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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Western Kentucky
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  Western Kentucky's 73-0 win over Florida International was the biggest margin of victory in a game matching FBS teams since Michigan rolled Rutgers 78-0 on Oct. 8, 2016. Ohio State set the national season high for points in its 77-21 win over Toledo on Sept. 17. - AP College Football

rSr/2023 QB Austin ReedWestern Kentucky
News Source: AP College Football
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  Austin Reed passed for 381 yards and five touchdowns and Western Kentucky rolled to a 73-0 victory over Florida International on Saturday. Reed completed 29 of 35 passes for Western Kentucky (3-1) in a Conference USA opener. The Hilltoppers have scored at least 30 points in 18 straight games. Reed connected with Malachi Corley for a 76-yard touchdown to open the scoring and teamed up with Joey Beljan for a 9-yard score on the final play of the first quarter. Reed hit Corley for a 21-yard touchdown and found Dalvin Smith for a 12-yard score - giving him touchdown passes on four straight possessions. Reed's final scoring toss was a 4-yarder to Daewood Davis with 26 seconds left in the first half for a 42-0 lead.

Davion Ervin-Poindexter had two touchdown runs for Western Kentucky and L.T. Sanders ran 35 yards for a score. Backup quarterback Darius Ocean threw a 44-yard scoring strike to Easton Messer and Aaron Key returned a fumble 48 yards for a touchdown. The last shutout for the Hilltoppers came in 2011 against Florida Atlantic. WKU piled up 688 yards of offense, while yielding just 180. The Hillltoppers' next victory will be the program's 600th. It was the most points FIU has allowed in program history. The Panthers surrendered 72 in a 2013 loss to Louisville. - Western Kentucky/AP College Football


rSr/2023 QB Austin ReedWestern Kentucky
News Source: Western Kentucky/AP College Football
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  SEPT 5 CONFERENCE USA DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: WKU DB Kaleb Oliver had the best game of his WKU career in Saturday's 49-17 win over Hawai'i. The Georgia Tech transfer intercepted a pair of passes on the night and broke up another. His two picks were two of six takeaways produced by the WKU defense. Oliver also made two tackles on the night. Oliver returned his first interception 42 yards to the Hawai'i 17-yard line, setting up a WKU touchdown on the very next play. His second interception came late in the third quarter, helping WKU put the game away. - Conference USA Football

rSr/2023 FS Kaleb OliverWestern Kentucky
News Source: Conference USA Football
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  Austin Reed threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score and Western Kentucky rolled to a 49-17 victory over Hawaii on Saturday. Reed capped a 10-play, 68-yard drive with a 5-yard TD toss to Dalvin Smith to put the Hilltoppers (2-0) up 7-3 early in the second quarter. On Hawaii's ensuing possession, Juwon Jones picked off one of four interceptions thrown by Brayden Schager and returned it 38 yards for a score and a 14-3 lead. Western Kentucky capped off a 21-point second quarter with Reed's 47-yard scoring strike to Joshua Simon and the Hilltoppers led by 11 at halftime.

WKU upped its lead to 28-10 after three quarters when Reed hit Jaylen Hall for a 17-yard score. Kye Robichaux pushed the Hilltoppers' advantage to 35-10 with a 7-yard TD run early in the final period. Reed and Davion Ervin-Poindexter had short scoring runs after that. Reed completed 22 of 31 passes for 271 yards with one interception. Schager finished with 230 yards on 22-of-33 passing for the Rainbow Warriors (0-2). Backup QB Joey Yellen completed 4 of 11 passes for 36 yards with a pick. Dedrick Parson and Nasjzae Bryant-Lelei had short TD runs. - Western Kentucky/AP College Football


rSr/2023 QB Austin ReedWestern Kentucky
News Source: Western Kentucky/AP College Football
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  2022 PRESEASON WUERFFEL TROPHY (COMMUNITY SERVICE) WATCHLIST: Juwuan Jones, Western Kentucky, Sr., DL,...Jones routinely serves others in the community, specifically with children receiving special education. He is a two-time college graduate with a bachelor's degree in sport management and master's degree in special education teaching, both from WKU. On the field last season, Jones started all 14 games for WKU in while helping the Tops win a Conference USA East Division Championship. He totaled 45 tackles for the year, including 6.5 for loss and 3.5 sacks. - Western Kentucky Football

