Biggest shoes to fill in the American Athletic Conference
It seems like Navy is in this constant cycle. They find a QB that's more like a receiver or running back. He starts for 3-4 years. Then, they find another one built the exact same way. They replaced the record-setting Keenan Reynolds with another record-setting QB in Malcolm Perry, and now they must replace Perry. It's worked in the past, and they have several options to turn to, and Perry Olsen is currently listed as the starter for 2020.
Michael Warren ran for almost 3,000 yards in his career as a Bearcat and was an All-Conference performer in 2 seasons. He was also the first player in program history to forgo his final year of college eligibility to enter the NFL Draft. Gerrid Doaks and Charles McClelland have played substantial roles for the team in the past, while they will also welcome in Alabama transfer Jerome Ford.
Cooper Edmiston was a force in the middle of the Golden Hurricane defense, recording over 300 tackles in his career. Those tackles are the 5th most by any player in conference history. Any team will have trouble replacing a 3 year starter with that kind of impact. They do bring back an experienced corps, but Edmiston left a big presence to fill.
Josiah Deguara was a 1st Team All-AAC and holds the Bearcats' career record for receptions by a tight end (92). He is also one of only 2 tight ends in team history to reach 1,000 career receiving yards. Bruno Labelle has been their number 2 tight end the past couple of years. Michigan State transfer Noah Davis may challenge for the spot, as well as Josh Whyle and Leonard Taylor.
The Mustangs had an all-purpose playmaker in Xavier Jones for the past 3 seasons. In his career, Jones set records for TDs in a season, rushing TDs in a season, and season points, and tied for the record in career TDs and career points. The team now has several inexperienced backs, led by last year's 3rd leading rusher T.J. McDaniel.
All-AAC linebackers Shaun Bradley and Sam Franklin have both moved on. Both players were multi-season starters and had nearly 400 tackles between them. The Owls also lost Chapelle Russell. Experts like Isaiah Graham-Mobley in the preseason, and their are several candidates to join him in the starting lineup.
The big loss here is DE Trevis Gipson. Gipson was a dominant pass rusher and the team's best defensive lineman. Jaxon Player and Tyarise Stevenson will look to hold down the front while waiting for a suitable replacement to emerge.
Delontae Scott led the team in nearly every defensive line category in 2019, earning national recognition for tackles for loss and sacks. He was also named 2nd team All-AAC. Turner Coxe and Nelson Paul appear to be the leaders on the edge with Mike Williams leading the interior.
With Perry Young and Bryan Wright gone, the Bearcats have some questions to answer in the middle of their defense. They'll have to replace two consistently good players, who were both team captains. Jarell White and Darrian Beavers will lead the recovery efforts.
UCF WR- Gabe Davis was one of the best players in program history, but the Knights return multiple players who were also extremely productive receivers last year.
Temple DL- The Owls lost star defensive end Quincy Roche as a transfer to Miami. Roche's passing rushing will be a key loss, but they keep starting DTs Ifeanyi Maijeh and Daniel Archibong.
Memphis WR/RB- Antonio Gibson moves on, but the Tigers can turn to one of the best RB in Kenneth Gainwell and a very good receiver in Damonte Coxie.