Kenneth Harrison

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By: Kenneth Harrison news services

Some things in life are guarantees. For instance, death and taxes are something we all know is inevitable. Well in the sports world we can add a new guarantee; the Atlanta Falcons blowing a second half lead.

Dan Quinn took over as head coach before the 2015 season and he had his most successful season early on. In his second season the Falcons were 11 – 5 and advanced to Super Bowl LI.

As you all know they held a 28 – 3 lead over New England with 3 minutes left in the third quarter.

They collapsed and lost the game. I believe all of the momentum was sucked out of the team at that moment. They were 10 – 6 the following year and made a playoff appearance. The last two seasons, they were 7 – 9.

Week 2 at Dallas looked promising. The Falcons were flying high and jumped out to a 20 – 0 lead over the Cowboys. They went to halftime up 29 – 10. With 5 minutes left in the game they were up by 15. I’m sure it didn’t cross anyone’s mind that the game was in jeopardy.

Well, the Atlanta defense can make just about anybody look good. When they face a player with talent it only gets magnified.

Dak Prescott became the first quarterback in the NFL’s 101-year history to pass for over 400 yards and rush for 3 touchdowns.

The Cowboys recovered an onside kick where the Falcons players looked at the ball and inexplicably just waited for it to roll at least 10 yards. The Cowboys recovered it and scored to give Dallas a 40 – 39 win.

Surely that kind of debacle can’t take place again under Quinn’s watch.

Enter Week 3, a home game against Chicago. Atlanta has a 16-point fourth quarter lead with 6 minutes remaining in the game.

Chicago replaced a struggling Mitch Trubisky with Nick Foles. Like something out of a movie Foles threw for 3 touchdowns and the Bears won, 30 -26.

What did Dan Quinn have to say after the loss? “Obviously really two disappointing endings over the last two weeks. I told you earlier we’ve got to find our way to finish. We’ll hit the road a week from tomorrow and make sure that result has to be different at the end of the game. That’s where we’re at.”

Now the team is 0 – 3 and Quinn’s overall record is 43 – 40. That seems very mediocre to me.

Quinn was the defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks before coming to Atlanta.

The Falcons defense has never been good with him as the coach.

Currently their 27th in total defense, giving up an average of 419 yards per game. The next game will be a Monday night showdown with 3 – 0 Green Bay.

It would be a major upset for Atlanta to win this game.

On the bright side Atlanta won’t get an opportunity to blow a fourth quarter lead in this game.

The Packers will win convincingly. Then we all have to wonder when will Arthur Blank remove Quinn as the coach. Right now, it looks like that will never happen.

SEC Saturday

By: Kenneth Harrison news services

We are two weeks into the 2020 college football season.

As you know everything has been altered due to the global pandemic. The SEC begins the season this Saturday and we are going to preview these games.

#5 Florida @ Ole Miss: Kyle Trask enters the season as the starting QB for the Gators. He was given the job in the Kentucky game after Feleipe Franks got hurt.

He led Florida to a comeback win and he never looked back. I expect him to be much better and have more confidence this season.

Ole Miss was 4-8 in 2019 so we don’t expect much from them.

QB John Rhys Plumlee is the epitome of a dual threat. He rushed for 1,023 yards and 12 touchdowns last year, while averaging 6.6 yards per carry.

The Gators should still win by 14 points.

#23 Kentucky @ #8 Auburn:  This season home teams won’t have the advantage of crowd noise.

That will not make a difference for Auburn though. Last season true freshman quarterback Bo Nix passed for 2,542 yards, 16 scores and 6 interceptions.

He also ran for 313 yards and 7 TD’s. As expected, he made some head scratching plays due to his inexperience.

He should be much more consistent and protect the football better going into his sophomore season.

Kentucky has been a solid team over the last few years. The Wildcats were 8-5 in 2019. In a battle of jungle cats that Joe Exotic would appreciate, I give the edge to the Tigers by 10 points.

Miss St @ #6 LSU: The Tigers are the defending champs, but they lost so much talent from that team.

Heisman Trophy winning QB Joe Burrow was the top pick in the draft. Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire was also a first-round pick.

The elite programs reload with talent, but I think that’s unrealistic for LSU.

