Top 100 (not based upon NFL potential)
see how the top 100 faired this year, click here.
RB Franklyn Quiteh, Bloomsburg,
Sr., 5-9, 206
may be banged up but you can’t deny the preseason No. 1 player who finished
with 2,195 yards, 29 touchdowns, and won the Harlon Hill Trophy, as the top
player in Division II. He finished his career as a four-time All-PSAC
selection, and three-time All-American. The short but compact built back
lacks great speed but is smooth, finds the holes well, and was a consistent
workhorse for Bloomsburg.
Joe Don Duncan, Dixie State, Sr., 6-4, 270
may have been the best player in the country as he dominated from the tight end
position after picking up right where he left off in 2011 after missing 2012.
The 2013 AFCA All-American finished with 71 catches for 1045 yards and 13
touchdowns despite missing some time. He was much lower on this list in
the preseason due to the injury but showed in 2013 he is one of the best in
Division II, regardless of position.
Dustin Vaughan, West Texas A&M, Sr., 6-5, 220
media consistently undervalues his NFL potential because he was never on TV but
as usual, NFL scouts saw him, and so did I. He was named an AFCA
All-American in 2013 after throwing for 5,401 yards and 53 touchdowns.
While his system allows him to have big numbers the preseason All-American
improved on his play from last year, dropping his interceptions and raising his
touchdown totals. The three-time All-Lonestar selection and consensus
first-team All-American showed he is the best signal caller in Division II, by
Brandon Dixon, Northwest Missouri State, Sr., 6-0, 195
Dixon being this high and ahead of a multi-year All-American in Pierre Desir is
shocking this is based on their play in 2013 and Dixon slightly edged him.
He shut down All-American Jeff Janis, jammed and pressed everyone put in front
of him, and showed the ability to be a solid 10-year NFL shut down cover corner.
Dixon finished his career as a two-time All-American and two-time All-MIAA pick
in his two years at NWMSU. The Joliet JC transfer will be going to the NFL
Scouting Combine and is the best corner in Division II.
Pierre Desir, Lindenwood, Sr., 6-2, 206
finished his career as one of the most decorated corners in Division II history
and he deserved it. He’s a two-time All-American, four-time All-MIAA
selection. Desir had four interceptions, eight pass breakups, and 33
tackles in 2013. With his size and length he made it tough on all comers
this year and should play beyond 2013 because he is that good of a player.
He would be here regardless of being a NFL prospect but the NFL is certainly
right in coveting this guy. He dominated at Washburn and then at
Lindenwood from the first day he arrived.
Matt Armstrong, Grand Valley State, Sr., 6-3, 290
usually don’t want to put offensive lineman this high on a list like this but
Armstrong has done it all. He is a four-time All-GLIAC selection, 2013
AFCA All-American, consensus first-team All-American in 2013, 2013 D2 Rimington
Award winner, and was invited to the NFL Scouting Combine. If not for an
injury he would have played in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl just like #1 and #3 on
this list did. Armstrong showed during his career he can be a dominant
center and guard and should be solid at the next level as well.
John Brown, Pittsburg State, Sr., 5-11, 170
was a tough selection as Brown could have been a little higher but the
diminutive return specialist and flanker proved dominant for the most part in
2013. He rarely lacked gaudy numbers finishing with 1,198 yards, 14
touchdowns as a receiver and then rushed for two touchdowns, averaged 11.5 per
punt return, and 32.4 per kickoff return with one score. He was named the
MIAA Special teams Player of the Year and finished his career as a two-time
All-American and three-time All-MIAA selection.
Matt Longacre, Northwest Missouri State, Jr., 6-3, 240
had a huge year in 2013 as a big riser since his second-team All-MIAA season in
2012. He had 20.5 tackles for loss and 12 sacks along with 60 tackles to
earn AFCA All-America honors and MIAA Defensive Player of the Year accolades in
Jeff Janis, Saginaw Valley State, Sr., 6-3, 218
Janis had a tough day against NWMSU against the Dixon twins he still dominated
with 1,572 yards and 14 touchdowns to earn GLIAC Offensive Back of the Year
honors for a second consecutive year. With his size and speed he was a
mismatch and proved to be one of the best receivers in recent memory at the
Division II level.
Darius Allen, CSU-Pueblo, Jr., 6-3, 239
has been very good lately and Allen has been a big reason for the success on
defense. He won the Gene Upshaw Award in 2013 with 23.5 tackles for loss
and 15.5 sacks. Allen was a first-team All-RMAC pick and Co-Defensive
Player of the Year in the league after earning second-team honors in 2012 with
10 tackles for loss and three sacks. He should be competing with Harman
for the No. 1 player in 2014.
Jake Metz, Shippensburg, Sr., 6-7, 255
hard not to put Metz higher because he certainly finished his career on a
stronger than expected note. There were so many great performances this
year and with him only being #10, it shows. This three-time All-PSAC pick,
two-time All-American, and finished with 18 tackles for loss and 11 sacks as a
senior. He wasn’t only impressive in their big game against Bloomsburg
but had several games where you just watch in amazement at some of what he can
Larry Webster, Bloomsburg, Sr., 6-7, 250
former basketball player only had two years on the football field and went from
unknown to a top 15 player on this list to finish his career. He is a
two-time All-PSAC selection who had 16 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks in 2013.
