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2009 Draft Preview - the Key Games Edition...

Discussion in 'NFL Draft' started by SanDiegoRon, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. SanDiegoRon
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    SanDiegoRon BoltTalker

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    SDR's Best Bets.... Yeah it's early, but I thought I'd share this with you, in case you need to workout "scheduling conflicts" with your significant other... :lol:

    ...these games are likely to give you the best player coverage in viewing the top picks in this years draft and you'll watch some darn good football too...

    .... afterall, the draft never ends, the players just change....

    so here ya go... some comments courtesy of CFN.Scout and NFL Draft Scout (NDS), where noted...

    Aug. 28 NC State at South Carolina - 5:00 pm pst ESPN - it's a decent game to start the season.... I/OLB Willie Young and Jasper Brinkley should be an interesting comparison...

    Aug. 28 Oregon State at Stanford - 6:00 pm pst ESPN2 - a Thursday night game - Stanford gets to show off a defense that has a number of players of interest... Go Jimbo!!!

    Aug. 30 Clemson vs Alabama (Atlanta) - 5:00 pm pst ABC - CFN: With a national TV audience in attendance, expectations soaring, and Nick Saban on the other sidelines, this is the kind of opener that’ll set the tone for the rest of the season. Although the outcome will have no bearing on the ACC race, Clemson has to start fast or else it’ll plummet in the Top 25 and be forced to spend the rest of the year trying to recapture its mojo.

    Aug 30. Illinois vs. Missouri - 5:30 pm pst ESPN - love these late afternoon games... kick back and watch some football... jes doesn't get any better... oh, and there's Martez Wilson - NDS: Ron Zook was at Florida when Jevon Kearse came to Florida and in Wilson, he sees a very similar talent. In fact, Zook has dubbed Wilson "Freak 2." Wilson, who arrived last year at Illinois weighing 235 pounds, is up to 248 and just as fast and even more explosive. Wilson's 4.4 speed makes him a force at linebacker as well as a red zone tight end and as a gunner on the punt team, which Zook points out should tell you about the guy's speed. "Tez has unbelievable acceleration, and he'll be 265, 270 by the time he leaves here," Zook predicts. "And the really great thing about him is he wants to be good." *** sounds like a Bolt to me...

    Aug 31. Kentucky at Louisvillle - 12:30 pm pst ESPN - CFN: As much as any program in the country, Louisville needs a fast start, and a win in the opener could be the spark needed to get to 6-0 before South Florida visits on Oct. 25.

    Sept. 1 Tennessee at UCLA - 5:00 pm pst ESPN - ...the opener against Tennessee could be a statement game if the Bruins can pull it off,...

    Sept. 6 Georgia Tech at Boston College - 9:00 am pst ESPN - a matchup of contenders... DE/OLB Michael Johnson may be the first tweener off the board, and the 'jackets have a couple of linemen of interest.... and how does NT B.J. Raji look....

    Sept. 6 Cincinnati at Oklahoma - 12:30 pm pst ABC - Cinci will be an interesting team to follow this year... Mickens is one heckava corner - I wonder if Bradford will throw at him...

    Sept. 6 Florida at Miami - 5:00 pm pst ESPN - very nice comparison of LB's Spikes vs. Sharpton on center stage...

    Sept. 13 Arkansas at Texas - 12:30 pm pst ABC - Got Beef: Petrus/Luigs & Robinson vs. Ulatoski & Okakpo...

    Sept. 13 Georgia at South Carolina - 12:30 pm pst CBS - first look at UGA, is Moreno/Stafford too much firepower... there's no pressure on Spurrier is there - CFN: The Gamec0cks had better win early or it could be an ugly year with a brutal finishing kick. It's very possible LSU, Tennessee, Florida and Clemson will all be in the top ten at some point, with the Tigers and Gators likely to hang around the top five for most of the season, and USC gets all four of those teams, along with Arkansas, in the final five games.

    Sept. 13 Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech - 12:30 pm pst ABC/ESPN - another look at Mike Johnson and certainly OG Render and CB "Macho" Harris are worth a peek..

    Sept. 13 UCLA at BYU - 12:30 pm pst Versus - is BYU Nat. title good?? this game will be a measuring stick for both teams seasons...

    Sept. 13 Ohio State at USC - 5:00 pm pst ABC - a five star game to be sure - a Nat'l Title on the line??? - will the loss, ruin either teams title chances... both teams are loaded, 7 USC & 8 OSU players in the top 160...

    Sept. 13 Wisconsin at Fresno State 7:30 pm pst ESPN2 - a couple of good TE's... is Wisconsin good enough to stay with OSU... nice same day comparison...

    Sept. 20 Florida at Tennessee - 12:30 pm pst CBS - this Saturday is all about an insanely strong SEC and the playoffs start today...

    Sept. 20 LSU at Auburn - 5:00 pm pst ESPN - a 5 star and perhaps Nat'l Title elimination game?? CFN: The better Tigers will likely win the West. Considering Tennessee and Georgia will still be on the slate, and there's that little road trip to Alabama to close things out, Auburn can't afford to blow its early home date against the defending national champion if it hopes to play for the SEC title.

    Sept. 20 Georgia at Arizona State - 5:15 pm pst ABC - CFN: You want some momentum to take into the three-game gauntlet of Cal, USC, and Oregon? How about beating a Bulldog team that could be ranked No. 1 in the country?

    Sept. 25 USC at Oregon State - 6:00 pm pst ESPN - a good look to see if OG's Jeremy Perry & Andy Levitre can handle Moala Fili...

    Sept. 27 Tennessee at Auburn - 12:30 pm pst CBS - after last weeks games - who's major bowl bound... and who's out... and who said there's no playoffs in CFB...

    Sept. 27 Alabama at Georgia - 5:00 pm pst ESPN - Is OT Andre Smith really a top 5 pick... wonder if they'll throw Owens & Atkins stunts at him...

    Sept. 27 Ole Miss at Florida - TBD - sure hope this is televised - 2 first rdrs in OT Oher & DE/OLB Hardy, and a solid DT is Jerry... Mr. Hardy meet Mr. Tebow...

    Sept. 27 Wisconsin at Michigan - TBD - can the Badgers get by the Wolverines with their eyes on the Buckeyes next week...

    Oct. 4 Florida at Arkansas - 12:30 pm pst CBS - just another classic SEC showdown...

    Oct. 4 Ohio State at Wisconsin - 5:00 pm pst ABC/ESPN - 5 star - Big 10 title here... nuff said...

    Oct. 4 Oregon at USC - 5:00 pm pst ABC/ESPN - Pac 10 title on the line?? OT Unger & SS Chung...

    Oct. 4 Missouri at Nebraska - TBD - CFN: 1978. That's the last time Missouri beat Nebraska in Lincoln, with some of the losses coming by ridiculously large margins. It'll be the Big 12 opener for both teams and the conference home opener for new Husker head coach Bo Pelini. He'll have his team fired up for the defending North champions, but this is where the Tigers can also make a statement.

    Oct. 9 Clemson at Wake Forest - 5:00 pm pst ESPN - Is Clemson still in it for the Nat'l Title... a money game for LB Aaron Curry...