The Bulldogs senior RB Kylin Hill ran for 1,350 yards and 10 scores in 2019. I think this will be a close game but LSU should win by a touchdown.

#4 Georgia @ Arkansas: UGA had Wake Forest transfer QB Jamie Newman as the expected starter but he opted out of the season a few weeks ago.

USC transfer JT Daniels is now the starter and I think he’ll do well. RB D’Andre Swift left for the NFL but Zamir White, James Cook and Kenny McIntosh will step up.

Arkansas is a bad football team, going 2-10 last year and winless in conference games.

The lone bright spot is Last Chance U star Rakeem Boyd who ran for 1,133 yards and 8 scores in 2019.

The Hogs have added Florida transfer quarterback Feleipe Franks and he easily won the starting job. Yikes. UGA wins by 27 and Franks will assist with three turnovers.

#2 Alabama @ Mizzou: I hate to say it but Missouri has no chance.

Mac Jones has been named the starter for Bama. The Crimson Tide have too much talent at every position and this will be a blow out.

Vanderbilt @ #10 Texas A&M: I think the Aggies are ranked way too high, especially with Kellen Mond at quarterback.

That won’t matter in this game because Vandy is outmatched.

That’s the case for the Commodores in the majority of their conference games. Give me A&M by 20 points.

#16 Tennessee @ South Carolina: The Vols got off to a rocky start (1-4) last year but finished 8-5 and won the Gator Bowl.

South Carolina battled injuries to quarterbacks last season. I think the Gamecocks pull the upset in Week 1.

Down South

By: Kenneth Harrison news services

Week 1 of the NFL season is in the books. Let’s take a look at what happened around the NFC South after the first week of games.

Seattle 38, Atlanta 25: The Falcons defense looked just as bad as they have the last few seasons. Russell Wilson completed 31 of 35 passes for 322 yards and 4 touchdowns.

He also had three runs for a team-high 29 yards rushing. Atlanta sacked Wilson 3 times but that did not slow him down.

Matt Ryan threw for 450 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception.

Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage each had 9 receptions for over 100 yards.

In Todd Gurley’s first game as a Falcon he rushed 14 times for 56 yards and a TD.

Atlanta outgained Seattle 506 yards to 383 but came up short all four times they tried to convert on fourth down.

The one good thing for the Falcons is Ryan surpassed John Elway for ninth on the NFL career passing yardage list.

Las Vegas 34, Carolina 30: Matt Rhule made his coaching debut as the Panthers head coach.

They had the best defense in the NFL just a few seasons ago, now they need all the help they can get.

The Raiders offense did whatever they wanted.

Second year running back Josh Jacobs rushed for 93 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Derek Carr threw for 239 yards and a score.

This was the first game for the Raiders since moving from Oakland to Las Vegas. Gruden didn’t hold back on praising Jacobs.

“That was a little bit like Walter Payton used to play,” Gruden said. “It was hot as hell. He got beat up early. He insisted on coming back and he insisted on getting the ball as a runner and receiver. He is special. He deserves some national attention — and I hope you give it to him.”

This was Teddy Bridgewater’s first game as the Panthers QB.

He had a solid game, completing 22 of 34 passes for 270 yards and a touchdown.

Former New York Jets receiver Robby Anderson also made his Carolina debut and played well. He had 6 receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown.

Of course, Christian McCaffrey had another great game. He ran for 96 yards and 2 touchdowns and he had 38 yards receiving.

New Orleans 34. Tampa Bay 23: This was the most anticipated game of the day. We all know Tom Brady left New England this offseason to become a Buccaneer.

He has a ton of offensive weapons. The Saints also feature a geriatric quarterback surrounded by playmakers.

This was the first game featuring two starting quarterbacks in their forties and they played like it.

The game started good for Brady. He rushed for a touchdown to give Tampa an early 7-0 lead.

It was downhill from there. He threw two picks and one of them was returned for a touchdown. Jameis Winston had to see himself in Brady as he watched from the Saints sideline.

“I made some just bad, terrible turnovers,” Brady said. “I obviously have got to do a lot better job.”

Drew Brees only threw for 160 yards and 2 TD’s. Alvin Kamara had a rushing and receiving score.