His speed, length, and pass rush made him lethal. If he had become a big
time force against the run he could have been in the top 5 on this list.
Trevor Harman, Shippensburg, Jr., 6-2, 210
just keeps producing as a two-time All-PSAC pick and two-time All-American.
He had 1,421 yards and 22 touchdowns in 2013 after hauling in 75 passes for
1,200 yards and 19 scores in 2012. Harman could be the preseason No. 1
player for next year.
Ethan Westbrooks, West Texas A&M, Sr., 6-4, 275
he started the year off slow Westbrooks still finished with 19.5 tackles for
loss, seven sacks, and 10 hurries in 2013. The two-time All-American once
again proved to be one of the best at the Division II level. He has had a
long road and has the boom or bust factor at the next level but either way he
was one of the best in college last year. His power moves, speed, and
ability to push the pocket made him dangerous and one player that coordinators
and quarterbacks feared.
Brian Clarke, Bloomsburg, Sr., 6-3, 305
bulked up from 290 to 305 since last year and showed great toughness and
strength this year. While he isn’t the biggest frame guy he is mean,
strong, and plays the way you like a guard to play. The two-time
All-American and three-time All-PSAC selection could even be argued to go higher
but as stated before, there are a lot of great players this year!
Marquez Clark, Central Oklahoma, Jr., 5-11, 190
Clark is just a junior and ahead of some major names in the senior class but he
deserves it. The 2012 NJCAA All-American came with hype and lived up to
it. He had 1,348 yards and five touchdowns receiving and then averaged
18.1 yards per punt return with two scores and 23.1 per kickoff return.
Clark was a first-team All-MIAA pick.
Matt Feiler, Bloomsburg, Sr., 6-7, 325
he was not a big name entering the year, the four-year starter and two-time All-PSAC
selection, really earned the big name in 2013. He deserved his All-America
mention and showed good strength, consistent play, and the ability to drive
opponents as a senior. He went from a guy some weren’t sure on to a
player that everyone who saw him agreed he was one of the best in the country by
Zach Moore, Concordia-St. Paul, Sr., 6-6, 278
you saw Moore play you could even argue he may be higher. While his
production was not quite as good as you hope on paper he still dictated plays
and showed to be one of the best in the country. His length, speed,
strength, and motor were impressive in the three tapes I watched. Moore
finished as a three-time All-NSIC selection and had 9.5 tackles for loss and
seven sacks as a senior.
Jamie Meder, Ashland, Sr., 6-2, 304
Meder isn’t the biggest he is strong, brings a consistent rush, and was a
productive player for Ashland. He was a four-time first-team All-GLIAC
selection and back to back winter of the GLIAC Defensive Lineman of the Year
Award, as well as two-time All-American. He had 88 tackles, 7.5 tackles
for loss, and three sacks in 2013.
Michael Green, Lenoir-Rhyne, Sr., 6-0, 195
three-time first team All-SAC safety and one-time All-SAC return specialist has
become one of the best in the country. He was the 2013 SAC Defensive
Player of the Year with 88 tackles, eight tackles for loss, and eight
interceptions. Green isn’t the fastest guy but a good tackler, very
active, and has good ball skills.
Carlos Fields, Winston-Salem State, Sr., 6-2, 220
expected, Fields had another monster season. He is a three-time All-CIAA
selection and was the 2013 CIAA Co-Defensive Player of the Year. Fields
had 93 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, and two interceptions as a senior after
being named the CIAA Defensive Player of the Year in 2012 with 117 tackles, nine
tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks.
Rondell White, West Chester, Sr., 5-10, 185
is one of the best all-purpose players in the nation and showed it once again
with 1,989 rushing yards, 843 receiving yards, and 275 kickoff return yards as a
senior. He was named an AFCA All-American and a two-time All-PSAC
selection. He ran for 21 touchdowns and caught three touchdowns as well as
a senior. White has been described as a step slow in previous years but
showed some improved speed and plenty of toughness as a workhorse back this
DT Charles Tuaau, Texas A&M Commerce, Jr., 6-5, 310
transferred from Riverside JC and was so dominant he vaulted into my top 25 in
just one season. He was an AFCA All-American and the Lonestar Defensive
Lineman and Defensive Player of the Year. He had 59 tackles, 25 tackles
for loss, and 12.5 sacks.
Dexter Moody, Albany State, Sr., 6-3, 204
was great in 2012 earning first-team All-SAC honors with seven interceptions and
returned two of them for touchdowns. The former Georgia State and Georgia
star stepped it up a notch with first-team All-SAC honors and SIAC Defensive
Player of the Year in 2013. He had 38 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, three
interceptions, and two pass breakups. While he didn’t have quite the
interception totals he was the leader of his unit and was a player most
quarterbacks threw away from.
Jack Moro, St. Cloud State, Sr., 5-11, 190
hard to believe a two-time AFCA All-American is this low. While he isn’t
the most physically gifted player he is a playmaker. Moro had seven
interceptions and three pass breakups along with 75 tackles in 2013. He
would have been higher had he been more than a two-year standout and was a
better athlete. You still can’t deny his ball skills and instincts,
which is why he is still one of the top 25 players in all of Division II.
