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Biletnikoff Award watch list highlighted by 2017 finalist David Sills

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You know how I know we’re getting closer to the start of a new season?  Yet another watch list.

The latest to release theirs is the Biletnikoff Award, with the honor going to the nation’s top receiver issuing a list consisting of 50 players from all nine FBS conferences as well as one independent (UMass).  Headlining this year’s preseason list is West Virginia’s David Sills, who was a finalist for the 2017 award claimed by Oklahoma State’s James Washington.  One other 2017 semifinalist is included as well, Ole Miss’ A.J. Brown.

A total of seven teams placed two receivers each on the watch list: Cal (Kanawai Noa, Vic Wharton III), Louisville (Dez Fitzpatrick, Jaylen Smith), Nebraska (Stanley Morgan Jr., JD Spielman), North Texas (Jalen Guyton, Michael Lawrence), Oklahoma (Marquise Brown, CeeDee Lamb), Toledo (Diontae Johnson, Cody Thompson) and West Virginia (Gary Jennings Jr., Sills).

Three conferences totaled seven players apiece, the ACC, Big 12 and MAC.  That trio is followed by five each from Conference USA and four apiece for the AAC, Pac-12 and Sun Belt.  The Big Ten and Mountain West each placed three.

Below is the complete list of 2018 Biletnikoff Award preseason watch listers:

JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Stanford
Tyre Brady, Marshall
A.J. Brown, Ole Miss
Marquise Brown, Oklahoma
Trevon Brown, East Carolina
Ryan Davis, Auburn
Greg Dortch, Wake Forest
Terren Encalade, Tulane
Dez Fitzpatrick, Louisville
James Gardner, Miami-Ohio
Jonathan Giles, LSU
Marcus Green, ULM
Jalen Guyton, North Texas
Emanuel Hall, Missouri
Justin Hall, Ball State
Kelvin Harmon, North Carolina State
N’Keal Harry, Arizona State
Penny Hart, Georgia State
Justin Hobbs, Tulsa
Andy Isabella, Massachusetts
Gary Jennings Jr., West Virginia
Anthony Johnson, Buffalo
Collin Johnson, Texas
Diontae Johnson, Toledo
KeeSean Johnson, Fresno State
CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
Michael Lawrence, North Texas
Ty Lee Middle, Tennessee
McLane Mannix, Nevada
Scott Miller, Bowling Green
Denzel Mims, Baylor
Stanley Morgan Jr., Nebraska
Kanawai Noa, California
James Proche, SMU
T.J. Rahming, Duke
Ahmmon Richards, Miami
Deebo Samuel, South Carolina
David Sills V, West Virginia
Steven Sims Jr., Kansas
Jaylen Smith, Louisville
Kwadarrius Smith, Akron
JD Spielman, Nebraska
Cody Thompson, Toledo
John Ursua, Hawaii
Teddy Veal, Louisiana Tech
Jamarius Way, South Alabama
Nick Westbrook, Indiana
Vic Wharton III, California
Malcolm Williams, Coastal Carolina
Olamide Zaccheaus, Virginia

College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019 ballot includes Steve McNair, Vince Young, Ray Lewis, Troy Polamalu, Carson Palmer and Marvin Harrison

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The ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019 was announced Monday morning by the National Football Foundation. A total of 76 players and six coaches from FBS programs and an additional 100 players and 32 coaches from lower divisions have been included on this year’s ballot, with some new faces and some names that have appeared on previous ballots just waiting to get the call to the hall.

Some notable names on this year’s ballot include former Syracuse wide receiver Marvin Harrison, Vince Young of Texas, Heisman Trophy winners Eric Crouch of Nebraska and Rashaan Salaam of Colorado, USC’s Carson Palmer and Troy Polamalu, Ray Lewis of Miami, Penn State wide receiver Bobby Engram, Wisconsin offensive lineman Joe Thomas, LSU running back Kevin Faulk, and Alcorn State legend Steve McNair (on the lower-division list).

The next class of hall of fame inductees will be announced on Monday, January 7, 2019 prior to the College Football Playoff national championship game in Santa Clara, California. The class will then be honored and inducted in December 2019.