Surprisingly Michael Thomas only had 3 catches for 17 yards.

Corky Kell Kickoff

By: Kenneth Harrison news services

The high school football season kicked off last week. I’m going to recap the Corky Kell Classic, which features some of the best teams around the state.

Greater Atlanta Christian 20, Denmark 0: Greater Atlanta Christian is ranked sixth in class 3A.

The defense had six interceptions, including a streak of five consecutive on five Denmark possessions. Senior cornerback, Saiku White had three of the interceptions, and Josh Williamson, Luke Field and Joseph Rose each had one.

The Spartans had a solid performance from quarterback Deymon Flemming, who was 15-of-28 for 132 yards and two touchdowns.

This was the final game of the Corky Kell Classic.

Lowndes 51, Archer 21: Lowndes is ranked second in class 7A and No. 9 nationally.

The Vikings are led by 4-star quarterback Jacurri Brown.

He went down with an apparent leg injury midway through the second quarter. The game was tied at 7.

He had a short breather and got his ankle taped before returning. He threw for 164 yards and two touchdowns, completing 50% of his passes. He also had a rushing touchdown.

Archer is ranked No. 7 in class 7A so this is a very impressive win.

Collins Hill 46, Carrolton 24: This was a matchup between 7A and 6A teams.

Carrolton is No. 4 in the state in 6A but they were no match for the Eagles.

Collins Hill forced three interceptions.

They have a junior four-star quarterback, Sam Horn. He’s the No. 4 pro-style quarterback in the country for the junior class.

He was 27-of-40 passing for 364 yards, 3 touchdowns and lead an offense that gained 509 total yards of on 66 plays.

St. Pius X 38, Flower Branch 28: The Golden Lions ran 62 offensive plays and gained 430 yards. 398 yards of that offensive production came on the ground as Pius averaged seven yards per carry on 57 rushes.

Mason Benefield finished with seven carries for 46 yards and two touchdowns.

Shug Bentley had seven carries for 59 yards and a touchdown.

Paul Quigley had four carries for 38 yards and a touchdown.

Dennis O’Shea was 1-of-5 passing for 32 yards and a touchdown.

Walton 35, Kell 28: This was a battle between Cobb County schools.

The Raiders trailed 28-16 in the third quarter before making a comeback.

Zak Rozsman was 9-of-21 passing for 130 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed nine times for 49 yards and a touchdown.

Freshman quarterback Jeremy Hecklinski was 3-for-3 for 58 yards. Braylen Stokes had 15 carries for 159 yards and two touchdowns.

Kenny Djaha had nine carries for 76 yards and three receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown.

North Gwinnett 35. McEachern 7: The Bulldogs are led by four-star Clemson-commit Barrett Carter. The linebacker finished with a 7-yard touchdown run from the wildcat formation, a 79-yard interception return for a touchdown and a team-leading 10 tackles, 2.5 for a loss.

Brookwood 40, Dacula 34: This game went to four overtimes before the Broncos scored on a 1-yard touchdown run by Alexander Diggs.

Brookwood quarterback Dylan Lonergan was 28-of-43 passing for 433 yards and four touchdowns.

Denylon Morrissette had 12 receptions for 215 yards and three touchdowns.

West Forsyth 42, Mays 6: Coach Dave Svehla got the win in his first game.

He coached at Etowah from 2012-19 and had a 49-41 record there.

The Wolverines led 35-0 at halftime.

Daba Fofana carried the ball 16 times for 110 yards and two touchdowns with one touchdown reception.

Cherokee 38, Carver-Atlanta 12: The Warriors dominated and Keith Adams Jr. ran for 180 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Throw Me The Ball

By: Kenneth Harrison news services

The NFC South has some of the most talented players in the NFL. I think most people would agree the strength of the division is on offense.

Let’s take a look at the top five wide receivers in the division.

# 1 Michael Thomas (New Orleans): I have to admit I’m surprised at this ranking. I know he’s a very good player but he doesn’t wow you with athleticism.

In 2019 he led the league in receptions (149) and receiving yards (1,725). He was tied for second in receiving touchdowns with nine.

He’s so far ahead of the guys in second place.