rSr/2023 DE Juwuan JonesWestern Kentucky
News Source: Western Kentucky Football
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  Austin Reed threw four touchdown passes in his Western Kentucky debut and the Hilltoppers defeated Austin Peay 38-27 in a season-opener on Saturday. Reed's first three TD throws went to Malachi Corley, a sophomore who caught 73 passes last season. Western Kentucky recovered a fumble near midfield after Corley's third touchdown catch and Reed quickly found All-American candidate Daewood Davis deep over the middle for a 48-yard score and a 35-20 lead early in the fourth quarter. After forcing a punt on the Governors' next possession, Western Kentucky was driving again before Reed threw his only interception of the game, a pickoff by Shamari Simmons.

Austin Peay then closed the gap to 35-27 when Mike Diliello hit Drae McCray for 24 yards and a touchdown. The Hilltoppers regained a two-score advantage, driving 70 yards in 11 plays for a 23-yard field goal by Brayden Narveson. Austin Peay fumbled on the ensuing kickoff, the Hilltoppers recovered and ran the final three minutes off the clock. Upton Stout's 34-yard pick-6 in the second quarter put Western Kentucky ahead 21-10 and the Hilltoppers went on to lead 21-17 at halftime. Reed, who transferred from West Florida, the team he led to the 2019 Division II national championship, completed 19 of 33 passes for 276 yards. Davis caught six passes for 124 yards and Corley had five receptions for 61 yards. - Western Kentucky/AP College Football


rSr/2023 QB Austin ReedWestern Kentucky
News Source: Western Kentucky/AP College Football
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  An influx of transfers last year - nearly a quarter of the roster was transfers - helped lead the offense to second nationally in scoring and yards per game - and first in passing yards - but many key players need replaced. That starts with Bailey Zappe, who set single-season FBS records for passing yards and passing touchdowns in his one year with the program, and Jerreth Sterns, who led the country in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, as well as WKU's second-leading receiver, Mitchell Tinsley. West Florida transfer Austin Reed will start at quarterback, and WKU still has a deep receiving room with players like Daewood Davis, Malachi Corley, Dalvin Smith and Craig Burt returning, and transfers like Jaylen Hall and Michael Mathison joining the team.

Joey Beljan and Josh Simon - who missed almost all of 2021 with a knee injury - are back at tight end, but the Hilltoppers only return two starters on the offensive line. The top two rushers from 2021 have departed, and WKU will look to experienced players like Jakairi Moses and Kye Robichaux, as well as Indiana transfer Davion Ervin-Poindexter, to help replace that production lost. "Of course everybody knows we were really, really good on offense last year," Arbuckle said at media day. "Some pieces left and a lot of turnover and stuff, but I'm really excited about the guys we have in here, players-wise and the coaching staff we have. Coach Helton's done a great job of assembling a staff that works together, a lot of continuity and, frankly, we're going to try to put our guys in the best position to be successful and score enough points to win the game, whatever that may be." - BG Daily News


rSr/2023 QB Austin ReedWestern Kentucky
News Source: BG Daily News
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  Austin Reed will be Western Kentucky's starting quarterback. The Hilltoppers have named the West Florida transfer QB1, head coach Tyson Helton confirmed after Thursday's practice. Reed was in a quarterback competition throughout the fall with West Virginia transfer Jarret Doege, who has entered the transfer portal. "At the end of the day, I just felt like he gave our team a good opportunity to win," Helton said. "I thought, as I've said all along, both quarterbacks we can win with. We can win championships with both quarterbacks. The job as the head football coach is I've got to pick one of them and that's a tough pick. I just felt like Austin did a couple things that gives us an opportunity to go win. It doesn't mean he's better. It doesn't mean I'm right. Just my gut told me I needed to go with Austin."

