Sunday, July 6, 2014

College FB '13 House Calls

There were 9 teams in Division 1 that had 20 or more of their touchdowns scored by players with dreads during the 2013 season; but only two of them had 30 or more. And those two just happened to be on opposing sidelines in the final game of the season. Florida State was victorious over Auburn 34-31 in the BCS title game back in January; but it was the Tigers edging the Seminoles in the competition for the most TD by players with dreads - and almost by the exact same score as the game, with Auburn's 33 TD finishing two better than FSU's final total.

Thanks mostly to Tre Mason (scoring the last of the 33 TD on a 37-yard run with 1:19 remaining in the title game in photo above), the crown for the team with the most TD scored by players with dreads remains in the state of Alabama for the 3rd consecutive season, with Auburn following 1st place finishes by Alabama State (34 TD) in 2012 and Alabama (35 TD) in 2011.
(I guess that means either Troy or UAB or Alabama A&M or South Alabama is due to take the crown with 32 TD next season - but with those teams' current rosters, that doesn't seem possible). 

Since Auburn's 33 TD were tallied by just three different players, the honor for having the most different players with dreads to score will have to go to another team. Make that teams (plural), as FAU, Alabama, and Georgia Southern all had 5 different players with dreads with at least 1 TD. The Owls and Crimson Tide both made the list of teams with at least 10 TD. But Georgia Southern fell just short, with RBs Dominique Swope and Nardo Govan scoring twice each, WRs Tray Butler and Montay Crockett  twice each, and QB Vegas Harley once for a total of 9.

I do not have the time to count up every single TD scored by players with dreads for the whole season. My third annual house calls post focuses on the teams and players who reached double figures in touchdowns. In 2012 there were 46 such teams, but only 34 reached that level this season. But instead of complaining about the teams that dropped off the list, let's congratulate and celebrate the 34 who made it.

  • AUBURN - RB Tre Mason 25, WR Sammie Coates 7, WR Tony Stevens 1
  • FLORIDA STATE - WR Kelvin Benjamin 15, RB Devonta Freeman 15, DE Mario Edwards 1
  • HOUSTON - WR Deontay Greenberry 11, RB Ryan Jackson 8, WR Xavier Maxwell 4, S Trevon Stewart 1
  • CLEMSON - WR Sammy Watkins 12, WR Martavis Bryant 7, RB Zac Brooks 3, LB Quandon Christian 1
  • GEORGIA - RB Todd Gurley 16, WR Chris Conley 4, RB Keith Marshall 2
  • ODU - RB Colby Goodwyn 12, RB Cam Boyd 5, WR Marquel Thomas 4, WR Kirk Spellman 1
  • ALABAMA STATE - RB Isaiah Crowell 15, RB Malcolm Cyrus 6
  • EAST CAROLINA - RB Vintavious Cooper 14, WR Davon Grayson 4, RB Breon Allen 3
  • EASTERN ILLINOIS - RB Shepard Little 19, CB Anthony Goodman 2

Although Tre Mason made the biggest contribution, Auburn would not have taken the crown if not for the 7 TD catches by sophomore WR Sammy Coates, the last of which being a 38-yarder for a 7-3 lead in 1st quarter of the SEC championship game (right photo above). After back-to-back 2nd place finishes with 31 and 29 TD the last two years, Clemson had to settle for 4th place this season. QB Tajh Boyd (#10 in left photo above) was on the throwing end of all 19 TD caught by junior WRs Martavis Bryant (#1) and Sammy Watkins (#2). The three, shown here relaxing during 4th quarter of a blowout victory over The Citadel in their final home game in Week 13, all were selected in this year's NFL draft.


Houston, which had 11 TD scored by players with dreads in 2012, improved to an impressive 3rd place finish this season - but you never would have known it if you were in attendance at their games, because sophomore RB Ryan Jackson and senior WR Xavier Maxwell had dreads not quite long enough to be seen, and sophomore WR Deontay Greenberry's dreads were barely outside his helmet (#3 in left photo above, congratulating Maxwell after the first of his 2 TD catches at UTSA in Week 5). ODU senior WR Marquel Thomas, whose dreads were just a little easier to see than Houston's trio, is wide open on a slant route to score on a 2-yard reception (right photo above), cutting North Carolina's lead to 56-20 early in 3rd quarter of an 80-20 loss in Week 13. Thomas, who scored ODU's 1st TD ever in Week 1 of his freshman season in 2009, scored the last TD of ODU's 2013 season in the final game of his career - and he made 10 TD catches in between.

