The 2020 Conference USA Football Coaches All-Conference teams are out. Which players should have had their names mentioned?
Before we really get going, let’s all agree that all-conference lists are inherently subjective. The 2020 Conference USA Football Coaches Preseason Teams was never going to make every fan base happy. And frankly, it wasn’t supposed to achieve those ends.
It was meant to recognize athletes who have proven themselves to be the best their conference has to offer. With that as the ground rules, there are a few “snubs” that deserved recognition on this list of C-USA’s best in some form or another.
Asher O’Hara – QB, Middle Tennesse
If I were building a team from scratch with Conference USA quarterbacks, Chris Robison from FAU would have been my first pick, judging by on-field ability alone. He’s no longer on the Owls’ roster. Asher O’Hara would have been my second.
O’Hara carried the Middle Tennesee offense on his back last season, willing an injury-plagued team within a few unfortunate bounces of bowl eligibility. He’s dangerous with his legs and his arms, and he’s still getting better. His 1,058 rushing yards were more than five times any other player on his team.
Instead, Jack Abraham gets the nod. The Southern Miss quarterback has shown flashes of being a top-notch player, but his abundance of elite pass catchers and inconsistencies make it hard for me to anoint him the best quarterback in the conference. Top 5? Sure. No. 1? That’s a tough sell. Charlotte’s Chris Reynolds has an argument to be made for him, too.
Victor Tucker – WR, Charlotte
If the conference included an all-purpose slot or one more nomination for a receiver, Tucker would have been the next name mentioned. All three of the guys mentioned in front of him are equally as deserving, but Tucker isn’t far behind by much, if at all.
Tucker has already secured a place among the best receivers in Charlotte football history. He’s the second leading returning receiver in the conference entering 2020, trailing only UAB’s Austin Watkins. He’s a home run threat that will continue to be a key cog in the 49ers’ offense in 2020.
Brontae Harris – CB, UAB
Harris not making the cut for the preseason list is explainable. He missed the entirety of his junior season with a foot injury. It’s hard for players to stay on these lists when they miss that many games, to some extent it really is “out of sight, out of mind”. So perhaps Harris being omitted isn’t quite a “snub”, but he’s worthy of the honor.
Pro Football Focus graded Harris as the highest-rated corner during his redshirt sophomore season, his last healthy year. Entering 2019 he was named to the Jim Thorpe Award preseason watch list, just as he was this season. He’s an elite corner who won’t be overlooked if he gets in a full season in 2020.
You can get all our conference preseason team picks in The Roost’s 2020 Conference USA Season Preview, available now for $5.