Widely renowned as one of the top players in college football coming into the 2011 season, Andrew Luck (QB) is on the brink of a bright future.
The son of Oliver Luck, a former Houston Oilers quarterback and WVU Athletic Director, Andrew has struck a balance between athletics and education at Stanford University. Projected as a top pick in the 2011 Draft, Luck chose to stay at Stanford to earn his degree in architectural design, a challenging major in the College of Engineering and to finish out his tenure with his college teammates.
After redshirting his first year in 2008, Luck earned freshman All-America honors by CollegeFootballNews.com, Scout.com and Sporting News for the 2009 season. He led an offense that scored 461 points and set a freshman passing record at Stanford with 2,575 yards. He was a member of the Pac-10 All-Academic Team and the recipient of the Dewsarte-Eller Award, honoring the nation’s top sophomore.
During his third year at Stanford, Luck led his team to a school record 524 points and set single-season school and conference records for completion percentage. For his dominant performance, he was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy Award, the Maxwell Award, the Walter Camp Football Foundation National Player of the Year Award, the Davey O’Brien Award and the Manning Award. Luck was named Orange Bowl MVP, Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year and unanimous choice as his team’s MVP, and finished his junior year with the highest winning percentage (.800) of any Stanford quarterback and seven additional school records. Notably, Luck broke John Elway’s single-season record for touchdown passes at Stanford by five touchdowns, with 32. He also passed for 3,338 yards that season.
Luck returned for his junior season at Stanford despite being projected as a top five selection in the 2011 NFL Draft. Entering his fourth year at Stanford, Luck was a first-team preseason All-America selection the Associated Press and an early favorite for the Heisman Trophy. He is slated to graduate this spring and we look forward to watching him mature as he transitions to the next level.
A highly-touted draft prospect out of Boise State, Kellen Moore (QB) has become one of the most prolific passers in Broncos history.
Following a redshirt year, Moore set a NCAA single-season record in 2008 for highest pass completion percentage by a freshman (69.4). Moore threw for 3,486 yards and 25 touchdowns as a redshirt freshman and finished 12th in the nation in passing efficiency, leading the Broncos to a 12-1 record. He was named Boise State’s Most Valuable Offensive Player by his teammates. Moore was also selected as the WAC Freshman of the Year and earned Freshman All-America honors from the Football Writers Association of America.
In 2009, Moore led the Broncos to a perfect 14-0 record, finishing second in the nation in passing efficiency and setting a NCAA single-season record for the lowest pass interception percentage (0.69). Moore threw five touchdowns in three separate games and finished the season with the second-most touchdown passes in the country (39) – the single-season Broncos record. Moore was named first-team All-America by ESPN, Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports and to the WAC All-Academic Team. Moore also received the Joe Kearney Award, given annually to the top WAC athlete. Moore finished seventh in Heisman voting and was named the WAC Player of the Year.
As a junior, Moore threw for 3,845 yards and 35 touchdowns and led the nation in passing efficiency. His career passer rating leads all active quarterbacks nationally. He was a Football Writers Association of America All-America selection and one of four finalists for the Heisman Trophy, becoming the first Bronco to be invited to the New York ceremony. Moore was a finalist for the Davey O’Brien Award and the Maxwell Award and was named the WAC Player of the Year for the second consecutive year. He was again selected by his teammates as the Broncos’ MVP for 2010.
Moore is the first Bronco to pass for more than 10,000 yards in his career. He was named to Athlon Sports’ Preseason All-America second team going into 2011. Moore graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in communications and is currently pursuing a graduate degree at Boise State. We look forward to watching him develop as a quarterback at the next level.
A highly-productive defensive end for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Quinton Coples (DE) entered 2011 as a preseason All-America candidate, Lombardi Award candidate and 2011 Hendricks Award candidate.
