The Best Names in College Football in 2018
Jonathan Taylor and AJ Dillon are outstanding football players. They also have relatively ordinary names.
This offseason, we've been scouring rosters in order to share some of college football's most interesting and eye-catching first and last names.
One important note: This is a well-intended piece. No disrespect is meant to family traditions or cultures, as some names have deep historical roots. If anyone highlighted is uncomfortable with being included, we absolutely will remove a name.
The list is subjective but includes players from every position and each conference, including a slot for independents. Anyone, whether starters, backups or deep reserves, could be mentioned.
All roster information via ourlads.com.
American Athletic Conference
QB: Chad President (Tulsa)
RB: Michael Kopaygorodsky (Cincinnati)
WR/TE: Mechane Slade (Memphis), Myron Gailliard (SMU), Quayvon Skanes (UConn), Jaquarius Bargnare (UCF)
OL: Dqmarcus Shaw (East Carolina), Jude Hydrick (Navy), Tiller Bucktrot (Tulsa), Clay Greathouse (Tulsa)
DL: Nnanna Ejiogu (Houston), O'Bryan Goodson (Memphis), Joshua Van Dunk (Navy), Quincy Roche (Temple)
LB: Nehemiah Augustus (Memphis), Matt McNew (SMU), L'Jeron Holder (Temple)
DB: Devodric Bynum (Houston), Austin Talbert-Loving (Navy), Naytron Culpepper (South Florida), Thakarius Keyes (Tulane)
K/P: Mac Loudermilk (UCF)
MVP: Quincy Roche, Temple
As a freshman, Quincy Roche finished 2017 ranked No. 10 in the AAC with 11.5 tackles for loss. His best performance came in a 29-21 win against UMass that saw him record three sacks on the day. Roche totaled 31 takedowns with three forced fumbles.
Favorite: Mechane Slade, Memphis
You'll be hard-pressed to find another football player named Mechane. That makes me think "machine," and Slade—despite the dictionary definition of a hillside—sounds violent. Perfect for the gridiron.
Atlantic Coast Conference
QB: Chazz Surratt (North Carolina)
RB: Olamide Zaccheaus (Virginia)
WR/TE: Korab Idrizi (Boston College), Marquez Ezzard (Miami), Osiris Crutchfield (Virginia), Hezekiah Grimsley (Virginia Tech)
OL: Gage Cervenka (Clemson), Rakavius Chambers (Duke), Toryque Bateman (Louisville), Navaughn Donaldson (Miami), Jay-Jay McCargo (North Carolina)
DL: Kyiev Bennermon (Boston College), Twazanga Mugala (Duke), Brentavious Glanton (Georgia Tech), Habakkuk Baldonado (Pitt)
LB: Koby Quansah (Duke), Bryce Swackhammer (North Carolina State), Oluwaseun Idowu (Pitt)
DB: Hamp Cheevers (Boston College), Sheldrick Redwine (Miami), Scoop Bradshaw (Syracuse), Divine Deablo (Virginia Tech)
K/P: Kirk Christodoulou (Pitt)
MVP: Olamide Zaccheaus
Olamide Zaccheaus is technically a running back, yet he still set a program record with 85 receptions last season. Also used as a runner and kick returner, the versatile weapon had 1,222 all-purpose yards. Zaccheaus earned second-team All-ACC honors.
Favorite: Bryce Swackhammer
When a name includes a potential trait of that player, it's instantly going to grab our attention. And there are few descriptors more apt for a linebacker than "hammer." He's an incoming freshman.
Big 12 Conference
QB: Jett Duffey (Texas Tech)
RB: Ta'Zhawn Henry (Texas Tech)
WR/TE: Rajah Preciado (Baylor), Charleston Rambo (Oklahoma), Lil'Jordan Humphrey (Texas), Erik Ezukanma (Texas Tech)
OL: Creed Humphrey (Oklahoma), Sam Walkingstick (Oklahoma State), Quazzel White (TCU), Giovanni Pancotti (Texas Tech), Yodny Cajuste (West Virginia)
DL: Chidi Ogbonnaya (Baylor), Kamilo Tongamoa (Iowa State), Eyioma Uwazurike (Iowa State), Mazin Aql (Kansas)
LB: Osaze Ogbebor (Kansas), Quondarius Qualls (West Virginia), Zach Sandwisch (West Virginia)
DB: Hasan Defense (Kansas), Za'Carrius Green (Oklahoma State), Ridwan Issahaku (TCU), DeMarvion Overshown (Texas)
K/P: Peyton Paddack (Iowa State)
MVP: Yodny Cajuste
Following an injury-shortened campaign in 2016, Yodny Casjute had a productive return to the field in 2017. He earned second-team All-Big 12 recognition for his work in front of quarterback Will Grier, one of the nation's most productive passers.
