Conference USA recognized 70 players Monday afternoon on its 2021 preseason watchlist.
The watchlist substitutes the C-USA’s previous method of releasing First and Second Team All-Conference preseason lists. Voters for the watchlist included all 14 C-USA head coaches.
|RB||Frank Gore Jr.||Southern Miss||Fr.|
|RB||Marcus Williams||Louisiana Tech||Gr.|
|WR||Jason Brownlee||Southern Miss||Jr.|
|WR||Jarrin Pierce||Middle Tennessee||Sr.|
|WR||Brandon Robinson||Florida Atlantic||Sr.|
|WR||Jyaire Shorter||North Texas||So.|
|OL||Jacob Brammer||North Texas||Jr.|
|OL||Arvin Fletcher||Southern Miss||Sr.|
|OL||Lyndell Hudson Jr.||FIU||So.|
|OL||Joshua Mote||Louisiana Tech||Jr.|
|OL||Jordan Palmer||Middle Tennessee||Jr.|
|OL||Nick Saldiveri||Old Dominion||So.|
|OL||Khalique Washington||Southern Miss||Sr.|
|OL||Isaac Weaver||Old Dominion||Sr.|
|OL||Nick Weber||Florida Atlantic||Jr.|
|DL||Evan Anderson||Florida Atlantic||Fr.|
|DL||Jordan Ferguson||Middle Tennessee||Jr.|
|DL||Dion Novil||North Texas||Sr.|
|LB||Trey Baldwin||Louisiana Tech||Sr.|
|LB||K.D. Davis||North Texas||Jr.|
|LB||Jordan Young||Old Dominion||Sr.|
|DB||Reed Blankenship||Middle Tennessee||Sr.|
|DB||Zyon Gilbert||Florida Atlantic||Sr.|
|DB||Joe Joe Headen||Old Dominion||Sr.|
|DB||BeeJay Williamson||Louisiana Tech||So.|
|K||Briggs Bourgeois||Southern Miss||Jr.|
|K||Nick Rice||Old Dominion||Sr.|
|P||Matt Hayball||Florida Atlantic||Jr.|
|P||Kyle Ulbrich||Middle Tennessee||Jr.|
|PR||Smoke Harris||Louisiana Tech||So.|
|LS||Nate Durham||North Texas||Jr.|
All 14 member institutions received two offensive and two defensive selections, with the exception of Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles landed four offensive players on the watchlist, but zero defensive players by contrast. Each C-USA program was featured once on the special teams watchlist. When summed together, that adds up to an equal representation of five players from each team.
Two graduate transfers with zero prior C-USA experience landed on the watchlist. WKU quarterback Bailey Zappe was one of two quarterbacks featured, along with Marshall’s Grant Wells. Zappe was the leading passer at the FCS level last season and averaged an astronomical 458 yards per game through the air before taking his talents to Bowling Green, KY.
Marcus Williams Jr., a longtime Appalachian State running back, is the other newcomer on the list. After four consecutive seasons of rushing for 500 yards for the Mountaineers, Williams transferred to Louisiana Tech this offseason in hopes of bolstering the Bulldogs’ run game.
In addition two a pair of newcomers, the watchlist also includes a slew of familiar faces. There are 10 players on the 2021 preseason watchlist from the 2020 All-C-USA First Team:
- Grant Wells, QB, Marshall
- Sincere McCormick, RB, UTSA
- DeAngelo Malone, DE, WKU
- Dion Novil, DT, North Texas
- Steven Gilmore, CB, Marshall
- Kristopher Moll, SS, UAB
- BeeJay Williamson, SS, Louisiana Tech
- Rashad Wisdom, SS, UTSA
- Lucas Dean, P, UTSA
- Talik Keaton, PR, Marshall
The 2020 C-USA media days kick off this Wednesday with the East division and will be followed up by the West division on Thursday. The conference officially launches its 2021 season in action on Aug. 28 when UTEP pays a visit to New Mexico State.