Losses - Offense - All-American Amini Silatulu and Hank Gilley (both 1st LSC) on the line, WRs David Little (1st LSC), Sheldon Galloway and Edgard Theliar (both 2nd LSC) and RB Lester Bush (2nd LSC). Defense - Linemen Kevin Birdow (2nd LSC), Paul Gonzalez, Tim McGill and Mark Lafaele (all HM LSC), LB Ty Duncan (HM LSC) and DBs Jeremy Smith (1st LSC), Romie Blaylock (2nd LSC) and Tyler Maner (HM LSC).
Returnees - QB Brandon Kelsey (1st LSC), RBs Keidrick Jackson (1st LSC) and Jimmy Pipkin (2nd LSC), linemen Ken Van Heule (1st LSC), Justen Tyler and Bryan Keith (both 2nd LSC). Defense - LB Matt Ellerbrock (HM LSC), DBs Pat Gardner (1st LSC), Neiko Conway, Donald Napoleon (both 2nd LSC) and Bernard Griffin (HM LSC). Kicker Greg Saladino (2nd LSC) and deep snapper Randall Arbuckle (1st LSC) return for the special teams.Notes - Coming off their most successful season ever, the Mustangs must replace 14 players who received LSC recognition last fall. The key to the Mustang's LSC-leading offense (48.6 pts and 532 yds per game, 323.5 rushing) was the blocking of the line and WRs, both of which suffered losses. The defense was second in the LSC in points allowed (23.4) and third in yardage (357.4), and must replace 8 players honored by the LSC last year. Returning seniors include Kelsey, Van Heule and Tyler on the offense and Ellerbrock, Gardner and Griffin on the defense.
Losses - Offense - Daryl Richardson (2nd LSC) and Reggie Brown, FB Justin Andrews (1st LSC), TE Ben Gibbs (1st LSC), 3 OL (Matt Webber, Neal Tivis both 1st LSC) and Jerod Harrell (HM LSC). Defense - 2 linemen (Aston Whiteside All American 1st LSC, Donald Moore 2nd LSC), 2 LBs (Nathan Baggs 1st LSC) and 3 DBs (Darien Williams 1st LSC and Nate Bailey HM LSC). 7 of top 11 tacklers.
Returnees - Offense - QB Mitchell Gale (2nd LSC), RB Charcandrick West (HM LSC), 3 WRs (Taylor Gabriel 2nd LSC), 2 OL (Josh Perez 2nd LSC, Blake Spears HM LSC). Defense - 1 lineman, 2 LBs (Thor Woerner HM LSC), and one DB (LB Suggs HM LSC). Kicker Morgan Lineberry and DS Brent Schroeder were special teams 1st team LSC.
Notes - The Wildcats had the most severe loss of talent from last year, losing seven 1st team LSC players, including four-time selection Aston Whiteside. Gale, Ryan Smith, Suggs and Lineberry are the only seniors among the projected top returnees. Not a great deal of concern for the offense that was second in the LSC in scoring and yards gained, but the defense regressed, giving up 29.5 pts and 436 yards per game.
West Texas A&M
Losses - Offense - C Hector Rodriguez, Brittain Golden (both 1st LSC), RB Tommy Hampton (HM LSC as a return specialist) and TE Landon Forga. Defense - 3 DBs (Curtis Jefferson, Caleb Randolph both 1st LSC, and Maurice Caldwell HM LSC), 2 LBs (Anthony Scott HM LSC) and 2 linemen (Dishon Robertson 1st LSC and Simi Kuli HM LSC). Backup QB Tanner Marsh has been reported to transfer to Arkansas Tech.
Returnees - QB Dustin Vaughn (HM LSC), RB Khiry Robinson, WRs Nathan Slaughter and Lance Ratliff (both HM LSC), 4 linemen (Aaron Mullane 2nd LSC, Craig Watts HM LSC). Defense - linemen Tyrell Higgins (1st LSC), Aaron Wampler, LB Kevin McCluskey (2nd LSC), and DB Jordan Smith (HM LSC). Kickers Kevin VanVoris and Sergio Castillo (both 1st LSC).
Notes - The Buffs led the LSC in defense (!), but must replace 7 starters, including 6 who received postseason honors. Most of the offense returns, but the players that graduated will be missed.
Losses - Offense - QB Nick Stephens (HM LSC) threw for 3,000 yds and 20 TDs, 2 lineman (Shawn Wyatt HM LSC). Defense - Logan Johnson (HM LSC) is the only starter that was a senior last year.
