College News & Analysis

The 2021 College Football All-Conference USA Team

Western Kentucky's Bailey Zappe scrambles during the first quarter against Michigan State on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing. 211002 Msu Wku Fb 133a Syndication Lansing State Journal

The 2021 college football regular season has officially come to a close, and now it’s time to recognize the top players across the country with PFF’s all-conference teams and conference players of the year.

With the help of PFF grades and advanced statistics — which are now available to PFF’s CFB Premium Stats+ Subscribers — we present to you the 2021 C-USA Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year and All-Conference USA teams.

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Click to view PFF's 2021 All-Conference teams

POWER FIVE: ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC

GROUP OF FIVE: AAC | MAC | Mountain West | Sun Belt


C-USA OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

QB BAILEY ZAPPE, WESTERN KENTUCKY HILLTOPPERS

The 2021 transfer posted an 85.3 passing grade in his first year as the Hilltoppers starter, finishing top-five in the FBS in deep completions (41), completion percentage (53.9%), passing yards (1,394) and touchdowns (15).

Western Kentucky went from third-to-last in the conference in expected points added (EPA) per pass play in 2020 to first in the same metric in 2021, and Zappe was the biggest reason why.

CUSA DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Edge ALEX WRIGHT, UAB BLAZERS

Wright earned a 91.3 PFF grade over the regular season, the second-highest in the FBS, and played soundly against the run and pass. The 6-foot-7, 270-pound edge defender finished the regular season as one of the seven FBS edge defenders who put up an 80.0-plus PFF grade in both run defense and as a pass-rusher. Wright generated a 19.9% pressure rate and 26.1% pass-rush win rate in 2021, top-five marks at the position.

FIRST-TEAM ALL-CONFERENCE USA

QB Bailey Zappe, Western Kentucky
RB Rasheen Ali, Marshall
RB DeWayne McBride, UAB
WR Jacob Cowing, UTEP
WR Jerreth Sterns, Western Kentucky
WR Zakhari Franklin, UTSA
TE Gerrit Prince, UAB
LT Cole Spencer, Western Kentucky
LG Quantavious Leslie, Western Kentucky
C Alex Mollette, Marshall
RG Boe Wilson, Western Kentucky
RT Nick Saldiveri, Old Dominion

DI Keenan Stewart, UTEP
DI Dion Novil, North Texas
ED Alex Wright, UAB
ED Deangelo Malone, Western Kentucky
LB Jordan Young, Old Dominion
LB Tyrice Knight, UTEP
CB Natrone Brooks, Southern Miss
CB Quincy Riley, Middle Tennessee
S Grayson Cash, UAB
S Teja Young, FAU
FLEX D Korel Smith, FAU

K Hunter Duplessis, UTSA
P Lucas Dean, UTSA
KR Shadrick Byrd, Charlotte
PR Starling Thomas V, UAB

SECOND-TEAM ALL-CONFERENCE USA

QB Frank Harris, UTSA
RB Blake Watson, Old Dominion
RB Johnny Ford, FAU
WR Jake Bailey, Rice
WR Decorian Clark, UTSA
WR Victor Tucker, Charlotte
TE Zack Kuntz, Old Dominion
LT Will Ulmer, Marshall
LG Alex Salguero, Marshall
C Rusty Staats, Western Kentucky
RG Elijah Klein, UTEP
RT Colby Ragland, UAB

DI Micario Stanley, UAB
DI Evan Anderson, FAU
ED Jordan Ferguson, Middle Tennessee
ED Gabriel Murphy, North Texas
LB Noah Wilder, UAB
LB Clarence Hicks, UTSA
CB Keondre Swoops, UAB
CB Corey Mayfield Jr., UTSA
S R'Tarriun Johnson, Old Dominion
S Jonathan Alexander, Charlotte
FLEX D Nazeeh Johnson, Marshall

K Jacob Barnes, Louisiana Tech
P Joshua Sloan, UTEP
KR Beanie Bishop, Western Kentucky
PR Willie Johnson, Marshall

THIRD-TEAM ALL-CONFERENCE USA

QB Grant Wells, Marshall
RB Sincere McCormick, UTSA
RB DeAndre Torrey, North Texas
WR Mitchell Tinsley, Western Kentucky
WR Grant Dubose, Charlotte
WR Tyrese Chambers, FIU
TE Jason Pirtle, North Texas
LT Miles Frazier, FIU
LG Joshua Mote, Louisiana Tech
C Nick Weber, FAU
RG Matthew Trehern, UAB
RT Mason Brooks, Western Kentucky

DI Roderick Brown, North Texas
DI Tyree Turner, UAB
ED Grayson Murphy, North Texas
ED Charles Wiley, UTSA
LB Jaden Hunter, Western Kentucky
LB Abraham Beauplan, Marshaall
CB Micah Abraham, Marshall
CB Josh Caldwell, UTEP
S Jordan Helm, FAU
S Reed Blankenship, Middle Tennessee
FLEX D Omari Alexander, Western Kentucky

K Brayden Narveson, Western Kentucky
P Kyle Greenwell, UAB
KR Camron Harrell, Southern Miss
PR Natrone Brooks, Southern Miss

HONORABLE MENTION

QB Chris Reynolds, Charlotte
RB D'vonte Price, FIU
RB Ikaika Ragsdale, North Texas
WR Tre Harris, Louisiana Tech
WR Jason Brownlee, Southern Miss
WR Trea Shropshire, UAB
TE Xavier Gaines, Marshall
LT Spencer Burford, UTSA
LG Bobby DeHaro, UTEP
C Shea Baker, Rice
RG Netori Johnson, Middle Tennessee
RT Makai Hart, UTSA

DI Dashawn Crawford, Southern Miss
DI Trumane Bell II, UTSA
ED Michael Fairbanks II, UAB
ED Praise Amaewhule, UTEP
LB Eli Neal, Marshall
LB KD Davis, North Texas
CB Beanie Bishop, Western Kentucky
CB Cory McCoy, Marshall
S Antwon Kincade, Western Kentucky
S Rashad Wisdom, UTSA
FLEX D Dadrian Taylor, UTSA

K Nick Rice, Old Dominion
P Tommy Heatherly, FIU
KR Jayden Harrison, Marshall
PR Sheldon Jones, UTSA


Click to view PFF's 2021 All-Conference teams

POWER FIVE: ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC

GROUP OF FIVE: AAC | MAC | Mountain West | Sun Belt

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