Christian McCaffrey is second in receptions with 116. That’s extremely impressive considering he’s a running back but you get the point.

Thomas has been in the NFL since 2016 and his stats have gotten better every year. His worst season was his rookie year and he had 1,137 yards and 9 TD’s.

# 2 Julio Jones (Atlanta): Julio was sixth in the league in receptions (99) and second in yards (1,394).

Jones has the rare combination of size and speed. I think he’s a more talented player than Thomas but I’m basing this on numbers. He had 21 plays of 20+ yards.

Jones has been the model of consistency since entering the league in 2011. He’s been to the Pro Bowl seven times in his nine seasons.

He has two seasons with under a thousand yards and his season was cut short due to injury both times. Julio is an outstanding player but the Falcons normally have other weapons on offense so he’s not always the focal point.

# 3 Chris Godwin (Tampa Bay): Godwin had a breakout year in his third season in 2019.

In his first two years he had 93 catches, 1,367 yards and 8 touchdowns.

Last season he was third in receiving yards (1,333) and tied for second with Michael Thomas for receiving touchdowns with 9.

What makes it more impressive is he missed two games and he did this with only 86 catches. Godwin had 25 plays that were 20+ yards so he’s a big play threat.

# 4 Mike Evans (Tampa Bay): If this list were based on total career Evans would have been one spot higher.

What’s impressive is Evans has been performing well for the Buccaneers with Jameis Winston primarily at quarterback. He’s also had Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing him passes. Having very inconsistent quarterbacks is why he’s never had 100 receptions in a season. The closest he came was 96 catches in 2016.

In 2019 he only had 67 receptions but he had 1,157 yards and 8 touchdowns.

Evans is a big, 6’5 receiver so we don’t think of him as a big play threat, but he is. He averaged 17.3 yards per catch and he had 17 plays of 20 or more yards.

# 5 D.J. Moore (Carolina): He drastically improved in his second season.

As a rookie in 2018 he had 55 receptions, 788 yards and two TD’s.

In 2019 he had 87 catches, 1,175 yards and 4 touchdowns. The addition of Teddy Bridgewater should help him improve in 2020.


By: Kenneth Harrison news services

Last year was great for Marietta. The Blue Devils (14-2) won the 7A state championship. It was their first state title since 1967. They were loaded with talent. The team had 9 seniors ranked in the top 100 prospects in Georgia.

This program is an anomaly because we normally see the same top programs winning championships repeatedly. Marietta is not known as a football powerhouse.

Also, when a school has a talented class, they typically turn that into multiple championships. The Blue Devils were just as talented in 2018 and they were the top team in Georgia in the preseason. They finished the year 5-6 and unranked.

Their 2020 class was led by five-star tight end Arik Gilbert. He was the Gatorade National Player of the Year, first-team All-American and named Player of the Year for class AAAAAAA. Gilbert committed to LSU. He posted the second-greatest single-season mark for receiving yards in state history with 101 catches for 1,760 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Quarterback Harrison Bailey, defensive lineman B.J. Ojulari, tackle Jake Wray and defensive back Rashad Torrence were four-star prospects.

They don’t have any players ranked in the top 100 state prospects in 2021. After losing so much talent the Blue Devils will come crashing back to earth in 2020.

The season opener is home versus Colquitt County. The Packers were 9-3 last season and they will be a top 10 team this year. Wide receiver Lemeke Brockington is rated as the No. 39 prospect in the state and he’s a three-star recruit. Colquitt will win big.

The second game of the year is against Armwood (FL). They were a semifinalist last season in Florida’s highest classification. This game is probably cancelled because the GHSA announced the season will be pushed back and start September 4th. This game was going to be played August 28th.

Week 3 is at archrival McEachern. The Indians won last year’s meeting and they were the region champs. Star quarterback Carlos Del Rio-Wilson transferred to Grayson but they still have other good players on the team.

Their best player is inside linebacker Ese Dubre, the 68th ranked player in Georgia and a three-star recruit. I expect mighty McEachern to win.

The first road game is a long drive to Camden County. The Wildcats were 8-3 last season and lost in the playoffs to Marietta, 41 – 13.

