The Best Names in College Football in 2017
From Jazz Peavy and DaQuan Hawkins-Muckle to Igbinoghodua Isibor and Meffy Koloamatangi, there will be no shortage of interesting names on 2017 college football rosters.
There are so many unique monikers that our original plan of listing the 10 best names was scrapped to make 23-man rosters of fun names for each conference—as well as the four independent programs.
Before we dive in, a few notes and disclaimers.
First, no disrespect to anyone's name or heritage is meant. We're trying to have some fun here, but it's not meant to be mean. If you're offended by your name's appearance on this list or any of the commentary with it, please reach out (a link to my Twitter handle is at the bottom of the article), and it will gladly be removed.
Second, a shoutout to the folks at Ourlads for constantly updating rosters for the upcoming season. This would have been an impossible task without that site. Having said that, if any players on this list are improperly allocated because they transferred or have otherwise been removed from rosters, it's because the move has not yet been reflected on the Ourlads rosters.
Also, a hat tip to Comedy Central's Key & Peele. It's the first of many TV shows and movies that will be mentioned in this article, but their East/West Collegiate Bowl sketches were an obvious inspiration for this piece. However, instead of Hingle McCringleberry, Bismo Funyuns and Donkey Teeth, these are actual names of college football players.
American Athletic Conference
QB: Chad President (Tulsa)
RB: Doroland Dorceus (Memphis)
WR/TE: Quayvon Skanes (UConn), Jaquarius Bargnare (UCF), Bishop Louie (Tulsa), Bruno Labelle (Cincinnati)
OL: Clay Greathouse (Tulsa), Jeffrey Sidebotham (UConn), Zach Bycznski (Cincinnati), Payton Pardee (Houston), Adam Amosa-Tagovailoa (Navy)
DL: Folorunso Fatukasi (UConn), Karamo Dioubate (Temple), Lyndon Johnson (Cincinnati)
LB: Zack Quilty (Navy), Monterious Loggins (UCF), Maximillian Kligman (UCF), Nomluis Fruge (Houston)
DB: Linwood Crump (Temple), Abiola Olaniyan (UConn), Chase Napoleon (Tulane), Sanchez Blake Jr. (Memphis)
K/P: Enrique Carrasquero (Tulane)
MVP: Doroland Dorceus
At 6.1 yards per carry, Doroland Dorceus was one of the most efficient running backs in the AAC last season. For some reason, though, he never got more than 15 carries in a game in 2016. He should easily eclipse 1,000 yards as a fifth-year senior if the Tigers start using him as a feature back this year. Not too shabby for a guy with a name that makes it sound like he has a dorsal fin.
Personal Favorite: Bishop Louie
The AAC is loaded with great names. There's Chad President at quarterback and a former president, Lyndon Johnson, on the defensive line, and there's just something about Monterious Loggins that makes me chuckle every time. But Bishop Louie takes the cake because it sounds like an informal way for old friends to refer to an elder in the Catholic church—sort of like Judge Fudge on How I Met Your Mother.
Runner-Up: Chase Napoleon
Chase is a common name. By my count, there are 48 players with that first name on 2017 rosters. But Chase Napoleon could be a mission objective in a video game about the French Revolutionary Wars. Bonus consideration for being a defensive back whose job it is to chase down opponents.