Tavarius Wilson, North Alabama, Sr., 5-11, 235
transferred from Hinds CC for 2012 and quickly became very worthy of this list.
He’s a two-time All-Gulf South pick and was the Gulf South Defensive Player of
the Year and AFCA All-American in 2013. Wilson finished with 123 tackles,
7.5 tackles for loss, four interceptions, and returned two for touchdowns as a
senior. He was the defensive leader on a team with two legit NFL prospects
on his side of the ball and proved to be the very best defender in a league
always filled with talent.
William Wright, West Georgia, Sr., 6-3, 310
looked as though he would be very high on this list after the 2012 season and it
showed in 2013 despite moving from right to left guard. He was an AFCA
All-American and a key cog on their line. Wright was one of the best
guards I saw in Division II and a player who is vastly underrated in the grand
scheme as he didn’t get as many All-America accolades as he deserved.
Freddie Martino, North Greenville, Sr., 6-0, 195
had a great season with 146 catches to lead all receivers and was named an
All-American. While he isn’t very big nor is he fast, he catches
everything. You would think a player with his numbers (1,680 yards, 12
touchdowns) would be higher but a lot of his catches wee screens and shovel
passes. Regardless, he is a definitely top 50 player to pull off the
record he did this year.
Keidrick Jackson, Midwestern State, Sr., 5-9, 210
has been one of the best in Division II over the last three years. He was
an AFCA All-American in 2013 and a three-time first-team All-Lonestar pick.
He ran or 1,177 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2013 with a 5.6 yards per carry.
He can catch out of the backfield and has some speed. Jackson was also the
2013 Lonestar Offensive Back of the year.
LeRon Furr, Fort Valley State, Sr., 6-3, 225
has had a rough road to Fort Valley State but since arriving he has been a
two-time All-American and the Co-Defensive Player of the Year for the SIAC.
He had 22.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, and 80 tackles in 2013 after posting
110 tackles, 32 tackles for loss, and 6.5 sacks in 2012.
Vernon Johnson, Texas A&M Commerce, Jr., 6-1, 190
is another of the many JC transfers Commerce brought in and like Tuaau he made a
huge splash in year one. He hauled in 70 passes for 1,350 yards and 13
touchdowns. He also averaged 33.1 yards per kickoff return. Johnson
was a big play threat who showed good hands and made many deep ball catches.
Kevin Rodgers, Henderson State, Jr., 6-3, 215
haven’t been many more productive passers over the last two years than him.
After his breakout year in 2012 with 4,002 yards and 41 touchdowns he has 4,807
yards and 40 touchdowns in 2013. He’s a two-time first-team All-GAC
selection, two-time GAC Offensive Player of the Year, and 2013 All-American.
Rodgers lacks a big arm but is mobile and makes plays.
Howard Jones, Shepherd, Sr., 6-4, 238
finished as a four-time All-Conference selection but didn’t quite put together
an All-America season in his career. His best year was perhaps in 2011
with 23.5 tackles for loss and 12 sacks but as a senior he didn’t put it all
together against the run enough to vault up the list. Jones is a test
freak and he has great speed but needs some work. His production put him
here but he could have been a top 8 player had he developed more physically and
in terms of adding pass rush moves.
Corey Washington, Newberry, Sr., 6-4, 200
Washington played in the SCADA North-South game in Myrtle Beach as a high school
senior, the recruiting analysts didn’t realize he would pass many 3 and 4 star
players to be a big time college performer. He went on to Georgia Military
and then finished his career as a two-time All-SAC selection that really put up
a great senior campaign. Washington had 839 yards, 13 touchdowns, and then
returned three kicks for touchdowns in 2013. What’s so amazing about
that is he had never done it and while I was in attendance against North
Greenville he took a punt 85 yards for a touchdown in his first ever return. The
next week he returned two kickoffs for touchdowns to solidify his spot on the
D2football.com All-America list. His only major knock is lack of elite
speed, which most believe is 4.6.
Tyler Tonderum, Southwest Minnesota State, Jr., 5-10, 191
only doing returns in 2012 he had a breakout 2013 season with 2,145 yards and 19
touchdowns (6.3ypc). He’s a smaller back with great vision that hits the
holes hard and can break the big play. He was an All-American and
first-team All-NSIC South selection in his first year as the starter.
Jonathon Jennings, Saginaw Valley State, Sr., 6-2, 205
may not be big but has a good arm and is accurate. He’s a three-time
All-GLIAC pick who was named the GLIAC Player of the Year in 2013. He
threw for 3,440 yards and 31 touchdowns while completing 64.7% of his passes.
Blake Baker, Lenoir-Rhyne, Jr., 6-1, 215
Baker lacks the size and length you want in a stud end he is fast, explosive,
quick, and uses his hands well. He was a no name entering the year but
burst into the top 100 at No. 38 after posting 56 tackles, 22 tackles for loss,
and 14.5 sacks as a junior.
