Keeping Score

C-USA Top 5: Houston's Keenum is best offensive player in league history

Without Case Keenum, former Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin may not be at Texas A&M and the Cougars might not be playing in an impressive new stadium this season.

Keenum's career at Houston was the most prolific for a quarterback in FBS history and he was beloved by the Cougar faithful.

While records are meant to be broken, Keenum's numbers will be hard to match for any future quarterbacks.

That's why Keenum rates in this Conference USA Top 5 as the best offensive player in the league's history, and he's joined by plenty of other talent.

This series has rated the top players at every offensive position, and now we rate the top five best offensive players in C-USA history regardless of position:

1. QB Case Keenum (Houston, 2007-11): The best Heisman Trophy candidate to ever come out of C-USA, Keenum had quite the career. He joins a long list of great college quarterbacks from Houston, including Heisman-winner Andre Ware and David Klingler. The current Houston Texans quarterback holds several FBS career records, including 155 passing touchdowns and 19,217 passing yards.

2. RB DeAngelo Williams (Memphis, 2002-2005): Often ignored when discussing the top running backs in FBS history, Williams was outstanding in his final three years of college football. He ran 969 times for 6,026 yards and 55 touchdowns, averaging 6.2 yards a carry. That makes him the fifth-best rusher in FBS rusher, statistically.

3. WR Jarett Dillard (Rice, 2005-08): Dillard is the best in FBS history when it comes to touchdown receptions with a total of 60. His knack for finding the end zone earned him several All-American honors. His best season came as a sophomore when he had 91 catches for 1,247 yards and 21 touchdowns.

4. RB Damion Fletcher (Southern Miss, 2006-09): He became a Southern Miss legend by rushing for at least 1,000 years in each of his four seasons at the school. He ran 1,009 times for 5,302 yards and 44 scores. He also caught 109 passes for 904 yards. That's pretty good for a player who was lightly recruited out of Biloxi High School.

5. QB Rakeem Cato (Marshall, 2011-): Potentially C-USA's best Heisman candidate since Keenum, Cato has a chance this season to cap what has been an outstanding career. He was very good as a junior with 3,916 yards and 39 touchdowns and just nine interceptions, but he was outstanding as a sophomore, when he completed 406 of 584 passes for 4,201 yards, 37 scores and 11 interceptions.

Contact Patrick Magee at pmagee@sunherald.com.

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