Several players have helped the nonautomatic qualifying conferences gain national notoriety, but the following 10 players are considered some of the game’s best from the non-AQ schools during the past decade.
1.Dan LeFevour, QB, Central Michigan: LeFevour is the only player in NCAA history with more than 12,000 passing yards and 2,500 rushing yards. He also holds the FBS record for total touchdowns with 150. He holds MAC records for career completions, attempts, passing yards, passing touchdowns, total touchdowns and total offensive yards.
2.Colt Brennan, QB, Hawaii: Set seven NCAA records at Hawaii, including the single-season record in touchdowns and passing efficiency, and ranks second in touchdowns responsible for and career touchdown passes.
3.DeMarcus Ware, DE, Troy: Finished his college career with 27.5 sacks, 195 tackles (57 for loss), 74 quarterback hurries, 10 forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and one interception.
4.Alex Smith, QB, Utah: Was 21-1 as a starter and led the Utes to a win in the Fiesta Bowl, the first appearance by a non-AQ in a BCS game. He was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 NFL draft.
5.DeAngelo Williams, RB, Memphis: Holds the NCAA record for most career all-purpose yards (7,573) and 100-yard rushing games (34), and ranks fourth on the all-time NCAA rushing list with 6,026 yards.
6.Byron Leftwich, QB, Marshall: Completed 65.1 percent of his passes for 11,903 yards, 89 touchdowns and only 28 interceptions. He amassed 12,090 yards of total offense on 1,632 plays, ranking second on the school’s all-time record lists behind Chad Pennington.
7.Jarett Dillard, WR, Rice: Holds the NCAA record for career touchdown receptions with 60, and he and former Rice quarterback Chase Clement hold the NCAA Division I-A record for career touchdowns by a quarterback-receiver tandem with 50.
8.Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Miami (Ohio): Only the third athlete in Miami (Ohio) history to have a jersey retired. Led the RedHawks to a 13-1 record and a No. 10 AP ranking in 2003. He threw for at least 3,100 yards in each of his three seasons.
9.Freddie Barnes, WR, Bowling Green: Set the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision record for the most receptions in a single season with 155 during a 17-catch performance in the 2009 Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl.
10.Ryan Dinwiddie, QB, Boise State: Was the most prolific passer in the FBS during the early part of the decade. He was 25-2 during the 2002 and 2003 seasons, throwing 51 touchdown passes and just 10 interceptions.