Jeremy Gatson, Shaw, Sr., 6-4, 325
is another player very underrated nationally. He transferred from Hudson
Valley CC and finished as a two-year starter at right tackle and first-team All-CIAA
pick in 2013. He’s got a strong lower body and was rarely challenged
Cole Manhart, Nebraska-Kearney, Jr., 6-6, 300
just keeps climbing and should only continue to do so. He was a
second-team All-MIAA pick at left tackle in 2012 and then earned AFCA
All-America and first-team All-MIAA honors as a senior. Manhart needs to
get stronger and fill out the lower body but has good feet and really became
dominant towards the end of the year.
Terrell Watson, Azusa Pacific, Jr., 6-2, 230
Pacific hasn’t had many players on lists like these but Watson could be the
start of a growing trend for them. He ran for 1,094 yards and 11
touchdowns in 2012 but improved that total with a whopping 23 touchdowns and
1,812 yards while averaging 6.0 yards per carry in 2013. He was the GNAC
Offensive Player of the Year and with his size, power, and speed could be the
top running back in Division II easily next year.
Chris Schaudt, Minnesota State Mankato, Sr., 6-4, 272
has been a monster from day one as a four-time All-NSIC selection and became an
All-American in 2013. He was the NSIC Co-Defensive Player of the Year with
45 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, and 6.5 sacks. There aren’t many who
have been as consistent as him over the last four years.
Torrence Allen, West Texas A&M, Sr., 6-1, 190
was a monster in 2012 with 1,430 yards and 12 touchdowns earning first-team All-Lonestar
honors and then improved on those numbers with 1,668 yards and 12 touchdowns in
2013 earning All-America mention as well. He isn’t the fastest but gets
open and has great hands.
Craig Watts, West Texas A&M, Sr., 6-4, 335
has steadily improved each year going from a one game starter as a freshman to
honorable mention All-Lonestar pick in 2011, second-team in 2012, and frist-team
in 2013. He was also named the Lonestar Offensive Lineman of the Year and
All-American in 2013. Watts is a big body with strength that excelled in
the pass game.
Chris Pope, Valdosta State, Sr., 6-1, 215
VSU didn’t live up to the hype this year to finish as repeat champions Pope
was certainly not the reason. He tallied 92 tackles and six tackles for
loss to earn first-team All-Gulf South honors for the third straight season.
Keaton Stigger, Henderson State, Sr., 6-2, 245
transferring from Central Arkansas Stigger has been a monster earning first-team
All-GAC honors for three straight years. He was the GAC Defensive Player
of the Year in 2013 with 136 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks.
Robert Holland, Chowan, Sr., 6-3, 190
can just hear the CIAA fans chanting underrated even at No. 45. You could
argue higher as a four-time All-CIAA selection and the 2013 CIAA Offensive
Player of the Year. He had 1,318 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior and
cemented himself as the best skill player in the league.
Glen Clinton, Chadron State, Sr., 5-10, 200
was one of the best running backs in the nation this year and proved to be one
of the best over the last four years. He is a four-time All-RMAC selection
and an All-American in 2013. He ran for 1,518 yards and 13 touchdowns to
average a whopping 6.3 yards per carry as a senior. The All-American also
proved to be a quality receiver with 405 yards on 43 catches.
Matthew Reece, Tuskegee, Jr., 6-3, 310
Tuskegee product had a dominant 2013 season earning AFCA All-America honors and
first-team All-SIAC. It’s not often an offensive lineman who has never
been all-conference not only earns all-conference honors but All-America honors
in their breakout season. Reece was by far the best lineman in the SIAC in
Brian Dixon, Northwest Missouri State, Sr., 6-0, 195
was a second-team All-MIAA pick in 2013 showing good ball skills and returned
his only pick for a touchdown. While he doesn’t cause a lot of turnovers
he was a guy who many didn’t even test because he shut down his side of the
Joe Clancy, Merrimack, Sr., 6-3, 210
Clancy isn’t very mobile he is a good pocket passer who threw for 4,116 yards
and 48 touchdowns as a senior. He is a two-time Northeast 10 Offensive
Player of the Year whose leadership and accuracy have made him one of the best
in Division II.
Thomas Wolfe III, Fort Valley State, Sr., 6-0, 185
SIAC had a lot of talent this year and Wolfe was one of those top notch players.
Once again he showed great ball skills and instincts just like in 2012. He
had six picks and 17 pass breakups last season and then had eight picks and six
pass breakups in 2013 to earn All-America and first-team All-SIAC honors.
Justin Bell, Ohio Dominican, Sr., 5-10, 185
Bell left Toledo the coaches at Ohio Dominican may not have realized what they
were getting but they were sure happy to get it. Bell is a three-time All-GLIAC
pick who was named an All-American and the GLIAC DB of the Year in 2013.
He had 100 tackles as a junior and 101 tackles as a senior while picking off
five passes over the last two years. Bell has played both corner and
safety in college.
Sergio Castillo, West Texas A&M, Sr., 5-11, 195
doubt he was the best kicker in Division II in 2013. Castillo was 24 of 30
on field goals with a long of 55 and was a first-team All-American for the
second year in a row. This four-time All-Lonestar selection was not only
accurate over his career but showed good leg strength, improving each season.
