain to Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel (above right) in an LSU victory in Week 13. A.J. Johnson (below left, tackling Auburn QB Nick Marshall in Week 11), made the 1st team for the 2nd straight season. And Ramik Wilson (above left, tackling Kentucky WR Javess Blue in Week 13), who had a total of 10 tackles in his first two seasons, moved into the Georgia starting lineup this season and averaged 10 tackles per game, ranking him 14th in the FBS and #1 of all players with dreads.

The Virginia website is still showing the photo of Anthony Harris with the braids he had when he was a freshman; but he most definitely has dreads now. Harris led the FBS this season with 8 INT, including one of a pass intended for Sammy Watkins in Week 11 (top right photo). Calvin Pryor returns the first of his 3 INT 26 yards (bottom right photo), setting up a short TD drive in a Week 2 victory over Eastern Kentucky. After 3 stellar seasons with the Cardinals, Pryor is getting set for the NFL draft, where he possibly will be the first safety selected.

Seven players are repeat selections on the 1st team D, and that includes both CBs. Bradley Roby had a tough night against all-Big 10 WR Jared Abbrederis in Week 5 but has him blanketed on this play (above right) in Ohio State's big win over Wisconsin. Jason Verrett makes the last of his 9 career INT for TCU against Texas in Week 10 (above left). Verrett was every bit a shutdown corner during his senior season. Notice that he had only 39 tackles (down from 63 last season). That's because teams weren't too eager to throw the ball in his direction. Look for both Verrett and Roby at an NFL stadium near you next season.

Devon Smith (sadly) cut off his long dreads before his freshman season at Penn State in 2009. After three seasons there, he brought back the dreads for his senior season after transferring to Marshall and continued to be a dangerous punt returner.



--- Tyrus Thompson - Oklahoma - JR
--- Avery Young - Auburn - FR 


--- Andre Cureton - Cincinnati - SR
--- Marquis Lucas - West Virginia - SOPH


--- Edmond Davis - Alabama State - SR - 1st team all-SWAC


--- Isaiah Burse (3) - Fresno State - SR - HM all-MWC - 99 receptions for 1,026 yards and 6 TD; 81 yards and 2 TD rushing on 9 carries (9.0)
--- Jameon Lewis - Mississippi State - JR - 64 receptions for 923 yards and 5 TD; 117 yards and 3 TD rushing on 13 carries (9.0)
--- Tevin Reese (2) - Baylor - SR - 1st team all-Big 12 - 38 receptions for 867 yards and 8 TD


--- Jay Ajayi - Boise State - SOPH - 1st team all-MWC - 249 carries for 1,425 yards (5.7) and 18 TD; 22 receptions for 222 yards and 1 TD
--- Melvin Gordon - Wisconsin - SOPH - 2nd team all-Big 10 - 206 carries for 1,609 yards (7.8) and 12 TD


--- Devin Powell - Tulane - FR - 60 for 110 (54.5%) for 681 yards and 5 TD (5 INT)


--- Adrian Wilkins - North Carolina Central - SOPH - 1st team all-MEAC - 21 KR for 636 yards (30.3) and 3 TD

Avery Young (on left) celebrates with Tre Mason after Auburn's victory over Missouri in the SEC championship game. I don't know how well Young actually played. After all, Auburn's other OT, Greg Robinson, is getting set to be picked in the 1st round of the NFL draft. But Avery must have been doing something right too. In his redshirt freshman season he moved into the starting lineup in Week 7, and the Tigers proceeded to average 45 points per game in his 9 starts. Tyrus Thompson (right photo above) started 11 games for the Sooners before missing the last two due to an ankle injury. Hopefully at this time next year we'll be talking about him being a serious NFL prospect.