Tackle Micah Morris is the No. 6 prospect in state and a four-star recruit. He committed to Georgia. Camden also has three-star wide receiver and Nebraska commit Shawn Hardy. The Wildcats will get revenge in a blowout win.

Week 5 is a second consecutive road game at Parkview. The Panthers were 12-2 in 2019 and lost to Marietta 42 – 31 in the semifinals.

Their led by four-star running back Cody Brown. Brown is rated as the No. 14 Georgia prospect and he’s committed to Tennessee. The Panthers will roll.

After a bye week the second half of the season begins with North Paulding at home. This will be the first win of the season.

Hillgrove is the next game. The Hawkss (yes, double s) should win this game.

Harrison has moved up to 7A and they’re in the same region. They were undefeated and won the 6A state championship last year. The Hoyas will win this game.

The final two games are against North Cobb and Walton. They should win one of those games, probably the North Cobb game.

I think Marietta will win two, potentially three games this season. Not very good for defending state champs.

Ramming Down the Door

By: Kenneth Harrison news services

Grayson is one of the elite programs in Georgia’s largest classification, AAAAAAA.

The Rams won state championships in 2011 and 2016. They hope to return to the top of the GHSA mountain in 2020.

Last season Grayson was expected to compete for the state championship. They beat Marietta by two touchdowns during the regular season. The Blue Devils were the most talented team in Georgia and they went on to win the 7A championship.

The Rams finished 2019 with a 10 – 2 record. They lost in the quarterfinals to Lowndes, 28 – 20. Lowndes advanced to the state championship game.

Grayson has produced a lot of talent. Most notably, Robert Nkemdiche was a five-star recruit and the top player in the class of 2012.

This season is no different. Wide receiver Daejon Reynolds is the 19th ranked player in the state and a four-star recruit. He’s committed to Florida. He’s 6’2 and 190 pounds so he has good size. Reynolds played at Central Gwinnett last season and he had 88 catches for 1,534 yards and 14 touchdowns. He was the Touchdown Club of Gwinnett’s wide receiver of the year for the 2019 season.

Quarterback Carlos Del Rio-Wilson is also a four-star recruit and the 20th ranked player in Georgia. He will join Reynolds in Gainesville. He transferred from McEachern and this is his first season at Grayson. Del Rio-Wilson is 6’3, 205 pounds and he’s a dual threat. He’s in the 2020 Elite 11.

Running back Phil Mafah is the 27th ranked player in the state and another four-star recruit. The 6’1, 220-pound back is committed to Clemson. He missed several games at the beginning of the season due to a broken collarbone. He ran for 676 yards and 9 TD’s.

Defensive end Victoine Brown is a three-star recruit and the 34th ranked player in state. He’s committed to Louisville.

The season begins August 21st versus Creekside. The Seminoles are a 5A team and they were 7 – 5 in 2019. This will be an easy win.

Week 2 is at McEachern. The Indians were 12 – 1 last year and they are a very good team. This will be a close win.

Stephenson comes to town next. The Jaguars were 10 – 2 last season and they were one of the best 4A teams. They can’t compete with 7A talent though and Grayson wins big.

The Rams travel to Archer in Week 4. Last year’s game was very close, a 34 – 31 Grayson win. The Tigers are looking to build off of their momentum from 2019 after finishing 9 – 4. This will be another close game but I give the edge to Grayson.

Paul Bryant high school from Alabama comes to town. I don’t know much about the Stampede but I know they can’t compete with Grayson.

Mill Creek is next on the schedule. The Hawks are a very good team and were 10 – 3 in 2019. This will be a battle, but the Rams will win.

Grayson travels to South Gwinnett for the sixth game. The Comets are a bad team and they’ll lose by 30.

After a bye week Parkview is the next game. The Panthers were 12 – 2 last season and they are led by four-star running back Cody Brown. I think Parkview will win.

The final two games are at Brookwood and Newton. They’ll win both games. I think Grayson will make it to the state championship game in 2020. They are the most talented team in Georgia.

Ground Gainers

By: Kenneth Harrison news services

I’m excited about sports returning in 2020.

We all are ready, especially considering how many were cancelled thus far. Let’s take a look at the best running backs in college football heading into the season.

  1. Javian Hawkins, Louisville: He was a redshirt freshman and established himself as one of the best ball carriers in the ACC.

