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Midseason top 100 (Hawk, Holmes and Whitner)


Never Forget 31-0

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<EMBED SRC=http://static.espn.go.com/swf/storypageheadline.swf?h=A%20midseason%20look%20at%20the%20Hot%20100 swLiveConnect=FALSE WIDTH=430 HEIGHT=45 QUALITY=best SCALE=exactfit wmode=opaque ID=espnHeadline NAME=flash2 MENU=false DEVICEFONT=false FlashVars=null BGCOLOR=#FFFFFF TYPE=application/x-shockwave-flash PLUGINSPAGE=http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash></EMBED></OBJECT><NOSCRIPT>A midseason look at the Hot 100

By Bruce Feldman
ESPN The Magazine

<!-- template inline -->The college football season is at the halfway point and it's time to re-examine the Hot 100. As always, this list doesn't reflect how guys figure to get drafted. It relates directly to their impact on the field this season and this list doesn't include players not in I-A and kickers. It also doesn't reflect some top talent that has been derailed by injuries (Anthony Davis, Eric Winston, Chris Canty, Geoff McArthur, etc.)

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</TD></TR><TR><TD width=195>[font=verdana, arial, geneva]Purdue's Kyle Orton is the nation's best player right now.[/font]</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>1. Kyle Orton, Purdue, QB: Putting up staggering numbers, carrying the Boilers into the top 10. QB efficiency rating is a mind-blowing 181. Throwing just one INT for every 86 passes. It's his Heisman to lose.

2. Antrel Rolle, Miami, CB: Blitzes, hits like a linebacker and shuts down every go-to receiver. 4.5 TFLs.

3. Aaron Rodgers, Cal, QB: Was dazzling against USC and his 29-for-34 still don't measure how brilliant he actually was. Is connecting on 78 percent of his throws. Has it all: the nation's quickest release, great vision, poise, the wheels and the presence of a leader.

4. Adrian Peterson, OU, RB: Hasn't been held under 100 rushing yards yet in his college career. Deserves a ticket to NYC for the Heisman ceremony at this point.

5. Derrick Johnson, Texas, LB: This is the Horn who deserves the Heisman talk. Has forced an amazing 7 fumbles.

6. Braylon Edwards, Michigan, WR: Overwhelming all Big Ten DBs. Really has blossomed as a senior.

7. Reggie Bush, USC, RB/WR/KR: No one is more dynamic. He just needs more touches. Didn't officially get a touch until midway through the second quarter against Cal.

8. Jason Campbell, Auburn, QB: The nation's most improved player. Blossomed in his senior year under another new system. Has 10 TDs, 2 INTs.

9. Vernand Morency, Oklahoma St., RB: The Big 12's leading rusher, which is as good a case for an All-American season as anything.

10. Thomas Davis, Georgia, S: This season's version of Sean Taylor took over the LSU game for the Dawgs. Is a huge force against the run, but has struggled a little of late against the pass.

11. Matt Leinart, USC, QB: Despite losing Keary Colbert, Mike Williams, Whitney Lewis and now Steve Smith, he's still shining, completing 67 percent and with 10 TDs and 3 INTs.

12. Elton Brown, Virginia, OG: The best run blocker in America, he is the biggest reason for UVa's dominating physical ground game (275 ypg).

<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 align=right border=0><TBODY><TR><TD width=5 rowSpan=2><SPACER width="5" height="1" type="block"></TD><TD width=195>
</TD></TR><TR><TD width=195>[font=verdana, arial, geneva]Despite his struggles against OU, Cedric Benson is still having a great season.[/font]</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>13. Cedric Benson, Texas, RB: Did have the costly fumble against OU and didn't get his 100, but still carrying the Horns offense on his back.

14. Erasmus James, Wisconsin, DE: Might be the country's most improved defender. Has 6 sacks, 9 TFLs for a great D-line.

15. Laurence Maroney, Minnesota, RB: Explosive back averaging 7 ypc and 136 rushing yards per game.

16. Mike Patterson, USC, DT: Baby Sapp is the most disruptive interior lineman in the country and never stops. Has 5 sacks.