    Oct. 11 Texas (Dallas) vs Oklahoma - 9:00 am pst ABC - Whoa Nellie -CFB tradition at its finest... and a boatload of talent... a 5 star game...

    Oct. 11 Tennessee at Georgia - 12:30 pm pst CBS - can't help myself another classic SEC battle...

    Oct. 11 LSU at Florida - 5:00 pm pst CBS - pull up a chair and watch the Nat'l Title game in October...

    Oct. 11 Penn State at Wisconsin - 5:00 pm pst ABC/ESPN - a good look at DE Evans & LB Lee

    Oct. 11 Nebraska at Texas Tech - TBD - will QB Graham Harrell & WR Michael Crabtree be enough to offset Marlon Lucky..

    Oct. 18 Missouri at Texas - 9:00 am pst FSN - should go a long way in deciding who's top dog in the Big 12... lottsa talent in this one....

    Oct. 18 Georgia Tech at Clemson - TBD - ACC elimination game... should be great....

    Oct. 18 Virginia Tech at Boston College - ACC elimination game... should be great....

    Oct. 23 Auburn at West Virginia - 4:45 pm pst ESPN - CFN: Are the Mountaineers still one of the nation’s top 10 teams? We’ll all learn the answer to that question when the Tigers visit Morgantown for an intriguing Thursday night match up on national television. West Virginia will also learn plenty about itself before venturing into the teeth of a tough second half of the schedule.

    Oct. 25 Georgia at LSU - 12:30 pm pst CBS - O my, another Nat'l Title showdown.... definately a 5 star...

    Oct. 25 South Florida at Louisville - TBD - this will go a long way in settling the Big East....

    Oct. 25 UCLA at California - TBD - Storyline Rick Neuheisel/Norm Chow vs Jeff Tedford... who's QB will show up...

    Oct. 30 South Florida at Cincinnati - 4:45 pm pst ESPN - maybe for the Big East title... FS Nate Allen, DE/OLB George Selvie and OLB Tyrone McKenzie... CFN: The Bearcats have had the Bulls by the horns the last two seasons, winning a wild one in Tampa last season, 38-33. This will be one of those Big East elimination games that thins out the crowd of teams aspiring to dethrone West Virginia.

    As you can see, many of the games in Nov/Dec are TV TBD, as the networks will attempt to target you guys "commercial" value...

    Nov. 1 Georgia vs Florida (Jacksonville) - 12:30 pm pst CBS - What a game to start the November run... it's ABSOLUTELY HUGE... CFN: As the last two years have shown, an SEC team can suffer a loss, or even two, and still play for the national championship. However, winning the conference title is a must, and the loser of the Cocktail-Don't-Call-It-A-Cocktail-Party will likely be out of the hunt.

    Nov. 1 Clemson at Boston College - TBD - hope this is the morning game... For BC, is there anthing better than knocking off the favorite in the ACC?

    Nov. 1 Nebraska at Oklahoma - TBD - would be shocked it this game is not televised...

    Nov. 1 Texas at Texas Tech - TBD - or this one for that matter...

    Nov. 1 Oregon at California - TBD - CFN: Call it a semifinal game for the Pac-10 title. If the Bears have any hopes of getting to the Rose Bowl, they’ve got to first get through Oregon, one of the schools on the short list of league contenders. USC looms in the on-deck circle a week later,...

    Nov. 5 Northern Illinois at Ball State - 5:00 pm pst ESPN - a Wed game well worth watching just to see DE/OLB Larry English... but Ball State has several pro prospects including QB Nate Davis and TE Darius Hill...

    Nov. 8 CAL at USC - 5:00 pm pst ABC - is this for the Pac 10 title...

    Nov. 8 Clemson at Florida State- TBD - CFN: This game matters because it could decide who wins the division and gets to play for an ACC crown a month later.

    Nov. 8 Kansas State at Missouri - TBD - another playoff - this will likely determine the North division...

    Nov. 14 Cincinnati at Louisville - 5:00 pm pst ESPN2 - and another elimination game...

    Nov. 15 Georgia at Auburn - 12:30 pm pst CBS - O My, is DT/DE Sen’Derrick Marks a top 5 pick... this should be great...

    Nov. 15 USC at Stanford - 4:00 pm pst Versus - can the Cardinal win 2 straight... Go Jimbo!!!

    Nov. 15 Ohio State at Illinois - TBD - CB Malcolm Jenkins or CB/FS Vontae Davis...

    Nov. 22 West Virginia at Louisville - TBD - playoff
    Nov. 22 Boston College at Wake Forest - TBD - playoff
    Nov. 22 Michigan at Ohio State - TBD - ya gotta know this will be televised...
    Nov. 22 Ole Miss at LSU - TBD - lotta Sunday players in this one...
    Nov. 22 Texas Tech at Oklahoma - TBD - shootout...
    Nov. 22 CAL at Stanford - TBD - will a win get the Cardinal a bowl game - go Jimbo!!!...

    Nov. 22 BYU at Utah - 3:00 pm pst TheMtn - If the pundits are correct, a BCS berth will be on the line for both... they both could be undefeated when they meet...

    Nov. 27 Texas A&M at Texas - 5:00 pm pst ESPN - always a classic...

    Rivalry Week - we'll have seen alot of these teams already, but getting a second look at a player at the end of the season is a good thing...

    Nov. 28 West Virginia at Pitt - 9:00 am pst ABC -
    Nov. 28 LSU at Arkansas - 11:30 am pst CBS -

    Nov. 29 Auburn at Alabama - 9:00 am pst CBS -
    Nov. 29 Georgia Tech at Georgia - 12:30 pm pst CBS -
    Nov. 29 Oklahoma at Oklahoma State - 5:00 pm pst ABC -
    Nov. 29 Florida at Florida State - TBD -

    Dec. 4 Louisville at Rutgers - 5:00 pm pst ESPN -

    Dec. 6 ACC Championship - 10:00 am pst ABC -
    Dec. 6 SEC Championship - 1:00 pm pst CBS -
    Dec. 6 USC at UCLA - 1:30 pm pst ABC -
    Dec. 6 Big 12 Championship - 5:00 pm pst ABC -

    Dec. 6 South Florida at West Virginia - 5:00 pm pst ESPN - O My, I guess the networks believe this will be the Big East championship... either way, this could be a great game to wrap up the season... CFN: South Florida has reached a point in its evolution where it can legitimately dream about a Big East championship and a BCS bowl game. To get there, however, the Bulls will have to go through Morgantown and league favorite West Virginia. They’ve won the last two meetings with the ‘eers, so intimidation is not going to be a factor.

    the sched has the makings of a great season, and my signifcant other, a football widow... :yes:
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  2. Thumper
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    Thumper WHS

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    SD Ron, you never cease to amaze me and I mean that in a good way. Great write up and thread. :tup:
  3. LT-Express
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    LT-Express Bolttalk.com Janitor since 06' Staff Member Super Moderator

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  4. stone86
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    stone86 New Member

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    Props on giving Oregon boys love. Aside from Chung on the Thorpe watch list, there are 2 others on there, Jairius Byrd and Walter Thurmond. Jairius being the son of former Charger Gill Byrd.
  5. SanDiegoRon
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    SanDiegoRon BoltTalker

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    a nice set of corners... Jarius had a nice year for INT's but I'm afraid his 4.54 40 will hurt his draft... Thurmond's got some decent speed but less of a playmaker... but yeah, that secondary may be shutdown this year...
  6. stone86
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    stone86 New Member

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    Truthfully I think Walter Thurmond is the better corner and athlete. I'm not sure on the stats exactly, but i'm pretty sure he was second on the team in tackles and interceptions (5.) He also has a ton of passes defended.

