#11: RB James Starks, Buffalo
The Verdict: While Turner Gill rightly gets the credit for being the catalyst which turned the University at Buffalo football program around during the 2008 season, ask any UB fan and they will tell you that players like James Starks have been just as influential in helping the program overcome perennial mediocrity. A recent addition to the 2009 Doak Walker Award Watch List (given annually to the Nation's best running back), Starks is coming off of a record setting junior season in which he ran for 1,333 yards on just 272 carries. An incredibly versatile player who also hauled in 52 passes on the year, Starkes accounted for 16 rushing touchdowns in 2008 despite missing two and a half games due to injury. A First Team All-Conference selection last year, Starks has linebacker like size at 6-foot-2, 211-pounds, yet shows terrific cutback ability and the ability to outrun defenders once in the second level of defenses. A tough and reliable player who has carried the ball in excess of 30 times a game in the past, Starks is the most complete back in the MAC conference and gives the Bulls and excellent chance at returning to the postseason in this season.
Past Players: [#50: Navy LB Ross Pospisil] [#49: Fresno State RB Ryan Mathews] [#48: Wyoming DT John Fletcher] [#47: BSU WR Briggs Orsbon] [#46:EMU QB Andy Schmitt] [#45: Marshall TE Cody Slate] [#44: LA Tech WR/KR Philip Livas] [#43: CSU Gaurd Shelly Smith] [#42: Wyoming FS Chris Prosinski] [#41: SMU receiver Emmanual Sanders] [#40: UTEP QB Trevor Vittatoe] [#39: CMU DE/DT Frank Zombo] [#38: Nevada RB Vai Tuau] [#37:Marshall DE Albert McClellan] [#36: Boise State DE Ryan Winterswyk] [#35: ULM LB Cardia Jackson] [#34: CMU WR Bryan Anderson] [#33: SJSU DE Carl Ihenacho] [#32: ASU DE Alex Carrington] [#31: Kent State RB Eugene Jarvis] [#30: DL D'Anthoney Smith] [#29: BSU FS Sean Baker] [#28: CSU WLB Mychal Sisson] [#27: BSU QB Kellen Moore] [#26: Hawaii C John Estes] [#25: UH RB Bryce Beall] [#24 E. Carolina DE CJ Wilson] [#23 Buffalo WR Naaman Roosevelt] [#22 S. Miss. WR DeAndre Brown] [#21 TCU CB Nick Sanders] [#20 BSU RB Miquale Lewis] [#19 FAU QB Rusty Smith] [#18: BYU LT Matt Reynolds] [#17 BYU TE Dennis Pitta] [#16: FIU WR T.Y. Hilton] [#15: WMU QB Tim Hiller] [#14: Troy DE Brandon Lang] [#13: CMU WR Antonio Brown][#12 Troy MLB Boris Lee]