Coples attended Hargrave Military Academy prior to enrolling at North Carolina, where he was an All-America selection by Super Prep and was invited to play in the U.S. Army All-America Game. In 2008, Coples amassed eight tackles, 1.5 sacks and a fumble recovery as a freshman at North Carolina. He played in 12 consecutive games, including the Meineke Car Care Bowl. He totaled 22 tackles and five sacks on the season, making his first regular-season start in an upset victory over Virginia Tech in October 2009.
In 2010, Coples was moved from defensive end to defensive tackle due to team needs. He played in all 13 games as a junior, starting 12, and finishing the season with national and conference accolades, including first-team All-ACC and second-team All-America honors. He ranked third in the conference and 16th in the country in sacks per game, amassing 10 on the season, which was top five among defensive tackles in the country. Coples led the Tar Heels with 12 quarterback pressures and finished fourth on the team with 59 tackles.
For his senior season in 2011, Coples was moved back to his natural position of defensive end. He is performing among the most dominant of his position and is a projected first-round draft selection.
Coples has actively participated in several team community endeavors, including visits to a local homeless shelter and to the UNC Medical Center. Coples is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in communications and has his sights set on continuing to improve as he moves on to the next level.
A highly successful signal-caller for Michigan State, Kirk Cousins (QB) is only the second three-time team captain in Spartans history. As a redshirt freshman in 2008, Cousins played in five games and had a 74% pass completion rate. In his debut, he completed his first 10 pass attempts against Ohio State and led the Spartans on their lone touchdown drive of the game. Cousins capped off 2008 with his first of three consecutive Academic All-Big Ten selections.
In 2009, Cousins was elected one of four team captains by his coaches and teammates, just the second sophomore in 113 years of football history at Michigan State to earn the honor. In the season opener, which was also his first career start, Cousins threw for three touchdowns. He threw for more than 2,600 yards on the season. He received the Biggie Munn Award, given annually to the Spartans’ most inspirational player on offense. Cousins was an honorable mention selection for the All-Sophomore Team by College Football News and the All-Big Ten Team.
The following year, Cousins became just the eighth quarterback in Spartans history to pass the 5,000-career-yard mark. He was a semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien Award and a finalist for the Wuerrfel Trophy, awarded every year to the player who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement. Cousins was selected as a member of the Allstate AFCA All-Good Works team for his commitment to the community and was the recipient of the Outstanding Underclass Back Award by his coaches.
Entering the 2011 season, Cousins had the third-highest completion percentage in Big Ten history (65.0). He also ranked second in MSU history in passing yards, touchdown passes, pass completions and pass attempts. He was named a finalist for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award and the Davey O’Brien Award. He was also rated as the Big Ten’s “most accurate passer” by Lindy’s and the Big Ten’s “best passing QB” by Sporting News.
Cousins is the winningest quarterback in Michigan State history. He is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and we anticipate hearing more success stories from him in the future.
Regarded as one of the best defensive ends in college football, Melvin Ingram (DE) is a top lineman in the SEC.
Originally a linebacker at South Carolina, Ingram played in all 12 games as a true freshman in 2007. He totaled 15 tackles and one sack at the linebacker position and averaged 18.0 yards per return on special teams.
After a broken foot forced him to take a medical redshirt for the 2008 season, he returned to play in all 13 games for the Gamecocks in 2009. Due to midseason injuries, Ingram made his first career start at the defensive end position, where he has played since. He totaled 18 tackles on the season with 1.5 sacks, including a 12-yard sack for a loss against Florida Atlantic.
In 2010, Ingram played in all 14 games and led South Carolina with nine sacks, tying the second-highest single-season total in Gamecocks history. He finished second on the team with 11 tackles for a loss and totaled 28 tackles on the season. Despite breaking his hand against Vanderbilt, Ingram returned and did not miss a game the rest of the season.
Ingram entered 2011 as a semifinalist for the Rotary Lombardi Award and the Bednarik Award, given to the nation’s top linebacker and defensive player, respectively. He is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in African-American studies and we wish him luck developing and transitioning to the next level.