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Top MAC Football Players of 2014: #44 Kyle Pohl, Akron QB

Kyle Pohl went in and proved he can hang in the Big 10 on the road at Ann Arbor. With a year of experience under his belt, and another year playing under Terry Bowden, Pohl should thrive and compete to be amongst the best quarterbacks in the MAC by season's end.

Gregory Shamus

Kyle Pohl has looked great at times in MAC games, but he really put himself on the radar in a 28-24 loss against the Michigan Wolverines in Ann Arbor, Michigan this past fall.

Pohl completed 25 of 49 passes for 311 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions in an inspiring performance. Making just his third start of his career, the then sophomore had the Zips within 2 yards of pulling off one of the biggest upsets in college football history, not to mention ending a 28 game road losing streak (at the time). But unfortunately the pass landed incomplete in the back of the end zone as time expired. But it was enough of a statement to let the rest of the MAC know Akron had found its quarterback.

Checking in at No. 44 on our list, Pohl, at 6 foot 2, 213 pounds, is a gunslinger and showed his ability to toss the rock around the field this past season when he attempted 402 pases in his first season as a starter; racking up 2,438 yards. Head coach Terry Bowden has boasted about his love of Pohl's cannon on more than one occasion, and this year we should see Pohl flash more of his big arm and elevate his game to new heights.

When it was all said and down this past fall, Pohl went 5-7 as the starting quarterback for the Zips,  their most wins since 2008. When we break down his stats a little further we see Pohl threw six touchdowns against just one interception in the victories, but in the seven losses he threw eight touchdowns with nine interceptions. Pohl finished the season strong passing for four touchdowns and zero interceptions in his final three games for the Zips.

Entering just his second full season as a starting quarterback for Bowden and company, it will be exciting to see what Pohl can do this year after fighting through an ankle injury during part of this past season. His big play ability should show up more often with the confidence of a season as the starter and one of the most gutsy performances of 2013 under his belt. He is a gifted leader and should thrive with the push from fellow quarterback and Colorado transfer Nick Hirschman.

Pohl has the ability, and the team around him, to lead the Zips to their first winning record since 2005. If he can cut down on the turnovers this season, play off his strong finish to this past season he has the arm and and leadership ability to pull it off and get Akron back into a bowl game for the first time in a decade.