PA Announcer's Worst Nightmare: Folorunso Fatukasi
Atlantic Coast Conference
QB: Chazz Surratt (North Carolina)
RB: Quaide Weimerskirch (Georgia Tech)
WR/TE: Hezekiah Grimsley (Virginia Tech), Olamide Zaccheaus (Virginia), Elias Lugo-Fagundo (Miami), Korab Idrizi (Boston College)
OL: Rakavius Chambers (Duke), Andrejas Duerig (Syracuse), Yosuah Nijman (Virginia Tech), Zach Quinney (Georgia Tech), Wyatt Knopfke (Boston College)
DL: Osiris Crutchfield (Virginia), Zander Zimmer (Wake Forest), Walvenski Aime (Florida State), Twazanga Mugala (Duke)
LB: Sh'Mar Kilby-Lane (Florida State), Quintin Wirginis (Pitt), Zane Zandier (Virginia)
DB: Hamp Cheevers (Boston College), Zykiesis Cannon (Louisville), Jovonn Quillen (Virginia Tech), Oluwaseun Idowu (Pitt)
K/P: Kirk Christodoulou (Pitt)
MVP: Olamide Zaccheaus
One of Virginia's go-to receivers last year, Olamide Zaccheaus made 51 receptions for 584 yards and seven scores. What cemented his spot on this roster is that, at 5'8", he's one of the shortest receivers at the FBS level, which is perfect for his name. In the Bible, Zacchaeus was renowned for his lack of height.
Personal Favorite: Hamp Cheevers
There is not another Hamp or Cheevers in college football, and I'm not familiar with anyone in any realm of life with either of those names. The only thing that springs to mind is the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) that was established during the housing crisis a few years back.
Runner-Up: Wyatt Knopfke
Yet another inevitable reference to a television show, Wyatt Knopfke's name looks like a combination of Ben Wyatt and Leslie Knope from Parks & Recreation.
PA Announcer's Worst Nightmare: Oluwaseun Idowu
Big 12 Conference
QB: Karson Ringdahl (TCU)
RB: Quinton McQuillan (Kansas)
WR/TE: LaQuvionte Gonzalez (Kansas), KaVontae Turpin (TCU), Charleston Rambo (Oklahoma), Sione Finefeuiaki (Oklahoma State)
OL: Yodny Cajuste (West Virginia), Quazzel White (TCU), Arlington Hambright (Oklahoma State), Lemaefe Galea'i (Oklahoma State), Oge Udeogu (Iowa State)
DL: Chidi Ogbonnaya (Baylor), Eyioma Uwazurike (Iowa State), Mazin Aql (Kansas), Du'Vonta Lampkin (Oklahoma)
LB: Amen Ogbongbemiga (Oklahoma State), Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (Oklahoma), K'Jakyre Daley (Oklahoma)
DB: Hasan Defense (Kansas), Ranthony Texada (TCU), La'Kendrick Van Zandt (TCU), Verkedric Vaughns (Baylor)
K/P: Reeves Mundschau (Oklahoma)
MVP: Ogbonnia Okoronkwo
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo was a breakout defensive star in 2016. After amassing a grand total of 16 tackles and three sacks in his first two seasons, he exploded for 71 tackles, nine sacks and two forced fumbles as a junior. One more year like that for the Sooners and he'll be getting paychecks from the NFL in an amount with at least as many "O"s as there are in his name.
Personal Favorite: Hasan Defense
Multisyllabic, hard-to-pronounce names are always crowd-pleasers, but applicable names can be just as comical. A dude on defense named defense? Yes, please.
Runner-Up: Quinton McQuillan
There are a few unique "Q" names in the Big 12. Quazzel White brings to mind the quaffles from Quidditch, and the extra at the beginning of LaQuvionte Gonzalez's name is unequivocally quaint. But the double "Q" in Quinton McQuillan is the quintessential quantity of quirkiness.