  • BOISE STATE - RB Jay Ajayi 19
  • CINCINNATI - WR Chris Moore 9, RB Tion Green 7, WR Shakim Alonzo 1, S Adrian Wittty 1
  • FAU - WR William Dukes 6, RB Damian Fortner 5, RB Jonathan Wallace 3, WR Lucky Whitehead 3, TE Alex DeLeon 1
  • UNC-CHARLOTTE - RB Kalif Phillips 13, RB Alan Barnwell 5
  • KENT STATE - RB Dri Archer 11, RB Trayion Durham 6
  • SAM HOUSTON STATE - RB Timothy Flanders 15, RB Steven Hicks 2
  • BETHUNE-COOKMAN - RB Isidore Jackson 10, RB Anthony Jordan 5, DE Erik Williams 1
  • BOWLING GREEN - RB Travis Greene 13, S BooBoo Gates 2
  • MIAMI (FLORIDA) - RB Dallas Crawford 13, DE David Gilbert 1, TE Clive Walford 1
  • MISSISSIPPI STATE - WR Jameon Lewis 8, RB Ashton Shumpert 3, WR De'Runnya Wilson 3, CB Jamerson Love 1

Sophomore RB Jay Ajayi scores the first of his 3 TD against Wyoming in Week 12 on a 22-yard run (right photo above) during 1st quarter of a 48-7 victory for Boise State. Ajayi was a one-man house call, accounting for all 19 TD by BSU players with dreads. The colorful dreads of junior WR Lucky Whitehead made it into the end zone three times, the second of which came on a 26-yard run on a reverse (left photo above) in 1st quarter of FAU's 55-10 victory over New Mexico State in Week 13. Whitehead, one of 5 FAU players with dreads to score, had an injury-plagued first season with the Owls after transferring from junior college. Look for him to improve a lot over the 3 TD he scored this season.  


Cincinnati junior S Adrian Witty returns his 1st career INT 41 yards to the house (right photo above) to give the Bearcats a 28-7 lead over Purdue during 3rd quarter at Cincinnati in Week 1. It was also his 1st career TD and the first of 18 TD scored by UC players with dreads this season. Freshman RB Kalif Phillips scores on a 1-yard run (left photo above) to give UNC-Charlotte a short-lived 28-21 lead over Wesley College on the first play of 4th quarter in Week 11. Phillips led the 49ers in TD with 13 as they finished with a 5-6 record in the first season of the program's existence.


Freshman WR De'Runnya Wilson beats Texas A&M S Floyd Raven for a 3-yard TD catch (left photo above), bringing Mississippi State to within 16-14 of the Aggies late in 2nd quarter in Week 11. It was the first of 2 TD in the game for Wilson, who contributed 3 TD to the Bulldogs' total of 15 TD by players with dreads, which was 3rd best in the SEC. Sophomore RB Dallas Crawford celebrates with TE Clive Walford (right photo above) after scoring a 4-yard TD run on the first play from scrimmage (following a 95-yard kickoff return) against Savannah State in Week 4, the first of his 3 TD in the 1st half and the first of 11 TD in the game for the Hurricanes, who slaughtered SSU 77-7. Walford is included among Miami's total of 15 TD because he scored 1 TD (Week 1) before cutting his dreads off.