Favorite: Jett Duffey
Between McLane Carter and Jett Duffey, the quarterback room in Lubbock has a strong name game. The two players are competing for the starting job in 2018. Jett certainly hopes he can soar to the pinnacle of the Texas Tech depth chart.
Big Ten Conference
QB: Legend Brumbaugh (Maryland)
RB: Toks Akinribade (Iowa)
WR/TE: Eddie McDoom (Michigan), Whop Philyor (Indiana), Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman (Northwestern), Mac Hippenhammer (Penn State)
OL: Coy Cronk (Indiana), Cole Chewins (Michigan State), Tanner Farmer (Nebraska), Bearooz Yacoobi (Purdue), Skiy Pyrame (Rutgers)
DL: Luiji Vilain (Michigan), Royal Silver (Minnesota), Freedom Akinmoladun (Nebraska), Isaiahh Loudermilk (Wisconsin)
LB: Jango Glackin (Northwestern), Tuf Borland (Ohio State), Semisi Fakasiieiki (Purdue)
DB: Dawson DeGroot (Illinois), Fofie Bazzie (Maryland), Darnell Savage Jr. (Maryland), Dicaprio Bootle (Nebraska)
K/P: Rafael Gaglianone (Wisconsin)
MVP: Tuf Borland
Linebackers must be smart, but it's imperative they are also physically tough. It's safe to say Tuf Borland already has that covered. During his freshman year, the linebacker ranked fourth on the Buckeyes with 58 tackles, including 3.5 stops for loss.
Favorite: Legend Brumbaugh
Even if he never becomes a legend on the football field, Legend Brumbaugh will always be one in our hearts. The quarterback's father, Jimmy, is the defensive line coach and co-defensive coordinator at Maryland.
QB: Mic Roof (Charlotte)
RB: Quardraiz Wadley (UTEP)
WR/TE: Mark Quattlebaum (Charlotte), Stone Scarcelle (Marshall), Jaeger Bull (Rice), Blaze Moorhead (UTSA)
OL: O'Shea Dugas (Louisiana Tech), Justin Throckmorton (Louisiana Tech), Woodlyson Alcius (Southern Miss), Anastacio Carino (UTSA), Rusty Staats (Western Kentucky)
DL: Milord Juste (FIU), Rakavian Poydras (Middle Tennessee), Ty-Kee McCullers (Old Dominion), Oshane Ximines (Old Dominion)
LB: Azeez Al-Shaair (FAU), Estefano Feliciano (Old Dominion), Treshawn Chamberlain (Rice)
DB: Olin Cushion III (FIU), Trent Wilderbraithwaite (Marshall), Jamez Brickhouse (Old Dominion), Grayson Cash (UAB)
K/P: Briggs Bourgeois (Southern Miss)
MVP: Azeez Al-Shaair
Few ball-carriers manage to get past Azeez Al-Shaair. In 2017, he collected the third-most tackles in all of the Football Bowl Subdivision. Al-Shaair racked up 147 stops, 10.5 of which were behind the line of scrimmage. He boasts 352 career tackles at FAU.
Favorite: Trent Wilderbraithwaite
Poor kid must've spent half of his allotted time during standardized testing filling in the bubbles for his last name. Wilderbraithwaite has no official college stats at Marshall.