There are two players from FCS schools on the 2nd team. Edmond Davis (left photo, holding the trophy Alabama State won for winning the Turkey Day Classic) is the only 2nd team O-lineman to earn all-conference honors. Adrian Wilkins had a sensational season for NCCU, ranking 7th in the FCS in kickoff returns and taking 3 of them to the house, including one 100 yards against UNC-Charlotte (right photo) in Week 3. Wilkins also nearly made the team as a punt returner, after averaging 13.4 (6th in FCS) with 2 returns to the house. And he led the Eagles in receiving too.

Tevin Reese, barely edged out by Kelvin Benjamin for a 1st team nod, settles for the 2nd team for the 3rd straight year. His average of 22.8 yards per reception was 2nd best in the FBS.

Moving up from 3rd team last year, Isaiah Burse did a lot of dirty work for Fresno State's explosive offense, picking up most of his yards after the catch. He also almost made the team as a punt returner after taking 2 returns to the house in one game (Week 2).

Jameon Lewis makes the team as a WR for the first time after being selected as a kickoff returner last year.


Wow, it's almost a crime to leave Jay Ajayi (top right) and Melvin Gordon (bottom right) off the 1st team; but only two RBs can start. Ajayi had one of the best seasons ever by a Boise State RB - 4th best if you go by yards rushing, 3rd best if you go by TD rushing. If you look at Gordon's stats, he had 206 carries, which averages down to 16 per game or 4 per quarter. That's right, he gained over 1,600 yards on just 4 carries every quarter. His 7.8 average per carry was 4th best in the FBS. A redshirt sophomore, Melvin decided to return for his junior season at UW, and he figures to begin 2014 as a serious Heisman candidate.

So far redshirt freshman Devin Powell is known more for his awesome dreads than for anything he's done on the field for Tulane; but as you can tell from his stats, he did have a little success this season. Forced into the lineup when starting QB Nick Montana was injured, Powell went 2-0 as a starter (Weeks 9 and 10) and didn't do anything major to cause the team to lose. But if you saw him in the New Orleans Bowl ..... well, let's just say there's a lot of room for improvement.



--- Markus Golden - Missouri - JR - 55 tackles (36-19), 13 TFL, 6.5 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FF, 2 FR, 1 TD
--- Ed Stinson (2) - Alabama - SR - 2nd team all-SEC - 42 tackles (18-24), 2 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 1 PBU, 1 FR


--- Malcom Brown - Texas - SOPH - 68 tackles (28-40), 12 TFL, 2 sacks, 5 PBU, 1 FR, 1 BLK
--- Khyri Thornton - Southern Mississippi - SR - 2nd team all-CUSA - 39 tackles (16-23), 6.5 TFL, 0.5 sack


--- Derrell Johnson (2) - East Carolina - 2nd team all-CUSA - 80 tackles (29-51), 14 TFL, 8 sacks, 3 PBU, 1 INT, 1 FF
--- Jaylon Smith - Notre Dame - FR - 67 tackles (41-26), 6.5 TFL, 0 sacks, 3 PBU, 1 INT, 1 FF, 1 FR
--- Shaq Thompson (3) - Washington - SOPH - HM all-Pac 12 - 78 tackles (50-28), 4 TFL, 0.5 sack, 4 PBU, 1 INT, 1 TD


--- Steven Nelson - Oregon State - JR - HM all-Pac 12 - 62 tackles (48-14), 8 PBU, 6 INT, 1 TD
--- Victor Hampton - South Carolina - JR - 51 tackles (43-8), 5 TFL, 9 PBU, 3 INT, 1 FF, 1 FR


--- Josh Shaw - USC - JR - HM all-Pac 12 - 67 tackles (43-24), 5.5 TFL, 7 PBU, 4 INT, 1 TD
--- Nickoe Whitley - Mississippi State - 2nd team all-SEC - 55 tackles (38-17), 1 TFL, 2 PBU, 5 INT, 2 FF, 1 FR, 1 BLK


--- Shepard Little - Eastern Illinois - SOPH - 2nd team all-OVC - 11 PR for 259 yards (23.5) and 2 TD

A couple of SEC DEs anchor the 2nd team D. Ed Stinson (left) had stats that were kind of ordinary. But just as with Jadeveon Clowney, if the SEC coaches thought he had a good season, I'll take their word for it. Both of Missouri's starting DEs this season are about to be drafted into the NFL, but top reserve Markus Golden (right) was on the field often enough to do some serious damage (to opposing offenses, that is) himself. Stinson has a great chance to get selected in this year's draft, and Golden a great chance next year.

