The College Football Market Share Report – Week 9 Recap

You know the drill. We’re looking at which players account for the highest percent of their team’s offense in various categories.

How you might want to interact with this article:
1) Skim the dense parts and read the summaries at the end of each section
2) Find rockstar performances and focus on those in your film-watching endeavors
3) Leave a comment so I can make this content even more beneficial to you

Let’s get to it.

Quarterbacks of the week

Deshone Kizer, Notre Dame, 94.6% of team’s offensive yards

  • 23 – 36, 299 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT, 143 rush yards, 2 rush TD @ Temple

Cooper Rush, Central Michigan, 93.2%

  • 23 – 37, 226 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 21 rush yards @ Akron

John Fadule, Boston College, 89.9%

  • 8 – 20, 143 yards, 1 INT, 53 rush yards vs Virginia Tech

Garrett Smith, Louisiana-Monroe, 87.4%

  • 16 – 35, 265 yards, 3 TD, 33 rush yards @ Louisiana-Lafayette

Thomas Woodson, Akron, 84.5%

  • 22 – 36, 252 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT vs Central Michigan

Quinton Flowers, South Florida, 82.6%

  • 12 – 20, 208 yards, 15 rush yards @ Navy

Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech, 81.9%

  • 38 – 55, 480 yards, 4 TD, 2 INT, 46 rush yards, 1 rush TD vs OK State

Chase Litton, Marshall, 78.9%

  • 33 – 48, 486 yards, 2 TD, 11 rush yards @ Charlotte

Luke Falk, Washington State, 78.5%

  • 35 – 63, 354 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT vs Stanford

Nick Mitchell, Oregon State, 78.2%

  • 19 – 35, 204 yards, 1 TD, 40 rush yards @ Utah

In a primetime game where his opponent was dead set on stopping the running attack, Notre Dame’s Deshone Kizer was brilliant against Temple. Without looking, I can’t recall (m)any other major program quarterbacks accounting for such a high percentage of their offense in a single game… Patrick Mahomes and that Texas Tech offense are so much fun. He’s AVERAGING more than 400 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns per game… What could have been for Luke Falk? I expected his Wazzu team to be outmanned by Stanford, but ultimately it was their red zone futility on offense that cost them, kicking six field goals and ultimately losing by two points.

Seasonal QB Leaders

Luke Falk, Washington State, 79.5% of team’s offensive yards

  • 6’4, 205lbs, Sophomore

Nick Arbuckle, Georgia State, 76.8%

  • 6’1, 215lbs, Senior

Garrett Smith, Louisiana-Monroe, 76.7%

  • 6’0, 211lbs, Freshman

Cooper Rush, Central Michigan, 74.7%

  • 6’3, 227lbs, Junior

Matt Johnson, Bowling Green, 73.3%

  • 6’0, 219lbs, Senior

Bryant Shirreffs, Connecticut, 71.6%

  • 6’2, 220lbs, Sophomore

Trevone Boykin, TCU, 70.0%

  • 6’2, 205lbs, Senior

Alex McGough, FIU, 69.4%

  • 6’3, 218lbs, Sophomore

Jeff Driskel, Louisiana Tech, 69.2%

  • 6’4, 231lbs, Senior

Brandon Doughty, Western Kentucky, 68.9%

  • 6’3, 220lbs, Senior

Trevone Boykin is incredible. Last week, for the third straight game, he lead the team in passing AND rushing. He almost perfectly fits the historical Heisman prototype for dual-threat quarterbacks… Jeff Driskel is an interesting case. Once upon a time he was the #1 quarterback recruit in America and lead the 2012 Florida Gators to the Sugar Bowl. Now at Louisiana Tech, he has the size and production to make a push into the back half of the NFL Draft.

