Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Hyphman Award

Arguably the most prestigious award in the country, the Hyphman Award shall be given to the nation's most outstanding player...whose name contains a hyphen. Legends have come and gone, with some achieving NFL success (Maurice Jones-Drew, Mike Sims-Walker to name a couple). And don't think the Dawgs are impervious to hyphens -- in addition to incoming frosh Justin Scott-Wesley, there was Danny Verdun-Wheeler, Max Jean-Gillis, and lest we forget the amicable Olaolu Sanni-Osomo.

By our count, there are 102 current Division 1-A players whose first and/or last name contains a hyphen. Some players are buried on the depth chart, others will be vital to their team's success, but one thing is for sure -- the seamstresses better get ready because that name on the back of the jersey is going from shoulder-to-shoulder. So without further adieu, let's go over some of the preseason Hyphman favorites:
  • Austyn Carta-Samuels (QB) Wyoming -- Gotta like a starting QB's chances, especially one that, last season, guided his team to their first bowl since 2004. He does play out in Wyoming AND in the Mountain West Conference so gaining national recognition could be a possible stumbling block.
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  • Darrell Johnson-Koulianos (WR) Iowa -- Ricky Stanzi's favorite target from last year is back. He had 45 catches for 750 yds and 2 TDs last year. I would expect those numbers to go up and it only helps his chances that Iowa is a dark horse National Title contender.
  • Covaughn DeBoskie-Johnson (RB) California -- He will be 2nd on the depth chart (behind Shane Vereen) but should get plenty of carries. He averged 6.8 ypc on 31 carries last year so the talent is there. Should Vereen get injured, I think it propels DeBoskie-Johnson to the top of the Hyphman leaderboard.
And a couple of defensive players:
  • Jeron Gouvela-Winslow (LB) Virginia Tech -- Anytime your a starter on a Bud Foster coached defense, the opportunities for success are magnified. If VA Tech actually lives up to their expectations, Gouvela-Winslow could be a legitimate Hyphman contender.
  • Ray-Ray Armstrong (FS) Miami -- Playing center field for the U should create some opportunities for picks and big hits. The Hyphman voters like these kind of things.
Undoubtedly there are some budding stars who I have left off the list. I mean, could starting Washington State linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis have a good enough year to win the Hyphman AND save Paul Wulff from 'Gary Barnett VIP' doom. Or is starting Notre Dame Defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore going to break in the Brian Kelly regime with double-digit sacks. Only time will tell.

And here are a couple of other notes:
  • Hawaii has an unprecedented EIGHT hyphenites on their team. WOW!
  • There are two sets of guys with the same last name: Nicolas and Stanley Jean-Baptiste and Kevin and Philip Pierre-Louis. No confirmation on whether kinships exist.
  • Every time I look at one of these names it reminds me of a married woman who is too stubborn to completely drop her maiden name.
Oh, and by the way, Georgia faces two hyphanites the very first game (LA-Lafayette) in (DE) Devon Lewis-Buchanan and (DT) Darrel Green-Wallace...in other words, we need not take this team lightly.

Stayed tuned during the season for some '
Hyphman Updates'.

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