Derrell Johnson makes one of his 19 career sacks in an ECU uniform, dropping QB Rakeem Cato in a Week 14 loss to Marshall. Johnson, a 4-year starter for the Pirates, increased his sack total each season, from 1 to 3 to 7 to 8, and he led ECU in tackles in his senior season.

Shaq Thompson (chasing RB Paul Perkins in Washington's Week 12 loss at UCLA) is well on his way to being a 4-year starter for the Bruins. He's 2 for 2 earning HM Pac 12 honors and 2 for 2 making my all-America with dreads team.


Jaylon Smith makes one of his most important tackles of the season, stopping Navy WR Shawn Lynch for no gain on 4th and 4 late in 4th quatrter of Notre Dame's 38-34 win in Week 10. Smith was a highly regarded prospect coming out of HS and wasted no time living up to expectations.

Josh Shaw (above left) takes an INT return 35 yards to the house for his 1st career pick 6 in USC's Week 1 win at Hawaii, while Victor Hampton (above right) comes up 6 yards short of the house on his 21-yard INT return at Arkansas in Week 7. Hampton is skipping his season and entering the NFL draft, but Shaw will be back with the Trojans in 2014.



--- Fabbians Ebbele - Arizona - JR
--- Quinterrius Eatmon - South Florida - JR

--- Andrew Belizaire - Rhode Island - SR - 3rd team all-CAA
--- Randall Harris - Towson - SR - 1st team all-CAA


--- Vincent Harper - Hampton - SR


--- Sammie Coates - Auburn - SOPH - 42 receptions for 902 yards and 7 TD
--- Geremy Davis - Connecticut - JR - 71 receptions for 1,085 yards and 3 TD
--- Jamill Smith - Ball State - SR - 3rd team all-MAC - 67 receptions for 911 yards and 8 TD


--- Devonta Freeman - Florida State - JR - 1st team all-ACC - 173 carries for 1,016 yards (5.9) and 14 TD; 22 receptions for 278 yards and 2 TD
--- Travis Greene - Bowling Green - SOPH - 279 carries for 1,594 yards (5.7) and 11 TD; 18 receptions for 155 yards and 2 TD


--- Bennie Coney - Cincinnati - FR - 6 for 7 (85.7%) for 84 yards and 1 TD (1 INT)


--- J.D. McKissic - Arkansas State - SOPH - 2nd team all-SBC - 21 KR for 629 yards (30.0) and 1 TD

Miami native Travis Greene (top right), whom I had never heard of before he rushed for 88 yards against Tulsa on opening night, set a new Bowling Green single season record for yards rushing and rushed for over 100 yards in 9 of the Falcons' 14 games. Thanks to a 73-yard performance for Florida State in the BCS title game, Miami native Devonta Freeman (bottom right) finished 2013 with his 1st 1,000-yard rushing season. There won't be a second, however, because he is entering this year's NFL draft.

Obviously Bennie Coney didn't play much (he attempted only 7 passes) but showed some promise in his 2 games played. But if he makes the team again next season, it won't be in a Cincinnati uniform. A couple of weeks ago it was announced he is transferring.

I was unable to save any photos of the 3rd team O-linemen. But if you click on the following link, you can see a shot of Hampton C Vincent Harper:

All-CAA linemen Randall Harris and Andrew Belizaire played mostly at OT this season; but due to a shortage of good interior linemen with dreads, I moved both of them to guard, where they have some experience from previous seasons.