17. Andrew Walter, Arizona State, QB: His 15-1 TD-INT ratio is testimony to his improvement and shows he's much more than just a downfield guy.

18. David Pollack, Georgia, DE: No DE gets any more attention, yet still has made 3 sacks and 6.5 TFLs.

19. Jason White, Oklahoma, QB: Putting together another great season, completing 66 percent with 9 TDs and 3 INTs.

20. Jim Leonhard, Wisconsin, DB/KR: Great ball skills, fearless. A winner.

21. Matt Jones, Arkansas, QB: TD-INT rate isn't great at 7-7, but his 61 percent completion rate is solid and his wheels make him a threat to knock off any team. He is the spark to the SEC's top offense.

22. Rocky McIntosh, Miami, OLB: Might be playing at a higher level than Jonathan Vilma or D.J. Williams were last season. Is great against the run and in space.

23. Marques Hagans, Virginia, QB: Who expected this? The guy's been fantastic, hitting on 70 percent, 5 TDs, 1 INT and a legit running threat with 165 rushing yards too.

24. Corey Webster, LSU, CB: Did get beat several times against Georgia, but still one of the nation's top DBs.

25. Kevin Burnett, Tennessee, LB: Putting together a great year for the Vols and their stout run D. Getting 8.8 tackles per game.

26. Shaun Cody, USC, DT: Versatile technician and a leader has played well inside and out. Has 5 sacks.

27. Chris Leak, Florida, QB: Leading the Gators to 53 percent conversion rate on third downs.

28. Cadillac Williams, Auburn, RB: Attacks defenders like he weighs 240, he's the backbone of the Auburn team.

29. A.J. Hawk, Ohio State, LB: Leads Big Ten with 13 tackles per game.

30. Marlin Jackson, Michigan, DB: Give him a lot of credit for the Big Ten's stingiest third-down D.

31. Jammal Brown, Oklahoma, OT: The Sooners have only allowed 2 sacks and are getting 5.3 yards per rush.

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</TD></TR><TR><TD width=250>[font=verdana, arial, geneva]Purdue's Taylor Stubblefield is the Big Ten's all-time leading receiver.[/font]</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>32. Taylor Stubblefield, Purdue, WR: Precision route runner with soft hands. Has 11 TDs.

33. Leon Washington, Florida State, RB: Superb all-around player, averaging 8 yards per carry.

34. Alex Smith, Utah, QB: A great fit for a great scheme, he's got an 8-1 TD-INT ratio and has the Utes converting on 49 percent on third downs.

35. Ahmad Brooks, Virginia, ILB: An awesome talent with NFL written all over him. Has 4.5 sacks.

36. Mark Clayton, Oklahoma, WR: Numbers are down, but that's because of Peterson. Still a legit go-to guy.

37. Junior Rosegreen, Auburn, CB: Playmaker who is the chatty ringleader of the SEC's stingiest D. Has 5 picks.

38. T.A. McLendon, NC State, RB: The ACC's leading rusher is averaging 110 ypg and carrying the NCSU offense.

39. Alex Barron, Florida State, OT: Standout pass protector has really improved as a run blocker.

40. Lance Mitchell, Oklahoma, LB: A great all-around LB, he is back to the superb level of play he was at before tearing his ACL.

41. Ciatrick Fason, Florida, RB: In a league loaded with great runners, he's leading the SEC in yards per game (110.)

42. Heath Miller, Virginia, TE: A match-up nightmare for every defense.

43. Leroy Hill, Clemson, LB: Having another terrific season on a disappointing team. Has 5 sacks, 9.5 TFLs.

44. Brodney Pool, Oklahoma, S: The Sooners leading tackler is doing a decent Roy Williams impression with 8.4 tackles per game. Also has made 2 picks.

45. Brad Smith, Missouri, QB: Not running as much, but making some strides as a downfield passer. Has 10 TDs and 3 INTs.

<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 align=right border=0><TBODY><TR><TD width=5 rowSpan=2><SPACER width="5" height="1" type="block"></TD><TD width=195>
</TD></TR><TR><TD width=195>[font=verdana, arial, geneva]Ronnie Brown may not get the pub, but he's one of the best RBs in the country.[/font]</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>46. Ronnie Brown, Auburn, RB: Even with the Cadillac purring and getting the bulk of the carries, Brown is still good enough to get his 1,000 yards too. His 8.1 ypc average speaks for itself.

