Super Sophomores for 2010
Written by Curt Popejoy on 06/04/2010
Last season we were able to see a near record number of Freshman have impacts on their teams success. This is all well and good but being able to repeat that success and better yet, improve on it, is what will be key. These players have set the bar very high, and here's a player from each conference that I think will push it even further in the 2010 season.
Ryan Williams RB Virginia Tech - I think most Hokie fans had a feeling Williams would be good. But I'm not sure even they could have predicted he'd be 1,655 yards and 21 touchdowns good. This year, the Hokies are loaded on offense, but it's going to come down to climbing on the back of Williams and letting him carry them to an ACC title. 2,000 is certainly not out of the question for a player like Williams.
Just missed the cut - Luke Kuechly, LB Boston College
Landry Jones QB Oklahoma - Obviously when Sam Bradford went down with injury at the start of the season the Sooner faithful all wondered how the Freshman Landry would fare. It was very much an up and down year for Jones, but a lot of that was due to the rash of injuries on the offense rather than problems with his game. This year, the pressure is on, not only because Sooner fans want to win, but because Coach Stoops has brought in bigtime recruit Blake Bell at QB, and he didn't come in to sit on the bench. If Jones can't get it done, he just might be done.
Just missed the cut - Aldon Smith, DE Missouri
Mohamed Sanu WR Rutgers - I am going to give Sanu a full write up closer to the start of the year, but let me just say if you didn't get a chance last year to see what he could do last season you really missed out. He's very much a hybrid type player, lining up all over the field and once you see what he can do with the ball in his hands you will understand why. If Rutgers wants to challenge for a Big East title, Sanu will have to get lots of touches on offense.
Just missed the cut - Dion Lewis, RB Pittsburgh
Chris Borland LB Wisconsin - I almost gave this spot to one of Borland's teammates, OL Peter Konz, but it's tough to measure the impact of an offensive lineman or RB John Clay who was so good last year. For Borland, it's much easier. On a team that's known to be a bit plodding and lacking explosion, Borland brought a physcial pressence and a versatility to the defense it was lacking. I expect him to add to his stats across the board this year.
Just missed the cut - John Clay, RB Wisconsin
Charles Sims RB Houston - Even though you always have to take rushing numbers for a back on a spread team with a grain of salt, Sims still had a really solid opening campaign. Catching 64 passes for over 700 yards along with over 600 yards rushing is impressive on any team. Houston QB Case Keenum really looked for Sims a lot last season and I expect more of the same. I don't think that 1,600 total yards and 12tds is out of the question at all.
Just missed the cut - Kyule Padron QB SMU
Eric Page WR Toledo - Page might be a little wee sized guy at 5-10 and 165lbs, but he played big all year long. He finished the season with 82 catches and 1159 yards and 7 touchdowns. Pair that iwth a rushing score, and over 550 yards in returns and you figure out pretty quickly just what a dynamic playmaker he is. If you get a chance to see the Rockets play, watch for #12 but look close or you might miss him.
Just missed the cut - Bernard Pierce, RB Temple
Matthew Tucker RB TCU - Probably could have put his teammate and fellow RB Ed Wesley here as well, but Tucker's size and nose for the end zone give him the nod for me. The Horned Frogs have a dominant offense and if they want to do better than just show up for a BCS bowl, players like Tucker need to be great this year. A 3 headed rushing attack is great, but someone can and should step up.
Just missed the cut-Shamiel Gary, S Wyoming
Andrew Luck QB Stanford - The ultimate no brainer on this list I suppose. Luck has made Stanford relevant again. He has a tough battle with Oregon RB LaMichael James, but what Luck has done is remarkable. He's shown an incredible amount of talent and NFL potential. The sky is the limit for this young man. His productivity will have to really improve this year, minus RB Tody Gerhart, so the heat will be on.
Just missed the cut - LaMichael James, RB Oregon
Trent Richardson RB Alabama - It's tough to be great playing behind the Heisman Trophy winner, but Richardson did just that, stacking up over 875 yards of total offense and 8tds. This year I expect to see a lot more out of Richardson in a platoon role with Mark Ingram. A lot of people think Richardson is more talented than Ingram right now, and I will say his NFL potential is higher.
Just missed the cut - Stephon Gilmore, CB South Carolina
Bryan Willis CB Troy - For a team that looks to be on the upturn, Willis was a great find. He started every game and finished with an impressive 71 tackles from the CB position. You pair that with 12 passes defended and 4ints and you can see the NFL potential in him.
Just missed the cut - Riley Dodge, QB North Texas
J.C. Percy LB Boise State - A team as talented as Boise State gets better when they have young players like Percy stepping up early. He got better as the season went on, finishing the year with 65 total tackles, and 2 forced fumbles. I expect hi to add to all those numbers in a big way this upcoming season.
Just missed the cut - Robbie Rouse, RB Fresno State
Manti Te'O LB Notre Dame - Te'O is a beast plain and simple. He only had 53 tackles on the season, but he averaged 9 a game in his last 2, and 9 a game this year seems like a breeze for this big bodied backer. Let's just hope Brian Kelly's new defense doesn't screw things up.
Just missed the cut - Gee Gee Greene, RB Navy
Last Edited: 06/04/2010