Akin Ayodele, DE, Purdue (Coffeyville [Kans.] Community
College)--The 6'2", 250-pound sophomore has ably succeeded
All-Big Ten Rosevelt Colvin, a fourth-round selection of the
Chicago Bears. Ayodele leads the Boilermakers with 16 tackles
for losses, 9 1/2 of them sacks.
Kendrell Bell, LB, Georgia (Middle Georgia College)--The 6'2",
240-pound junior is one of the best linebackers in the SEC with
38 tackles, including four sacks, along with three interceptions
and three fumbles forced.
Josh Heupel, QB, Oklahoma (Snow [Utah] College)--The 6'2",
208-pound junior is flourishing in the Sooners' new pass-first
offense. He already owns Oklahoma's single-season passing record
with 2,369 yards and has thrown for 23 touchdowns.
Jeff Holtry, LB, BYU (Michigan)--The 6'3", 245-pound junior
played on special teams for the 1997 co-national champions but
left Ann Arbor to play closer to home and family nearby in Salt
Lake City. He has 35 tackles, two interceptions and a fumble
recovery for the Cougars.
Milo Lewis, DB, Alabama (City College of San Francisco)--The
6-foot, 176-pound junior has made 31 tackles and intercepted two
passes and leads the Crimson Tide with nine pass breakups.
Quincy Morgan, WR, Kansas State (Blinn [Texas] College)--The
6'2", 215-pound junior is second in the Big 12 in receiving with
92.4 yards per game and tied for 12th in scoring with seven
Karon Riley, DE, Minnesota (SMU)--The 6'4", 247-pound junior
helps anchor a unit that leads the Big Ten in total defense.
Riley has 50 tackles, including 17 for losses, and is second in
the conference with 11 sacks.
Jeremi Rudolph, RB, UNLV (Southwest Mississippi Community
College)--The 5'9", 175-pound junior ran for 524 yards and
scored three touchdowns before being sidelined for nearly all of
the last two games with a groin pull. He'd committed to Florida
State coming out of Apopka (Fla.) High in 1995 but didn't enroll
because he'd signed with the Toronto Blue Jays organization.
Fred Smoot, CB, Mississippi State (Hinds [Miss.] Community
College)--The 6'1", 173-pound junior leads a unit that is second
in the nation in pass-efficiency defense. He has 35 tackles,
three interceptions and six pass breakups.
Markus Steele, LB, USC (Long Beach [Calif.] City College)--The
6'3", 215-pound junior wears the same number (55) as former
Trojans linebackers Junior Seau, Willie McGinest and Chris
Claiborne, and is playing like those USC greats. He's second
among the Trojans with 64 tackles, leads the Pac-10 with three
fumbles forced and has two recoveries.
COLOR PHOTO: BOB ROSATO