No doubt Auburn was a "run first" team in 2013; but with Sammie Coates (above right) on the field, they could hurt you with the pass too. Just as with Tevin Reese, Coates didn't make a lot of catches, but it was usually a big play whenever he did. Geremy Davis (above left), the first UConn player in 15 years with 1,000 yards receiving in a single season, was a bright spot for the 3-9 Huskies.

Whoever invented the phrase "good things come in small packages" must have had Jamill Smith (above right) in mind. With his 8 TD catches this season, the 5-foot-8, 140-pound Smith finished with 17 for his career. He also earned all-MAC honors this season as a kickoff returner (26.0) and punt returner (8.4). J.D. McKissic (above left), a 3rd team WR last year, gets the nod as a kickoff returner this season after ranking 4th in the FBS with a 30.0 average and taking one of his returns 100 yards to the house against Idaho in Week 7.




--- Davon Coleman - Arizona State - SR - HM all-Pac 12 - 58 tackles (35-23), 15 TFL, 8.5 sacks, 1 PBU, 1 BLK
--- Lorenzo Mauldin - Louisville - JR - 2nd team all-AAC - 40 tackles (29-11), 12 TFL, 9.5 sacks, 4 PBU, 3 FF


--- Brandin Bryant - FAU - SOPH - HM all-CUSA - 51 tackles (29-22), 9.5 TFL, 6 sacks
--- Darius Philon - Arkansas - FR - 46 tackles (22-24), 9 TFL, 3 sacks, 2 FF


--- Quandon Christian - Clemson - SR - 49 tackles (34-15), 8 TFL, 1 sack, 3 PBU, 1 FF, 1 FR
--- Jermaine Holmes (HM) - Marshall - JR - 2nd team all-CUSA - 84 tackles (46-38), 8.5 TFL, 2 sacks, 1 PBU, 1 INT
--- Steven Taylor - Houston - FR - 89 tackles (42-47), 10.5 TFL, 4 sacks, 5 PBU, 1 INT, 2 FR


--- Damante Horton - Washington State - SR - HM all-Pac 12 - 49 tackles (42-7), 3.5 TFL, 3 PBU, 5 INT, 1 FF, 3 TD
--- K.J. Morton - Baylor - SR - HM all-Big 12 - 49 tackles (37-12), 6.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 10 PBU, 3 INT, 3 FF


--- Tre Boston (HM) - North Carolina - SR - 2nd team all-ACC - 94 tackles (49-45), 4.5 TFL, 8 PBU, 5 INT
--- Trevon Stewart - Houston - SOPH - 109 tackles (69-40), 1.5 TFL, 7 PBU, 4 INT, 2 FF, 6 FR, 1 TD


--- Antwan Eddie - Robert Morris - JR - 1st team all-NEC - 27 PR for 405 yards (15.0) and 1 TD

Lorenzo Mauldin (on left) and Davon Coleman spent a lot of time making plays in the opposing offense's backfield this season, ranking 25th and 38th in the FBS in sacks. And Coleman even made a house call, scoring a 1-yard TD reception against Colorado (photo above) in Week 7. Despite the great numbers, Coleman unfortunately is not a highly ranked NFL prospect. Mauldin most definitely is a prospect but is returning for his senior year with the Cardinals.

Not much went right for Arkansas in 2013, but they did find a starting DT for the next 3 years. Redshirt freshman Darius Philon (left photo above, sacking Rutgers QB Gary Nova in Week 4) moved into the starting lineup midway through the season and hopefully will be one of the Razorbacks' best D-linemen ever by the time he's done. Brandin Bryant (right photo above, getting a QB hurry against Southern Mississippi's Nick Mullens in Week 12) followed a promising rookie season with a solid sophomore year. He too has a bright future.

Jermaine Holmes, one of a half dozen players from CUSA on the team, puts the heat on Tulsa QB Dane Evans during Marshall's Week 12 road win. Holmes has now recorded 24.5 career TFL in his first 3 seasons with the Thundering Herd.

