Everyone seems to be ranking something this preseason. Not only have ESPN's dream team of bloggers been counting down the top players by conference all spring, but now Rivals.com is naming their Top 100 players in college football. To top it all off, The Sporting News' Matt Hayes recently released his picks for the Top 25 players in the sport, with (guess who?) Tim Tebow earning the top spot. And while the obsessions with ratings and rankings may very well speak to the growing disconnect between reporters and actual players, it's just as likely a byproduct of the 365 day a year cycle of college football analysis we find ourselves in. Is it objective? Of course not. Is it scientific? Not really. Is it interesting? Well hell, I guess it must be. Lost within the shuffle of all these ratings and rankings is a comprehensive list of the
Best Non-BCS Conference players from around college football. Well, that is until now. Over the next 50 days here at ITB, we will be rolling out our thoughts on the best players from the Mountain West, Western Athletic, Mid-American, Sun Belt, and Conference-USA. Army and Navy? No worries, we've got them covered too. And to kick things off we're headed to Annapolis, Maryland, to check the data sheet on a linebacker who not only led his team in tackles a year ago, but who has also been described as "the nicest dude you will ever meet."
Number 50: ILB Ross Pospisil, Navy
The Verdict: Pospisil might be one of the most underrated linebackers in the college game today. At only a hair above six feet tall he flew under most programs' radar out of Temple high school in Texas, but has since become an impact defender in two years of action in Navy's 3-4 defensive scheme. Recently elected Defensive Captain for the 2009 season, Pospisil posted 67 tackles (including two for a loss) during his sophomore season before exploding for over 100 tackles a season ago. He finished 2009 with 106 total tackles, but his timely plays may have been what ultimately saved the season for Navy. Not only did he record a key interception to help secure a Navy upset over Rutgers in week four, but his forced fumble of Temple running back Kee-ayre Griffin helped to prolong an incredible 20-point comeback against the Owls which ultimately led to a Navy becoming bowl eligible. Not just an "instinctive" player with a "nose for the ball," Pospisil uses his combination of quickness and reckless abandon to more than make up for his size while on the field. Versatile in that he can both fight off blocks while retaining his gap presence and cover tight ends and running backs out of the backfield, Navy's Ross Pospisil is clearly one of the best linebackers enrolled at any non-BCS conference school. Check back tomorrow as we reveal our 49th Best Player from the Non-BCS Conferences!