QB: Rudiger Yearick (Liberty)
RB: Squally Canada (BYU)
WR/TE: Moroni Laulu-Pututau (BYU), Cache Tarver (New Mexico State), Xander Yarberough (New Mexico State), Chase Claypool (Notre Dame)
OL: Ului Lapuaho (BYU), Kieffer Longson (BYU), Henry Chibueze (Liberty), Sage Doxtater (New Mexico State), Parker Ogle (UMass)
DL: Kamalani Kaluhiokalani (BYU), Tevita Mo'Unga (BYU), Ralfs Rusins (Liberty), Adetokunbo Ogundeji (Notre Dame)
LB: Sione Takitaki (BYU), Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (Notre Dame), Chinedu Ogbonna (UMass)
DB: Chaz Ah You (BYU), Komotay Koffie (New Mexico State), Shamad Lomax (New Mexico State), Temitope Agoro (Notre Dame)
K/P: George Georgopoulos (UMass)
MVP: Shamad Lomax
New Mexico State is a new addition to the group of independents and brings a productive corner in Shamad Lomax. After recording 66 tackles and two interceptions as a freshman, he had 71 takedowns and picked off four passes last season.
Favorite: George Georgopoulos
He's like country singers Phillip Phillips and Kris Kristofferson. An incoming freshman, Georgopoulos is expected to contribute immediately as the punter.
QB: Griffin Alstott (Western Michigan)
RB: Kumehnnu Gwilly (Central Michigan)
WR/TE: Maverick Wolfley (Akron), Yo'Heinz Tyler (Ball State), Deric Phouthavong (Bowling Green), Neru N'Shaka (Toledo)
OL: Kayode Awosika (Buffalo), Yannik Rohrschneider (Eastern Michigan), Sidy Sow (Eastern Michigan), Chase Van Hoef (Kent State), Yazeed Atariwa (Toledo)
DL: Frendy Darelus (Buffalo), NeVen Simington (Central Michigan), Ville Valasti (Eastern Michigan), Kylen McCracken (Ohio)
LB: Ulysees Gilbert III (Akron), Travonte Junius (Akron), Antonyo Sotolongo (Bowling Green)
DB: Mandela Lawrence-Burke (Kent State), Ja'don Rucker-Furlow (Miami), Sterling Weatherford (Miami), Keni-H Lovely (Western Michigan)
K/P: Paulie Fricano (Eastern Michigan)
MVP: Ulysees Gilbert III
Such a dignified name for a menace. Though it seems we should adjust our monocle after saying Ulysees Gilbert III, the more popular reaction is appreciating his tackling skills. Gilbert's 140 takedowns ranked sixth in the FBS last season, and he finished 14th in 2016.
Favorite: Yo'Heinz Tyler
While he was simply a 247Sports 3-star recruit in the 2018 class, Yo'Heinz Tyler has an elite name. The ketchup jokes are right there—and surely he's heard enough of those for a lifetime—but he'll be hoping MAC defenders have trouble ketch-ing up to him.
Mountain West Conference
QB: Tevaka Tuioti (New Mexico)
RB: Hekili Keliliki (Hawaii)
WR/TE: Qawi Ntsasa (Air Force), Griffin Hammer (Colorado State), McLane Mannix (Nevada), Q' Drennan (New Mexico)
OL: Wolfgang Rehbock (Air Force), Blake Householder (Colorado State), Marc-David Bien-Aime (Fresno State), Joey Nu'uanu-Kuhi'iki (Hawaii), Ladji Bagayoko (San Diego State)
DL: Blessman Ta'ala (Hawaii), Korey Rush (Nevada), Sinjun Astani (San Jose State), Youhanna Ghaifan (Wyoming)
LB: Manly Williams (Hawaii), Ronley Lakalaka (San Diego State), Rico Tolefree (San Jose State)
DB: Bryce VonZurmuehlen (Air Force), Wylan Free (Fresno State), Rojesterman Farris II (Hawaii), Scheyenne Sanitoa (Hawaii)
K/P: Haden Hoggarth (Boise State)
MVP: Youhanna Ghaifan
The only Mountain West player to record more tackles for loss than Youhanna Ghaifan's 15.5 in 2017 was his teammate Carl Granderson (16). Ghaifan capped a second-team All-Mountain West campaign with 69 total stops and seven sacks.
Favorite: Korey Rush
Defensive ends are tasked with attacking the ball. Korey Rush is good at doing, well, what his last name is. Among his 39 tackles, Rush had nine takedowns for loss, and he chipped in 2.5 sacks for Nevada.