Running Backs of the week

Brian Hill, Wyoming, 56.9% of team’s offensive yards

  • 26 carries, 201 yards, 1 TD @ Utah State

Ralph Webb, Vanderbilt, 55.1%

  • 26 carries, 99 yards, 3 rec. yards @ Houston

Arkeel Newsome, Connecticut, 54.5%

  • 25 carries, 179 yards, 2 TD, 41 rec. yards, 24 ret. yards vs ECU

Dontrell Hilliard, Tulane, 48.1%

  • 19 carries, 97 yards, 2 TD, 33 rec. yards @ Memphis

Alex Gardner, FIU, 45.8%

  • 20 carries, 105 yards, 15 rec. yards @ Florida Atlantic

Ray Lawry, Old Dominion, 44.2%

  • 26 carries, 136 yards, 15 rec. yards vs Western Kentucky

Elijhaa Penny, Idaho, 43.9%

  • 35 carries, 192 yards, 2 TD, 58 rec. yards, 1 rec. TD @ NMSU

Josh Hicks, Rutgers, 43.6%

  • 15 carries, 72 yards @ Wisconsin

Robert Lowe, Texas State, 43.2%

  • 20 carries, 91 yards @ Georgia Southern

Christian McCaffrey, Stanford, 42.6%

  • 22 carries, 107 yards, 26 rec. yards, 3 ret. yards @ Wash State

This is the second straight appearance for Texas State’s Robert Lowe. The 5’10 195lb senior could be an interesting name in draft season… Elijhaa Penny is exactly the type of player I’m trying to find with this exercise. The 6’2 234lb senior has 17 touchdowns in the last season and a half and could be a sneaky prospect… Brian Hill just posted his third 200 yard game of the season. He and Leonard Fournette are the only players in the country to accomplish that feat.

Seasonal RB Leaders

Leonard Fournette, LSU, 43.2% of team’s offensive yards

  • 6’1, 230lbs, Sophomore

Tyler Ervin, San Jose State, 42.3%

  • 5’10, 177lbs, Senior

Dalvin Cook, Florida State, 41.3%

  • 5’11, 202lbs, Sophomore

Devontae Booker, Utah, 41.0%

  • 6’1, 212lbs, Senior

Donnel Pumphrey, San Diego State, 40.8%

  • 5’9, 180lbs, Junior

Jahad Thomas, Temple, 40.8%

  • 5’10, 180lbs, Junior

Brian Hill, Wyoming, 40.2%

  • 6’1, 211lbs, Sophomore

Christian McCaffrey, Stanford, 39.2%

  • 6’0, 201lbs, Sophomore

Ray Lawry, Old Dominion, 38.6%

  • 5’10, 201lbs, Sophomore

Larry Rose III, New Mexico State, 38.1%

  • 5’11, 184lbs, Sophomore

Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State, 34.7%

  • 6’0, 225lbs, Junior

Leonard Fournette, your table is ready. It should be fascinating to see him go up against Alabama this weekend… I got asked about Donnel Pumphrey on the Sports Illustrated NFL Draft podcast this week. Be sure to check that out for my discussion with Chris Burke on the SDSU runner… Even though he was on a bye last week, Ezekiel Elliott’s Heisman chances got a boost with another change to his quarterback situation. In what has become a surprisingly turbulent season for the OSU offense, Elliott has been the one consistent force.

