Morning links: Locals ranked among best players in college football; Jazz get an A- for first-half performance

Morning links: Locals ranked among best players in college football; Jazz get an A- for first-half performance

BYU running back Jamaal Williams as well as Utah stars Hunter Dimick and Mitch Wishnowsky were among five players with local ties who made the list as Bleacher Report ranked the top 150 players for the 2016 college football season.

Williams came in at No. 74 on the list after a stellar senior season that saw him become BYU’s all-time leading rusher.

Of Williams’ play will the Cougars, the Bleacher Report staff wrote, “Williams missed the entire 2015 season because of personal reasons but rebounded to be one of the nation’s best running backs in 2016. He averaged 5.88 yards per carry on a Cougars team that went through an abrupt quarterback change and played one of the toughest schedules in the country.”

Dimick was the first Ute to make the ranking, landing at No. 98.

Talking about his production with the Utes, they wrote, “The 6’3”, 272-pound Dimick followed up an injury-plagued 2015 with a tremendous final season, one that saw him tie for third in FBS in sacks. He spearheaded a Utah defense that averaged 3.31 sacks per game, tied for sixth-best in the country.”

Wishnowsky topped the list of the local talent as he was ranked at No. 47.

Speaking of his tremendous season, they wrote, “Wishnowsky was far beyond ‘best punter in the nation.’ The gap between him and second place, quite frankly, was a chasm. The Australian continued Utah’s unique specialist powerhouse, taking home the program’s third straight Ray Guy Award.”

Former Logan High School quarterback Luke Falk also made the list at No. 103 while former Utah defensive lineman Stevie Tu’ikolovatu was No. 144.

Utah Jazz given an A- for first half performance

Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated’s The Crossover handed out grades for the NBA’s Western Conference teams for the first half of the season, and the Utah Jazz earned high marks.

He gave the Jazz and A-, saying, “Utah is the rare team to make a major leap into the West’s playoff picture even though its feet have been bound together by a slew of injuries to key players.”

After going deeper into Utah’s injuries woes, Golliver turned his attention to Rudy Gobert, saying, “Credit Rudy Gobert, the Jazz’s bedrock center and a top Defensive Player of the Year candidate, for holding down the fort as the lineups cycled around him. The 24-year-old Frenchman has been one of the NBA’s most indispensable players this season, leading the league in blocks, improving as a pick-and-roll target, and guiding a Jazz defense that ranks among the league’s best.”

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Published at Fri, 27 Jan 2017 15:36:00 +0000