The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Reed comes from Division II West Florida, where he went 22-3 as the starting quarterback over two seasons and claimed a national title in 2019. During that time, he threw for 7,507 yards and 78 touchdowns. Helton, at the team's media day, described Reed as "a gunslinger" - "When he goes out there, you don't know where it's headed, but it's headed there fast," Helton said then. "It was my gut," Helton said Thursday. "I just felt like he'd give us a good opportunity to win games. Again, Jarret would've given us a good opportunity to win games as well. I think if you say, 'What's his strengths?' He has big-play ability, he's got a big arm. That doesn't win games - having a big arm - but he's had a lot of good drives that finished with touchdowns. That's really important. The name of the game's put the ball in the end zone. Just some of those things kind of stood out to me." - BG Daily News


rSr/2023 QB Austin ReedWestern Kentucky
News Source: BG Daily News
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  Western Kentucky quarterback Jarret Doege has entered the transfer portal, WKU confirmed to the Daily News on Sunday. Doege, who joined the Hilltoppers as a transfer from West Virginia, was one of the frontrunners for the starting position along with West Florida transfer Austin Reed. Reed on Sunday posted a photo collection on Instagram of photos from fall camp, which linebacker Will Ignont shared to his story with "QB1" written in it, and receiver Dalvin Smith shared it with the comment "Let's Ride!" The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Reed comes from Division II West Florida, where he went 22-3 as the starting quarterback over two seasons and claimed a national title in 2019. During that time, he threw for 7,507 yards and 78 touchdowns.

Helton described Reed as "a gunslinger" - "When he goes out there, you don't know where it's headed, but it's headed there fast," Helton said. "I just like to keep it down to one word and that's a winner," Reed said earlier in camp when describing his game. "In my time, all I've ever judged myself on is how many wins I get. For me, that's the most important thing. I'm going to throw it around the yard. I'm going to make a couple throws that you might clench your butthole when I make that throw. Sorry, that might not be the best use of words, but I'm going to do whatever it takes to win. "This offense is really just suited around putting a guy back there who can win. I'm just hoping to be that guy and hoping to do what this offense needs me to do and let those guys around me make me look good." Reed started his career at Southern Illinois, where he redshirted in 2018 before making the move to Pensacola, Fla., where he won a Division II national title with West Florida in 2019. - BG Daily News


rSr/2023 QB Austin ReedWestern Kentucky
News Source: BG Daily News
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  Joshua Simon has impressed in the two weeks that WKU's been practicing, even though he's still finishing his recovery, "Josh, man, he's looked great. It's almost like how I remembered him. I know we only had him for fall camp and the first game last year, but it's like how I remembered him," WKU co-offensive coordinator Ben Arbuckle said. "He's tough, he's strong, he's athletic. Big, big body. He's not afraid to stick his face in the fan in the run game. It's been just unreal seeing him come back from that injury and almost not skipping a beat. Josh has been phenomenal." Even though he was unable to actually be between the lines for much of last year, Simon believes his game has grown. Watching his team from off the field allowed him to see things from a new perspectives.

"I believe everything happens for a reason. The plan is already written for us. If it's supposed to happen, then it's going to happen," Simon said. "It was eye-opening just sitting back on the sideline. It was my first time in a long time actually watching a football game from the sideline because I was playing for a long time. "To actually watch it from a spectator's point of view, it kind of helped me a little bit just to see it's not as complicated as you may make it seem in your brain. It's a whole lot more simple. You can see the space a whole lot better on the field when you're not on it. You get to look down on it and actually see the schemes and how stuff's supposed to work. I feel like it kind of helped me." - BG Daily News


rJr/2024 TE Joshua SimonWestern Kentucky
News Source: BG Daily News
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  Brodric Martin came on strong at the tail end of his first year at Western Kentucky and parlayed that into a strong spring. Now, the redshirt senior defensive tackle who came to Bowling Green by way of North Alabama is ready to take on a bigger role as the Hilltoppers head into the 2022 season. "Honestly, that was probably the best thing to ever happen to me," Martin said when asked about his late 2021 success. "At the end of the season, it helped me with my confidence. I feel like the confidence is probably like 70% of this football thing, or what I do. It definitely helped a lot." Martin played in all 14 of WKU's games last year after spending the previous three seasons at North Alabama. In 2021 with the Hilltoppers, the Tuscaloosa, Ala., native had 31 tackles, with 4.5 for loss and 2.5 sacks. He also had a breakup, quarterback hurry and fumble recovery.

