The anticipation for football in the offseason gets unbearable at times. One of the moments during the offseason that gives you a glimmer of hope that football is back is when the college football preseason polls and All-American teams are revealed. This marks that football is right around the corner, finally. We, the DFF Devy Watch team, present you with the preseason DFF Devy All-American team. These All-American teams cover our top devy prospects at each position regardless of class. Devy prospects will be broken down into four separate All-American teams along with positional breakdowns of each team. We started with the 4th team and are working towards the 1st team.
Devy Watch Preseason All-American 3rd Team
QB: Jarrett Stidham, Auburn
QB: Luke Falk, Washington State
RB: Elijah Holyfield, Georgia
RB: Trayveon Williams, Texas A&M
RB: Royce Freeman, Oregon
RB: Jordan Scarlett, Florida
WR: Calvin Ridley, Alabama
WR: Christian Kirk, Texas A&M
WR: Antonio Callaway, Florida
WR: Donovan Peoples-Jones, Michigan
WR: Joseph Lewis, USC
TE: Adam Breneman, UMass
TE: Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State
(@devywarehouse) As a true freshman in 2015, Stidham had some flashes of greatness before a broken ankle and a transfer a couple of months later cost him his 2016 season. Stidham was recently named the starting QB for the Auburn Tigers. Stidham is a perfect fit for the Auburn offense. He has good mobility and the most talented passer that the Tigers have had for some years. He has the size, athletic ability, and arm talent to be a top QB prospect in the 2018 class behind the likes of Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, and Josh Allen. Sticking around for his senior season would be ideal for Stidham and his draft capital.
Luke Falk has the size and unreal production the last two seasons. Falk will have a lot of questions coming into the NFL about his college offense. Coming from an Air Raid offense, Falk’s ability to translate to a more traditional pro-style offense will be his biggest red flag. Mike Leach QBs have not had much success in the NFL, but Falk is no doubt the most talented QB that he has coached. If any QB can buck the Leach system trend, it is Luke Falk.
(@DFF_Clayton) This position group includes a mixed bag of underclassmen and upperclassmen, three of which hail from prominent SEC programs. Scarlett and Williams experienced 2016 breakouts, while Royce Freeman has proved it year after year for the Ducks. Holyfield, on the other hand, received a minimal 2016 workload as a freshman and faces a stacked depth chart for the Bulldogs. This still hasn’t deterred our team from putting him in the top 12 at the position, as the talent is certainly there for the rising sophomore.
Elijah Holyfield is the son of former Heavyweight Boxing Champ Evander Holyfield and has received plenty of hype in Devy circles since his arrival at Georgia. A bruising back with a solid all around skill set, playing time will be hard to come by for Holyfield in 2017, as incumbents Nick Chubb and Sony Michel should carry the mail in Athens. A recent marijuana arrest is also a concern for Holyfield, so we likely won’t see him earn significant snaps until 2018 at the earliest. Competition against incoming 5-stars D’Andre Swift (2017) and Zamir White (2018) will be stiff, but Holyfield has the ability to carve out his own path in this backfield and play at the next level.
Texas A&M rising sophomore RB Trayveon Williams burst onto the scene last season earning significant playing time as a true freshman. He racked up 1,000+ yards and 8 TDs at an astounding 6.8 yards per carry clip for the Aggies while playing in all 13 games. Williams was more of the lightning to fellow backfield mate Keith Ford’s thunder and showed excellent elusiveness and burst. Quicker than fast, look for Williams to at least match his rushing production in 2017 while improving upon his 91 receiving yards from last year.
Royce Freeman has accounted for more than 4,000 yards and 40 TDs thus far in his college career. At 5’11” 230 lbs, Freeman is a load to bring down once he gets out into the open field. He doesn’t possess outstanding agility but more than makes up for it with his combination of power between the tackles and solid hands out of the backfield. If you’re one of those who puts a large emphasis on college production, then Freeman is your guy. He returns for his senior season with Oregon and will be leaned on heavily once again with much of the inexperienced talent in the Duck’s offense.
The Jordan Scarlett hype came to fruition in 2016, as he took over the Gators’ backfield and led the team in virtually every rushing category. Scarlett put his bruising running style on full display and ran angrily and violently against some tough SEC competition. Scarlett’s running style is reminiscent of Marshawn Lynch in many ways and rarely goes down on first contact. He should soak up the majority of the backfield work once again this season, and if he can build on his sophomore campaign, we could be seeing Scarlett in preseason games this time next year. Scarlett needs to show more in the passing game, as he only had 4 receptions last season, but I believe he is more than capable of doing so.
(@DFF_BMack) When it’s all said and done, I would put this group of third-team wide receivers up against any of the other teams. Calvin Ridley, despite his college offense, is the most pro-ready. Christian Kirk is nearly the perfect college wide receiver. Even though Antonio Callaway can’t keep it together off the field, he still has higher expectations than most. Both Donovan Peoples-Jones and Joseph Lewis could immediately be the best WR on their team.
(@devywarehouse) After battling many knee injuries and a brief retirement, Breneman bounced back in 2016 in a big way. Breneman was once a big-time, can’t-miss recruit who played at Penn State for three years with little production due to knee injuries dating back to high school. After a brief retirement, he transferred to UMass and became one of the most productive tight ends in the country. In 2016, Breneman saw 70 receptions for 808 yards. He looks primed for another big season as UMass’ go to guy.
Goedert balled out at FCS level in 2016. Not many tight ends were on Breneman’s level for production in 2016, but Goedert was able to top him. He hauled in 92 catches for 1293 yards and 11 TDs. Listed at 6’4” 260 lbs, Goedert totally outmanned any FCS defensive back he faced. He and fellow teammate Jake Wieneke made a mockery of the FCS defenses they faced. The opening week of the 2016 season Goedert was able to matchup against TCU, his only FBS opponent, and was able to produce like he did all year. He finished that game with a stat line of 5 receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown. Look for Goedert to continue his insane production in 2017.