By RALPH D. RUSSO, AP College Football Writer
When The Associated Press preseason All-America team was released Tuesday, a bunch of schools placed multiple players on the two all-star squads. Among them were Ohio State, Alabama, Florida State, Clemson, Washington, Penn State, USC and Virginia.
Wait, Virginia? Yes, Virginia.
The Cavaliers are coming of a 3-9 season, and odds of a major turnaround in Year Two under Bronco Mendenhall are not promising. Still, Virginia will field two of the best defensive players in the country in safety Quin Blanding, above right, and linebacker Micah Kiser, above left.
The Cavaliers ranked second-to-last in the Atlantic Coast Conference in yards allowed per play last season. Blanding and Kiser were not the issue. Kiser made 134 tackles and 6.5 sacks. Blanding, a versatile safety who can line up in various spots, had 120 tackles and two interceptions. Both could have jumped to the NFL early but decided to return for their senior seasons, hoping to turn around a program that has not reached a bowl game since 2011.
Good players can get lost on bad teams, but here are a few more that will be worth seeking out in 2017. Just don't wait until bowl season, because it will probably be too late.