As a freshman he threw seven TD passes and six interceptions; his line has to give him more time to throw.
KR, Jr. :: Fresno State
The 6-foot 180-pounder led the nation in kickoff returns last fall, averaging 35.8 yards per runback.
RB, Sr. :: Boise State
Despite bruising a kidney late last season, he ran for 1,041 yards, pushing his career total to 3,418.
QB, Jr. :: Central Michigan
He's one of two players in I-A history to pass for 3,000 yards and run for 1,000 yards in a season, joining Vince Young.
WR, Jr. :: Toledo
Tall (6' 5") and speedy (4.39 in the 40), he caught 73 passes and averaged 94.4 total yards per game in '07.
Best Offensive Player
Damion Fletcher :: RB :: Southern Miss
The 5' 10" pinball, who rushed for 1,586 yards and 15 touchdowns last season, will have plenty of one-on-one chances in the open field. "He can make tacklers miss in a phone booth," says new Golden Eagles coach Larry Fedora.
Best Defensive Player
Clayton Mullins :: LB :: Miami (Ohio)
The Butkus Award candidate had 143 tackles in 2007, including 13 1/2 for losses.
True Freshman to Watch
DeAndre Brown :: WR :: Southern Miss
The 6' 6", five-star receiver from Ocean Springs, Miss., turned down a scholarship offer from LSU to be Fedora's first marquee signing.
Coach on the Rise
Bronco Mendenhall :: BYU
The defensive-minded Utah native has returned the Cougars to national prominence and may soon be courted by BCS-conference athletic directors.
Coach on the Hot Seat
Mike Sanford :: UNLV
If the Rebels don't win at least three games -- something they failed to accomplish in each of Sanford's first three years -- he may be leaving Las Vegas by season's end.
Utah quarterback Brian Johnson, offensive MVP of the 2007 Poinsettia Bowl, isthrowing pain-free after off-season surgery to repair his right shoulder, whichhe separated in the first game of '07. The senior, who averaged 337 total yardsper game as a sophomore before tearing his left ACL in the 10th game, willcontinue to give way to sophomore Corbin Louks on rushing plays out of thespread.... Florida Atlantic coach Howard Schnellenberger hasan NFL-style quarterback in 6' 5", 230-pound junior Rusty Smith. TheSun Belt player of the year in 2007, Smith threw 32 touchdowns against nineinterceptions.... Paul Johnson left to coach Georgia Tech, butNavy won't abandon the triple option. With quarterback Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada, slotback Shun White and fullback Eric Kettani returning, theMidshipmen will look to lead Division I-A in rushing for a fourth straightyear, this time under newly promoted coach Ken Niumatalolo....Rice wideout Jarett Dillard enters his senior season as the Division I-A activecareer leader in receptions (205), yards (2,828) and touchdown catches(40).... Ronald Hilaire, a 6' 0", 288-pound defensivetackle, is one of 18 returning starters at Buffalo. Selected by the CalgaryStampeders with the 27th pick in the Canadian Football League draft in May, theQuebec native decided to return to upstate New York to build on his 45-tacklebreakout season. The Bulls look to have their first winning season since joiningDivision I-A in 1999. -- Kevin Armstrong
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