Top 200 Players
Top 200 Players
4. RB Laurence Maroney, Jr., Minnesota
The 5-11, 205-pound junior has rushed for 2,469 yards and 22 touchdowns in his first two years ? mainly as a backup behind Marion Barber III, and averaging 6.5 yards per carry. Despite that fact, he led the team in rushing and is a better home run hitter than the departed Barber. With speed, quickness and workhorse ability, he should be in for a huge season as the team's featured player.
36. CB Charles Gordon, Jr., Kansas
Gordon was a good receiver in a part-time role, catching 15 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns, but his real talents are as a defensive back and punt returner, averaging nine yards per return. He turned the Jayhawk pass defense around by turning into a shutdown corner, finishing tied as the nation's interceptions leader. He's tremendously fast and surprisingly tough at only 5-9 and 177 pounds.
55. C Greg Eslinger, Sr., Minnesota
In a league loaded with great centers, the 6-3, 285-pound senior is the best of the bunch. He's the leading candidate for the Rimington Award as a technically sound all-around blocker who can bury mediocre tackles who aren't going full tilt every play.
80. RB Patrick Cobbs, Sr., North Texas
Cobbs hurt his knee early and was never quite right last season after leading the nation in rushing in 2003 ? averaging 157.2 yards per game. He took a redshirt year and returns back as good as new to provide a powerful, quick back who can also be a workhorse. He's an average blocker, but he won't be used as a fullback for Jamario Thomas. Expect him to be used in several spots as an H-back, receiver, or wherever else the offense can use him.
86. OT Travis Leffew, Sr., Louisville
Leffew is one of the nation's most experienced, and most talented, tacklers with 38 straight starts and a host of All-Conference USA and All-American honors. The 301-pound senior is a next level pass blocker on the weak side and has grown into a dominant run blocker.
98. QB Brian Brohm, Soph., Louisville
Last year's superstar recruit is ready to become one of college football's new stars. He got to ease his way into D-I life ? used in planned situations in relief of Stefan LeFors. Not just seeing mop up time, Brohm was left in to face several tight situations and came though like a star throwing six touchdown passes and only two interceptions. He's a huge, 6-4, 224-pound bomber. But he's hardly a statue with excellent mobility
101. RB Jamario Thomas, Soph., North Texas
There's no real No. 1 rusher on the Mean Green, with Patrick Cobbs 1 and Thomas 1A. Any concerns about the loss of Cobbs for last year quickly went away as the 5-11, 195-pound Thomas became the nation's leading rusher averaging 189.9 yards per game (but it was more like 200.1 yards per game considering he ran twice in the season opener against Texas) setting the NCAA record for the most 200 yards games for a freshman with five. He wasn't just great against Sun Belt teams, he ran for 247 yards and two touchdowns against Colorado. Despite missing almost all of three games, Thomas still ran for 1,801 yards with 17 touchdowns. He's lightning quick and a durable workhorse
113. OG Corey Hilliard, Jr., Oklahoma State
Hilliard is an NFL prospect at either guard spot, or even at tackle if desperately needed. He's 6-5, 300 pounds and developed into one of the team's most reliable run blockers by the end of last year. He's very strong and very talented, getting the start on the right side.
115. LB Nick Reid, Sr., Kansas
Reid led the team in tackles garnering first team All-Big XII mention. He's a tackling machine with 304 career stops, and he can also get into the backfield finishing fifth in the league in tackles behind the line.
118. LB Bernard Davis, Sr., Troy
If he's not the Sun Belt's best defensive player, he's very close. The 218-pound senior is always all over the field and a sure tackler with 208 career stops. He's strong for his size and has great range.
167. RB Michael Bush, Jr., Louisville
Bush is one of college football's more interesting players. One of Kentucky's top high school quarterbacks of all-time, Bush has become a jack-of-all-trades, bulking up to become a bruising running back. He's now up to 250 pounds on a 6-3 frame and ready to handle the full-time running back job. He averaged 5.6 yards per carry with seven touchdowns as Eric Shelton's backup and should approach the 1,200-yard, 20 touchdown mark. Also, look for him out of the backfield as top safety valve receiver for Brian Brohm.
177. WR D'Juan Woods, Jr., Oklahoma State
While he's not the talent his brother Rashaun was, D'Juan is a strong receiver who was OSU's only real wide receiver threat last year, catching 29 passes for 650 yards and six touchdowns, averaging a whopping 22.4 yards per grab and highlighted by a huge game against Oklahoma, catching three passes for 128 yards. He should be the centerpiece of the attack and could double his 2004 stats with the new emphasis on the passing game. He has decent size and good deep speed.
193. WR Ernie Wheelwright, Soph., Minnesota
The 6-5, 210-pound sophomore was one of the Big Ten's breakout players, catching 30 passes for 654 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 21.8 yards per catch. He caught an 80-yard touchdown pass against Illinois State and caught three passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns in the blowout loss to Michigan State. His size poses major matchup problems, while his speed allows him to get by most defensive backs.