Down the Drive has asked me to put my powers of clairvoyance to the upcoming college football season.
In the first of my series of 2016 college football previews, I pick my preseason All-American team. The power of my endorsement cannot be overstated. Selection to Miss Cleo’s All-American team will help catapult each one of these young men to superstardom.
Just like when I pegged Tennessee, Georgia Tech, and Arizona for big things last year. Every one of those teams had dream seasons.
That’s how I earned the nickname the "Miss Cleo of College Football," if you remember correctly.
Our Cincinnati Bearcats are well-represented on this team, as you will see. I expect big things from the Bearcats this year. Our All-American laden roster will land us in a big bowl game. Or at least one that takes place after Christmas.
Quarterback: Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee. Last year, I predicted that Joshua Dobbs would win the Heisman Trophy. It didn’t happen, but he looked brilliant on a number of occasions. I am doubling down on my 2015 pick, the nation’s most well-rounded multi-threat quarterback. Dobbs will be heading to the Downtown Athletic Club this December. And he will be leaving New York City with Lord Stanley’s Cup.
Running Back: Jalen Hurd, Tennessee. Jalen Hurd has the size of Christian Okoye, the speed of Marcus Allen, the power of Jerome Bettis and the pop sensibilities of Jerome Kern. The way you look tonight, Hurd, you might be sitting on an early December flight to LaGuardia alongside your backfield mate, Joshua Dobbs.
Running Back: Myles Gaskin, Washington. Myles Gaskin has the most underrated name in college football. As a side note, he was also the best freshman running back in the country last year.
Wide Receiver: Courtland Sutton, SMU. Fire up YouTube and watch some highlights of this guy. As a freshman last year, he was college football’s most exciting player. As a sophomore, he will break all kinds of receiving records in Chad Morris’ newly high-powered, up-tempo SMU offense.
Wide Receiver: River Clyde Cracraft, Washington State. The best-named player in college football is also the nation’s best possession receiver. One-hundred catches for Cracraft this year. Guaranteed.
Tight End: OJ Howard, Alabama. OJ Howard has been known in my house as "the guy that jumps offside" since he jumped offside in his first college football game in 2013 against Virginia Tech. Even though he jumped offside that one time, he blocks like Bavaro and moves like Tecmo Bowl Cap Bozo every time he catches the ball.
Tackle: David Sharpe, Florida. He looks like a man among boys anytime I’ve seen him. That sounds like an All-American to me. When I sat down to brainstorm my All-American team, Sharpe’s name was the first one I wrote down.
Tackle: Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame. This Philadelphia native is a one-man road grading crew. Bears a slight resemblance to Spencer Tracy in Disorderly Conduct.
Center: DeShawn Bond, Cincinnati. Bond leads one of the finest offensive lines in college football. A genuine jack of all trades, Bond keeps the quarterback upright, blazes a trail for our running backs and commands respect across the AAC. Expect the Rimington Trophy to find a home in Cincinnati later this year.
Guard: Ryan Leahy, Cincinnati. Leahy was born to block for running backs. Mike Boone is going to put up some extraordinary numbers in 2016 running behind this fella. This fall, Leahy is going to challenge Scott Norton’s single-season record of 298 pancakes.
Guard: Dan Feeney, Indiana. A fierce blocker who I think might have been the middle school aged kid that Jake Steinfeld mentored on Big Brother Jake, my favorite Family Channel sitcom of the early 1990s. I can’t believe it hasn’t been released on DVD yet. I would take the bus straight to Circuit City to buy the whole set if it was available and if there was still a Circuit City.
Defensive End: KeShun Freeman, Georgia Tech. Freeman is a product of LaGrange, Georgia, one of America’s greatest bass fishing towns. Its proximity to West Point Lake and 472 two-star or better hotel rooms makes it an angler’s paradise. For those in need of lodging, I recommend the Days Inn just off I-85. There is complimentary coffee in the lobby all day and a pretty clean swimming pool, at least as far as Days Inns go.
Defensive End: Al-Quaddin Muhammad, Miami. Burfictian in every sense of the word.
Defensive Tackle: AJ Wolf, Duke. Hailing from the great fighting city of Greenwich, Connecticut, AJ Wolf brings a mean streak with him that has not been seen among Greenwich’s Mean Street Posse since the days of Joey Abs.
Defensive Tackle: Charles Walker, Oklahoma. I would love to watch a highlight video of this young man with Good Old J.R. I bet he would emit some glorious exclamations.
Linebacker: Matt Galambos, Pitt. Galambos is a tackling machine whose tape matches up favorably with the collegiate film of Jamie Collins, Bobby Wagner and Luke Kuechly.
Linebacker: Micah Kiser, Virginia. Micah Kiser is a one-man wrecking crew. If he had played college football in the mid-1980s, Golan and Globus would have offered him a multi-picture deal as their newest action star.
Linebacker: Dre Greenlaw, Arkansas. The best outside linebacker in the SEC and arguably the most versatile in college football. Greenlaw is like a reboot of Derrick Brooks. He can rush the passer, shut down the run and cover wide receivers like a blanket. Greenlaw is going to play for a long time on Sundays.
Cornerback: Cameron Sutton, Tennessee. College football fans: stop making excuses for lowlifes. There are plenty of All-American caliber football players out there who are also exemplary individuals off the field. Take for example Cameron Sutton. The Tennessee corner was a sure-fire first round pick in last April’s NFL draft. Instead, he decided to return for his senior year to finish his pharmacy degree and compete for a national title. Sutton is the kind of student-athlete that every college fan-base should demand that their program recruit.
Cornerback: Carlton Davis, Auburn. Carlton Davis has already projected that Auburn will start 5-0. Not sure how he thinks AU will play down the stretch, but I love his bravado about the Tigers’ opening month of action.
Safety: Armani Watts, Texas A&M. Armani Watts is a native of Forney, Texas, the "Antique Capital of Texas." My favorite television program is PBS’ Antique Roadshow. I especially like it when they cover Rookwood Pottery, Danish Modern furniture and Bakelite jewelry. Logic dictates that he must be a member of my All-American team.
Safety: Derwin James, Florida State. I heard somebody saying he was seen wearing a t-shirt of the Strokes’ Angles album cover. That’s cool, I guess.
Kicker: Andrew Gantz, Cincinnati. Gantz is going to make Jan Stenerud look like Luis Zendejas in 2016.
Punter: Caleb Houston, UCF. Being the punter for UCF last year, Caleb Houston saw enough action to get some serious carbon scoring. I anticipate him parlaying all of that experience into an All-American season in 2016.
Kick Returner: Aregeros Turner, Northern Illinois. Punt Returner: Shawun Lurry, Northern Illinois: Northern Illinois’ return tandem of Turner & Lurry will bring back a minimum of 10 kicks and punts for touchdowns in 2016. Maybe 20. Why not? They are that good.
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