    Either way it's quite a triumvirate. It should be quite a defense.
  7. SanDiegoRon
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    SanDiegoRon BoltTalker

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    most of the scouts agree with you and have him rated higher...

    if you haven't seen it, here's a very good write up on that defense...

    Nick Reed, Ra’Shon Harris and Justin Thompson will certainly help put pressure on the QB... gonna be watching those 3 as well...

    http://cfn.scout.com/2/753702.html
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  8. stone86
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    stone86 New Member

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    Justin Thompson is should be an interesting addition, from what I've seen he has tools to come in and get things done immediately.

    On a side note on the offensive side of the ball, Lagerrette Blount is continually referred to as Jeremiah's back up. I like Jeremiah a lot, he's worked hard, is a decent back and is a leader, BUT Lagarette is a bad ***. They will split carries just as Stewart and Johnson did, however I see Lagarette becoming more of the #1 guy than Johnson. He was punishing our defense in the spring game, and will be doing the same against the rest of the PAC10. Sorry, I had to get this off my chest somewhere, everytime I say this in an Oregon forum I get chewed out.
  9. SanDiegoRon
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    SanDiegoRon BoltTalker

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    2008 Preseason USA Today Coaches' Poll

    The Top 25 represents 171 of the Top 330 Players I'm tracking (x)

    1. Georgia (8)
    2. USC (12)
    3. Ohio State (14)
    4. Oklahoma (11)
    5. Florida (10)
    6. LSU (14)
    7. Missouri (7)
    8. West Virginia (5)
    9. Clemson (9)
    10. Texas (6)
    11. Auburn (5)
    12. Wisconsin (9)
    13. Kansas (0) - O MY!!!
    14. Texas Tech (5)
    15. Virginia Tech (4)
    16. Arizona State (4)
    17. BYU (3)
    18. Tennessee (7)
    19. Illinois (8)
    20. Oregon (11) - NO RESPECT...
    21. South Florida (3)
    22. Penn State (5)
    23. Wake Forest (4)
    24. Michigan (5)
    25. Fresno State (2)

    here's my positional breakdown (for what its worth)

    QB 15 Seniors / 11 Juniors
    RB 10 / 12 - not a very good RB class on paper...
    FB 3 - the game has changed, FB's can't find work...
    WR 17 / 11
    TE 9 / 5
    OT 21 / 8
    OG 15 / 6
    C 10 / 6 - some good centers to choose from...

    DT 19 / 11
    DE 21 / 17 - a very good year for 3-4 OLB's (tweeners)
    OLB 12 / 10
    ILB 14 / 8
    CB 17 / 12
    FS 10 / 5 - not collecting too many safety candidates, cuz I like ours...
    SS 8 / 5 - as above...
  10. SanDiegoRon
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    SanDiegoRon BoltTalker

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    ok, with the uncertainty of re-signing Igor... let's assume DE becomes a draft priority... here's the measurables for the Bolts 3-4 DE's...
    Bingham 6-3 303...
    Castillo 6-3 290...
    Cesaire, 6-2 295...
    Olshansky 6-6 309...

    and here's the current rankings from NFL Draft Scout that "kinda" match those measureables... (assumes rd 1/2 candidates)

    #x represents where NFL Draft Scout have the players rated Overall in their Top 64...

    1. Jeff Owens, Sr., DT, 6-1 298 4.98, Georgia - #8 Top 64 - a little short... Very strong with good quickness...
    1. Michael Johnson, Sr., DE, 6-7 258 4.67, Georgia Tech - #5 Top 64 - probably projects as an OLB... 258 is a long ways from 290-305.... A great athlete with serious pass-rush ability...
    1. DeMarcus Granger, Jr., DT, 6-3 306 4.98, Oklahoma - here's the appropriate measureables... and sub 5.0 speed... and AJ loves juniors... but his suspension....
    1. George Selvie, Jr., DE, 6-4 245 4.72, South Florida - #11 Top 64 - way too small for a 3-4 DE... perhaps an OLB...

    2. Terrance Taylor, Sr., DT, 6-0 318 5.18, Michigan - #21 Top 64 - a nose tackle, he has the type of talent to become a first round draft pick next year...
    2. Brian Orakpo, Sr., DE, 6-4 260 4.73, Texas - #9 Top 64 - Tremendously quick off the ball and with excellent closing speed, he's a pass rusher... wonder if he can bulk up to 290 without compromising that speed...
    2. Geno Atkins, Jr., DT, 6-1 290 4.92, Georgia - I can hear the Bulldog fans now - "You can't run... You can't run..." see Owens above...
    2. Greg Hardy, Jr., DE, 6-4 265 4.73, Ole Miss - #13 Top 64 - The SEC's breakout pass rusher last season, he is a one-man wrecking crew when he gets on a roll... a serious 3-4 OLB candidate...
    2. Gerald McCoy, 3rd Yr Soph, DT, 6-4 295 5.05, Oklahoma - #14 Top 64 - the new Tommie Harris, but will he come out???

    3. Fili Moala, Sr., DT, 6-5 298 5.14, USC - #32 Top 64 - O MY... he’s explosive off the snap, uses his hands well, and often requires double teams to keep him out of the backfield...
    3. Matt Shaughnessy, Sr., DE, 6-5 253 4.74, Wisconsin - #35 Top 64 - another OLB-type...
    3. Ricky-Jean Francois, Jr., DT, 6-3 290 4.86, LSU - #20 Top 64 - represents the speed in this draft for the big boys... and he's got "the right size"... too much quickness for most guards and too much size and strength for most tackles if he moves outside to end...
    3. Maurice Evans, Jr., DE, 6-2 265 4.76, Penn State - #17 Top 64 - an elite pass rusher who'll spark a tweener debate among the NFL scouts over: Is he best as an outside linebacker in a 3-4, or is he an undersized speed-rusher in a 4-3...

    4. Evander 'Ziggy' Hood, Sr., DT 6-3 295 4.99 Missouri - #47 Top 64 - also a guy with the 3-4 measureables... a pumped up end who has tremendous quickness and pass rushing ability and good strength...
    4. Pannel Egboh, Sr., DE, 6-6 272 4.84, Stanford - #62 Top 64 - an intriguing candidate... Egboh already has an NFL frame to go along with next level pass rushing skills, and he's no slouch in run defense...
    4. Sen’Derrick Marks, Jr., DT, 6-1 295 4.93, Auburn - #27 Top 64 - Marks was a great end but is a more natural tackle... Able to play inside or out, he's versatile, nasty against the run...
    4. Greg Middleton, Jr., DE, 6-3 275, Indiana - #21 Top 64 - After leading the nation with 16 sacks last year, the NFL scouts are all going to keep an eye on Bloomington to see if last year was a fluke. Able to play inside or out, Middleton can play at the next level in a 3-4 or a 4-3...

