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Diamonds in the rough at area colleges

Dallas Morning News logo Dallas Morning News 6/26/2020 By SportsDay Staff, The Dallas Morning News

Some players are stars whose talents are obvious to the casual observer. Those stars earn mountains of praise and shine in ways that don’t go overlooked.

Other players bring talents just as important to a team’s success but don’t shine as brightly as the stars on their team. ESPN selected the most unheralded player on each of the top 25 teams from the end of the 2019 football season.

Here is the list of undervalued players they picked.

Oklahoma: WR Charleston Rambo

Rambo was the Sooners’ second most dangerous receiving threat for Jalen Hurts last season behind new Cowboy CeeDee Lamb. As a sophomore he played in all 14 games for Oklahoma and tallied five touchdown receptions, good for the second-most on the team.

Here is what Dave Wilson had to say about Rambo:

“Rambo waited behind Hollywood Brown and played alongside CeeDee Lamb the past two seasons. While the Sooners’ offense became tilted toward the run with Jalen Hurts, Rambo averaged 17.3 yards per catch, finishing with 43 receptions for 743 yards. His numbers dipped in the later part of the season when Hurts struggled, but this year the Sooners need him to become their next star.”

Texas A&M: TE Jalen Wydermyer

The freshman tight end made a quiet impact on the Aggies 2019 season, slipping in seamlessly to Jimbo Fisher’s offense in his first season on campus. Here is what Wilson had to say about Wydermyer:

“Wydermyer was almost our pick for A&M’s most exciting player, which is rare for a 6-5, 260-pound tight end. But he has uncommon athleticism for his size (as he proved on a 52-yard TD against Mississippi State last year). Tight ends are a major factor in Jimbo Fisher’s offense, and Wydermyer, who had 32 catches for 447 yards and six TDs as a true freshman, will be counted on in a young receiving corps.”

Texas: LB Joseph Ossai

Ossai might have been the Longhorns’ best defensive player on last year’s squad. The sophomore led Texas in total tackles (90), tackles for loss (13.5) and sacks (5) and made only second team All-Big 12.

His skill as both a pass rusher and a run stopper was critical to Texas’ success on the defensive end last season. Here is what Wilson had to say about Ossai’s contributions:

“He starred in the Valero Alamo Bowl after being tried at rush end. His six tackles for loss and three sacks earned him defensive MVP honors. New coordinator Chris Ash will keep him there as a 6-4, 255-pound jack, or edge rusher, and Ossai could cause havoc.”

Baylor: LB Terrel Bernard

Last season the Bears leaned heavily on their defense to bolster them to a record of 11-3 in Matt Rhule’s final season in Waco.

Baylor allowed a stingy 19.8 points per game to opponents, good for 19th in the FBS. Here is what Wilson had to say about one of the key cogs in the Bears defense:

“As a sophomore linebacker, Bernard had 9, 12 and 19 tackles in his first three games after moving to the middle following Clay Johnston’s season-ending injury last year.

“Bernard finished the season with 112 tackles, 4.5 sacks and 3 fumble recoveries, including one he returned for a TD to seal a win over Oklahoma State. He’s a first-team preseason Big 12 pick, so he won’t be under the radar for much longer.”

Find more college sports stories from The Dallas Morning News here.


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