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C-USA recognizes 70 players on 2021 preseason watchlist

The 14 coaches voted on the preseason watchlist which includes five players from each institution.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 15 New Orleans Bowl - Appalachian State v UAB Photo by John Korduner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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.

Offense

Pos. Player College Class
Pos. Player College Class
QB Grant Wells Marshall Fr.
QB Bailey Zappe WKU Gr.
RB Frank Gore Jr. Southern Miss Fr.
RB Sincere McCormick UTSA Jr.
RB De'Wayne McBride UAB So.
RB D'Vonte Price FIU Sr.
RB Marcus Williams Louisiana Tech Gr.
WR Jason Brownlee Southern Miss Jr.
WR Jacob Cowing UTEP So.
WR Jarrin Pierce Middle Tennessee Sr.
WR Brandon Robinson Florida Atlantic Sr.
WR Bradley Rozner Rice Jr.
WR Jyaire Shorter North Texas So.
WR Victor Tucker Charlotte Sr.
OL Shea Baker Rice Jr.
OL Jacob Brammer North Texas Jr.
OL Spencer Burford UTSA Sr.
OL Bobby DeHaro UTEP Jr.
OL D'Mitri Emmanuel Charlotte Sr.
OL Arvin Fletcher Southern Miss Sr.
OL Lyndell Hudson Jr. FIU So.
OL Alex Mollette Marshall Sr.
OL Joshua Mote Louisiana Tech Jr.
OL Jordan Palmer Middle Tennessee Jr.
OL Nick Saldiveri Old Dominion So.
OL Cole Spencer WKU Jr.
OL Kadeem Telfort UAB Jr.
OL Khalique Washington Southern Miss Sr.
OL Isaac Weaver Old Dominion Sr.
OL Nick Weber Florida Atlantic Jr.

Defense

Pos. Player College Class
Pos. Player College Class
DL Praise Amaewhule UTEP So.
DL Evan Anderson Florida Atlantic Fr.
DL Jamare Edwards Marshall Jr.
DL Jordan Ferguson Middle Tennessee Jr.
DL Elijah Garcia Rice Sr.
DL Jaylon Haynes UTSA Sr.
DL DeAngelo Malone WKU Sr.
DL Antonio Moultrie UAB Jr.
DL Dion Novil North Texas Sr.
DL Davon Strickland FIU So.
DL Markees Watts Charlotte Sr.
LB Trey Baldwin Louisiana Tech Sr.
LB K.D. Davis North Texas Jr.
LB Tyler Murray Charlotte Sr.
LB Jordan Young Old Dominion Sr.
DB Reed Blankenship Middle Tennessee Sr.
DB Richard Dames FIU Sr.
DB Zyon Gilbert Florida Atlantic Sr.
DB Steven Gilmore Marshall Jr.
DB Joe Joe Headen Old Dominion Sr.
DB Dy'Vonne Inyang UTEP Sr.
DB Antwon Kincade WKU Sr.
DB Kristopher Moll UAB Sr.
DB Naeem Smith Rice Sr.
DB BeeJay Williamson Louisiana Tech So.
DB Rashad Wisdom UTSA Jr.

Special Teams

Pos. Player College Class
Pos. Player College Class
K Briggs Bourgeois Southern Miss Jr.
K Jonathan Cruz Charlotte Sr.
K Brayden Narveson WKU So.
K Nick Rice Old Dominion Sr.
P Lucas Dean UTSA Jr.
P Kyle Greenwell UAB Jr.
P Matt Hayball Florida Atlantic Jr.
P Tommy Heatherly FIU Sr.
P Kyle Ulbrich Middle Tennessee Jr.
PR Justin Garrett UTEP Sr.
PR Smoke Harris Louisiana Tech So.
PR Talik Keaton Marshall So.
LS Nate Durham North Texas Jr.
LS Campbell Riddle Rice 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.