Jon Wolf, Minnesota State Mankato, Sr., 6-4, 230
Mankato product had a huge season in 2013 after mediocre play previously.
Wolf ran for 1,150 yards and 15 touchdowns while passing for 2,054 yards and a
17-2 ratio. His efficiency and big plays were a big reason for their top 5
finish in the polls. He was named the NSIC Offensive Player of the Year
for his play.
Byron Dovales, IUP, Sr., 6-3, 290
hard to find highly consistent players on the offensive line but that’s what
Dovales brings at left tackle as a three-time first-team All-PSAC West
selection. His play in the pass and run game were both very good making
him one of the best tackles in the country.
Jamal Ellis, Newberry, Sr., 6-4, 315
had never earned accolades until this year but the big guard was a first-team
All-SAC selection and probably would have won the Blocking Trophy had he been a
name entering the year and played for Lenoir-Rhyne. He was a road grader
who moved the pile and despite his big body and frame he moves very well.
He’s a very underrated player who has finally got the dues he deserves based
on his play in 2013.
Troy Harris, Mars Hill, Sr., 6-4, 260
Hill quietly boasted one of the best defenders in the country as Harris capped
his career as a two-time first-team All-SAC selection who had 13 tackles for
loss and six sacks as a junior and 20.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks as a
senior. He was active against the run and one of the top tacklers in
Division II of all linemen with 99 on the season.
Donnie Owens, Winston-Salem State, Sr., 6-3, 295
is a two-time All-CIAA selection who had a monster 2013 season with 15.5 tackles
for loss and 10 sacks. Owens was good in 2012 as well with 10.5 tackles
for loss and 7 sacks.
Joe Ray, Lenoir-Rhyne, Soph., 6-0, 245
was a breakout player and a rare top 100 performer for a sophomore offensive
lineman but he moved defenders all season long and created holes in the
playoffs. He was a first-team All-SAC pick at right tackle and won the
Jacobs Blocking Trophy for the conference.
Robert Hayes, Shepherd, Sr., 6-2, 278
may feel the undersized Hayes is underrated at #60 as a back to back first-team
all-conference selection and the 2013 MEC Defensive Player of the Year. He
had 24 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, and 11 sacks in 12 games this year.
Hayes is a three-year starter and three-time all-conference selection during his
Ryan Corbin, Southwestern Oklahoma State, Sr., 6-4, 250
has been good since day one and consistently improved each year. As a
freshman he had 22 catches and then in his sophomore year was All-Lonestar and
finished with 36 catches for 389 yards. In 2012, he had 400 yards and was
first-team All-GAC after season team switched conferences. He then
repeated first-team All-GAC honors in 2013 but had a big time season with 914
yards and seven touchdowns.
Taylor McCuller, West Texas A&M, Sr., 6-2, 240
is not the fast player but he is productive and instinctive. He was very
good in the box last year racking up 152 tackles and eight tackles for loss.
He was a second-team All-Lonestar pick in 2012 and first-team in 2013. He
was also named the Lonestar Linebacker of the Year in 2013 while earning
Isaiah Fleming, Cheyney, Jr., 5-11, 220
undersized Fleming has been a terror for PSAC signal callers as a two-time
first-team All-PSAC East selection with 100 plus tackles each of the last two
years. He had 22.5 tackles for loss in 2013 and was an All-American.
Next year will be a very deep linebacker class and he is among the top 5 in the
country in it.
Ronell Williams, West Chester, Jr., 6-1, 230
Chester is firmly led on defense by Williams who was an AFCA All-American in
2012 with 119 tackles and then had another solid year in 2013 with 110 tackles.
He is a two-time first-team All-PSAC East selection and should have another big
year in 2014.
Jake Edmiston, Colorado Mesa, Sr., 6-2, 225
missing part of the 2011 season with an injury he had a solid junior campaign
with 122 tackles. The 2012 third-team All-RMAC pick then blew that out of
the water with 177 tackles and 15 tackles for loss to earn RMAC Defensive Player
of the Year in 2013. He was a sideline to sideline player and the best
player on his team.
TE Reggie Jordan, Missouri Western State, Sr., 6-3, 235
is one of the most underrated players in Division II who I imagine would not
make this list if most anyone else had done it. He’s #65 on mine because
he can play. Jordan is a very good blocker who had 366 yards and four
touchdowns in 2013 to earn All-MIAA honors for the second straight year.
Nate Dreiling, Pittsburg state, Sr., 6-4, 226
he did not have his best season, the four-time All-MIAA selection and 2011 AFCA
All-American once again earned All-America honors for the fourth straight
season. If he had improved from his sophomore campaign instead of a slight
dip in production he would have made the top 20. If this list were solely
based on 2013 he would be in the 80-95 range but was given a bump because of his
Curtis Slater, West Texas A&M, Sr., 5-9, 195
burst onto the scene in 2012 with four pick and five pass breakups but really
elevated his game in 2013. He showed good ball skills and was an active
tackler. He had 114 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, five picks, and seven
breakups to earn Lonestar Defensive Back of the Year and first-team All-Lonestar
honors for the second straight year.
