The 10 Best College Players You've Never Heard Of
Not every college football player is well known. How could all the media outlets keep up with every player on every team in every conference? That means there are some really good players who go unnoticed by the college football gods and by fans who are wooed by the Alabama’s and Oregon’s of the world.
Maybe he player plays for a losing team. They may be too small for their position. Sometimes, they are overlooked because of the conference they play in. And on occasion, they are ignored because they weren’t a five star recruit at one of the top high schools in the country.
These players are gems that have made the college football season their own personal playgrounds.
These are 10 players who were outstanding this season, and yet we may not even know who they are or what they look like when it comes time to game day.
TIM BENNETT, CORNERBACK, INDIANA
Bennett was only recognized as a Second-Team All-Big Ten selection by the media.
For as bad as Indiana was, Bennett was a bright spot. He does well in man and zone coverage and has good closing speed.
Bennett could be a high draft pick this coming April. On a team that has not gotten a lot of recognition for good play, Bennett is a solid prospect.
RYAN MUELLER, DEFENSIVE END, KANSAS STATE
After redshirting in 2010, Mueller played on special teams and in mop-up duty as a freshman and sophomore before becoming a full-time starter as a junior. Except he didn't just become just a starter, he emerged as the Wildcats' defensive playmaker with 18.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks and four forced fumbles, earning Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year and numerous other All-American awards.
ANDRE MONROE, DEFENSIVE END, MARYLAND
At 5’11” and 280 pounds, he looks a lot like Aaron Donald who played at Pittsburgh. But there is a difference in how each play. Monroe will never be mistaken for Donald, but he plays with true intensity.
Received The James M. Tatum Memorial Award for Lineman of the Year at the team banquet. He ranked fifth in the ACC in TFL with 17.0 and tied for sixth in the ACC with 9.5 sacks. Monroe appeared in all 13 games and started the last four
LORENZO DOSS, DEFENSIVE BACK, TULANE
Doss earned Second Team All-American Athletic Conference honors this season for the Green Wave, recording 48 tackles and five tackles for loss, along with his team-leading nine passes breakups, including three interceptions.
Doss led Tulane with five interceptions as a true freshman and earned some All-American acknowledgement as a sophomore with seven thefts while Tulane was a member of Conference USA.
VINCE MAYLE, WIDE RECEIVER, WASHINGTON STATE
Listed at 6-foot-3, 240 pounds, he was recruited by the likes of Arizona State, Kentucky, Nevada and West Virginia before signing at WSU. Mayle was (and looked like) a work-in-progress in 2013 but emerged as one of the Cougars' primary pass-catchers with 42 grabs for 539 yards and tying for the team-lead with seven touchdowns.
Reports indicate that Mayle has dropped 20 pounds since then and is showing improved quickness and route-running. He could be the possession receiver teams are looking for in next year’s Draft.
JARVION FRANKLIN, RUNNING BACK, WESTERN MICHIGAN
He gets overshadowed by the rest of an incredibly talented freshman running back group because he plays in the MAC, but Franklin won MAC offensive player of the year and freshman of the year honors in leading Western Michigan's turnaround from 1-11 to 9-3. A three-star recruit, the 6-foot, 220-pound freshman debuted with 163, 211 and 168 yards in his first three games and never let up, accumulating 1,525 yards and 24 touchdowns on 294 carries in 12 games.
LAKEN TOMLINSON, GUARD, DUKE
One of the most reliable players in the country, the 330-pound senior plays with solid mobility and gets great leverage as a blocker. He's always in good position, and he's the key player on a line that has allowed only 13 sacks in 12 games.
EMMANUEL OGBAH, DEFENISVE END, OKLAHOMA STATE
He was impressive from the start in the game against FSU. After a decent redshirt freshman season, Ogbah stepped up in a big way for a Cowboys defense that was in rebuilding mode. He looked like the best player on the field in the opener against Florida State, and through 12 games the 270-pound sophomore has 11 sacks, 17 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and five pass breakups as a disruptive force off the edge.
JAKE FISHER, TACKLE, OREGON
Another solid lineman from Oregon. Someone has to help protect Marcus Mariota. Fisher went down with a leg injury in September, missing two games: a 38-31 win over Washington State in which the mediocre Cougars pass rush had seven sacks, and a 31-24 loss to Arizona in which the Wildcats had five sacks. Twelve of the 27 sacks Oregon allowed this year were in the two games that Fisher missed, as he returned to stabilize the line and help pave the way for Marcus Mariota to go on a run to the Heisman.
TAYLOR HEINICKE, QUARTERBACK, OLD DOMINION
One of the most decorated and prolific passers in college football history. He is one of just 18 Division I quarterbacks to throw at least 100 touchdowns (102) and is 29th all-time in NCAA history with 11,483 yards entering his senior season. The Monarchs will have chances to showcase Heinicke against the ACC (NC State), the SEC (Vanderbilt) and Marshall.