WKU Hilltoppers Preview 2022: Who are the top 10 players going into the season?
Austin Reed, QB Gr.
The 6-2, 220-pound veteran started out at Southern Illinois, moved over to D-II West Florida, threw for 4,089 yards and 40 touchdowns on the was to the 2019 national championship, and cranked it up for 3,418 yards and 38 scores in 2021. He’s not a runner, but he can move enough to make a difference.
Daewood Davis, WR Sr.
The team’s best returning receiver, he’s 6-2, 195 pounds, and can move. He made ten catches in three years at Oregon, and last year he averaged close to 18 yards per catch with 43 grabs and eight scores.
Quantavious Leslie, OG Soph.
A rising star and pro prospect at guard, the 6-3, 310-pounder was a Second Team All-Conference USA blocker after getting his feet wet in 2020. He’ll likely work at left guard.
Darius Shipp, DT Sr.
The former JUCO transfer stepped in and became a part of the line in 2020. Last year the 6-1, 305-pounder turned into an Honorable Mention All-Conference USA tackle with 39 tackles with a sack and 5.5 tackles for loss with a forced fumble and three broken up passes.
Malachi Corley, WR Soph.
An ultra-reliable short-range receiver, the 5-11, 200-pounder caught 73 passes for 691 yards – averaging 9.5 yards per catch – with seven scores.
Will Ignont, LB Sr.
A good part of the rotation at Tennessee for three seasons – the 6-1, 240-pounder made 47 tackles in 2018 – he played one game for WKU in 2020, and last year turned into an Honorable Mention Conference USA linebacker making 52 tackles with three sacks, six broken up passes, and five tackles for loss.
Brayden Narveson, PK Jr.
One of the best kickers in college football, he’s a two-time Second Team All-Conference USA force after transferring over from Iowa State. He hit 36-of-43 field goals over the last two seasons.
Rusty Staats, C Jr.
He grew into the role in the middle of the line. The 6-4, 310-pound veteran could work at guard, but he took over at center earning Honorable Mention Conference USA honors.
AJ Brathwaite, CB Jr.
A 6-0, 195-pound Honorable Mention All-Conference USA corner, he came up with 64 tackles with a sack, three tackles for loss, and with an interception with two broken up passes and two forced fumbles last year.
Joshua Simon, TE Soph.
One of the top tight ends in the country in 2020 – he earned All-Conference USA honors – catching 33 passes for 370 yards and three scores, he missed almost all of last year hurt with a knee injury.