PA Announcer's Worst Nightmare: Sione Finefeuiaki
Big Ten Conference
QB: Danny Vanden Boom (Wisconsin)
RB: Toks Akinribade (Iowa)
WR/TE: Jazz Peavy (Wisconsin), De'Mornay Pierson-El (Nebraska), Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman (Northwestern), Mac Hippenhammer (Penn State)
OL: Coy Cronk (Indiana), Juwann Bushell-Beatty (Michigan), Mustafa Khaleefah (Michigan State), Bearooz Yacoobi (Purdue), Skiy Pyrame (Rutgers)
DL: Winston DeLattiboudere (Minnesota), Freedom Akinmoladun (Nebraska), Chikwe Obasih (Wisconsin)
LB: De'Morreal Burnam (Indiana), Elysee Mbem-Bosse (Michigan), Brelin Faison-Walden (Penn State), Semisi Fakasiieiki (Purdue)
DB: Qwuantrezz Knight (Maryland), Fofie Bazzie (Maryland), Adekunle Ayinde (Minnesota), Cin'Quan Haney (Ohio State)
K/P: Nicholas Rubinowicz (Maryland)
MVP: Jazz Peavy
A do-it-all asset for the Badgers, Peavy had 635 receiving yards, 318 rushing yards and 99 punt return yards last season. Only star running back Corey Clement did more for this offense, and Peavy did it on just 64 touches. The way he glides around the field is even smoother than the genre of music that might have been the inspiration for his name.
Personal Favorite: Freedom Akinmoladun
Had his name been Freedom Jones or Freedom Smith, he would have been a borderline inclusion on the roster. But Freedom Akinmoladun makes it sound like he's related to Mola Ram from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Factor in the ability to scream his first name like William Wallace in Braveheart, and this guy is a walking movie quote.
Runner-Up: Fofie Bazzie
If your smartphone tried to transcribe the audio from a toddler who was pointing out a fluffy bunny, Fofie Bazzie might be what you would get.
PA Announcer's Worst Nightmare: Semisi Fakasiieiki
QB: Kwadra Griggs (Southern Miss)
RB: Jaqwis Dancy (Louisiana Tech)
WR/TE: Fundrail Quimbley (Middle Tennessee State), Janiero Crankfield (Marshall), Shug Oyegunle (Florida International), Sani Buckingham (UTEP)
OL: Wolfgang Zacherl (Charlotte), Crockett Mokry (Rice), Uzoma Osuji (Rice), Chett Munden (North Texas), Kel Straubmueller (North Texas)
DL: Rakavian Poydras (Middle Tennessee State), Bunmi Rotimi (Old Dominion), Oshane Ximines (Old Dominion)
LB: Uzoma Akunebu (Rice), Craig Kanyangarara (UAB), Joel Iyiegbuniwe (Western Kentucky), Der'Quione Mobley (Western Kentucky)
DB: Bubba Fludd (Southern Miss), Jomez Applewhite (Southern Miss), Kakpa Mansary (North Texas), Jamshyer McUmber (Old Dominion)
K/P: Briggs Bourgeois (Southern Miss)
MVP: Oshane Ximines
Oshane Ximines has been one of the stars of Old Dominion's defense lately, leading the team in sacks in each of the past two seasons. As the only player in the country with a last name that starts with "X"—there's not a single Xavier, Xu, Xiong or anything—he was a mortal lock for a spot on this list.
Personal Favorite: Bunmi Rotimi
ODU's defensive linemen have names that are tough to spell and games that are tough to stop. Bunmi Rotimi finished just behind Ximines with seven sacks of his own in 2016. But his name just makes me hungry for a banh mi sandwich and some rotini pasta.
Runners-Up: Craig Kanyangarara and Joel Iyiegbuniwe
The juxtaposition of a common, monosyllabic first name against the mouthful of a last name brings back memories of former Michigan great Tshimanga "Tim" Biakabutuka.
