We continue to roll out, update, tweak, edit and revisit ourprojections and previews prior to your fantasy draft. And while doing so we're going to occasionally take a more-detailed look at some of the nation's more intriguing stars for 2012.
The players featured over the next month or so may not be the top player at their respective positions, but they'll be ones that caused the most discussion around our roundtable or appear poised for a breakout or letdown campaign.
Breakdowns of college football's top offensive stars can of course be found in the CFFInsider.com 2012 Draft Kit.
2012 Position Rank: Is Aplin the top fantasy QB for 2012?
2012 Draft Kit Preview:
Aplin, a redshirt senior, has been around seemingly forever, and he continues to bring dual-threat talents to the Sun Belt. Accounting for 30 scores last season, the only blemish would be the 16 picks compared to 12 in 2010. However he also threw 68 more passes last season, and eight picks came in three games (vs. VaTech, @LAMO and against NIU in the bowl game). This year's slate includes trips to Oregon and Nebraska, so you may want to find another signal caller in those ones. However the rest of the year looks like smooth sailing, and another year with around 4,000 yards of total offense with at least 30 scores...at a minimum. Especially with new head coach Gus Malzahn wanting to increase the tempo of the offense even more. He's among the nation's best and should be a consideration as the top QB off the board.
Aplin has a ton going for him. First and foremost he plays in the Sun Belt. There are a few trouble spots on the schedule early on in Oregon and Nebraska. But how about going into the playoffs with Troy and Middle Tennessee on the schedule. That sounds pretty tasty to me.
I've been a big Gus Malzahn fan since his days at Arkansas. He wasn't the originator of the Wildcat offense, but he put it on the map when he stuck Darren McFadden back there to take direct snaps. He also molded his offense perfectly to Cam Newton while at Auburn. While at Tulsa, quarterback Paul Smith threw for over 5000 yards. He has the uncanny ability to mold his offense around the talent he has, instead of trying to force a scheme down a team's throat.
I have no doubt he'll do it Arkansas State where he wants to have the fastest-paced offense in the FBS. The Red Wolves were 8th in the country in the amount of plays run last fall, so they are accustomed to the high tempo. Just not as high as coach Malzahn wants to, according to comments from players this spring. They are going to be fast, they are going to run a ton of plays and Aplin is going to score a boatload of touchdowns.
Aplin was the 17th player and 5th quarterback taken in the Athlon Mock Draft. If that trend continues, I would gladly take arguably the top fantasy quarterback in the country in the second round.