Wide Receivers of the Week

Jamal Robinson, Louisiana-Lafayette, 84.4% of team’s receiving yards

  • 4 receptions, 92 yards, 1 TD vs Louisiana-Monroe

Latevius Rayford, Vanderbilt, 84.1%

  • 3 rec., 37 yards @ Houston

Antonio Callaway, Florida, 71.0%

  • 3 rec., 110 yards, 1 TD vs Georgia

Carlos Harris, North Texas, 69.2%

  • 6 rec., 72 yards vs UTSA

Ryan Longoria, Georgia Southern, 67.7%

  • 2 rec., 21 yards vs Texas State

Justin Hobbs, Tulsa, 62.5%

  • 7 rec., 150 yards @ SMU

Isaiah Jones, East Carolina, 62%

  • 9 rec., 85 yards @ UConn

Carlton Agudosi, Rutgers, 59.8%

  • 1 rec, 49 yards @ Wisconsin

Tre’Quan Smith, UCF, 58.4%

  • 5 rec., 59 yards @ Cincinnati

KeVonn Mabon, Ball State, 54.5%

  • 6 rec., 150 yards vs UMass

Travis Rudolph, Florida State, 54%

  • 5 rec,. 191 yards, 3 TD vs Syracuse

KeVonn Mabon showed up in this space recently for his outstanding special teams performance and this week he had a big receiving game. Only a junior, Mabon’s 6’1 219lb frame and intriguing playmaking ability have put him on my radar… Florida State’s Travis Rudolph was the #1 receiver recruit in 2014. Interestingly, it took the backup quarterback to get him going. The Noles desperately need someone to take pressure off Dalvin Cook, if they are to beat Clemson; Rudolph could be arriving at the right time.

Seasonal WR Leaders

Dezmon Epps, Idaho, 47.2% of receiving yards

  • 5’10, 175lbs, Senior

Tanner Gentry, Wyoming, 43.6%

  • 6’2, 201lbs, Junior

Daniel Braverman, Western Michigan, 43.2%

  • 5’10, 177lbs, Junior

Carlos Harris, North Texas, 42.8%

  • 5’8, 185lbs, Senior

Leonte Carroo, Rutgers, 42.7%

  • 6’1, 215lbs, Senior

Pharoh Cooper, South Carolina, 40.9%

  • 5’11, 207lbs, Junior

Tyler Boyd, Pittsburgh, 40.4%

  • 6’2, 200lbs, Junior

Josh Doctson, TCU, 40.1%

  • 6’3, 195lbs, Senior

Aaron Burbridge, Michigan State, 40.1%

  • 6’1, 208lbs, Senior

Tajae Sharpe, UMass, 39.8%

  • 6’3, 188lbs, Senior

Corey Coleman, Baylor, 39.5%

  • 5’11, 190lbs, Junior

It’s funny how things work themselves out over time. As far as I can tell, the seven guys from Carroo down are among the 10 best wide receiver prospects eligible for the 2016 NFL Draft.

Service Academy footnotes: Jamir Tillman (55.2%, Navy), Garrett Brown (49.7%, Air Force)

Jerome Lane footnotes: 31.0% of Akron’s yards

Tight Ends of the week

Akil Dan-Fodio, FIU, 36.2% of receiving yards

  • 4 receptions, 71 yards @ Florida Atlantic

Brandon Lingen, Minnesota, 35%

  • 5 rec., 111 yards vs Michigan

David Grinnage, NC State, 32.3%

  • 7 rec., 82 yards, 1 TD vs Clemson

Ryan Carden, Texas State, 31%

  • 5 rec., 27 yards @ Georgia Southern

Jaylen Samuels, NC State, 29.1%

  • 8 rec., 74 yards, 1 TD, 6 rush 65 rush yards, 1 rush TD vs Clemson

Evan Butts, Virginia, 27.4%

  • 4 rec., 48 yards vs Georgia Tech

Josh Parris, Syracuse, 26.9%

  • 4 rec., 35 yards vs Florida State

Andrew Beck, Texas, 25.9%

  • 1 rec., 22 yards @ Iowa State

Troy Fumagli, Wisconsin, 25.3%

  • 3 rec,. 55 yards vs Rutgers

Trent “Buck” Cowan, Idaho, 24.1%

  • 3 rec., 74 yards @ NMSU

Jake Butt, Michigan, 22.5%

  • 4 rec, 38 yards @ Minnesota

Buck Cowan makes his second-straight appearance here. More of an oversized receiver than a tight end, the junior combines with WR Dezmon Epps, RB Elijhaa Penny and QB Matt Linehan to form a solid core of skill players for the Vandals. Too bad they’re unlikely to miss a bowl, or it could be fun to see them go against a bigger program… Jake Butt continues to be solid in the receiving game, but allergic to the end zone. How does such a good player have only one touchdown this season?… NC State’s David Grinnage is a guy I wrote about last December as a potentially interesting prospect. This is the first game in 2015 in which he’s caught multiple passes or found the end zone. At 6’5 265lbs, he has a lot of promise, but not much production at this point.

