Top 50 teams of 2019: No. 48 Memphis


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Before the start of Illinois football's training camp on Aug. 2 in Champaign, beat writer Bob Asmussen is counting down the Top 50 teams heading into the 2019 college football season:

No. 48: Memphis

Coach: Mike Norvell

2018 record: 8-6

Projected 2019 record: 9-3

Circle the date: Nov. 16 at Houston

Bowl trip: Gasparilla

Why No. 48: Arizona State transfer Brady White is the most underrated quarterback in the American after throwing for 3,200 yards and 26 touchdowns last season. He leads an offense short on experience up front but loaded at the skill positions. ... Damonte Coxie is in rare air at receiver, going over 1,000 yards in 2018. Only stars Isaac Bruce and Anthony Miller have done that in the past at Memphis. ... The Tigers expect a big season from tight end Joey Magnifico, one of the best names in college football. ... Eight starters are back on defense. The best of the bunch is tackle Bryce Huff, who had 9 1/2 sacks in 2018. ... Safety Tyrez Lindsey is the leading returning tackler. ... The Tigers host Mississippi in their opener. The schedule turns friendlier until a late stretch against Houston, South Florida and Cincinnati. The Tigers don’t have to play American favorite UCF during the regular season.

Last year's ranking: No. 39