I know, I know. Preseason polls are terrible. This one is different, I promise. (It really isn’t.)
I’ve been writing a lot about Group of 5 teams and players, but I realize that may be a bit of a niche sector of college football. So I wanted to introduce the masses to some names to remember, shining a light to players that don’t play at Alabama or Ohio St., by assembling an All-American list that is strictly Group of 5 players.
Now, a couple notes:
First off, my defenses play a 3-3-5, so you are going to see a heavier emphasis on the secondary. It’s the way the game is going. There may be some linemen that get overlooked as a result. @ me about it on Twitter, it’s fine.
Secondly, Rasheen Ali would have been a First Teamer, but took a leave of absence earlier this week. First and foremost, I hope everything is ok and he can get back on the field when he is ready to do so. Because he is a great player and could be on the for real All-American list.
Thirdly, there are a TON of outstanding players I left off, but I tried to diversify and mention as many different teams as I could. I probably could have done a Third Team, but offensive linemen are a bit of a blind spot for me, so I would have been throwing darts at that point. A line had to be drawn. Respect my decision.
Now, without further adieu, here is your Group of 5 All-Walkon Redshirts first and second teams. (I’m workshopping the name.)
First Team Offense
QB – Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina
RB – Lew Nichols III, Central Michigan
RB – Brad Roberts, Air Force
WR – Jalen Cropper, Fresno St.
WR – Nathaniel Dell, Houston
TE – Zack Kuntz, Old Dominion
OL – Austin Stidham, Troy
OL – Sidy Sow, Eastern Michigan
OL – Jake Renfro, Cincinnati
OL – Demetrius Harris, USF
OL – John Ojukwu, Boise St.
First team Defense
DL – Josiah Stewart, Coastal Carolina
DL – Chidozie Nwankwo, Houston
DL – Praise Amaewhule, UTEP
LB – Carlton Martial, Troy
LB – James Patterson, Buffalo
LB – Caden McDonald, San Diego St.
S – Quindell Johnson, Memphis
S – Rashad Wisdom, UTSA
S – JL Skinner, Boise St.
CB – Darrell Luter Jr., South Alabama
CB – Steven Jones, Appalachian St.
First Team Special Teams
PK – Owen Daffer, East Carolina
P – Ralph Fawaz, Wyoming
RS – Smoke Harris, Louisiana Tech
Second Team Offense
QB – Jake Haener, Fresno St.
RB – DeWayne McBride, UAB
RB – Keaton Mitchell, East Carolina
WR – Tyrese Chambers, FIU
WR – Dante Cephas, Kent St.
TE – Josh Whyle, Cincinnati
OL – Donovan Jennings, USF
OL – Lorenz Metz, Cincinnati
OL – Aluma Uluave, San Diego St.
OL – Logan Zschernitz, Northern Illinois
OL – Cooper Hodges, Appalachian St.
Second Team Defense
DL – Jamal Hines, Toledo
DL – Viliami Fehoko, San Jose St.
DL – Javon Solomon, Troy
LB – Vince Sanford, Air Force
LB – KD Davis, North Texas
LB – Deshawn Pace, Cincinnati
S – Patrick McMorris, San Diego St.
S – Charles Amankwaa, Akron
S – Malik Shorts, Southern Miss
CB – Davonte Brown, UCF
CB – Quavion White, Georgia St.
Second Team Special Teams
PK – Brayden Narveson, Western Kentucky
P – Rhys Burns, Louisiana
RS – Johnny Ford, Florida Atlantic
So who did I leave off? I fully expect to hear other names at the skill positions. I hear you, and I respect you. But there are only so many spots.