Strong offensive talent resides in Sun Belt

The Sun Belt conference features several "road graters" on the offensive line as well as talented QBs and WRs.

Originally Published: August 25, 2004
By Mel Kiper Jr. | Special to ESPN Insider
Editor's note: ESPN.com's Mel Kiper Jr. continues his look at the best players in each conference by examining the top five players on the rosters of half the teams in the Sun Belt Conference (schools listed in alphabetical order).

Arkansas State
1. Steven Gibbs, G, sr. -- The 6-foot-2, 345-pounder is a legitimate NFL prospect and the leader of an experienced group that features four senior starters.
2. Steven Tookes, LB, sr. -- The undisputed leader of the defense from his spot in the middle, Tookes was second on the team with 90 tackles last season despite checking in at around just 5-10, 230 pounds.
3. Mike Brooks, TE, sr. -- Only about 6-1, 235, Brooks has talent and getting him involved in the offense is a priority for the Indians. How much that happens will depend on the performance of new quarterback Nick Noce, a sophomore who played in three games last season as a true freshman.
4. Antonio Warren RB, sr. -- Warren and Shermar Bracey will have to take a lot of pressure off Noce to let him ease in because he's an unproven entity. This team has a tough slate of non-conference games so Warren and Bracey are going to have to take the pressure off the young quarterback.
5. Shermar Bracey, RB, jr. -- As stated above, both he and Warren's success will play a large part in the success of the team. Last season Bracey rushed for 530 yards and eight touchdowns.

Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst

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