Seasonal TE Leaders

Jaylen Samuels, NC State, 25.9% of team’s receiving yards

  • 5’11, 236lbs, Sophomore

David Morgan II, UTSA, 24.8%

  • 6’4, 260lbs, Senior

Gerald Everett, South Alabama, 24.5%

  • 6’4, 225lbs, Junior

Dan Vitale, Northwestern, 23.7%

  • 6’2, 235lbs, Senior

Rodney Mills, UMass, 23.3%

  • 6’1, 205lbs, Senior

Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech, 22.4%

  • 6’7, 241lbs, R-Sophomore

Jake Butt, Michigan, 21.5%

  • 6’6, 248lbs, Junior

Matt Weiser, Buffalo, 21.3%

  • 6’5, 255lbs, Senior

Reece White, New Mexico, 20.4%

  • 6’1, 225lbs, Senior

Austin Hooper, Stanford, 20.1%

  • 6’4, 248lbs, Junior

Cam Serigne, Wake Forest, 20.2%

  • 6’3, 245lbs, Sophomore

Similar to the wide receiver position, it’s fun to see many of the tight ends who were thought were the best coming into the season actually rise to the top. I’m looking at you Austin Hooper, Jake Butt, Cam Serigne, and Bucky Hodges.

Special Teams Studs of the week

Keelan Ewaliko, Hawaii, WR, 212 return yards, 1 TD vs Air Force

Charles Nelson, Oregon, WR, 185 ret. yards, 1 TD @ Arizona state

Marquan Greene, Georgia State, WR, 169 ret. yards, 1 TD @ Arkansas State

Jakeem Grant, Texas Tech, WR, 177 ret. yards, 1 TD, 13 rec., 178 rec. yards, 1 rec. TD vs Oklahoma State

Derek Keaton, Georgia Southern, WR, 144 ret. yards @ Navy

Rodney Adams, South Florida, WR, 139 ret. yards, 1 TD, 3 rec., 86 rec. yards

Nyheim Hines, NC State, WR, 135 ret. yards, 1 TD, 2 rec., 26 rec. yards vs Clemson

Blake Banham, Eastern Michigan, RB, 135 ret. yards vs Western Michigan

Marques Little, Old Dominion, WR, 130 ret. yards, 21 rec. yards, 1 rec. TD, 14 rush yards vs Western Kentucky

Braeden West, SMU, RB, 111 ret. yards, 11 rush yards vs Tulsa

Jakeem Grant is here again. Even though he’s miniature, he is exactly the reason we pay attention to special teams: because there is hidden value in finding dynamic all-purpose players.

Seasonal Special Teams Leaders

Janarion Grant, WR, Rutgers, 89.0 return yds/g

  • 5’11, 170lbs, Junior

Brett Winnegan, RB, UTSA, 87.6

  • 5’9, 185lbs, Freshman

Brisly Estime, WR, Syracuse, 82.5

  • 5’9, 178lbs, Junior

Jakeem Grant, WR, Texas Tech, 80.9

  • 5’7, 168lbs, Senior

Tim White, WR, Arizona State, 80.9

  • 5’11, 185lbs, Junior

Maurice Thomas, RB, Miami OH, 78.2

  • 5’11, 176lb, Freshman

Derek Keaton, Georgia Southern, 78.0

  • 5’11, 185lbs, Senior

Devin Fuller, WR, UCLA, 77.4

  • 6’0, 200lbs Senior

Nyheim Hines, WR, NC State, 75.1

  • 5’9, 190lbs, Freshman

Diontae Johnson, WR, Toledo, 74.2

  • 5’11, 175lbs, Freshman

Again with Jakeem Grant… I wonder if he’s related to Janarion Grant?

