The Six Best Kept Secrets in College Football
The Six Best Kept Secrets in College Football
At this point in the college football season, fans, media, and pundits are focused on big name players and big name teams-- the guys we see playing in front of huge crowds under the bright lights and on national television. The Heisman race is in full swing, and the guys in that race are crowned college football's best players. The irony of that? The numbers speak to the contrary.
The six men that follow have shown they are, in fact, the best at their respective positions in the country and deserve the respect they are about to receive. While only one of these six plays on a team that gets much national attention, it certainly does not mean they are talented, or have what it takes to someday play at the next level on Sundays. Guys like these six are the diamonds in the rough that NFL scouts love. Guys that may not have been four or five star recruits coming out of high school, but bloomed in college and developed into first-tier talents that have put up massive numbers.
Sit back, click through, and enjoy who we see as the six best kept secrets in college football.
Terrance Williams (WR)- Baylor (SR)
At 6'2", 205 pounds, Baylor Bears wide receiver Terrance Williams may not fit the mold of the prototypical NFL wide receiver, but make no mistake, he's turning the heads of NFL scouts across the country with his combination of precise route-running, speed, and athleticism. Through seven weeks of the 2012 season, Williams leads Division I in both receiving yardage (830 yards through five games) and average receiving yards per game at 166-- 35 greater than the closest receiver.
He's the country's best kept secret at wideout folks, and one to watch the rest of the way this fall.
Dan Molls (LB) - Toledo (SR)
Toledo senior linebacker Dan Molls is arguably the best tackler in all of Division I football. Molls leads the country both in total tackles (89 in 7! games), and solo tackles with 48. The North Royalton, Ohio native is the foundation of a Rockets defense that has been outstanding so far, leading the team to a 6-1 start overall, and an undefeated 3-0 start in Mid-American Conference play.
Dan Molls is the definition of blue collar-- and I mean that in the best way possible.
Dri Archer (RB) - Kent State (JR)
Kent State junior Dri Archer, is also one of the nation's best kept secrets, although in a diametrically opposite phase of the game. It's my opinion that Archer is the premier kick returner in the country, and the numbers support this assertion. Through six games, Archer has returned 11 kickoffs for a blistering 525 yards and three touchdowns-- averaging out to a whopping 47.73 yards per kick. With number like this, Devin Hester will be giving Archer a ring soon to ask for some tips.
Guys like Dri Archer that have this type of instinct find a home in the NFL-- and hell, he still has a full season left.
Stefphon Jefferson (RB) - Nevada (JR)
I'll say this now: Nevada Wolfpack junior running back Stefphon Jefferson is the country's best at the position. Period. Yeah, I know you'll argue this honor should go to Florida's Mike Gillislie, or South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore, but both are left in Jefferson's dust.
Stefphon leads the country in every category that matters for running backs, including total yardage (1140 in seven games), total attempts (219), yards per game (162.86), and rushing touchdowns (14).
Whether or not Jefferson will declare for the NFL draft is still up in the air, but it's my bet that if he does he'll be the first running back taken next spring.
Phillip Thomas (DB)- Fresno State (SR)
Fresno State Bulldogs senior defensive back Phillip Thomas is the ultimate ball-hawk, and the nation's best kept secret at his position. Thomas has an amazing six interceptions in seven games-- two of which he has returned for touchdowns. The 6'1", 215 pound Thomas should be taken high in the NFL draft in 2013. Just because he's not on the tip of your tongue, or in the Heisman conversation, doesn't mean he's not one of the country's best players.
Rakeem Cato (QB) - Marshall (SO)
Rakeem Freaking Cato. This guy is an offensive coordinator's dream come true. The sophomore Marshall signal caller, statistically, is the best quarterback in the state of West Virginia-- yes, looking at you Geno Smith.
Cato leads the country in passing yardage (2,311 in six games), completions per game (36.33), and is second in total individual offense per game with 2,351 total yards. The 6'0", 182 pound Miami native is electrifying scoreboards and the nightmares of opposing defensive coordinators across the country. Keep your eyes on Rakeem Cato folks, he won't be under the radar for long.