    5. B.J. Raji, Sr., DT, 6-1 325 5.15, Boston College - #60 Top 64 - definately a NT candidate... he uses his leverage to his advantage, bull rushing opponents en route to the backfield...
    5. Tyson Jackson, Sr., DE, 6-4 295 4.89, LSU - I believe his measurables measure... Has good size, quickness and strength, and has a great first step off the edge;


    Sleeper Watch:
    John Fletcher, 6-6 280 4.86, Wyoming - currently projected to go in rds 5-6...
    07/21/08 - 2008 Preseason All-Mountain West Football Team (Media): DL John Fletcher Jr., Wyoming - Fletcher earned Second Team All-MWC honors following last season after ranking No. 11 in the nation in sacks, with 10.5. He has also been named to the 2008 Outland Trophy Watch List. - Wyoming Football

    some good talent to look at, and as luck would have it, we'll be able to see most of them this season... :D
  11. SanDiegoRon
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    SanDiegoRon BoltTalker

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    rather than "clutter" the board....

    I've decide to use this thread for all my previews this season... it will allow me/you to search one thread for specific player info over the course of the season...

    so,.... here we go again… another great season is at hand…

    Excerpts from a variety of sources including SI, CFN Scout, Draft Scout and the college sites… many thanks to all their hard work and expertise, they do a great job …


    Thurs. Aug. 28 NC State at South Carolina - 5:00 pm pst ESPN - it's a decent game to start the season.... DE/OLB Willie Young and ILB Jasper Brinkley should be an interesting comparison...

    South Carolina may have its best team yet since Steve Spurrier took over, so a loss to NC State is not going to work with the brutal schedule they face latter…. The Gamec0ck defense is going to be nasty, especially now that LB Jasper Brinkley and DT Nathan Pepper are back from last seasons-ending injuries. Brinkley is an impact defender with tremendous instincts and the ferocity to create turnovers. NC State is still transitioning to Tom O’Brien and probably a few years away from contention. The Pack needs Young to be all-world to control the line of scrimmage when South Carolina has the ball. Playing the outside, Young has emerged as one of the ACC’s fiercest pass rushers. On the inside, DT Alan-Michael Cash is a disruptive run defender who gets penetration.

    NC State -

    [​IMG]
    Willie Young, Jr., DE/OLB, 6-4 235 4.69, NC State (12) - Everyone knew the physical talent was there, but for Young, the light went on last year. A physically gifted speed rusher with an explosive first step, he racked up 48 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, six sacks, and 24 quarterback hurries. If he continues to work on and off the field, a spot on the All-ACC team awaits.

    Young has the size and the speed of an outside linebacker, often blowing past tackles, especially when lined up at the weakside. In 2006, he was named The Sporting News ACC All-Freshman Second Team. He was named to Rivals.com second-team freshman All-American as well.


    South Carolina - Three South Carolina players have been named to the 2008 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List: Junior strong safety Emanuel Cook, junior defensive back Captain Munnerlyn and junior linebacker Eric Norwood.

    Jamon Meredith, ROT, 6-5 304 5.09, South Carolina (4) - #29 on DS Top 64 - Meredith will likely move to the right side after he misses the first two games after an eligibility issue related to his freshman year. The NCAA granted him a redshirt season but it’s time has come to pay that debt. He has been a regular on the line as the leader and best player up front, and he could move back to the left side after starting every game last year. He has the size, the talent, and the experience, but he has to keep the mistakes and the penalties to a minimum. That’s pretty good speed for a right tackle…

    Eric Norwood, OLB/DE, 6-0 270 4.77, South Carolina (5) – In one of the big moves of the spring, Norwood will move to weakside linebacker to allow Cliff Matthews to move to end. Norwood finished second on the team with 69 tackles with six sacks, 19.5 tackles for loss, nine quarterback hurries and three fumbles, and now he's expected to be even better with more room to move. Now the key is to get smaller. Hardly out of shape, he's a bit bulky for the position. The goal is to get down about 15-20 pounds so he can be even quicker.

    Norwood earned first team All-SEC honors by the league's coaches last year, second team All-SEC accolades by the Associated Press and third team mention by Phil Steele.

    [​IMG]
    Jasper Brinkley, ILB, 6-2 265 4.74, South Carolina (10) - Coming off knee injury - the jury is still out on whether or not he can be the same sort of big-time All-America playmaker. Even so, a banged up, lesser Brinkley would still be one of the SEC's better linebackers. He's a tackle machine and the team's top playmaker. If he's not healthy, neither is the defense.

    Brinkley missed almost all of last year with a bad knee injury, and yet still made 21 tackles, two interceptions and a tackle for loss in four games. He's touted as one of the nation's best middle linebackers with the ability to get into the backfield on a regular basis and the speed to be all over the field.

    [​IMG]
    Captain Munnerlyn, Jr., CB, 5-9 185 4.45, South Carolina (3) - The Gamec0cks are deep at corner led by 5-9, 185-pound junior Captain Munnerlyn. While he missed spring ball thanks to a foot problem, he'll be back and ready to roll after making 47 tackles with three interceptions and four broken up passes in an all-star season. He's not that big, but he's a great hitter with 4.3 speed. He's a true No. 1 cover corner.

    Last year, Munnerlyn earned first team All-SEC honors by the league's coaches and Rivals.com, and was considered the best cover cornerback for the nation's fifth-ranked pass defense... He earned second team accolades from the Associated Press and third-team mention by Phil Steele.

    Emmanuel Cook, Jr., SS, 5-10 214 4.52, South Carolina (2) - Lead the team with 92 tackles with four sacks, eight tackles for loss, three interceptions and five broken up passes in just 11 games at the rover, or strong safety. Staying healthy has been an issue for the big hitter, having the most problems with a knee injury, but he's a sure tackler and an all-star to work the secondary around. Cook was named second team All-SEC by the SEC coaches, the Associated Press, Rivals.com and Phil Steele's, while he was also named to the CollegeFootballNews.com first team all-sophomore squad in 2007.
  12. SanDiegoRon
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    Thurs. Aug. 28 Oregon State at Stanford - 6:00 pm pst ESPN2 - Stanford gets to show off a defense that has a number of players of interest... It’s not an overstatement to say the loser is realistically out of the Pac-10 race before September has come around. The Beavers have owned the series of late, winning six of the last seven meetings, but Jim Harbaugh has the Cardinal headed in the right direction in his second season on The Farm. Go Jimbo!!!

    OSU WR Sammie Stroughter is back from a kidney injury and after missing almost all of last year, and now it’ll be up to QB Lyle Moevao to take advantage. The Beavers lost their entire defensive front seven to graduation, but they have retooled.

    Conversely, Stanfords defense will revolve around creating pressure and generating turnovers. LB Clinton Snyder, DE Pannel Egboh, and S Bo McNally help form the backbone of a unit that attacks from every angle and punishes the opposition. They’re well-known among the NFL types.

