The college football season will open for most teams in two weeks. It should be a big year for many local college football players. There are a number of standouts on the Division I FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) and FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) levels.
These players were stars in the Public and Catholic Leagues just a few years ago. A number of them have emerged as players to watch in their conferences as well as on their respective teams.
Some of these players will receive great visibility on national television. Others could be seen locally depending on the school and the conference. Nevertheless, this list has some familiar players who could be in line for postseason honors and could be playing in bowl games by the end of the season.
5-foot-9, 215 pounds
D’Andre Swift was a huge star at St. Joseph’s Prep. The former Catholic League standout has played some great football at the University of Georgia. As a freshman, he played in the national championship game.
Swift has great speed and moves in the open field. He led the Bulldogs in rushing with 1,049 yards. Swift also scored a team-high 10 touchdowns.
He was named to the Maxwell Club, Doak Walker and Walter Camp Player of the Year preseason watch lists. He received first-team All-SEC recognition. He earned second All-American honors from the Sporting News, too.
6-foot-3, 243 pounds
Shaka Toney could be headed for a real breakout season. Toney, a former standout at Imhotep Charter, has great quickness and can really get to the quarterback. He tied a school record with four sacks in the fourth quarter against Indiana.
He had 23 total and 16 solo tackles with 7.5 tackles for loss last season. Toney is capable of doing more. He’s a terrific playmaker along the defensive line.
6-foot-2, 250 pounds
Casey Williams was a big time player at South Philadelphia High School. The former Public League standout really showcased his talents last season. He had 43 total and 25 solo tackles. Williams also had 11.5 tackles for loss and six sacks. He blocked three kicks on special teams. Moreover, Williams blocked a punt in a victory over Bryant, which he returned for a touchdown. He has a lot of ability.
University of Illinois
6-foot-4, 290 pounds
Tymir Oliver, a West Catholic product, has played some good football in the Big Ten Conference. He did a great job of playing the run last season. Oliver had 27 total tackles and two tackles for loss. He had a career best seven tackles against Iowa.
University of Maine
5-foot-8, 185 pounds
Richard Carr, a former St. Joseph’s Prep star, has developed into a great defensive back. Carr had three interceptions, which tied for the team lead last season. He had 26 total tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss. Maine has one of the top teams in the FCS. Carr has been a solid contributor to their success.
6-foot-1, 190 pounds
Jaquan Amos, a former Northeast High star, earned preseason CAA honorable mention honors. Amos has great playmaking ability. Last year, he led the Wildcats in tackles with 57, which included 40 tackles. Amos had a big game against Temple last season. He had seven tackles against the Owls.
Ray Thomas-Ishman, Sr.
University of Massachusetts
6-foot-5, 320 pounds
Thomas-Ishman, a former Simon Gratz standout, has NFL height and size. He can move his feet. He moves well laterally and has good blocking skills. Thomas-Ishman, who plays left tackle for the Minutemen, is a great pass blocker.