  • MURRAY STATE  - QB Maikhail Miller 6, RB Jaamal Berry 5, WR Janawski Davis 2, CB Josh Manning 1
  • SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA - RB Xavier Roberson 10, WR Marquis Hayes 4
  • UAB - RB Darrin Reaves 14
  • VIRGINIA TECH - RB Trey Edmunds 12, RB Chris Mangus 1, WR Joshua Stanford 1
  • FRESNO STATE - WR Isaiah Burse 10, TE Marcel Jensen 3
  • KANSAS STATE - RB John Hubert 11, RB Robert Rose 2
  • WISCONSIN - RB Melvin Gordon 12, WR Kenzel Doe 1
  • NORTH DAKOTA STATE - RB Sam Ojuri 10, CB Marcus Williams 2
  • MAINE - RB Rickey Stevens 6, WR Arthur Williams 3, CB Sherrod Baltimore 1, WR Isaiah Jones 1
  • NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL - WR Adrian Wilkins 7, RB Deyonta Wright 2, WR Lamar Scruggs 1, RB Dequadis Tucker 1
  • STEPHEN F AUSTIN - RB Gus Johnson 11
  • ALABAMA - RB Derrick Henry 4, WR Chris Black 3, WR Kenny Bell 1, RB Dee Hart 1, RB Altee Tenpenny 1
  • ARKANSAS STATE - WR J.D. McKissic 6, WR Julian Jones 4
  • SAN DIEGO - RB Joe Ferguson 9, S Yogi Hale 1
  • UCF - WR Rannell Hall 6, WR Breshad Perriman 4

Junior WR Marquis Hayes scores on a 54-yard reception (right photo above) for the last of his 4 TD on the season, increasing Southeastern Louisiana's lead over Nicholls State to 45-20 during 3rd quarter in Week 13. With Hayes (who is switching from jersey #18 to #6 for next season) and Xavier Roberson both returning, look for the Lions to be on this list again in 2014. After breaking three tackles, freshman WR Joshua Stanford sprints to the end zone (left photo above and video on link below) to finish a 32-yard catch and run for his only TD of the season, increasing Virginia Tech's lead over Miami to 28-14 during 2nd quarter in Week 11 - one of 6 TD scored by players with dreads in the game. Although he scored just this 1 TD, Stanford set Virginia Tech records for receptions (40) and yards receiving (640) by a freshman; and there's talk of him becoming the Hokies' best receiver ever by the end of his career. We'll see.

After combining for 15 TD in both 2012 and 2011, Sam Ojuri and Marcus Williams (celebrating after North Dakota State's upset of Kansas State in Week 1 in left photo) 'slumped' to 12 TD this season, including Ojuri's big 19-yard run (right photo above) with 2:52 remaining in 4th quarter to give the Bison a come-from-behind 24-23 home victory over Northern Iowa in Week 6. Since Ojuri and Williams are both seniors, this likely will be the last time we see NDSU on this list for a while.


Tell the truth now ..... How many of you saw Tre Mason coming? I know I sure didn't. Certainly it was expected there would be some improvement over the 1,002 yards rushing and 8 TD he had in his 2012 sophomore season. But this was ridiculous: a school record 23 rushing touchdowns; a 100-yard kickoff return to the house; and a TD catch too - the 11-yard screen pass against Florida State. Twice he scored 4 TD in one game, including the Week 10 game at Arkansas, with his 4th TD coming on a 12-yard run in the 4th quarter (photo on right). And how's this for a finish? - 15 TD scored in the Tigers' last 6 games. It all added up to 25 total TD, by far the most by any player with dreads in 2013 and the most (I think) by anybody with dreads since Ricky Williams scored 28 TD for Texas and won the Heisman way back in 1998. Congratulations, Tre, and good luck next season. It's going to be just a bit tougher against the Seahawks, 49ers, and Cardinals.

Mason heads the list of the 25 players with dreads who scored at least 10 TD - one fewer than the 26 who scored 10 or more in 2012.  