    OSU -
    It’s all about Sammie - the wide receiver and punt returner extraordinaire is returning from a tumultuous year marked by personal tragedy and a season-ending kidney injury. He’s back with the same energy and infectious smile that permeated throughout the program before last season, which is great news for a Beaver offense searching for new playmakers and greater consistency in the passing game. Whether it’s Sean Canfield or Lyle Moevao, the starting quarterback will benefit greatly from having No. 19, one of the Pac 10’s premier playmakers, to work with.


    [​IMG]
    Andy Levitre, OT, 6-3 324 5.25, Oregon State (OG 11 ) (22) – Projected as a Guard - a returning member of the All-Pac-10 Second Team and the most versatile lineman on the squad. He’s a tenacious blocker who goes to the whistle and has a bright future in the NFL.. Shades of Deilman…

    Jeremy Perry, OG, 6-2 332 5.34, Oregon State (7) - Perry, a former all-conference performer, who missed most of last season with a broken leg and has had a history with injuries. When healthy, he’s one of the nastiest drive blockers around and a handful for defensive linemen. The Beavers need Perry’s knee to be 100% to have a shot at controlling the line of scrimmage this fall.


    Stanford -
    A killer pass rush. One of the biggest surprises last year was Stanford’s ability to get into the backfield. The overall defense might not have put up the best stats, but the Cardinal finished 11th in the nation in sacks and fifth in tackles for loss as the coaching staff successfully manufactured ways to disrupt things. Coach Harbaugh allowed for an open QB competition, but junior Tavita Pritchard has been given the nod over San Diego product Jason Forcier. Pritchard started seven games last year, including a win over USC in his first start. Damn, SDSU should have hired Jimbo when they had the chance…


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    Alex Fletcher, C, 6-3 300 5.09, Stanford (11) – In a very strong class of Centers, he has great speed, and may not last into the second day… Fletcher has shown off his versatility by shifting inside after a successful season at guard. A ferocious run blocker, he earned a spot on the All-Pac-10 second team as a junior and now will make an even bigger impact. A starter of 31 games, he plays from whistle-to-whistle and does his best work when he disengages and gets moving in space. Can Nick stay healthy?? We’ve gotta be thinking young backup at a minimum…

    He’s recently been named to the Outland Trophy and Rimington Trophy Award watch lists, and rightly so. The senior has established himself as one of the premier offensive guards in the country but has been switched to center for 2008.

    Ekom Udofia, Jr., NT, 6-2 312 5.18, Stanford (9) - Udofia is the defense’s best interior lineman, a powerful force with a sudden burst off the snap. He has, however, struggled to tap all of his potential, requiring shoulder surgery two years ago and fracturing his fibula midway through last season. Still, he’s on the cusp of having a breakthrough season worthy of his skill set. He started six games last season, finishing with 18 tackles, including two for loss.


    [​IMG]
    Pannel Egboh, DE, 6-6 274 4.86, Stanford (5) - Egboh already has an NFL frame to go along with next level pass rushing skills. No slouch in run defense, he had 49 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, and six sacks, saving his best effort for Stanford’s shocking upset over USC (2.5 tackles for loss, including 1.5 sacks… he blocked an extra-point attempt in the first half, which proved to be the difference in the 24-23 victory)… A nice 3-4 DE candidate as he’s got plenty of size to grow into… In 07, All-Pac-10 Conference Honorable Mention (Coaches)…he’s definitely, worth keeping an eye on…

    Clinton Snyder, Jr., OLB, 6-4 235 4.74, Stanford (7) - In a couple of years, Snyder has emerged as one of the Pac 10’s better kept secrets. He does a little bit of everything for the Cardinal defense, supporting the run, blitzing the quarterback, and dropping back smoothly into pass coverage. If he played in Los Angeles, he’d be on everyone’s short list for individual awards.

    A high energy player, versatile and instinctive, he flourished in last year’s attacking defense, racking up 96 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, a team-high eight sacks, four forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries. His anonymity outside the league has a short shelf life.

    Has been included on the Watch List for the 2008 Bronko Nagurski Award, and last year earned second team All-Pac-10 Conference honors… He ranks as Stanford's active career leader in tackles (179), sacks (10.0), fumbles forced (7) and is tied for first in fumbles recovered (3) and tackles for loss (18). He ranked among the Pac-10 leaders in virtually every defensive category in 2007, including fumbles forced (4-t-1st), tackles for loss (14.5-5th), fumbles recovered (3-t-4th), sacks (8-t-7th) and tackles (89-t-9th). Snyder led the Cardinal in sacks and fumbles forced last season and tied for the team lead in fumbles recovered. He ranked second in tackles for loss and tied for second in quarterback hurries. He’s a football playa….

    Bo McNally, Jr., SS, 6-0 208 4.65, Stanford (FS) – McNally led the team with 114 tackles and had a couple of interceptions, earning honorable mention recognition on the All-Pac-10 team. A converted linebacker at 6-0 and 208 pounds, he’s a thumper at free safety and one of the emotional leaders of the defense. He’s well suited for the attacking style of the defense, as McNally came up from his safety position to make 7 1/2 tackles for loss. I love that stat, it changes games… He’s been recently named to the 2008 Lott Trophy Watch List...


    I'm watching this one - GO JIMBO!!!

    ---
  13. SanDiegoRon
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    SanDiegoRon BoltTalker

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    For these games, I highly suggest a VCR or 2 TVs… there’s lot of potential Chargers playing… UPDATE: Until this morning I assumed we’d be seeing Clemson/Bama game… the entire county will be seeing the game… EXCEPT the San Diego Channel 10 audience – clearly the local affiliate thinks Michigan State at CAL is a better game… fortunately, we get to see these teams locally latter on (I hope)… but for you folks that can watch – please post what you think… get a clue Channel 10


    Sat. Aug. 30 Clemson vs Alabama (Atlanta) – 5:00 pm pst ABC - ESPN’s College Gameday is in ATL; Clemson a Top 10 team and consensus favorite to win the ACC; Nick Saban on the other sideline… two of the best RB’s in CFB in Davis & Spiller, and two of the nation’s most highly recruited HS players will debut in Bamas WR Julio Jones and Clemson DE Da’Quan Bowers… what’s not to like about this one… It’s PrimeTime…

    Clemson – is LOADED… anything short of a January BCS is underachieving…

    The skill players are as good as any in America and all will be playing on Sundays in the near future.... QB Cullen Harper looks like a first round lock... It’s very likely that both RB’s James Davis and C.J. Spiller will do a McFadden/Jones impersonation... and WR Aaron Kelly may turn into a first day pick… the secondary is loaded and the defensive line, helped by mega-recruit DaQuan Bowers, will be dominant… let’s look closer…


    [​IMG]

    Cullen Harper, QB, 6-3 220 4.83, Clemson – #10 on Draft Scout Top 64… In his first year as the starter, Harper went from a complete unknown to the first Clemson quarterback in almost a quarter-century to lead the ACC in passing efficiency (142.0). A calming influence in the huddle, he had one of the best years in school history, going 282-of-433 (65.1%) for 2,991 yards, 27 touchdowns and just 6 picks. Harper makes good decisions, rarely misfires, and will catch defenses off guard with his 4.6 speed. He’ll be even sharper with a full year behind him, putting the NFL and a Heisman run within reach.