47. J.J. Arrington, Cal, RB: Gashed USC and is leading the Pac-10 with 145 rushing yards per game.

48. Michael Boley, Southern Miss, OLB: The latest in a great line of USM defenders. Averaging 13 tackles per.

49. Marcus Spears, LSU, DE: Hasn't had the big sack numbers, but still is the top D-lineman on a defense holding opponents to 3.2 yards per rush.

50. Channing Crowder, Florida, LB: The SEC's top tackler and the teeth in the UF D.

51. Darren Sproles, Kansas State, RB: In games against I-AA W. Kentucky and hapless UL-Lafayette, he averaged 256 rushing yards and 6.4 ypc. Against three over .500 I-A opponents (Fresno, Texas A&M and Kansas) he's averaged 57 yards and 3.1 ypc.

52. Darrent Williams, Oklahoma State, CB: Great all-around player has been sensational getting 27 yards per punt return.

53. Anttaj Hawthorne, Wisconsin, DT: A dominator inside, he's the biggest reason for opponents meager 2.5-yard per rush average.

54. Ernest Shazor, Michigan, S: Has linebacker size and hitting ability. The knockout guy on the Big Ten's top rush D.

55. Spencer Havner, UCLA, LB: Even though he doesn't play behind a stout D-line, he's been able to lead the country in tackles with 14.2 stops per.

56. Travis Johnson, FSU, DL: Has really come into his own and is living up to his prep billing. Has 9.5 TFLs.

57. DeAngelo Williams, Memphis, RB: Great all-around talent. Averaging 150 rushing yards per game.

58. Donte Nicholson, Oklahoma, S: Vicious hitter is getting 7 tackles per game.

59. Greg Eslinger, Minnesota, C: The foundation of the Big Ten's top rushing game (301 ypg).

<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 align=right border=0><TBODY><TR><TD width=5 rowSpan=2><SPACER width="5" height="1" type="block"></TD><TD width=275>
</TD></TR><TR><TD width=275>[font=verdana, arial, geneva]Wali Lundy is a big reason Virginia is in the middle of the national title picture.[/font]</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>60. Wali Lundy, Virginia, RB: Headed for a 20-TD season.

61. Orien Harris, Miami, DT: Stats may be down, but UM coaches promise his impact is not. The anchor of the nation's most dominant D.

62. David Greene, Georgia, QB: His 52 percent completion clip isn't so great, but his 8-1 TD-INT ratio more than makes up for it.

63. Santonio Holmes, Ohio State, WR: The Buckeyes lone offensive star has really shined. Averaging 93 receiving yards per game.

64. A.J. Nicholson, FSU, LB: Is the most experienced of an outstanding linebacking crew.

65. Maurice Drew, UCLA, RB: Overshadowed by Reggie Bush, but he's legit. Averaging 7.6 yards per carry.

66. Justin Miller, Clemson, CB/KR: Has been a better returner than cover guy, but a lethal weapon for the Tigers.

67. Marion Barber III, Minnesota, RB: Not as dynamic as Maroney, but still a real workhorse, getting 5.5 ypc and heading for 1,200-plus this season.

68. Manny Lawson, NC State, DE: Rangy speedster is living up to those Peter Boulware comparisons. Has 5 sacks.

69. Tavares Gooden, Miami, OLB: Showed he could be great in coverage sticking to FSU's speedy Lorenzo Booker and also has been a force against the run. Averaging 8.2 tackles per game.

70. Donte Whitner, Ohio State, S: The latest Buckeye DB standout.

71. Troy Williamson, South Carolina, WR: Can't overlook that 27 ypc average on 23 catches.

72. Mathias Kiwanuka, Boston College, DE: Would be a star in any conference. Has 9 TFLs and 4 sacks.

73. LaRon Landry, LSU, S: Should be a Thorpe frontrunner in '05. Getting 7 tackles per game.

74. Justin Tuck, Notre Dame DE: Star pass rusher continues to make strides as an every-down force. Has 6.5 TFLs, 3.5 sacks.