Dewey McDonald, California PA, Sr., 6-0, 215
former Fairmont State standout transferred for 2013 after sitting out 2012 with
an elbow injury. He picked up where he left off in 2011 and was even
better. He had 89 tackles, three interceptions, three touchdowns, and
eight pass breakups to earn first-team All-PSAC accolades.
Zach Zulli, Shippensburg, Sr., 6-1, 205
his record-breaking year in 2012 where he threw for 54 touchdowns and just 10
picks he dropped a bit but still had a prolific season. He threw for 3,500
yards and 35 touchdowns to earn All-PSAC honors for a second straight year.
Zulli lacks the big arm and ability to make a lot happen with his feet but
he’s smart, a good leader, and finds the open man.
Chris Bonner, CSU-Pueblo, Jr., 6-7, 225
had big shoes to fill coming in from Grossmont Junior College and lived up to
them. He threw for 3,413 yards and 33 touchdowns to earn RMAC Offensive
Player of the Year honors. The big, strong arm pocket passer doesn’t have good
mobility but has a strong arm and can make all the throws. He will need to
be a little more efficient and improve on some things for 2014 to improve his
numbers but has all the tools and there is no reason to believe he won’t.
Lawrence Virgil, Valdosta State, Sr., 6-5, 290
so much talent on Valdosta State the last two years I think some folks have
overlooked him. However, this three-time All-Gulf South pick is one of the
best in the country and clearly a top 100 player. He had 48 tackles, 8.5
tackles for loss, and 4.5 sacks in 2013 after posting 52 tackles and 12 tackles
for loss in 2011 and 30 tackles and 8.5 tackles for loss in 2011.
Bo Cordell, Tusculum, Sr., 6-0, 205
has had a rollercoaster career after an All-America season and SAC Offensive
Player of the Year honors in 2010. Injuries derailed his early success some but
he bounced back in 2013 as the SAC Offensive Player of the Year with 3,920 yards
and 25 touchdowns.
Michael Flacco, New Haven, 6-5, 245, Soph.
is indeed the younger brother of Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. He
declared for the NFL Draft after just one year at New Haven because he is older
due to spending four years in the minor leagues. He had 591 yards and nine
touchdowns in just one year at New Haven after they lost their All-Northeast 10
quarterback after last year. He was a major target and underrated player
this year. Based on awards you may argue him being this high but those who
saw him know he can play.
D.J. Mendenhall, Urbana, Sr., 6-5, 230
being named all-conference for four years and the Offensive Player of the Year
in both the MEC and GLFC during his career many will say he should be higher.
You could make the case for sure. He thew for 3,268 yards and 32
touchdowns as a senior with 3,151 yards and 30 touchdowns as a junior.
While he doesn’t have the best arm he is big, athletic, makes good decisions,
and the most decorated player I have ever seen come through Urbana.
Malcolm Butler, West Alabama, Sr., 5-11, 180
former Hinds CC transfer was a top notch cover man earning first-team All-Gulf
South honors in 2012 and 2013. He had 45 tackles, two picks, and 16 pass
breakups as a senior.
Daiquone Ford, Findlay, Soph., 5-7, 190
was a backup in 2012 but when given the chance to start this year he just ran
for 1,789 yards and 24 touchdowns. His 5.7 yards per carry earned him
first-team All-GLIAC and All-America honors.
Anthony Taylor, Ashland, Jr., 5-11, 209
may only be a junior but he was a big play threat for Ashland with 14 touchdowns
and 1,691 yards in 2013. The two-time first-team All-GLIAC pick found a
way to improve on his 1,198 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2012 and thus with his
current progression should be primed for a big 2014 campaign if he stays
Darius Davis, Henderson State, Jr., 5-11, 212
plays are something Davis has done the last two years in a big way. He
averaged 19.7 yards per catch in 2012 and 21.3 as a junior this season. He
is a two-time All-GAC pick who had 75 catches for 1,597 yards and 16 touchdowns
Dimitri Holmes, Mars Hill, Jr., 5-10, 165
has been overlooked in the national rankings over the last two years and should
certainly be a top rated player next year after two very impressive seasons.
He is a two-time first-team All-SAC selection who hauled in 81 passes for 1,591
yards and 15 touchdowns in 2013 and 71 for 997 yards and eight touchdowns in
Julian Howsare, Clarion, Jr., 6-3, 255
really like Howsare despite the argument he has nobody else on his team.
He can get around the edge and hustles. You have to love his motor.
He’s a two-time first-team All-PSAC West selection who had 83 tackles, 16.5
tackles for loss, and 9.5 sacks in 2013 after posting 13 tackles for loss and
11.5 sacks in 2012.
Mike Pennel, CSU-Pueblo, Sr., 6-5, 363
big Arizona State transfer made a big impression in just one year to earn
first-team All-RMAC honors with 36 tackles, six tackles for loss, and three
sacks. While his numbers aren’t gaudy he was a massive nose tackle who
ate blocks, controlled the line of scrimmage, and was a violent hitter.
Brandon Kliesen, CSU-Pueblo, Sr., 5-10, 221
say he was the best punter in Division II in 2013 after a stellar season in 2012
as well. He is a two-time All-RMAC pick who had 19 inside the 20 and 11
touchbacks along with nine fair catches as a senior.