PA Announcer's Worst Nightmare: Kakpa Mansary
QB: Montgomery VanGorder (Notre Dame)
RB: Squally Canada (BYU)
WR/TE: Equanimeous St. Brown (Notre Dame), Keenan Centlivre (Notre Dame), Moroni Laulu-Pututau (BYU), Solomone Wolfgramm (BYU)
OL: Addison Pulsipher (BYU), LeRoy Sitake-Tanoai (BYU), Taipe Vaka (BYU), Ului Lapuaho (BYU), Jaxson Deaton (Army)
DL: Ali Ali-Musa (UMass), Handsome Tanielu (BYU), Seleti Fevaleaki (BYU), Adetokunbo Ogundeji (Notre Dame)
LB: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (Notre Dame), Claudin Cherelus (UMass), Va'a Niumatalolo (BYU)
DB: Temitope Agoro (Notre Dame), Chaz Ah You (BYU), Cycoby Burch (UMass), Dayan Ghanwoloku (BYU)
K/P: Theo Yongue (UMass)
MVP: Equanimeous St. Brown
Among the four independent teams, Equanimeous St. Brown led all players in receiving yards (961) and touchdowns (nine). One year removed from making one reception for eight yards as a freshman, he was one of the few bright spots in a brutal 4-8 season for the Fighting Irish. And he did it all with what sounds like a Latin name for the common horse.
Personal Favorite: Squally Canada
I wasn't sure there would be enough names to make up an entire roster from independent teams, but BYU shouldered the load with 12 of the 22 players. Of the bunch, Squally Canada is the most amusing, as it sounds like a blustery portion of our neighbors to the north. If the whole football thing doesn't work out, perhaps he can find someone named Stormy Mexico and start a North American meteorology podcast.
Runner-Up: Chaz Ah You
It's not a particularly funny name, but I feel bad for the guy. He probably goes through life snapping his neck around every time someone says, "Hey, you!"
PA Announcer's Worst Nightmare: Moroni Laulu-Pututau
QB: Gus Ragland (Miami)
RB: Kumehnnu Gwilly (Central Michigan)
WR/TE: Kamathi Holsey (Buffalo), Fransohn Bickley (Akron), Dieuly Aristilde (Eastern Michigan), Maximilian Thrower (Northern Illinois)
OL: Yazeed Atariwa (Toledo), Kayode Awosika (Buffalo), Hagen Meservy (Ohio), Chukwuma Okorafor (Western Michigan), Woodford Lankford (Toledo)
DL: Olasunkanmi Adeniyi (Toledo), Chukwudi Chukwu (Ohio), Herlandez Corley (Northern Illinois), Ville Valasti (Eastern Michigan)
LB: James King (Akron), Travonte Junius (Akron), Corvin Moment (Western Michigan)
DB: Nilijah Ballew (Bowling Green), Davontae Ginwright (Western Michigan), Mayomi Olootu (Northern Illinois), Antonyo Sotolongo (Bowling Green)
K/P: Cooper Mojsiejenko (Central Michigan)
MVP: Gus Ragland
After Miami's 0-6 start to the season, Gus Ragland made a way-earlier-than-expected return from a torn ACL to lead the RedHawks to six consecutive wins and a nearly unfathomable bowl appearance. Prior to a fourth-quarter pick in said bowl game, Ragland's season totals were 17 touchdowns and zero interceptions. As far as the name goes, he's the only Ragland on the list of nearly 14,000 and is one of just four players named Gus.
Personal Favorite: Woodford Lankford
This isn't a product placement or anything, but Woodford Reserve is my go-to bourbon. Thus, the moment I saw this name, it became a lock for the list. The fact "ford" appears in both the first and last names was the cherry on top of an already stellar sundae.
Runner-Up: James King
I originally highlighted this one because "King, James" looked funny in the spreadsheet. But then I noticed this guy plays for Akron. Uh, LeBron, is that you?
