The top 10 players returning to the Kent State Golden Flashes 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. Dustin Crum, QB
2. Keith Sherald Jr., S
3. Julian Sams, G
4. Kesean Gamble, LB
5. Isaiah McKoy, WR
6. Nathan Monnin, G
7. Zayin West, DI
8. Cepeda Phillips, LB
9. Mandela Lawrence-Burke, LB
10. Elvis Hines, CB
Honorable Mention: Adam Gregoire, T
Crum has a right to argue for top Group of 5 quarterback, and he'd be right to do so. He's a talented, big-armed quarterback who can run with the best of 'em. After averaging 8.4 yards per pass attempt and only throwing two interceptions compared to 20 touchdowns, Crum also ran for 884 yards and six more scores in 2019. Those kind of numbers alone will get you noticed but his play from a clean pocket and his play when under duress are equally as impressive. He's a must-watch player at ANY level of college football.
McKoy will be on the receiving end of Crum's passes this year, again, after he hauled in 57 receptions for eight scores and 877 yards a season ago. He has safe hands and is relatively shifty after the catch, posing a vertical threat to defenses in the MAC. Sams and Monnin on the interior are a great duo for the Golden Flashes, and they excel in pass protection.
On defense, however, is where this team's strength in terms of depth is. They lose very little in terms of returning production from a season ago as Gamble and Sherald sit firmly at the top. Sherald is a tackling machine with very good coverage skills. He had three interceptions and five more pass breakups a year ago, the majority of his damage being done when he wasn't even the primary coverage defender.
Gamble recorded a multitude of defensive stops and even chipped in with three sacks on a very few pass-rush attempts. Phillips is another proven star on the defense while Lawrence-Burke and West will have all the chances to increase their already solid levels of production.
Hines had seven pass breakups a season ago, and save for one long completion allowed, did a great job at limiting any sort of big plays. He's maybe one of the best tacklers on the team as well.