Gregory Moore, Lane, Sr., 6-4, 200
had a solid year in 2012 but had the big one in 2013 with 910 yards and 11
touchdowns. He was the best receiver in the SIAC and a first-team All-SIAC
selection. Moore is a big target with long arms, big hands, and the
ability to make the jump ball catches.
Scott Simonson, Assumption, Sr., 6-5, 255
would say he is underrated at #85 on this list after finishing as a two-time
All-Northeast 10 selection and first-team ahead of Flacco, who is 11 spots
higher. He had 604 yards and five touchdowns this year.
Caleb Massey, North Alabama, Sr., 6-0, 226
Alabama has another defender on this list as Massey was a first-team All-Gulf
South pick for the second straight season. He had 80 tackles, four
interceptions, and four pass breakups in 11 games. He proved to be one of
the best safeties in the nation.
Grant Singer, Mary, Jr., 6-1, 215
isn’t a household name in Division II but he’s a stud. The two-time
first-team All-NSIC North selection had 118 tackles and 16.5 tackles for loss as
a junior. He was named the NSIC Co-Defensive Player of the Year and AFCA
All-American for his play.
Kraig Akins, Western Oregon, Jr., 6-2, 290
teammate, Benthin, was the GNAC Defensive Lineman of the Year in 2012 but he
took the award in 2012 with 70 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, and eight sacks.
Akins proved to be a high motor pass rusher who made plays against the run as
Gustave Benthin, Western Oregon, Sr., 6-2, 285
stats were down in several ways, especially in tackles with a drop from 63 to 30
in 2013 but he was still active and made plays. Benthin attracted more
double teams and was ran away from so he didn’t make quite the impact in the
stat column but was still a first-team All-GNAC selection. He finished his
career as a three-time first-team selection and four-time overall honoree.
Neiko Conway, Midwestern State, Sr., 5-10, 185
has experience as a safety and corner and the 2013 first-team All-Lonestar
selection proved he could have a big year at both spots. He picked off
five passes and had nine breakups with 48 tackles in 10 games.
Darnell Evans, Shaw, Sr., 5-8, 181
is the prime example of your usual Division II all-star. He is small but
has good ball skills, can run, and is very versatile. He was the 2010 CIAA
Defensive Rookie of the Year and follow that up with six picks in 2011, four
picks in 2012, and then a whopping 11 picks in 2013. He was the 2013 CIAA
Special Teams Player of the Year as well with a 29.2 kickoff return average and
a 15.5 punt return average.
Trevor Adams, Northwest Missouri State, Sr., 6-1, 200
an average season with 2,515 yards and 23 touchdowns as a junior he had a big
year in 2013 with 3,065 yard and 30 touchdowns to earn MIAA Offensive Player of
the Year honors. While Adams doesn’t have great mobility or a big arm he
is smart, accurate, and a good leader who deserves his spot on this list.
Mike Nelson, Central Washington, Sr., 6-4, 305
is a four-time first-team All-GNAC selection who was the GNAC Offensive lineman
of the Year in 2013.He played right tackle only during his career and while he
was very good for most of the year he did struggle against the Western Oregon
duo, which is why they are ahead of him.
Dashaun Phillips, Tarleton State, Sr., 5-10, 180
was a big faller from the preseason list as he was expected to be a top 20 pick
right now but after just one pick and seven pass breakups along with no mention
by most All-America teams he didn’t have quite the year expected.
Jamie Potts, Grand Valley State, Soph., 6-3, 225
is a former baseball player who has shown great improvement in two years at
Grand Valley. He had just 327 yards in 2012 but had 899 yards and 11
touchdowns in 2013 to earn All-GLIAC and All-America honors. Keep an eye
on him as another very high riser in 2014.
LB Colby Ring, Minnesota Duluth, Sr., 6-1, 225
undersized linebacker had a big season for the second straight year earning
first-team All-NSIC honors and then AFCA All-America honors as a senior.
He tallied just 66 tackles and eight tackles for loss but was a leader who made
plays when they needed them.
Tore’ Hurst, Washburn, Sr., 6-2, 240
had a great career and closed it out with 575 yards and seven touchdowns in 2013
to finish as a three-time All-MIAA selection. The four-year starter proved
to be a quality blocker and pass catcher who could do it all for Washburn.
Isaiah Davis, Central Washington, Soph., 5-10, 176
was a second-team All-GNAC pick in 2012 and first-team pick as a corner in 2013.
He earned second-team honors as a punt returner in 2013 and finished with six
picks, eight pass breakups, and a 13.0 punt return average, with one return for
a score. Davis is an up and comer in the GNAC and should be a preseason
top 50 player in Division II for 2014.
LB DJ Gnader, Northwest Missouri State, Jr., 6-2, 225
2013 first-team All-MIAA selection led the team with 111 tackles, eight tackles
for loss, 3.5 sacks, seven pass breakups, and two interceptions. He was
one of the best players in the MIAA and was a key cog to that championship
LJ McCray, Catawba, Sr., 6-1, 215
had another big year earning first-team All-SAC honors for the third straight
season. He had 78 tackles, two sacks, eight pass breakups, and averaged
22.7 yards per kickoff return. He has been All-SAC as both a return man
and safety in his career.
are 10 players who I imagine would be first brought up as players that should
have been considered.