75. Bruce Gradkowski, Toledo, QB: Putting up Orton numbers (17 TDs, 2 picks, completing 73 percent of passes.)

76. Jonathan Goddard, Marshall, DE: Could make a run at a 20-sack season. Has 8 and 11.5 TFLs.

77. Greg Threat, Miami, S: The 'Canes leading tackler is also a ball-hawking presence.

78. Antonio Perkins, Oklahoma, CB/KR: Has been very solid in coverage and dangerous as ever as a returner. OU will miss him while he recovers from his MCL sprain.

79. Robert McCune, Louisville, LB: Imposing specimen who is playing as tough as he looks.

80. Omar Jacobs, Bowling Green, QB: The most underrated QB in America. The big agile soph has been amazing, completing 69 percent with 14 TDs, 2 INTs and 176 rushing yards.

81. Ryan Riddle, Cal DE: The Pac-10's sack leader (6) abused the USC O-line.

82. Reggie McNeal, Texas A&M, QB: Completing under 55 percent isn't great, but hasn't throw a pick yet, had 5 TDs and also has rushed for 356 yards.

83. Mario Williams, NC State, DE: Has 7 TFLs and 2 sacks.

84. Dale Robinson, ASU, LB: Brought a toughness to the Sun Devil D. Averaging 9 tackles per game and has made 4 sacks and countless big hits.

85. Baraka Atkins, Miami, DE: Standout against the run and rushing the passer. Has forced 2 fumbles.

86. Kirk Morrison, San Diego State, LB: Averaging 10 tackles for the MWC's best run D.

87. Ryan Moats, Louisiana Tech, RB: Poor man's Barry Sanders is averaging 155 ypg and 7 yards per rush.

88. David Anderson, Colorado State, WR: Quietly piling up yards again en route to a 1,500-yard season. One of the better blocking WRs in the country too.

89. Dan Orlovsky, UConn, QB: Scouts are mixed on him, but you can't knock his accuracy or his toughness.

90. Pac-Man Jones, WVU, CB/PR: Aggressive playmaker, averaging 19 yards per punt return and has 3 picks.

91. D'Qwell Jackson, Maryland, LB: The ACC's leading tackler at 10.4 stops per game.

92. Davin Joseph, Oklahoma, OG: Looks a speeding 18-wheeler when he pulls out in front of Peterson.

93. Jesse Mahelona, Tennessee, DT: Has been a disruptive force for the much-improved UT D-line.

94. Will Derting, Wash., St, LB: Has battled through injury to still lead the Cougs in tackles with 39.

95. Ben Wilkerson, LSU, C: Would be much higher if the Tigers rushing numbers were better.

96. Barrett Ruud, Nebraska, LB: One of the few bright spots in Lincoln this season.

97. Kay-Jay Harris, West Virginia, RB: Has battled through injuries to carry the WVU attack.

98. Darryl Tapp, Virginia Tech, DE: Another one of those explosive Hokie DEs. Has 4.5 sacks.

99. P.J. Daniels, Georgia Tech RB: Tech did nothing without him against Miami, but he came back the next week and sparked an upset of Maryland.

100. Sonny Cumbie, Texas Tech, QB: Those 12 picks scare us, but you can't overlook 420 passing yards per game or a 64 percent completion rate.

I am suprised that Lydell Ross isnt on that list..........:p
Good for AJ, Tone, and Donte. I think Bobby Carpenter could have made the list for his play, but AJ may be stealing some of his attention. Certainly if kickers were included, Nuge would be on the list.

Wisky was well represented on the list, and deservedly so. I was surprised no one from Iowa (Matt Roth or Abdul Hodge) made the list.
Upvote 0
They didn't include kickers. If they had, Nuge would be there for sure. But maybe he should still make the list as Safety on the kicking team. He's already got two touchdown saving tackles (let's hope he doesn't have to make any more).

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Upvote 0
blufftonbuck said:
Agree with that that guy is an animal.

Also nice to see Mr. Whitner make the list. He is quietly putting together a real nice year.
except for the Northwestern game... he was terrible in Evanston; missed tackles, not wrapping up. getting dragged 10 yards by recievers...
Upvote 0