Class of 2019 Nominees – FBS Players

  • Flozell Adams, Michigan State OT
  • Bernard Berrian, Fresno State WR
  • Michael Bishop, Kansas State QB
  • Lomas Brown, Florida OT
  • Terrell Buckley, Florida State DB
  • Brandon Burlsworth, Arkansas OG
  • Larry Burton, Purdue SE
  • Keith Byars, Ohio State RB
  • Matt Cavanaugh, Pittsburgh QB
  • Dallas Clark, Iowa TE
  • Marco Coleman, Georgia Tech LB
  • Tim Couch, Kentucky QB
  • Eric Crouch, Nebraska QB
  • Eric Dickerson, SMU RB
  • Rickey Dixon, Oklahoma DB
  • Vaughn Dunbar, Indiana RB
  • Jumbo Elliott, Michigan OT
  • Bobby Engram, Penn State WR
  • Kevin Faulk, LSU RB
  • David Fulcher, Arizona State DB
  • Robert Gallery, Iowa OT
  • Moe Gardner, Illinois DT
  • Tony Gonzalez, California TE
  • Jacob Green, Texas A&M DL
  • Dan Hampton, Arkansas DT
  • Jason Hanson, Washington State K
  • Byron Hanspared, Texas Tech RB
  • Kevin Hardy, Illinois LB
  • Marcus Harris, Wyoming WR
  • Marvin Harrison, Syracuse WR
  • Jeff Hartings, Penn State OL
  • E.J. Henderson, Maryland LB
  • Craig Heyward, Pittsburgh RB
  • Torry Holt, NC State WR
  • Ken Huff, North Carolina OG
  • Steve Hutchinson, Michigan OL
  • Raghib Ismail, Notre Dame WR
  • Larry Jacobson, Nebraska DT
  • E.J. Junior, Alabama DE
  • Jess Lewis, Oregon State DB
  • Ray Lewis, Miami LB
  • Bobby Majors, Tennessee DB
  • Tony Mandarich, Michigan State OT
  • Ed McCaffrey, Stanford WR
  • Darren McFadden, Arkansas RB
  • Cade McNown, UCLA QB
  • Corey Moore, Virginia Tech DL
  • Dan Morgan, Miami LB
  • Ken Norton Jr., UCLA LB
  • Phil Olsen, Utah State DE
  • Leslie O’Neal, Oklahoma State DT
  • Jim Otis, Ohio State FB
  • Carson Palmer, USC QB
  • Jake Plummer, Arizona State QB
  • Troy Polamalu, USC DB
  • David Pollack, Georgia DL
  • Antwaan Randle El, Indiana QB
  • Simeon Rice, Illinois LB
  • Ron Rivera, California LB
  • Rashaan Salaam, Colorado RB
  • Lucius Sanford, Georgia Tech LB
  • Larry Seivers, Tennessee WR
  • Kenneth Sims, Texas DT
  • Aaron Taylor, Notre Dame OT
  • Joe Thomas, Wisconsin OL
  • Dennis Thurman, USC DB
  • Troy Vincent, Wisconsin DB
  • Chris Ward, Ohio State OT
  • Michael Westbrook, Colorado WR
  • Lorenzo White, Michigan State RB
  • Zach Wiegert, Nebraska OT
  • Patrick Willis, Mississippi LB
  • Al Wilson, Tennessee LB
  • Steve Wisniewski, Penn State OG
  • Elmo Wright, Houston WR
  • Vince Young, Texas QB

Class of 2019 Nominees – Coaches

  • Larry Blakeney (Troy)
  • Jim Carlen (West Virginia, Texas Tech, South Carolina)
  • Pete Cawthon Sr. (Austin College, Texas Tech)
  • Dennis Erickson (Idaho, Wyoming, Washington State, Miami, Oregon State, Arizona State)
  • Billy Jack Murphy (Memphis)
  • Daryll Rogers (Cal State East Bay, Fresno State, San Jose State, Michigan State, Arizona State)

You can see the full ballot to see the lower division nominees HERE.

WATCH: All the commitments from the U.S. Army All-American Bowl

U.S. Army All-American Bowl
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The first early National Signing Day has come and gone, but there are still some high-level recruits left on the board. And many of them went off the board during today’s U.S. Army All-American Game.