PA Announcer's Worst Nightmare: Olasunkanmi Adeniyi
Mountain West Conference
QB: Chason Virgil (Fresno State)
RB: Hekili Keliiliki (Hawaii)
WR/TE: Ron'quavion Tarver (Utah State), Speedy Morris (Nevada), Anselem Umeh (New Mexico), Brinkley Jolly (Wyoming)
OL: Demytrick Ali'ifua (Utah State), Ladji Bagayoko (San Diego State), Marc-David Bien-Aime (Fresno State), Justice Oluwaseun (UNLV), Beau Hott (New Mexico)
DL: Penitito Faalologo (Hawaii), Youhanna Ghaifan (Wyoming), Aisa Kelemete (Boise State), Meffy Koloamatangi (Hawaii)
LB: Rhashaun Epting (New Mexico), Seyddrick Lakalaka (San Diego State), Sitiveni Tamaivena (New Mexico)
DB: Zoauntarrious Brunt (Colorado State), Vosean Crumbie (Nevada), Alijah Halliburton (Wyoming), Jontrell Rocquemore (Utah State)
K/P: Haden Hoggarth (Boise STate)
MVP: Ron'quavion Tarver
A strong candidate for both the best name and the best player on this roster, Ron'quavion Tarver led Utah State's anemic passing attack with 602 receiving yards and three touchdowns last season. Pretty impressive for an incoming transfer who had zero receptions and two tackles in his first game of the season against Weber State. And of all the names with hyphens and apostrophes, this might be the most unique.
Personal Favorite: Marc-David Bien-Aime
Speaking of hyphens, ladies and gentlemen, meet the double hyphen! His name likely won't get called much as an offensive lineman, but Marc-David Bien-Aime is college football's version of John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt. The funny thing is that even with four names, his full name has fewer syllables than a lot of the last names around the country.
Runner-Up: Speedy Morris
Like defensive back Hasan Defense at Kansas and a couple of other names coming up on the remaining three slides, how could you not love a wide receiver named Speedy Morris? Speedy Noil was fun at Texas A&M, and Morris could be headed for similar fame.
PA Announcer's Worst Nightmare: Hekili Keliiliki
QB: Victor Viramontes (Cal)
RB: Bolu Olorunfunmi (UCLA)
WR/TE: Sidhart Krishnamurthi (Stanford), Chico McClatcher (Washington), Derrion Rakestraw (Colorado), Siale Fakailoatonga (Utah)
OL: Popo Aumavae (Oregon), Layth Friekh (Arizona), Poutasi Poutasi (Cal), Calvin Throckmorton (Oregon), Jax Wacaser (UCLA)
DL: Igbinoghodua Isibor (UCLA), Hercules Mata'afa (Washington State), Chigozie Nnoruka (UCLA), Dougladson Subtyl (Arizona State)
LB: Shemiah Unutoa-Whitson (Oregon State), Fa'avae Fa'avae (Washington State), Kesi Ah-Hoy (Oregon State)
DB: Javelin Guidry (Utah), Yoofi Quansah (USC), Mason Stone (Washington), Deommodore Lenoir (Oregon)
K/P: Adley Rutschman (Oregon State)
MVP: Chico McClatcher
A 2016 breakout player who could be headed for another meteoric rise in stats in 2017, Chico McClatcher accounted for 705 yards from scrimmage on just 49 touches as a sophomore. He should be a bigger part of Washington's passing game with John Ross out of the picture. And for whatever this is worth, the five "C"s in his name are more than any other player in the nation can boast.
Personal Favorite: Bolu Olorunfunmi
Along with Soso Jamabo, UCLA's top rushers from last season have interesting names. But we had to go with Bolu Olorunfunmi because both "run" and "fun" appear in his last name. That's appropriate for a running back.
Runner-Up: Mason Stone
Like James King on the MAC slide, this one primarily stood out because of the last name-first name format in the spreadsheet: Stone, Mason. It was the only profession I stumbled across on the list.
