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ESPN ranks Syracuse’s Amba Etta-Tawo 15th-best player in college football

#CFBRank, you’re alright.

NCAA Football: Florida State at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Every four weeks or so, ESPN’s been updating its #CFBRank list of the 50 best players in college football. Sure, things are a bit subjective, and certainly beholden to recency bias. But it’s not a bad way to assess where players stand in terms of the stats and stories of the 2016 season.

In the latest iteration, posted yesterday, Syracuse Orange wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo came in all the way up at 15th.

ESPN’s Matt Fortuna had this to say about Etta-Tawo:

“The Maryland graduate transfer made the most of his fifth and final college year, catching 94 passes for 1,482 yards and 14 touchdowns, including a program single-game record of five touchdowns in the finale at Pitt. That game also marked his seventh 100-yard receiving game, which is a school single-season record.”

Things we knew, sure. But nice to see him recognized for the glut of statistical achievements he’s piled up in just 12 games at SU.

Last time around, Amba was 33rd, so the jump to 15th is a big one — made more impressive by the fact that without Eric Dungey under center for the past month, his numbers had dipped a bit until the breakout performance vs. Pittsburgh.

Ettta-Tawo is the fourth-best player in the ACC, according to this list. He’s only behind Louisville’s Lamar Jackson (no. 2), Florida State’s Dalvin Cook (no. 8) and Clemson’s Deshuan Watson (no. 11) — all fellow ACC Atlantic Division-mates, if you had any doubts about how tough that division is.

He’s also the second-best wideout according to the list, too. Only Oklahoma’s Dede Westbrook (no. 1) was ranked higher. And yet, only one of these players is a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award...


While there’s no award show or trophy for being a top-15 player in #CFBRank, it’s still a cool honor for the Syracuse grad transfer. An Orange receiver being up this high only helps Dino Babers sell this program and offense to recruits, and continues the narrative of culture change SU’s coach has established.