State's 'low-profile' college football stars shine away from the spotlight

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 10:00pm

Although theirs might not be household names, there are a handful of players throughout Tennessee who are putting up big numbers this season.

• Bo Cordell, Tusculum

Through 10 games he is second among Division II quarterbacks with 35 passing touchdowns — and 20 percent of those came in one game. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound sophomore tossed seven touchdowns — school and South Atlantic Conference records — in a victory over Brevard on Oct. 30. The Cincinnati native was the league’s Freshman of the Year in 2009 and hasn’t disappointed this season. He has a nation-high 4,258 passing yards. He has thrown for at least 400 yards in nine straight games, also a school and league record, and has passed for more than 500 yards twice. He is a candidate
for the Harlon Hill Trophy, which goes to Division II’s top player.

• Joel Bradford, Tennessee-Chattanooga

The Chattanooga native is second in the FCS with 118.3 receiving yards a game. The junior, who played defensive back in 2009, has 70 catches for 1,065 yards and seven touchdowns. He has twice gone over the 250-yard receiving mark this season. He caught a career-high 15 passes for a school-record 274 yards in a win against Furman on Oct. 23.

• Derrick Williams, Bethel

The cornerback has picked off nine passes this season, which is a school record and tied for most in the NAIA. Williams, a junior from Shreveport, La., has intercepted five passes in his last two games — three against Faulkner and two versus Kentucky Christian.

• Michael Tribue, Carson-Newman

The McGavock graduate had one of the best years for an offensive lineman in 2009. He was named an All-American and was awarded the South Atlantic Conference’s Jacobs Blocking Trophy, which goes to the league’s top offensive lineman. The 6-foot-3, 260-pound senior and the Eagles’ offensive front have picked up where they left off last year, as their 297.1 rushing yards per game ranks third in Division II.

• Gareth Rowlands, Tusculum

When the Pioneers aren’t scoring touchdowns, they’re making plenty of field goals. Rowlands’ 19 this fall is tied for the most in the nation. The kicker from Wales has missed just four attempts. He has made 6-of-8 over 40 yards, including a season-long 47 yarder. He holds eight different school records.