Akin Ayodele, DE, Purdue ( Coffeyville [ Kans.] Community College)—The 6'2", 250-pound sophomore has ably succeeded All-Big Ten Rosevelt Colvin, a fourth-round selection of the Chicago Bears. Ayodele leads the Boilermakers with 16 tackles for losses, 9� of them sacks.
Kendrell Bell, LB, Georgia (Middle Georgia College)—The 6'2", 240-pound junior is one of the best linebackers in the SEC with 38 tackles, including four sacks, along with three interceptions and three fumbles forced.
Josh Heupel, QB, Oklahoma (Snow [ Utah] College)—The 6'2", 208-pound junior is flourishing in the Sooners' new pass-first offense. He already owns Oklahoma's single-season passing record with 2,369 yards and has thrown for 23 touchdowns.
Jeff Holtry, LB, BYU ( Michigan)—The 6'3", 245-pound junior played on special teams for the 1997 co-national champions but left Ann Arbor to play closer to home and family nearby in Salt Lake City. He has 35 tackles, two interceptions and a fumble recovery for the Cougars.
Milo Lewis, DB, Alabama ( City College of San Francisco)—The 6-foot, 176-pound junior has made 31 tackles and intercepted two passes and leads the Crimson Tide with nine pass breakups.
Quincy Morgan, WR, Kansas State (Blinn [ Texas] College)—The 6'2", 215-pound junior is second in the Big 12 in receiving with 92.4 yards per game and tied for 12th in scoring with seven touchdown receptions.
Karon Riley, DE, Minnesota (SMU)—The 6'4", 247-pound junior helps anchor a unit that leads the Big Ten in total defense. Riley has 50 tackles, including 17 for losses, and is second in the conference with II sacks.
Jeremi Rudolph, RB, UNLV (Southwest Mississippi Community College)—The 5'9", 175-pound junior ran for 524 yards and scored three touchdowns before being sidelined for nearly all of the last two games with a groin pull. He'd committed to Florida State coming out of Apopka ( Fla.) High in 1995 but didn't enroll because he'd signed with the Toronto Blue Jays organization.
Fred Smoot, CB, Mississippi State (Hinds [Miss.] Community College)—The 6'11", 173-pound junior leads a unit that is second in the nation in pass-efficiency defense. He has 35 tackles, three interceptions and six pass breakups.
Markus Steele, LB, USC ( Long Beach [ Calif.] City College)—The 6'3", 215-pound junior wears the same number (55) as former Trojans linebackers Junior Seau, Willie McGinest and Chris Claiborne, and is playing like those USC greats. He's second among the Trojans with 64 tackles, leads the Pac-10 with three fumbles forced and has two recoveries.