Auburn RB Tre Mason 25

Boise State RB Jay Ajayi 19
Eastern Illinois RB Shepard Little 19
Sophomore Shepard Little had shorter dreads but more touchdowns than his predecessor at Eastern Illinois, Jake Walker. After redshirting in 2011 and hardly playing at all in 2012, Little - shown here (photo above) scoring his 3rd TD of the game already on an 8-yard run to increase EIU's lead over Southeast Missouri State to 41-13 midway through 2nd quarter in Week 8 - burst onto the scene in spectacular fashion in 2013, scoring 19 TD (compared to Walker's 13 and 10 TD the previous two seasons). Little scored 15 rushing TD, had 2 TD catches, and took 2 punt returns to the house. The 19 TD were the most by any FCS player and helped Eastern tie for the team lead (with Alabama State) among FCS schools with 21 TD.
Sophomore Todd Gurley makes his 1st TD catch of the season (photo below), an 8-yard reception to increase Georgia's lead over South Carolina to 34-24 late in 3rd quarter in Week 2. Gurley's 16 total TD (10 rushing, 6 receiving) were twice as many as he had as a freshman; and he would have had even more had he not missed 3 games due to injury. In his 10 games played, the only one in which he didn't score a TD was against LSU in Week 5, the game where he injured his ankle early in the 2nd quarter and only had 8 carries. Injuries to Gurley and fellow sophomore RB Keith Marshall messed up Georgia's chance to take the team crown, but watch out next season!

Georgia RB Todd Gurley 16

Florida State WR Kelvin Benjamin 15
Alabama State RB Isaiah Crowell 15
Sam Houston State RB Timothy Flanders 15
Florida State RB Devonta Freeman 15
Junior Devonta Freeman scores on a 48-yard catch and run (photo above) to increase FSU's lead over Miami to 21-7 in 2nd quarter in Week 10. It was the only TD reception of his career. After scoring 8 TD in each of his first two seasons, Freeman made house calls in all but 2 of the Seminoles' 14 games this season.

East Carolina RB Vintavious Cooper 14
UAB RB Darrin Reaves 14

Miami (Florida) RB Dallas Crawford 13
Bowling Green RB Travis Greene 13
UNC-Charlotte RB Kalif Phillips 13
A position switch from WR to RB worked out pretty well for sophomore Travis Greene, you think? Greene - shown here (photo above) scoring his 3rd TD of the season from 30 yards out on a well-executed screen pass, upping Bowling Green's lead over Akron to 24-14 late in 3rd quarter in Week 5 - not only scored 13 TD, he set a new Bowling Green record for yards rushing in one season with 1,594. Memo to teams on Bowling Green's 2014 schedule: Falcons were 9-0 when Greene rushed for over 100 yards in 2013, 1-4 when he didn't.

Virginia Tech RB Trey Edmunds 12
ODU RB Colby Goodwyn 12
Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon 12
Clemson WR Sammy Watkins 12
After finding little running room on a designed run to the right, sophomore Melvin Gordon cuts back left into open spaces and takes it 13 yards to the house (photo above) for his 3rd TD of the evening, increasing Wisconsin's lead over Illinois to 42-17 in 3rd quarter in Week 8. This was Gordon's 11th TD of the season; but the well went dry after that, as he scored only 1 TD in the Badgers' final 6 games. You're going to have to finish a lot stronger than that next season, Melvin, if you're planning on contending for the Heisman.

Kent State RB Dri Archer 11
Houston WR Deontay Greenberry 11
Kansas State RB John Hubert 11
Stephen F Austin RB Gus Johnson 11

Fresno State WR Isaiah Burse 10
Bethune-Cookman RB Isidore Jackson 10
North Dakota State RB Sam Ojuri 10
Southeastern Louisiana RB Xavier Roberson 10
Senior Isaiah Burse makes it into double figures in TD for the first time in his career in the final game of his career, scoring on an 8-yard reception in 1st quarter of Fresno State's loss to USC in the Las Vegas Bowl. Burse (starting with his freshman season) scored 3, 1, 7, and 10 TD in his four seasons with the Bulldogs for a total of 21. In 2013 he rushed for 2 TD, took 2 punt returns to the house (in the same game), and had 6 TD catches. I would love to see these dreads in the NFL in the seasons ahead, but it's going to be hard for me to cheer for him if he's with the Broncos. Hopefully they will cut him and he'll have a long career somewhere else.


The calendar says it's already July. And since that means football will be starting up again very soon, it also means that my coverage of basketball will be very, very abbreviated this year. I doubt I'll have any time to do anything on pro basketball, and I certainly won't be doing 6 dread galleries on college basketball like I did last year. Maybe two or three. But before those, my next post will be my season report on college basketball.

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