His best performances came late in the year, though. He was a team captain for WKU's Nov. 13 game at Rice and, in a Conference USA East Division-clinching win at Marshall, Martin had three tackles, with half a tackle for loss, plus a fumble recovery in a crucial situation. After the Herd had gone ahead 14-0 early, DeAngelo Malone hit Marshall quarterback Grant Wells to force the fumble, which Martin recovered, and WKU went on to score 36 unanswered points in the 53-21 victory. He followed it with a seven-tackle performance, including half a sack, in the Hilltoppers' C-USA championship game loss to UTSA at the Alamodome, and finished the season with three tackles - with a team-high two sacks - in WKU's 59-38 Boca Raton Bowl victory over Appalachian State. - BG Daily News


rSr/2023 DT Brodric MartinWestern Kentucky
News Source: BG Daily News
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  Will Ignont is back, and he's ready to make an impact on Western Kentucky's defense. The redshirt senior linebacker missed the Hilltoppers' final three games of the 2021 season and spring practices while recovering from a leg injury, but he has returned to action for WKU's fall camp. "It feels amazing. I can't really describe the feeling," Ignont said. "Obviously I love this game. This is my last year of college football, so I'm just really looking to lead and set the example for younger guys and play as hard and as fast as I can." The 6-foot-1, 240-pound Huntsville, Ala., native was productive in his minutes last season and garnered Conference USA Honorable Mention status. He started the team's first 11 games, racking up 53 tackles with 4.5 for loss and 2.5 sacks. He had an interception and fumble recovery to help the Hilltoppers finish second nationally in takeaways in 2021.

Ignont had to sit out the first 11 games of the 2020 season to satisfy transfer rules after coming from Tennessee, where he spent three seasons, but did play in the team's LendingTree Bowl game against Georgia State. He was unable to play in WKU's final three games last season - a victory over Marshall to claim C-USA's East Division crown, the C-USA championship game and the team's Boca Raton Bowl victory over Appalachian State. He had surgery Nov. 30 and sat out during the spring while recovering to be safe, but he was back on the field as the team opened camp July 29. "The rehab process has been great. Jessica (Judd) in the training room and Toryn (Cornell) and those people in the training room, they did a great job really getting me every resource that I needed to get back as fast as possible," Ignont said. "I really feel good. I feel good right now." - BG Daily News


rSr/2023 ILB Will IgnontWestern Kentucky
News Source: BG Daily News
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  After a great performance by his offense in practice Saturday, Western Kentucky coach Tyson Helton was elated. "Big plays all around," he said. Standouts included wide receive Daewood Davis, who last year caught 43 passes for 763 yards and eight touchdowns last season "had a big play, explosive play," while Glasgow native Dalvin Smith - the team's offensive MVP during the spring - "caught a bunch of balls and made some big plays," Helton said. He was also impressed with plays made by Jaylen Hall, a 6-foot-4 receiver who transferred to WKU from Western Michigan in the offseason. Hall caught 46 passes for 752 yards and three scores in 2021. - BG Daily News

rSr/2023 WR Daewood DavisWestern Kentucky
News Source: BG Daily News
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  2022 PRESEASON OUTLAND TROPHY WATCHLIST: OT Quantavious Leslie, WKU,...Leslie was among those tasked with protecting C-USA MVP and NCAA record-setting quarterback Bailey Zappe last season. As an offensive line unit, Leslie and the rest of the Tops allowed only 17 sacks on the season, which was 12th best in college football and second best within Conference USA. The recipient of the 2022 Outland Trophy will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards, live on ESPN on Thurs., Dec. 8. - WKU Football

rSo/2025 OG Quantavious LeslieWestern Kentucky
News Source: WKU Football
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  2022 PRESEASON LOU GROZA AWARD WATCH LIST: Brayden Narveson - Western Kentucky, Class: Junior - Hometown: Scottsdale, Arizona,...A Groza semifinalist in 2020, Narveson followed up the second-most accurate season in Western Kentucky history by tying the program record for the most field goals in a year. His 141 points not only smashed the Hilltopper record for kick-scoring but were the most by any kicker in FBS last season. - Lou Groza Award

rJr/2024 K Brayden NarvesonWestern Kentucky
News Source: Lou Groza Award
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