    He’s already been named 2008 Preseason ACC Football Player of the Year – how’s that for rep… Harper was the second team All-ACC quarterback in 2007 behind BC quarterback Matt Ryan. He set 22 Clemson passing records last year including most touchdown passes in a game with five on two occasions, touchdown passes in a season with 27 and best touchdown/interception ratio (27/6). In addition, Harper finished 4th nationally with an avoidance percentage of 1.39. "Last year, people were writing me off," he said. "People didn't think I was going to last three games. And to get where I am this year, it's quite an honor." … and no doubt worth a lot of money..

    Not surprising, Harper is being very closely watched by NFL scouts. According to the most recent ratings compiled by the two most influential scouting services used by the NFL, Harper is rated as the No. 1 senior quarterback. The Blesto service ranks him and Louisville's Hunter Cantwell atop its list; Harper has the top distinction all to himself in the National.


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    James Davis, RB, 5-11 210 4.48, Clemson (1) - #11 on Draft Scout Top 64… Runerup to Harper in ACC Player of the Year… 2008 First Team All-ACC… Has 38 TDs and 3,130 rushing yards in three seasons. A true workhorse, Davis is a north-south downhill runner, who hits the hole in a flash, rarely loses yards, and has a nose for the end zone. The school’s top ground-gainer the last three years, he’s on target to leave Clemson as the school’s all-time leading rusher and scorer. Davis rushed for 1064 yards and 10 touchdowns last year… He needs 837 rushing yards in 2008 to become Clemson's career rushing leader… it’s a good bet he’ll get it… He was recently named to the 2008 Maxwell Award Watch list, and has been a first-team All-ACC player each of the last two years.


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    C.J. Spiller, Jr., RB, 5-11 193 4.40, Clemson (3) - #19 on Draft Scout Top 64… 2008 First Team All-ACC… Spiller is the homerun hitter and one of the most exciting players to watch in college ball. He has lightning speed and can really shake & bake… Spiller is almost impossible to take down in the open field, which contributes to him being used in much the same way as Bush was at USC – he’s the Tigers’ leader in all-purpose yards. In just two seasons his 10 touchdowns of at least 50 yards have already established a new school record and labeled him a gamechanger. Last year he ran for 768 yards, caught 34 balls for 271 yards, and was the Tigers’ most dangerous return man.

    "I am thrilled. We will have one more year of 'Thunder and Lightning.' I supported James in his original decision, but we continued to talk. I think he just missed Clemson." -- TB C.J. Spiller


    [​IMG]
    Aaron Kelly, WR, 6-4 190 4.56, Clemson (9) - 2008 First Team All-ACC… Has caught 165 passes over the past three seasons and had 11 TD catches in 07. Kelly seriously considered going pro last draft. In his first season as the go-to receiver, he responded with 88 catches for 1,081 yards and 11 TDs, earning First Team All-ACC honors and pulling within 52 receptions of the league’s all-time mark. Long and lean, he has outstanding ball skills, returning this year on a mission to get better in all phases of his game. Can he improve his speed by the combine???


    Jacoby Ford, WR, 5-10 188 4.42, Clemson (7) - Ford is a Cobra - one of the most exciting and fastest all-purpose players in the country, a blur on offense and special teams. A star on the track team, he’s still somewhat raw as a receiver, but far too explosive to keep on the sidelines. Before breaking an ankle last season, he’d caught 17 passes for 310 yards and four touchdowns, rushed for 172 yards, and amassed 319 yards as a return man.

    Thomas Austin, Jr., OG/C, 6-3 315 5.16, Clemson (3) - 2008 First Team All-ACC… The anchor of the o-line… Austin started four games at right guard and eight at center a year ago. Versatile and among the strongest players on the team, he led all Tigers with 95 knockdowns and will keep getting better as he gets more time at the pivot.

    Ricky Sapp, Jr., DE/OLB, 6-4 242 4.58, Clemson (4) - #30 on Draft Scout Top 64… Sapp, a budding star at bandit with the speed off the edge to be one of the league’s best pass rushers. A little bigger and stronger this season, he’s coming off a breakthrough 07 that yielded 52 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, five sacks, and a team-high 22 quarterback pressures. His ability to create pressure and drop back into coverage make him a special player. A very good year for OLB’s…

    Dorell Scott, DT, 6-4 320 5.08, Clemson (10) – A guy I’ll be watching closely…I think he’s rated too low – we’ll see…watch him… While his stats will never measure up with the other high-profile Tiger defenders, Scott means as much to the defense as any other player (sound familiar). A NT essentially, he occupies the center of the line and requires multiple blockers… He is quick enough to shoot the gap and make plays behind the line. Entering his third season as a starter, he’s poised to become one of the best run-stuffing tackles in the country. Scott earned honorable mention All-ACC after making 50 tackles, five tackles for loss, and three sacks in his second season as a starter. Yikes, those are insane numbers for a guy this big taking on doubles… no doubt he’ll have the attention of countless NFL scouts. 2008 Outland Trophy Preseason Watch List and was named honorable mention All-ACC last year.

    Michael Hamlin, SS, 6-3 205 4.54, Clemson (2) - #38 on Draft Scout Top 64… 2008 First Team All-ACC… Oh My!!! Hamlin is an All-America candidate… an enforcer who hits like a linebacker. Entering his fourth season as a starter, he had a career-high 97 tackles, three tackles for loss, and four interceptions. A terrific blend of size and athleticism, the staff is still pushing him to be more of a playmaker in his final year. Hamlin led the Clemson defense in forcing turnovers last year. Hamlin was a second-team All-ACC selection last year. He was recently named to the 2008 Jim Thorpe, Chuck Bednarik and Bronko Nagurski Trophy Award Watch Lists – he’s got skillz *man*...

    Chris Clemons, FS, 6-1 210 4.46, Clemson (7) – Clemons has started 26 consecutive games at free safety, proving to be both durable and one of the surest tacklers on the team. He’s been top three in stops the last two years, racking up 94 tackles, two tackles for loss, and two interceptions as a junior. Another physical and agile athlete, he’ll be a disruption against the run and the pass.

    … and CB Chris Chancellor ain’t too shabby either…
  14. SanDiegoRon
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    SanDiegoRon BoltTalker

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    Alabama – If only Saban could play… he’ll have to be creative to weather this storm… it comes down to how well QB John Parker Wilson plays behind an outstanding o-line… It all starts up front with first day picks in LOT Andre Smith and C Antoine Caldwell.


    [​IMG]
    John Parker Wilson, QB, 6-2 210 4.73, Alabama - QB John Parker Wilson needs to be a steady leader, and if he come up with a good year, the Tide could be the sleeper in the West. He will be a three-year starter for the Tide, and has passed for 35 TDs over the last two seasons. Wilson has been fine, but now in his third year as the main man, he has to show he can sling it on a regular basis while cutting down on his interceptions. He threw for a solid 2,846 yards with 18 touchdowns, but he also gave away 12 picks with at least one in each of the final five games. The 6-2, 213-pounder has had his moments of greatness, bombing away on Tennessee and Arkansas, but now he'll have to show he can make quicker reads while getting the ball out of his hands faster. He's not a running quarterback, but he's mobile netting 104 yards with five touchdown runs.