The College Football Market Share Report – Week 3 recap

Welcome to the College Football Market Share Report, where each week I’ll be running through the players who are shouldering an exceptional percentage of their team’s offense.

In the past, my prospect analysis has typically waited until after the season to get going, but by tracking these metrics on a weekly basis in season we can more easily identify exceptional talents before everyone else does.

Note that the commentary below will highlight the most recent week’s top performers as well as seasonal leaders. Also, since this is somewhat of an experimental article, I’m going to ask for your feedback on how this should evolve moving forward, so feel free to leave a comment.

As this is somewhat dense with numbers, I’d recommend skimming through the names and then checking out the blurbs at the bottom of each section.

Quarterbacks of the week

Shuler Bentley, Old Dominion, 93.9% of team’s offensive yards

  • 151 pass yards, 2 TD, 0 INT, -12 rush yards vs NC State

Blake Frohnapfel, UMass, 87.4%

  • 393 pass yards, 3 TD, 1 INT, -10 rush yards vs Temple

Brandon Doughty, Western Kentucky, 87.1%

  • 484 pass yards, 3 TD, 2 INT, 11 rush yards @ Indiana

P.J. Walker, Temple, 83.6%

  • 391 pass yards, 1 TD, 2 INT, -8 rush yards @ UMass

Chad Kelly, Ole Miss, 83.6%

  • 341 pass yards, 3 TD, 0 INT, 21 rush yards @ Alabama

Matt Johnson, Bowling Green, 83.6%

  • 443 pass yards, 4 TD, 0 INT, 41 rush yards vs Memphis

Jake Browning, Washington, 83%

  • 368 pass yards, 3 TD, 1 INT, -1 rush yards vs Utah State

C.J. Beathard, Iowa, 81.8%

  • 258 pass yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, 39 rush yards vs Pitt

Jerrod Heard, Texas, 81.1%

  • 364 pass yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, 163 rush yards vs California

Tyler Jones, Texas State, 79.5%

  • 310 pass yards, 3 TD, 0 INT, 160 rush yards vs Southern Miss

There’s a lot to talk about here. Texas’ Jerrod Heard went bananas on national TV against Cal and drew comparisons to Vince Young… Chad “Swag” Kelly took Ole Miss on the road and defeated Alabama. No small feat. The Rebels are now the #3 ranked team in the country… It looks like Washington coach Chris Petersen (formerly at Boise) has his new Kellen Moore. Somewhat undersized freshman Jake Browning has been great so far… Finally, shoutout to Tyler Jones from Texas State, who Benjamin Allbright and I were discussing on Twitter late last week and then Jones proceeds to put up 470 yards of total offense.  Maybe undersized, maybe from a small conference, but maybe really awesome? Time will tell.

QB Leaders – Seasonal Top 10 – Market Share of Offensive Yards

Luke Falk, Washington State, 80.5%

Brandon Doughty, Western Kentucky, 78.8%

Matt Johnson, Bowling Green, 77.5%

Cooper Rush, Central Michigan, 77.0%

Garrett Smith, Louisiana-Monroe, 76.8%

Bryant Shirreffs, Connecticut, 75.5%

Johnny McCrary, Vanderbilt, 75.1%

Matt Linehan, Idaho, 74.1%

Matt Davis, SMU, 73.4%

Blake Kemp, East Carolina, 73.2%

Nothing too surprising here – three quarterbacks from pass-happy teams leading the way – but this is probably a helpful list to keep in mind for finding undervalued DFS quarterbacks.