He carried the ball 266 times for 1,525 yards, 9 touchdowns and averaged 5.7 yards per carry. His 40-yard dash time is reportedly in the high 4.3s, which would make him one of the fastest players in the nation.

Hawkins is the focal point of Scott Satterfield’s spread offense so he will have a chance for an even better 2020 season.

  1. Kenny Gainwell, Memphis: As a redshirt freshman in 2019 Gainwell had 2,069 yards of total offense and 16 touchdowns, averaging 7.3 yards per touch.

He is the new generation at the position that can catch passes and run the ball.

He ran for 1,459 yards on 235 carries with 13 rushing TDs. He caught 51 passes for 610 yards and 3 scores. He had 37 plays of 15 or more yards, so he makes explosive plays.

  1. Rakeem Boyd, Arkansas: The Last Chance U star is the only bright spot for the Razorbacks.

Last season he rushed for 1,133 yards, 8 scores on 184 attempts (6.2 YPC). It was his second consecutive year as the team’s leading rusher. He managed five 100-yard games and averaged 94.4 rushing yards per game.

First-year head coach Sam Pittman should help strengthen the offensive line. If that happens Boyd should have the best numbers of his career.

  1. Najee Harris, Alabama: He was the Crimson Tide’s best playmaker last season.

The former 5-star recruit ran for 1,224 yards, 13 TDs on 209 carries (5.9 YPC). He also had 27 receptions for 304 yards and 7 scores. Harris’ 13 rushing touchdowns in 13 games tied for second in the conference.

He ranked third in carries (209), fourth in rushing yards (1,224), and sixth in yards per game (94.15). He is only 1,214 yards behind former Heisman winner Derrick Henry as Alabama’s all-time leading rusher with 2,377 yards for his career.

1.Travis Etienne, Clemson: He doesn’t have anything left to prove at the college

level, so I was surprised he did not declare for the 2020 draft.

Etienne rushed for over 1,600 yards the past two seasons. He’s the Tigers all-time leading rusher and two time All-ACC.

He ran for 1,614 yards and 19 scores last year. In 2018 he led FBS with 24 touchdowns and he rushed for 1,659 yards. He should be a Heisman contender this season.

Honorable mention Kylin Hill, Mississippi State: He’s currently making headlines for threatening to sit out the 2020 season unless the state flag is changed.

Hill is the most talented player the Bulldogs have. He rushed 242 times for 1,350 yards (5.8 YPC) and 10 touchdowns in 2019. He’s currently tied for sixth all-time in 100-yard performances at Mississippi State.

Mike Leach is now the head coach in Starkville and he’s known for the Air Raid. Hill won’t get as many opportunities to carry the ball in 2020.

The Golden Arms

By: Kenneth Harrison news services

Clemson has been the dominant program in the ACC for the last six years.

The rest of the conference is a distant second place to the Tigers. There are still some very talented players in the conference. Let’s take a look at the 5 best quarterbacks going into the 2020 season.

  1. Kenny Pickett, Pitt: He’s started the last two years for the Panthers. He’s listed on the preseason watchlist for the Davey O’Brien Award and the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm.

In his 12 starts last season, Pickett completed 62% of his passes for 3,098 yards, 13 touchdowns and 9 interceptions.

He led the conference in completions per game (24) and he had five 300-yard passing games.

He’s one of only four QB’s in the ACC entering his third season as the starter. I expect to see major improvement in his touchdown to interception ratio.

  1. Sam Hartman, Wake Forest: This might shock the Georgia fans that have fully bought in to the Jamie Newman hype.

You remember him from season 2 of QB 1Beyond the Lights, which got popular when it was picked up by Netflix.

He set a Wake Forest program freshman record with 16 TD’s during the 2018 season. He was injured in early November and that allowed Newman to emerge as the starter.

Hartman has put on 20 pounds of muscle in his time at Wake. He will lead the Demon Deacons as the starter again this Fall.

  1. D’Eriq King, Miami: The transfer from Houston is a major addition for the Hurricanes.

He’s a true dual threat so if the offensive line continues to struggle, he can still make plays.