    He took a lot of the blame when the Alabama offense faltered last season and he did make his share of mistakes late in the season and struggled with execution and confidence. A lot of that can be attributed to injuries, suspensions and a lack of continuity up front. In 2008, with his third offensive coordinator in three seasons, Wilson has one last chance to make good on the promise that surrounded his arrival at Alabama.

    He’s got his work cut out for him today… fortunately, he’s got these guys to help out…


    Kenny McKinley, WR, 6-0 182, Alabama - The senior took over from Sidney Rice as the number one target and came through big-time catching 77 passes for 968 yards and nine touchdowns with 14 grabs for 151 yards and a touchdown against Tennessee and 8 catches for 1225 yards and two touchdowns against Clemson. The former quarterback can catch the deep ball, can be a reliable go-to target, and can make plays on little short passes; he can do it all. While he was out this spring with a foot injury, he'll be fine to start the season and he'll need to be special


    ... and the big man deserves a big picture...
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    Andre Smith, Jr., LOT, 6-4 338 5.28, Alabama (1) - #2 on Draft Scout Top 64… While he could stand to be better in pass protection, Smith is the type of blocker NFL franchises build around for a decade. He joins center Antoine Caldwell to form the building blocks of what should be a fantastic front five. Considered by many to be the nation's best recruit two years ago, he came up with a good freshman year, an excellent sophomore campaign, sharing the honor of being the SEC's best blocker along with Arkansas center Jonathan Luigs, and now he's in a salary drive. For a left tackle, he is a dominant run blocker, but he has to be more consistent in pass protection. He's good, but he needs to be great.

    In 07, Smith was a unanimous first-team All-SEC selection and co-recipient of the Jacobs Blocking Trophy, given to the SEC's best blocker. Smith has started all 25 games in his UA career and had one rushing touchdown (2-yard lateral).


    Antoine Caldwell, C, 6-3 295 5.09, Alabama (3) - #45 on Draft Scout Top 64… Another outstanding center in a deep class… he can play guard… a four-year starter for the Tide, Smith might be the star of the line, but Caldwell isn't far behind. One of the nation's best all-around blockers, he has been a durable, versatile star for the line starting out at guard for a few years before moving between center and guard last season. He was suspended for four games last year after violating NCAA rules regarding some textbooks he received (??? Let me guess, the BB guide to stealing signals :D), but he's as dependable as they come. A 08 SEC Coaches Preseason All-SEC Second Team, and has also been named to the watch list for the Rimington Trophy and Outland Trophy for 2008.


    Lorenzo Washington, NT/DT, 6-4, 283 , Alabama (3-4 DE??) - The run defense will once again revolve around the nose where Washington might be more like an end, but has been a rock-solid tackle, He started 12 games last year making 36 tackles with three sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss, but his real worth is holding up everything inside and allowing everyone else to work. While he's good at getting into the backfield, he's becoming a bigger star against the run.


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    Rashad Johnson, FS/SS, 6-0 190 4.52, Alabama (9) - Led SEC with 6 INTs in 07. The only question is where he plays. A breakout star at free safety, he could move to strong safety if needed. While he's not huge at 6-0 and 187 pounds, he packs a punch and has a great nose for the ball. Johnson didn't exactly come from out of nowhere, as he had a reputation for being a big-time hitter after making 33 tackles as a reserve. Then the former running back went off making a team-leading 94 tackles with 5.5 tackles for loss, 6 picks and 8 broken up passes. 2008 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List to follow up on last seasons unanimous first-team All-SEC honors.

    "We've got some young guys coming in with ability. My role will be to establish a time when I can tell them what to do because I already understand the defense. I've already talked to a lot of the recruits. ... I think they are humble and understand what their role will be, but they are ready to go. We're going to do something good. The way the season ended last year, well, now a lot of guys saw what Coach (Nick) Saban had been telling us about finishing strong." -- Rashad Johnson, on preparing an incoming recruiting class ranked among the nation's top classes. … He and the kids have to finish strong today…

    ------
  15. SanDiegoRon
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    SanDiegoRon BoltTalker

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    Sat. Aug 30. Illinois vs. Missouri - 5:30 pm pst ESPN – With all the media hype for the game above, I actually like this matchup better – so it’s my Game Of The Day… and because ESPN does have a clue, we actually get to see it… I absolutely love these late afternoon games... kick back and watch some football... it just doesn't get any better...

    There’s a lot of firepower in this one – it could be a real shootout… there are All-America wide receivers in Mizzou's Jeremy Maclin and Illinois' Arrelious Benn, and some dynamic QB’s throwing to them in Chase Daniel and Juice Williams… Missouri can win if Maclin doesn’t go off, but Illinois probably can't win unless Benn goes coast-to-coast a few times. So, it may hinge on trench warfare - the Illini defense should be the best Mizzou faces until Texas… the front seven should be good enough to keep the Tiger running game under wraps for long stretches, while the pass rush should be steady. On the offensive side, the Illinois offensive line should be dominant at times. The Tigers have a great defensive front, but the Illini has a huge advantage up front.


    The Fighting Illini – Losing Rashard Mendenhall can’t help, so the Illini will add more Juice… he needs to be more consistent as a passer and they will likely rely on him to do a Vince Young impersonation. Williams was really bad passing the ball two years ago (40%), but improved last year. This spring he showed more accuracy, more confidence, and became more of a leader. He'll have some help...


    Jeff Cumberland, Jr., WR, 6-5 248 4.67, Illinois (8) - Sort of a second tight end and sort of a big wide receiver, nonetheless, he is a big target who can be used in a variety of ways. A strong safety valve who finished third on the team in receiving two years ago and caught 12 passes for 243 yards and three touchdowns last year, he averaged 20.2 yards per catch. Shifted from tight end to split end because he couldn't handle the blocking, he has proven to be nearly impossible to cover out wide.


    Xavier Fulton, LOT, 6-4 296 4.95, Illinois - #43 on DS Top 64 – 2008 First Team All-Big Ten… Coming off Injury – Fulton earned second team All-Big Ten honors as the starter on the left side for every game. Considering he missed all of 2006 with a knee injury suffered halfway through 2005, his production was remarkable as he became the team's most dominant run blocker along with a rock-solid pass protector. For a guy who switched from the defensive line to the offensive line's most demanding position, he has barely tapped into his remarkable potential. Also considering he was regarded as Illinois' best lineman last fall, that tells you how good Fulton could be this fall.

    2008 Outland Trophy Watch List and the 2008 Rotary Lombardi Award… Second-team All-Big Ten honors in 2007 after posting the school's best rushing offense in history. He and McDonald (below) had a lot to do with Mendenhalls school records.