Quandon Christian played in all 53 of Clemson's games during the last 4 seasons, not missing a single one; but he didn't score his 1st TD until the 51st of those games, taking a fumble return 22 yards to the house (top right) during a Senior Day win over The Citadel in Week 13. Damante Horton takes an INT return 22 yards to the house for Washington State (bottom right) during a Senior Day win over Utah. It was his 3rd pick 6 of the season, making him the top scoring defensive player on this year's team.

Trevon Stewart, who already has 235 tackles in his first two seasons for Houston, scores his 1st career TD, taking a fumble return 15 yards to the house in Week 13 against Cincinnati. Stewart's 6 fumble recoveries were the most by anyone in Division 1 in 2013.


There were a lot more outstanding players with dreads than just the ones who made the team; but I can only put 72 players on the team. Here are some of the others who had excellent 2013 seasons but fell a bit short of making the team.
  • OT Laurence Gibson - Virginia Tech - JR
  • OT Darryl Johnson - New Mexico - SR - HM all-MWC
  • TE E.J. Bibbs - Iowa State - JR - 2nd team all-Big 12
  • TE Nic Jacobs - McNeese State - SR - 1st team all-SLC
  • TE Marcel Jensen (HM) - Fresno State - 2nd team all-MWC
  • WR Martavis Bryant - Clemson - JR - HM all-ACC
  • WR Rannell Hall - UCF - JR
  • WR Jordan Harris (HM) - Bryant - SR - 1st team all-NEC - 64 receptions for 1,031 yards and 5 TD
  • WR Darius Joseph - SMU - SOPH
  • WR Chris Moore - Cincinnati - SOPH - 9 TD receptions
  • WR Breshad Perriman - UCF - SOPH
  • WR Travis Reynolds - Utah State - SR 
  • WR Derel Walker - Texas A&M - SR
  • FB Trey Millard - Oklahoma - SR - 1st team all-Big 12
  • RB Dri Archer - Kent State - SR - 3rd team all-MAC
  • RB Alex Collins - Arkansas - FR - 190 carries for 1,026 yards and 4 TD
  • RB Vintavious Cooper (HM) - East Carolina - SR - 2nd team all-CUSA - 230 carries for 1,193 yards and 13 TD
  • RB Isaiah Crowell - Alabama State - JR - 1st team all-SWAC - 170 carries for 1,121 yards and 15 TD

Alex Collins (left photo) was highly recruited before signing with the Razorbacks and showed why, becoming the second Arkansas freshman ever to rush for over 1,000 yards (Darren McFadden was the other). After three very productive seasons, the first with Georgia and the last two for Alabama State, Isaiah Crowell (right photo) is entering this year's NFL draft.
  • RB Rolandan Finch - Norfolk State - SR - 1st team all-MEAC - 235 carries for 1,113 yards and 4 TD
  • RB Timothy Flanders - Sam Houston State - SR - 1st team all-SLC - 2nd team AP FCS all-America - 241 carries for 1,430 yards and 14 TD
  • RB John Hubert (2) - Kansas State - SR - HM-all Big 12 - 198 carries for 1,048 yards and 10 TD
  • RB Gus Johnson - Stephen F. Austin - JR - 2nd team all-SLC - 176 carries for 1,061 yards and 11 TD
  • RB Shepard Little - Eastern Illinois - SOPH - 1st team all-OVC - 217 carries for 1,551 yards and 15 TD
  • RB Sam Ojuri - North Dakota State - SR - 2nd team all-Missouri Valley - 214 carries for 1,398 yards and 10 TD
  • RB Darrin Reaves (HM) - UAB - JR - HM all-CUSA 
  • KR/PR Janarion Grant - Rutgers - FR - 2nd team all-AAC