Returnees - Backup QB Aaron Doyle got some game experience last year, leading rusher Courtney Vaughn, top 3 WRs, led by Clifton Rhodes (2nd LSC), TE Will McLane, and 3 linemen (Adrian Campbell 2nd LSC). Defense - 3 linemen (Rufus Johnson HM LSC), 2 LBs (Marquis Wadley 2nd LSC), 4 full-time and 3 part-time starters in the secondary (Dashaun Phillips 1st LSC, Desmond Jackson 2nd LSC, Dan Jackson and Blair Johnson, both HM LSC).
Notes - Lots of seniors, 8 of the top returning on defense and 3 on offense. The Texans were 4th in scoring offense and defense, and 5th in yards gained and allowed. QB is the biggest question mark heading into 2012, but will need to replenish defense for 2013.
Losses - Offense - Loses just two starters, QB Daniel Ramirez and OL Cory Baumann. Defense loses four starters, DE Roderick Benman (2nd LSC, 16 TFL, 12 sacks), DT Johnny Tivao (HM LSC), LB Marcus Sanders (HM LSC) and DB Demontrelle Smith.
Returnees - Offense - RB Jonathan Woodson (1st LSC, 1st in the nation 217 all purpose yards per game), 3 WR (Robert Armstrong, Sherman Batiste both 1st LSC), part time starter Nate Poppell at QB, both TEs, and 7 linemen with at least 3 starts, 44 combined, both TEs. Defense - LB Jeremy Aguilar (1st LSC), two starting linemen, 7 DBs with a combined 47 starts. Collectively 7 of top 10, and 15 of top 20 in tackles.
Notes - The team is heavy on seniors at the skill positions on offense, and four of the top 7 linemen as well, while five of the top returnees on defense will be moving on after this upcoming season. No glaring weaknesses for the upcoming season, the offense averaged 31 points and 454 yards per game, while the defense allowed 349 yards and 30 points (offensive turnovers contributed to this).
Losses - Offense - leading rusher Tristian Carter (HM LSC), TE Nate Bayless (2nd LSC), 4 starting lineman (Ryan Merryman HM LSC), plus QB Jake Strickler, who started 5 games when Blake Hamblin was injured. Defense - 2 linemen (Lawrence Rumph 1st LSC) 4 LBs with a combined 19 starts, 2 DBs (Terrance Preston HM LSC) and punter George Shamblen (2nd LSC). 4 of top 10, 9 of top 20 in tackles.
Returnees - Offense - QB Blake Hamblin, 3 starting WRs (plus 2 injured all of 2010), one lineman (Austin Sumrall HM LSC). Defense - full time starter Kyle Patterson (2nd LSC) and 2 part-time starters on the line, 2 part-time starters at LB, and 2 full-time (Alvin Johnson HM LSC) and 3 part-time starters in the secondary, 6 of the top 10 in tackles.
Notes - Of the returning Rams with starting experience, about 10 will be seniors. Most of those are on the defense, especially the line. The Rams were above average on both sides of the ball, so there is no panic for immediate help.
Losses - Offense - FB Donald Gies (2nd LSC) and leading WR Jacob Love (38-556-4). Defense - Diego McClain (38 tackles, 7 for losses).
Returnees - Offense - both QBs, leading rusher Trent Rios (HM LSC), WR Dominic Hamilton, TE Andrew Mocio (HM LSC), 5 starting OL. Defense - 2 linemen (HM LSC Robby Horton), 2 LBs, 4 DBs, plus one part-time starter, 18 of team's top 20 in tackles.
Notes - All returning starters on offense are seniors as are all but 2 returning starters on defense. The offense was last in the LSC in both yardage and points, while the defense was second to last in both categories. With so many seniors, the Cardinals should be recruiting heavily across the board.
Eastern New Mexico
Losses - Offense - 4 full-time and 3 part-time starters, including ENMU's all-time leading receiver Darian Dale (263 receptions, 2,743 yds), the leading rusher and two HM LSC linemen. Defense - 1 full-time starter and 1 part-time starter. All-LSC punter Tyler Cannon.
Returnees - Offense - QB Wesley Wood, 3 WR with a combined 99 receptions 1,064 yds and 11 TDs, 2 starting linemen. Defense - 3 starters on the line, 4 LBs with a combined 28 starts, 4 DBs with 35 combined starts, 8 of teams top 10 tacklers are back.
Notes - With a new coaching staff, this is a hard one to call. Help on defense (41 points and 483 yds per game, both last in the LSC) is certainly needed. Most of the returning starters will be seniors this fall.
Losses - 7 starters on offense (4 of top 6 in receptions, top 2 rushers, 3 OL), 3 starters on defense (including 1st team LSC and leading tackler Cory Whitfield)
Returnees - Top 2 QBs, 2 starting OL, 2 DL, 3 LB and 4 DBs with at least 5 starts (8 of top 10 in tackles)
Notes - Top 2 returnees at QB, RB and WR will be seniors, 2 of top 3 LBs as well. The Lions need help across the board, but especially at the positions listed.