PA Announcer's Worst Nightmare: Igbinoghodua Isibor
QB: Gunnar Hoak (Kentucky)
RB: D'Andre Swift (Georgia)
WR/TE: JaTarvious Whitlow (Auburn), Ke'undre Azakytu (Texas A&M), Racey McMath (LSU), Bry'Kiethon Mouton (LSU)
OL: Shahed Noorollahi (Georgia), Hjalte Froholdt (Arkansas), K'Rojhn Calbert (Tennessee), Rory Luke (LSU), George Asafo-Adjei (Kentucky)
DL: McTelvin Agim (Arkansas), Jajuan Blankenship (South Carolina), DaQuan Hawkins-Muckle (Georgia)
LB: K'Lavon Chaisson (LSU), VanDarius Cowan (Alabama), Santino Marchiol (Texas A&M), Feleti Afemui (Vanderbilt)
DB: Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama), MaLeik Gatewood (Tennessee), Jontre Kirklin (LSU), Jaquarius Landrews (Mississippi State)
K/P: Rodrigo Blankenship (Georgia)
MVP: Minkah Fitzpatrick
The only player on any of these slides who will enter the season as a serious Player of the Year candidate in his conference or at his position, Minkah Fitzpatrick should be the star of this Crimson Tide defense. Minkah no longer seems like a strange name after watching him return four interceptions for touchdowns over the past two years, but good luck finding anyone else with that name. Heck, he's the only player this year with the four-letter string of "Mink."
Personal Favorite: Rory Luke
When your significant other watches reruns of Gilmore Girls every chance they get, a name like Rory Luke jumps off the page. In case you aren't intimately familiar with the goings-on in Stars Hollow, Connecticut, it's the equivalent of Chandler Ross standing out to a Friends fan or CharDee MacDennis for It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia junkies.
Runner-Up: D'Andre Swift
Another position-appropriate name, D'Andre Swift was a huge piece in Georgia's 2017 recruiting class. Just don't expect him to get many carries this year. He might even redshirt with Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and Brian Herrien all blocking his path to the field. But he should swiftly become a star once some of those guys graduate.
PA Announcer's Worst Nightmare: Ke'undre Azakytu
Sun Belt Conference
QB: Zeb Speir (Appalachian State)
RB: Dami Ayoola (South Alabama)
WR/TE: Sa'Mory Collier (South Alabama), Kolby Kolek (Texas State), Chancellor Triplett (Georgia State), Maaseiah Francis (South Alabama)
OL: Dezmand Candelarie (New Mexico State), Giuliano Cattaneo (Texas State), Tryston Mizerak (Texas State), James Peach (Troy), D'Aquin Withrow (Louisiana-Lafayette)
DL: Mackendy Cheridor (Georgia State), DeQueszman Kelley (Georgia State), Dee Liner (Arkansas State)
LB: Holden Byassee (Arkansas State), Benz Josue (Georgia Southern), Chaiziere Malbrue (Louisiana-Lafayette), Easy Anyama (Texas State)
DB: Trequerrious Wadley (Louisiana-Monroe), Levarious Varnado (Louisiana-Lafayette), Clifton Duck (Appalachian State), Monquavion Brinson (Georgia Southern)
K/P: Rogier ten Lohuis (Georgia State)
MVP: Clifton Duck
The 2016 Sun Belt Freshman of the Year, Clifton Duck had 57 tackles and five interceptions for the Mountaineers. It was unclear what they would do when star cornerback Latrell Gibbs was ruled academically ineligible for the 2016 season, but they'll enter 2017 with one of the better secondaries in the country. Similar to Ragland, Duck is the only player in the country with that last name and one of just three with that first name.
Personal Favorite: Dee Liner
Speedy Morris, Hasan Defense and D'Andre Swift were fun, but are you kidding me with this one? A defensive lineman named Dee Liner?! What an incredibly clairvoyant move by his parents. I wonder whether he wanted to play another position back in Pop Warner football and the coach just laughed at him and told him to go get some sacks.
Runner-Up: James Peach
There's zero chance this man's nickname isn't The Giant, right? When you're nearly 300 pounds and your name is James Peach, it's impossible to not invoke memories of the stop-motion classic.
PA Announcer's Worst Nightmare: Giuliano Cattaneo
Kerry Miller covers college football and college basketball for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @kerrancejames.