Reuben Thomas, Northwest Missouri State, Jr., 6-2, 185
he didn’t have a great regular season he came up big in the playoffs.
Against Lenoir-Rhyne, in the title game, he had five catches for 92 yards and
two scores after seven catches for 143 yards and two scores against Grand Valley
State in the semis. He became the team leader in catches with 66 for 1,025
yards and 10 scores. As my playoff MVP he almost made the top 100.
Had he just put up a second-team All-MIAA type of season he would have made my
CJ Davis Shepherd, Fr., 5-9, 182
rare I would put a freshman in the top 100 and Davis almost made it this year.
He had one kickoff return for a touchdown and two punt returns for touchdowns to
finish with a 38.6 kickoff return and 24.9 punt return average. He was a
big play threat all year in the return game.
Nathan Slaughter, West Texas A&M, Sr., 5-10, 185
has consistently been a key player at both receiver and return specialist at
WTAMU. In 2013, he had three kickoff returns for touchdowns and averaged
36.1 per return. He also had 50 catches for 516 yards and finishes his
career as a two-time All-Lonestar selection.
Al-Hajj Shabazz, West Chester, Jr., 6-1, 185
season Shabazz had 38 tackles and one interception but had the breakout campaign
this year with 53 tackles, four interceptions, one touchdown, and eight pass
breakups. Shabazz was named first-team All-PSAC East and should be among
the top corners in the country next year. If he had done a little more as
a sophomore he would have made the top 100.
Scottie Gallardo, Fort Lewis, Sr., 6-0, 215
Colorado transfer had a big year in 2013 with a 46.1 punt average and a long of
77 yards. He was named an All-American and deservedly so with those
numbers along with the fact he showed consistent leg strength booting 27 of 50
plus yards and an impressive 18 fair catches.
James McCombie, Slippery Rock, Sr., 6-0, 170
former Penn Highlands CC transfer was one of the best in the PSAC from day one
averaging 41.0 yards per punt in 2011 and 36.8 in 2010. He had his best
year in 2013 with a 43.2 punt average and a 74-yard long. He was
first-team All-PSAC and All-American in 2013.
Joey Searcy, Angelo State, Sr., 6-0, 335
can certainly argue the former Baylor signee who began his career at Minnesota
and is a two-time first-team All-Lonestar pick deserves to make the top 100.
He had nine tackles for loss and one sack in 2013 so his numbers weren’t gaudy
but he did control the line of scrimmage and showed good strength at the point
Steve Wakefield, Mercyhurst, Sr., 5-11, 175
struggled early in his career but began to put it all together in 2012 to earn
All-PSAC honors. As a senior he really improved hitting 94.1% of his field goals
and 41 of 42 extra points. The fact his leg isn’t as strong as Castillo
was the tiebreaker that gave Castillo my No. 1 slot at placekicker though.
C.J. Roberts, CSU Pueblo, Jr., 6-0, 180
almost made the list after earning All-RMAC honors for a second straight year
and had 14 pass breakups in 2013. He hasn’t had that gaudy interception
total in a year yet but has been one of the best unknown corners in the country.
Wesley Powell, Tusculum, Jr., 6-10, 265
is a name to really watch in 2013 after catching 38 passes for 520 yards.
He’s a massive kid who blocks well and was a good target for Bo Cordell.
He was named first-team All-SAC in 2013.
you will see below, name recognition from previous seasons won’t put a player
in the top 100 unless he has a worthy season. Here are eight players
listed in the top 35 from the preseason who failed to make the top 100 cut in
Valdosta State WR Gerald Ford was #14
in the preseason but later deemed ineligible and thus did not make this list.
If my list wasn’t only for players who played in 2013 he would have still come
in between 50-75.
After missing four games this year and
the fact he was still the #2 target at the time Henderson State WR Robert Jordan
was left off but worth mentioning after he did finish with 724 yards and nine
Fairmont State OL Chris Barfield was
#21 in the preseason but failed to make the top 100 after a subpar season in
2013 that he only earned second-team All-MEC honors.
#24 Valdosta State WR Seantavious Jones
also missed the top 100 after a subpar season. It was expected he would
put up big numbers in 2013 but only had 777 yards instead of the expected
California PA WR Mike Williams was #27
in the preseason but failed to make the postseason list after just catching five
touchdowns and putting up.
Mars Hill OL Nick Allison was #29 in
the preseason but missed the top 100 after putting up a subpar season like
Barfield, compared to the standard set for him.
IUP LB Carl Fleming repeated as a
first-team All-PSAC West selection but his play was not quite as good. While he
had 10 more tackles his numbers almost everywhere else dropped and he still miss
a ton of tackles.
The last player in the top 35, who was
rated #35, that is missing from the postseason list is Simon Fraser WR Lemar
Durant. After missing the 2011 season and rebounding in 2012 with 91
catches for 1,318 yards and 17 touchdowns he missed the list with a down 2013
campaign (29 catches, 5 TDs).