He tore his meniscus and underwent successful surgery in November 2018. At the time of his injury, King was leading college football with 50 total touchdowns (36 pass, 14 rush).

He decided to redshirt last season after Houston started 1-3. In his four starts he threw for 663 yards, 6 TD’s, 2 picks while rushing for 312 yards and 6 scores.

  1. Sam Howell, North Carolina: As a true freshman Howell passed for 3,641 yards and 38 touchdowns.

He led multiple game winning drives. His touchdown-pass total was third-most in league single-season history.

He ranked behind future first round picks Deshaun Watson and Jameis Winston. Players typically make the biggest improvement going in to their second year so he should be better in 2020.

Mack Brown is also entering his second season as head coach, in his second term in Chapel Hill. I believe the Tar Heels are one of the best teams in the ACC.

  1. Trevor Lawrence, Clemson: This was an obvious choice. He should be the top pick in

the 2021 draft. Lawrence has only lost one game in his two seasons as a starter. At this point he just needs to add a Heisman to his list of accomplishments. He’s passed for 5,778 yards, 58 TD’s and 12 interceptions.

The Tigers are better than every team they will play during the regular season so that will allow Lawrence to have impressive stats.

The Chiefs

By: Kenneth Harrison news services

Florida State has fallen on hard times recently, but they used to be one of the best football programs in the nation.

The Seminoles have produced several talented players that have had success in the NFL. I’m going to look at the best players in program history.

Chris Weinke (1997-2000): This is a name that may be forgotten, and I don’t know why. Weinke played minor league baseball right after high school so it took him a few years to arrive in Tallahassee. He was 25 when he enrolled at FSU and he did not become a starter until the following year.

As a Sophomore in 1998 he led the Seminoles to a 9-1 record before suffering a season ending neck injury against Virginia.

In 1999 FSU went undefeated and beat Virginia Tech in the national championship game.

As a senior, in 2000, Weinke led the nation in passing yards with 4,167 and 33 touchdowns. He won the Heisman Trophy, Davey O’Brien Award and Johnny Unitas Award. FSU played in their third consecutive national championship game. He finished his career with a 32-3 record.

Peter Warrick (1995-99): He’s one of the best wide receivers in program history.

Warrick was First-team All-ACC three times and a consensus All-American twice.

Statistically his junior year was the best. He had 1,232 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. He had another rushing TD.

He was suspended two games his senior year, but he still had 934 yards, 8 receiving touchdowns and 3 rushing touchdowns. In the national championship game, he had over 160 receiving yards and 3 TD’s.

Warrick Dunn (1993-96): He was First-team All-ACC three times and a Second-team All-American in 1996.

He rushed for over 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons. He rushed for 1,026 in 1994, 1,242 in 1995 and 1,180 in 1996. He holds the receiving TD record with 31.

Dalvin Cook (2014-16): I knew he was a good player, but I was surprised to find out he’s the leading rusher in school history. He ran for 4,464 yards in his three seasons.

He also has the best rushing season in program history with 1,765 yards in 2016. He was a two time First-team All-American. Cook is also the rushing touchdown leader with 46.

Charlie Ward (1989-93): He started his final two years and he drastically improved.

As a junior he passed for 2,647 yards, 22 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. As a senior he had 3,032 yards, 27 touchdowns and 4 interceptions.

In 1993 he won the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award and Davey O’Brien Award. He led Florida State to their first national championship. They beat Nebraska in the Orange Bowl, 18-16.

Terrell Buckley (1989-91): He’s the school interception leader with 21. He has the most picks in a season with 12 in 1991.

He won the Jim Thorpe Award and Jack Tatum Trophy in 1991.

Deion Sanders (1985-89): Prime Time is tied with Lee Corso for third in interceptions with 14. He also played baseball and ran track.

He was a two-time unanimous All-American and won the Jim Thorpe Award (1988). He also had his jersey retired.

Peter Boulware (1994-96): He’s second in career sacks with 34. He had 19 sacks in 1996.

He was a consensus All-American and ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 96.

Jameis Winston: He was 26-1 as a starter.

He won the Heisman Trophy as a redshirt freshman and led the team to an undefeated season and national championship.

In his career he completed 66% of his passes for 7,964 yards and 65 touchdowns.

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