Below are all the hat ceremonies that went down today in San Antonio.

Moultrie, Ga., 4-star outside linebacker J.J. Peterson chooses Tennessee:

Santa Ana, Calif., 4-star offensive guard Chris Murray picks UCLA:

Baton Rouge, La., 4-star safety Kelvin Joseph selects LSU:

Louisville, Ky., 4-star wide receiver Rondale Moore picks Purdue:

Bradenton, Fla., 5-star cornerback Brendan Radley-Hiles chooses Oklahoma:

Anaheim, Calif., 5-star wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown (and brother of former Notre Dame wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown) commits to USC:

And for those interested, here are highlights of the West’s 17-16 win over the East.

Appalachian State routs Toledo to win the Dollar General Bowl

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On paper, the Dollar General Bowl between MAC champion Toledo and perennial Sun Belt power Appalachian State shaped up to be one of the best matchups of the postseason. Games are not played on paper and that certainly played out down in Mobile, Ala. as the Mountaineers routed the Rockets 34-0 on Saturday night to cap off another season with at least nine wins for head coach Scott Satterfield.

It was quickly apparent that this wasn’t Toledo’s night early — and often. Despite entering the week with an offense that was in the top in the country in terms of scoring, the team couldn’t do much of anything on that side of the ball and recorded four three-and-outs. Record-setting quarterback Logan Woodside never could find much down the field and was pressure on nearly every drop back, throwing for only 124 yards while also tossing three interceptions. Running back Terry Swanson managed 44 hard-fought yards on the ground but didn’t see many carries down the stretch as the team fell further and further behind.

While not much was working for the visitors from the North, few things could go wrong for AppState. Taking advantage of several short fields, the run game didn’t need much to get going and tailbacks Jalin Moore (125 yards, three TDs) and Daetrich Harrington (72 yards) both made quick work of the MAC title holders. Quarterback Taylor Lamb closed out his career with the Mountaineers with a performance that may not have been statically stellar — eight completions, 131 yards, no touchdowns — but was nevertheless plenty in a game the team controlled from pretty much the opening kickoff.

While all those points were nice to have, they didn’t really need all of them given how well the Sun Belt’s top defense looked to stymie their opponents. Linebacker Anthony Flory was all over the place, hauling in a pick and recording eight tackles on the night as they held the most dangerous #MACtion offense to under 200 yards.

That gave the team yet another finishing kick as they won their fourth in a row to close out 2017 and enter with plenty of momentum heading to next season. The same could not be said for the Rockets, which still captured an elusive conference title this year but simply didn’t show up in the Dollar General Bowl and looked out of sorts from start.

Appalachian State rolls to big lead over Toledo as Dollar General Bowl hits halftime

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When #FunBelt meets #MACtion, you throw out the records. That is especially true on Saturday night at the Dollar General Bowl.

Appalachian State looked like they were the 11-win team and conference champion in the game, rolling to a 20-0 halftime lead over Toledo thanks to some timely turnovers and the hard-nosed running of their star tailback.

Junior Jalin Moore picked up where he left off at the end of the regular season by fighting for 74 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 15 touches, grinding out carries against a loaded front and finding some rhythm as the game went on. That took the pressure off quarterback Taylor Lamb, who was just 4-of-8 for 61 yards but seemed fairly content to just hand the ball off — especially with backup Daetrich Harrington also running for 80 yards in the half on just seven carries.

The Mountaineers’ defense played their role in the big lead too, forcing a pair of turnovers that gave the team two short fields and generally limiting the high-powered Rockets offense to one of their worst performances of the year. Record-setting quarterback Logan Woodside managed only 76 yards and an interception but did seem to pick things up as the clock wound down in the second quarter. Running back Terry Swanson didn’t have any sort of lane to run through however and actually did well in recording 12 yards on the ground given that he was hit in the backfield or at the line on just about every carry.

While things didn’t quite unfold how many expected early in the game, Toledo is still plenty capable of putting up some points in a hurry so this one is by no means locked up for AppState. This was one of the better matchups of bowl season and that will be put to the test if things get interesting after the two teams emerge from the locker room.