Michael Bates started his career on a high note, busting defenses for five 300-yard passing games as a freshman while on his way to 3,129 yards and 30 touchdowns in 2011. The newcomer ranked third nationally with 326.1 total offense yards per game, helping the Blueboys become the eighth-most prolific offense (473.9 ypg) in the country last year. He also was 40th in passing efficiency and was 13th in passing yards per game (284.5), the top freshman in the nation.
Illinois College Athletics
Despite playing in only seven games, Middlebury's McCallum Foote led the nation in passing yards per game, racking up 345.7 per contest (2,420 total) while adding 20 touchdowns against nine interceptions. He posted five 300-yard passing efforts, including three consecutive 400-yard games, setting a career high with 413 yards and five touchdowns against Bates after the first two 400-yard games resulted in losses.
Shawn Morris returns for Birmingham-Southern after posting the second-highest rushing average in the country a year ago. Morris carried the ball 169 times for 1,449 yards and 17 touchdowns, averaging 161.0 yards per game. His total trailed only Pomona-Pitzer's Luke Sweeney, who averaged 177 yards per game. Morris' per-carry average (8.6 ypc) was third in the nation and was nearly double Sweeney's (4.8 ypc).
After scoring 21 rushing touchdowns a year ago -- more than any returning player this fall -- Melikke Van Alstyne is looking to add to his career total in 2012, which also includes more than 2,700 rushing yards in two years. Van Alstyne rushed for at least 170 yards in five of his last seven games as a sophomore, finishing the season ranked sixth in the country with 143.6 yards per game. His 11.8 points per game ranked fifth after posting 130 points.
Framingham State Athleitcs
Daniel Wodicka caught 87 passes for 1,245 yards as a sophomore, leading all returning players in total receiving yards. He trails only Justin Gallo of Union (N.Y.) in receiving yards per game, as Gallo had 117.8 ypg, just four yards more than Wodicka's average (113.2 ypg). Wodicka's 7.91 receptions per game are also sixth among returning players. Wodicka looks to add to scoring totals after punching in just seven receiving touchdowns last season.