The deadline for players declaring for the NFL draft is complete. The Portal is closed. Freshmen signing days are over. I have gone thru the roster of every All Star game and noted all the players that are playing and marked them as gone. I am a little over two months into this year’s magazine which is a 6.5-month process. By the time I finish talking to the coaches I will have every player move captured. The extra Covid year is still the wild card here. Every player with college eligibility is not necessarily going to return as some will just leave football. Each of my All conference blogs highlights the players that are coming back and the players not highlighted are gone. There is a slight chance that I missed on a player or two coming or going. If you look over this list and know that someone I have marked as returning is gone or vice versa please either tweet at me @philsteele042 or mail Todd@philsteele.com. With that said here is the Independent List of my All Conference players from last year and which ones are returning and which ones are gone.
The Independents tie for the lead of all conferences with 16 First Team All-Conference selections returning which is best of the 11 conferences (includes Independents). Notre Dame leads the way with four First Teamers back The Independents had just 5 players make either my first, second, third or 4th team All American and of those five, two return (40%). In my All Conference Returning/Lost chart (see page 33 of magazine) the Independents rank #2 at +15 All Conference points returning. Connecticut had 7 players that made either my 1st, 2nd or 3rd team ACC squad and six of them return. BYU, Liberty and New Mexico St all left to join conferences so only 4 Independent teams return this year. There will be some changes to these numbers by the time the magazine goes to the press in June with the Transfer portal having another window in May.
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