Running backs of the week

Ray Lawry, Old Dominion, 58.1% of team’s offensive yards

  • 15 rush yards, 71 receiving yards, 1 rec. TD vs NC State

Demario Richard, Arizona State, 56.8%

  • 104 rush yards, 4 receptions, 151 receiving yards, 2 rec. TD vs New Mexico

Devontae Booker, Utah, 55.8%

  • 156 rush yards, 2 rush TD, 5 receptions, 56 receiving yards @ Fresno

Paul Perkins, UCLA, 54.5%

  • 219 rush yards, 1 rush TD vs BYU

Donnel Pumphrey, San Diego State, 51.5%

  • 102 rush yards, 1 rush TD, 5 receptions, 55 receiving yards vs South Alabama

Justin Jackson, Northwestern, 50.9%

  • 120 rush yards, 2 receptions, 18 receiving yards @ Duke

Nick Holley, Kent State, 50%

  • 58 rush yards, 3 receptions, 13 receiving yards @ Minnesota

Leonard Fournette, LSU, 48.9%

  • 228 rush yards, 3 rush TD, 1 reception, 9 rec. yards vs Auburn

Tyler Ervin, SJSU, 48.6%

  • 93 rush yards, 2 rush TD, 6 receptions, 30 rec. yards @ Oregon State

Joel Bouagnon, Northern Illinois, 45.3%

  • 78 rush yards, 3 receptions, 8 rec. yards @ Ohio State

On a team with national championship aspirations, but lead by a freshman quarterback, UCLA’s Paul Perkins is quietly putting together a fantastic season. If he can continue to take the load of Josh Rosen and the Bruins win the Pac-12 South (two BIG ifs) I would think Perkins would be a Heisman finalist. And he’s not just a one-hit wonder; he balled in 2014 too.

RB Leaders – Seasonal Top 10 – Market Share of Offensive Yards

Ray Lawry, Old Dominion, 51.3%

Aaron Jones, UTEP, 51.0%

Leonard Fournette, LSU, 48.2%

Devontae Booker, Utah, 45.1%

Jahad Thomas, Temple, 44.6%

Kareem Hunt, Toledo, 41.7%

Devon Johnson, Marshall, 38.4%

Dalvin Cook, Florida State, 38.0%

Brian Hill, Wyoming, 37.5%

Demario Richard, Arizona State, 37.5%

Maybe you’ve never heard of Ray Lawry (2017 eligible), but it’s time to start paying attention. The 5’11 200b sophomore is a one-man wrecking crew for the Monarchs… speaking of which, how about Leonard Fournette? In consecutive weeks he has torn apart SEC defenses and in the process seen his Heisman odds go from 13-1 on September 8 (eighth-best odds) to 3.5-1 this week, which makes him the Vegas favorite to win the award.

Receivers of the week

Carlos Harris, North Texas, 63.7% of team’s receiving yards

  • 8 receptions, 193 rec. yards, 2 rec. TD vs Rice

Aaron Burbridge, Michigan State, 63.2%

  • 8 receptions, 156 rec. yards, 3 rec. TD vs Air Force

DaeSean Hamilton, Penn State, 61.0%

  • 5 receptions, 86 rec. yards vs Rutgers

Trent Sherfield, Vanderbilt, 60.9%

  • 16 receptions, 240 rec. yards, 1 rec. TD vs Austin Peay

Gerald Everett, South Alabama, 60.7%

  • 8 receptions, 164 rec. yards, 1 rec. TD @ SDSU

Roger Lewis, Bowling Green, 58.9%

  • 7 receptions, 261 rec. yards, 3 rec. TD vs Memphis

Tyler Boyd, Pitt, 57.7%

  • 10 receptions, 131 rec. yards, 1 rec. TD, 7 rush yards @ Iowa

DeAndre Bell, Army, 57.4%

  • 1 reception, 31 rec. yards vs Wake Forest

JuJu Smith-Schuster, USC, 56.3%

  • 8 receptions, 153 rec. yards, 1 rec. TD vs Stanford

DeBrandon Sanders, Navy, 56.1%

  • 1 reception, 23 rec. yards, 1 rush, 20 rush yards vs East Carolina

Jordan Payton, UCLA, 55.7%

  • 4 receptions, 59 rec. yards, 1 rec. TD vs BYU

Even if Air Force isn’t exactly a defensive juggernaut, Aaron Burbridge’s performance shouldn’t be discounted. He’s strung together three consecutive 100+ yard games to start the season, is catching passes from Connor Cook and has the size to intrigue NFL types. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Cody Latimer-esque ascent over the next six months. Just something to monitor.