QB: Braxton Burmeister (Oregon)
RB: Soso Jamabo (UCLA)
WR/TE: Ceejhay French-Love (Arizona State), Matt Rockett (Cal), Osiris St. Brown (Stanford), Amon-Ra St. Brown (USC)
OL: Layth Friekh (Arizona), Poutasi Poutasi (Cal), Gentle Williams (Cal), Yanni Demogerontas (Oregon State), Thor Katoa (Oregon State)
DL: My-King Johnson (Arizona), Dougladson Subtyl (Arizona State), Bo Peek (Stanford), IgbinoghOdua Isibor (UCLA)
LB: Thunder Keck (Stanford), Benning Potoa'e (Washington), Fa'avae Fa'avae (Washington State)
DB: Evan Rambo (Cal), Hasaan Hypolite (Colorado), Brady Breeze (Oregon), Javelin Guidry (Utah)
K/P: Jet Toner (Stanford)
MVP: Jet Toner
The only All-Pac-12 player highlighted above, Jet Toner claimed honorable mention status in 2017. He connected on 21 of his 26 field-goal attempts and hit all 54 extra-point tries.
Favorite: Gentle Williams
We've covered how synonymous words are great. Don't feel disrespected, antonyms; you get a little glory too. Cal expects Gentle Williams to ignore his name and be an overpowering force on the offensive line, and he should have that chance in 2018.
QB: Deuce Wallace (Vanderbilt)
RB: D'Andre Swift (Georgia)
WR/TE: Racey McMath (LSU), Tiger Scheyd (LSU), Chritauskie Dove (Missouri), Ke'undre Azakytu (Texas A&M)
OL: Brodarious Hamm (Auburn), Prince Tega Wanogho (Auburn), Stone Forsythe (Florida), Jervontius Stallings (Kentucky), Egidio DellaRipa (Vanderbilt)
DL: Big Kat Bryant (Auburn), DaQuan Hawkins-Muckle (Georgia), K'Lavon Chaisson (LSU), Sincere David (Ole Miss)
LB: Bumper Pool (Arkansas), Kash Daniel (Kentucky), Santino Marchiol (Texas A&M)
DB: Smoke Monday (Auburn), Richard LeCounte III (Georgia), Andraez "Greedy" Williams (LSU), Nigel Warrior (Tennessee)
K/P: Rodrigo Blankenship (Georgia)
MVP: Andraez "Greedy" Williams
The cornerback exploded onto the national scene in 2017 during his freshman campaign. Greedy Williams snatched six interceptions and tallied 11 pass breakups, adding 38 total tackles en route to securing third-team AP All-America recognition.
Favorite: Tiger Scheyd
You cannot convince me LSU didn't recruit Tiger Scheyd because his name is the school's mascot. The upcoming campaign may be Scheyd's final opportunity to record an official stat in college.
Sun Belt Conference
QB: Zeb Speir (Appalachian State)
RB: Armond Weh-Weh (Arkansas State)
WR/TE: T'Qele Holmes (Coastal Carolina), Calif Gossett (Louisiana), Maaseiah Francis (South Alabama), Lukas Plum Olsen (Troy)
OL: Baer Hunter (Appalachian State), Jax Gasaway (Arkansas State), Nour-Eddine Seidnaly (Arkansas State), Shamarious Gilmore (Georgia State), Despelado Alexandre (Georgia State)
DL: Ronheen Bingham (Arkansas State), Clifford Amazan (Georgia State), Gjemar Daniels (Texas State)
LB: Trajan Stephens-McQueen (Georgia State), Re'Lik Wilson (Louisiana-Monroe), Re'Naz Wilson (Louisiana-Monroe), Bull Barge (South Alabama)
DB: Clifton Duck (Appalachian State), Derambez Drinkard (Coastal Carolina), Trequerrios Wadley (Louisiana-Monroe), Cedarius Rookard (Troy)
K/P: Corliss Waitman (South Alabama)
MVP: Clifton Duck
Named the Sun Belt Freshman of the Year in 2016, Clifton Duck has twice earned first-team all-conference honors. He made 57 tackles, eight pass breakups and five interceptions as a freshman before recording 50, six and six, respectively, last season.
Favorite: Bull Barge
Have you ever seen a barge full of longhorns? That's the picture I see when thinking of Bull Barge. Best of all, he's not simply a fun name. In three seasons with South Alabama, Barge has amassed 167 tackles.
All recruiting information via 247Sports. Stats from NCAA.com, cfbstats.com or B/R research. Quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Follow Bleacher Report CFB Writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.