Freshman Janarion Grant takes a punt return 58 yards to the house for a big TD in Rutgers' win over Arkansas in Week 4. Grant also scored a kickoff return TD this season and finished with averages of 24.6 on kickoff returns and 9.2 on punt returns
  • DE Jason Ankrah - Nebraska - SR - HM all-Big 10
  • DE Denico Autry (3) - Mississippi State - SR 
  • DE Ryan Delaire - Towson - JR - 1st team all-CAA
  • DE Alvin Dupree - Kentucky - JR
  • DE Mario Edwards - Florida State - SOPH - 3rd team all-ACC
  • DE Silverberry Mouhon - Cincinnati - SOPH - 2nd team all-AAC - 9.5 sacks
  • DE Robert Simpson (HM) - Mississippi Valley State - SR - 1st team all-SWAC - 3rd team AP FCS all-America
  • DE Za'Darius Smith - Kentucky - JR
  • DE Terrell Stanley - East Carolina - SOPH - HM all-CUSA

Here's hoping for a speedy recovery and a return to the field ASAP for Terrell Stanley, who was lucky not to be killed in an automobile accident a few weeks ago:
  • DT Isame Faciane - FIU - SR - HM all-CUSA
  • DT Tevin Hood - Arizona - SR - HM all-Pac 12
  • DT Roy Philon - Louisville - SR 
  • DT Xavier Williams - Northern Iowa - JR - 1st team all-Missouri Valley 
  • DE/LB Michael Reynolds - Kansas - JR
  • LB Steven Daniels - Boston College - SOPH
  • LB Monte Gaddis - Towson - SR - 2nd team all-CAA
  • LB D.J. Lynch - Bowling Green - JR - 2nd team all-MAC
  • LB Ronald Powell - Florida - JR
  • LB Bryan Presume - Southern Illinois - SR - 1st team all-Missouri Valley
  • LB Terrance Smith - Florida State - SOPH 
  • LB Derrick Webb - Colorado -SR 
  • LB Enrique Williams - South Alabama - SR - 2nd team all-SBC
  • CB Shaq Bell - Colorado State - SR - 2nd team all-MWC
  • CB Qua Cox (HM) - Jackson State - SR - 1st team all-SWAC - 3rd team AP FCS all-America
  • CB Devin Drane - Cincinnati - SR - 2nd team all-AAC
  • CB Terell Floyd (HM) - Louisville - JR 

Terrell Floyd tries to get the handle on an INT during Louisville's Week 11 win at Connecticut - which was easier said than done. The ball deflected off the hands of two different UConn players, Floyd's helmet, and Floyd's hands three or four times before he finally made the catch and took it to the house:
  • CB Jonathan McKnight - Arizona - JR
  • CB Dayonne Nunley (HM) - Miami (Ohio) - SR - 1st team all-MAC
  • CB Shaquille Richardson (HM) - Arizona - SR
  • CB Zack Sanchez - Oklahoma - FR
  • CB Trae Waynes - Michigan State - SOPH - HM all-Big 10
  • CB Marcus Williams (HM) - North Dakota State - SR - 1st team all-Missouri Valley - 1st team AP FCS all-America 

Marcus Williams takes an INT return 33 yards to the house during 1st quarter of NDSU's Week 4 victory over Delaware State for his FCS record-tying 6th career pick 6. He broke the record later in the season on this play during the Bison's playoff victory over Furman:
  • S Corey Cooper - Nebraska - JR - HM all-Big 10
  • S Frank Crawford - UNLV - SR HM all-MWC
  • S Trae Elston - Mississippi - SOPH 
  • S BooBoo Gates (HM) - Bowling Green - SR - 1st team all-MAC
  • S Clayton Geathers - UCF - JR - 2nd team all-AAC
  • S Craig Loston (HM) - LSU - SR
  • S Darion Monroe - Tulane - SOPH - HM all-CUSA
  • S Dezmen Southward - Wisconsin - SR - HM all-Big 10
  • S Pierre Warren - Jacksonville State - JR - 1st team all-OVC 

Now that we've seen the best players with dreads, we'll take a look at the players with the best dreads in my dread all-America team post.


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