The top 10 players returning to the Ball State Cardinals for the 2020 college football season.
Important to note that this list is based upon last year's data and film from on each specific team as well as judgment based upon the player's position both his skill and the level of talent around him at the said position and influential cohorts. Positional value also plays a large factor in these rankings as does the offensive or defensive scheme.
1. Caleb Huntley, RB
2. Drew Plitt, QB
3. Justin Hall, WR
4. Amechi Uzodinma II, CB
5. Antonio Phillips, CB
6. Jaylin Thomas, LB
7. Yo'Heinz Tyler, WR
8. Christian Albright/James Jennette III, Edge
9. Curtis Blackwell, G
10. Jordan Williams, LB
Honorable Mention: Luke Martin, G
Huntley put the world on notice last year, proving that his near 1,000-yard season in 2017 was no fluke. He rushed for 1,264 yards on 246 carries and bounced off nearly every defender he encountered. He racked up multiple broken tackles in all but one game a season ago and that was just the injury-shortened Ohio outing for him. Huntley possesses great speed with terrific shiftiness and no lost speed in his cuts. He returns as one of the top backs in the MAC.
Then there's Plitt, who wowed a season ago. He finished with a 24:7 TD:INT ratio last year and threw for 2,912 yards in the process. Plitt carved up the middle of the field and with some increased accuracy to the outside, could be one of the top passers in the conference. His receivers return to form a dynamic duo at the top as Hall is a longtime productive receiver with great routes, speed and dynamics after the catch. Tyler is a speedster who made the most of his catches last year with sure hands. These are a duo of receivers that just need a tiny bit of space to make a huge play for Plitt.
On defense, this team is another deep unit. With Uzodinma and Phillips the star returners, their edge duo of Albright and Jennette were almost identical in 2019. They each recorded four sacks and have a great feel for bending the edge or rushing the passer straight through linemen. They should only get better in 2020.
Uzodinma recorded five picks a season ago with another 11 pass breakups. He was rarely beat in coverage and, in fact, he allowed fewer than 50% of the passes thrown his way to be caught. Phillips made four picks and four more breakups himself and this duo returns as one of the best CB duos in the MAC.
Thomas should lead the team in tackles once again and he's an underrated defender in coverage as well.