WR Leaders – Seasonal Top 10 – Market Share of Receiving Yards

Jamir Tillman, Navy, 72.2%

Tyler Boyd, Pittsburgh, 55.5%

Chris Godwin, Penn State, 55.1%

Carlos Harris, North Texas, 54.1%

Aaron Burbridge, Michigan State, 53.8%

Will Fuller, Notre Dame, 52.1%

Dameon Gamblin, New Mexico, 51.2%

Tanner Gentry, Wyoming, 49.1%

Devin Scott, Louisiana-Lafayette, 48.1%

Dezmon Epps, Idaho, 47.4%

Should I exclude military school players from this list, since their likelihood of NFL relevance is so unlikely?… Tyler Boyd is the most noteworthy player here for several reasons. First, he’s putting together an awesome season as the obvious focal point of the offense and still nobody can stop him. Also, his birth year had been previously reported as 1993, but now the official Pitt website lists it as 1994. If it’s true that he’s a year younger than we originally thought – a 20 year old freshman in 2013 – his dynasty stock gets a significant boost on several fronts… And say what’s up to Will Fuller, who is smallish, but is tearing it up for the Irish.

Special Teams Studs of the week

Earlier this year at Rotoviz I detailed the hidden value of special teams stats in prospect analysis. Keeping with that theme, here’s a look at the top players making an impact in the return game.

Devin Fuller, UCLA, 194 return yards vs BYU

Ryan Switzer, UNC, 168 return yards, 1 ret. TD vs Illinois

Shon Cardon, South Carolina, 162 return yards @ Georgia

Johnny Holton, Cincinnati, 125 return yards @ Miami OH

DJ May, Wyoming, 122 return yards @ Washington State

Brandon Smith, Texas State, 122 return yards vs Southern Miss

Diontae Johnson, Toledo, 119 return yards vs Iowa State

Adoree’ Jackson, USC, 118 return yards vs Stanford

Solomon Vault, Northwestern, 118 return yards, 1 ret. TD @ Duke

Brett Winnegan, UTSA, 112 return yards   @ Oklahoma State

If there’s a Wes Welker-type prospect (undersized, premium special teamer) on this list it’s Ryan Switzer. In his debut campaign in 2013 he averaged more than 20 yards per punt return and is back on a similar path this year after being kept somewhat under wraps last year. Also, randomly, he’s thrown two passes in his career – indicating a high level of trust by the coaching staff – both of which went for touchdowns.

Special Teams Leaders – Seasonal Top 10

Janarion Grant, Rutgers, 129.3 return yards/g

Kylen Towner, WKU, 107.0

Autrey Golden, UTEP, 96.6

Christian Kirk, Texas A&M, 93.7

Brett Winnegan, UTSA, 93.0

De’Chavon “Gump” Hayes, Arizona State, 87.5

Jeremiah Bryson, MTSU, 84.3

Diontae Johnson, Toledo, 82.0

Devin Fuller, UCLA, 79.7

Eric Hawkins, Arkansas, 79.5

One player on this list who made a huge splash on opening weekend and who I’ve been meaning to write about is Texas A&M freshman Christian Kirk. He’s a solid 5’11 200lbs, doesn’t turn 19 until November and is already balling. In addition to his special teams contributions, he’s also contributing on offense. At this point, he’s probably the most valuable 2015 freshman devy prospect in the game.


  1. For wide receivers, I like “market share of receiving yards” since we’ve used those for a while and people generally understand the continuum, but what did you think about the QB and RB breakdowns being based on market share of offense? Is there something else you’d rather see?
  2. Should I keep service academy players out of this list since they almost never end up playing in the NFL and part of this exercise is to help in prospect identification?
  3. Would you like access to the data set that helped generate this article? If so, you could email me at THECFX at GMAIL dot COM, or I could just set up a link with a free download. Let me know.