Wanted to give you a quick rundown of the top non-AQ players in the final NCAA statistics for offense. Many of these players will be back for 2011, but many will be gone.
First let us take a look at rushing. Four non-AQ players finished in the Top 10 in yards per game:
No. 3 Bobby Rainey, Western Kentucky (137.4)
No. 6 Lance Dunbar, North Texas (129.4)
No. 7 Vai Taua, Nevada (123.85)
No. 10 Ronnie Hillman, San Diego State (117.9)
Taua is the only player who does not return next season. Hillman was a true freshman and many expect him to have an even better season. Rainey and Dunbar will both be seniors and vying once again to be the best running back in the Sun Belt. With Dunbar, it will be interesting to see how he fairs under new coach Dan McCarney, though offensive coordinator Mike Canales remains onboard. Rainey carried the ball a nation-leading 340 times last season. Can he handle another strenuous workload in 2011?
At quarterback, seven of the top 11 players in total passing yards were non-AQ players:
No. 1 Bryant Moniz, Hawaii, 5,040 yards
No. 4. Dominique Davis, East Carolina, 3,967
No. 6 Kellen Moore, Boise State, 3,845
No. 7 Ryan Lindley, San Diego State, 3,830
No. 8 Kyle Padron, SMU, 3,828
t. No. 9 Corey Robinson, Troy, 3,726
No. 11. G.J. Kinne, Tulsa, 3,650
I stretched this list all the way to 11 to show the depth of quality quarterbacks among the non-AQs. Although big-name players like Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick are gone, every player on this list returns to school next season, which means non-AQ quarterbacks will definitely be ones to watch again. But what is interesting is their receiver situation. Everybody but Kinne is losing his leading receiver. In the case of Moore, he loses two in Austin Pettis and Titus Young. Moniz loses Greg Salas and Kealoha Pilares, and Lindley loses DeMarco Sampson and Vincent Brown.
At receiver, seven of the top 100 players in total yards also came from non-AQ schools:
No. 1 Salas, 1,889 yards
No. 5 Jordan White, Western Michigan, 1,378
No. 6 Brown, 1,352
No. 7 Pilares, 1,306
No. 8 Aldrick Robinson, SMU, 1,301
10. Sampson, 1,220
11. Young, 1,215
Ssix of these players are definitely done with their college careers. The one up in the air is White, who is petitioning the NCAA for a medical hardship waiver and sixth season of eligibility. White had serious injuries to both his knees and sat out 2006 and 2008, so it seems likely his waiver will be granted. He set the school record for receiving yards in 2010.