    Ryan McDonald, C, 6-5 296, Illinois – Yet another quality Center and we haven’t gotten to Mack yet… he can play guard as well, but he's entrenched in the middle after earning second-team All-Big Ten recognition. He's been part of the mix for the last three seasons with good quickness and excellent smarts to make all the right line calls. He's consistent and doesn't make mistakes. While he's a good run blocker, he excels in pass protection.


    Future Watch: D’Angelo McCray, RFr, DT, 6-4 333, Illinois - The superstar recruit of two years ago is trying to get over a knee injury that kept him on the sidelines last year, but if he's right, the redshirt freshman will not only be as good as Norwell, but far better. He has NFL written all over him. He turned down places like Florida and Florida State to come to Champaign.


    Derek Walker, DE, 6-4 272 4.79, Illinois (9) – Needs a big year… Walker had a nice season, but not as good a year as he should've had. He has an NFL combination size with good speed and quickness, but he has to be more consistent and he has to use his experience and skills to make more than 22 tackles and 2.5 sacks.


    Will Davis, DE, 6-2 265 4.76, Illinois (13) – Davis can bring it… a pass rusher who stepped into the starting role four games into the season and finished with 41 tackles, 9.5 sacks, and 12.5 tackles for loss. The former wide receiver and tight end has bulked up and should be even stronger against the run while still being a terror in the backfield. He'll earn All-Big Ten honors. He’s one of many returnees on a defensive line that expects to be even better this year.


    Sophomore Watch: Martez Wilson, Soph., OLB, 6-4 246 4.59, Illinois – Rated #1 for 2011, Martez Wilson is an NFL outside linebacker waiting to happen, and after a good first season, the one-time superstar recruit is about to take the next step and is expected to blossom into a star on the outside. With his choice of anywhere in the country to play, he made a huge splash by choosing the Illini, and he came through with a nice first season making 29 tackles with two sacks and three tackles for loss as a key reserve. While he could potentially bulk up even more and become an end, he has prototype NFL 3-4 outside linebacker measureables with sprinter's speed in that big frame.

    NDS: Ron Zook was at Florida when Jevon Kearse came to Florida and in Wilson, he sees a very similar talent. In fact, Zook has dubbed Wilson "Freak 2." Wilson, who arrived last year at Illinois weighing 235 pounds, is up to 248 and just as fast and even more explosive. Wilson's 4.4 speed makes him a force at linebacker as well as a red zone tight end and as a gunner on the punt team, which Zook points out should tell you about the guy's speed. "Tez has unbelievable acceleration, and he'll be 265, 270 by the time he leaves here," Zook predicts. "And the really great thing about him is he wants to be good." *** yep, sounds like a Bolt to me...


    … and the star of the defense and perhaps the first safety off the board...
    [​IMG]
    Vontae Davis, Jr., CB/FS, 6-0 204 4.42, Illinois (1) - #5 on Draft Scout Top 64… 2008 First Team All-Big Ten… He should be a starting defensive back for some NFL team right now. The brother of Vernon, Vontae is a gifted cover-corner who packs a wallop when he gets his chance. One of the nation's most physical corners, he'll be the tone-setter for a good defensive back seven. In 07, Davis was the only sophomore on the 12-man Jim Thorpe semifinalists list last year. He should be on the short list of potential all-Americans this fall.

    But when the Illini held their spring game on April 19, head coach Ron Zook made Davis play with the second team. What gives? "You all know how I feel," Zook said in the Daily Herald. "Vontae is the most talented defensive back I've ever been around. But right now, he's not the best defensive back out there." Zook motivated Davis in this manner prior to the 2007 season -- and he finished with 4 interceptions, 8 pass breakups and 76 tackles. Expect him to bring it when it matters. In two seasons, he has compiled 128 tackles, five interceptions, 14 passes broken up and 6.5 tackles for loss.
  16. SanDiegoRon
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    Missou - It all starts with Heisman finalist Chase Daniel, an ultra-efficient passer who knows the offense backwards and forwards. Now in his third year as the starter and with 37 games under his belt, he'll make his receiving corps better and with Maclin and tight end Chase Coffman, that can be scary. The D could be special if everyone gets healthy. … and they have one of my favorite free safeties – lookout Clinton someone may be gaining on ya…


    Chase Daniel, QB, 6-0 220 4.63, Missouri (12) – Over the past 2 years, he’s thrown for 7,833 yards with 51 TDs and 21 INTs… Technically, Maclin is the team's best all-around weapon, and possibly its best pro prospect, but Daniel is the signature star who makes the machine go. His emergence as a steadier all-around passer, and his ability to use his weapons more, took the offense from good to unreal. He makes everyone around him better. Daniel was becoming a special player after a fantastic sophomore season, and then it all came together in a magical campaign when he completed 68% of his passes for 4,306 yards and 33 touchdowns with 11 interceptions, while also running for 253 yards and four scores. He is a better all-around athlete than he looks and has a deadly accurate arm whether in the pocket or on the move. If you're looking for a comparison, he's a puffier Drew Brees; they're both the same height and their college careers are similar.


    [​IMG]

    Jeremy Maclin, 3rd yr. So., 6-1 198 4.38, Missouri (2) – Every rising program has a special talent who ends up coming from out of nowhere to become a major difference maker. One of college football's most electrifying players, Maclin had an NCAA freshman-record 2,776 all-purpose yards last season and scored rushing, receiving, punt and kick-return touchdowns. He caught 80 passes for 1,055 yards and nine touchdowns, ran for 375 yards (second on the team) and four scores, averaged 24.2 yards per kickoff return, with a touchdown, and averaged 12.3 yards per punt return with two scores. He has good size to go along with his speed and quickness. Not just a home-run hitter, he was a consistent all-around weapon who excelled whenever he got the ball in his hands. He'll start at the H position, but he'll move around to see action in a variety of ways because he is a threat to score any time he touches the football. In spring ball he showed off his elusive quickness and will likely pose an even greater threat in 2008.


    Chase Coffman, TE, 6-6 245 4.83, Missouri (2) - #30 on Draft Scout Top 64… as the son of former NFL TE Paul Coffman, who went to three Pro Bowls, Chase has had expert tuitoring… In 07, 52 catches and 7 TDs although he was never quite right all of last season as an ankle injury kept him from being the explosive downfield target he was in his first two seasons. Now that he's healthy, he'll be a matchup nightmare again with soft hands, tremendous route running ability, and the strength to fight off defenders for the ball. For his career, he has 157 catches for 1672 yards and 20 touchdowns; he'll be on the short list for the Mackey Award. also on the 2008 Maxwell Award Watchlist...

    Evander ‘Ziggy” Hood, DT, 6-3 295 4.99, Missouri (4) - #47 on DS Top 64… Starting on the inside will once again be Ziggy Hood, a pumped up end who has tremendous quickness and pass rushing ability and good strength. He did a little of everything for the interior making 49 tackles with five sacks, eight tackles for loss and five broken up passes. He's the epitome of a playmaking tackle; he turns the momentum around time and again. An honorable mention All-Big 12 selection, Evander should be in for bigger honors this year. ... he fits the Bolt 3-4 DE measureables to a 'T'...

    Sean Weatherspoon, Jr., ILB, 6-1 235 4.57, Missouri (2) – #22 on DS Top 64… Weatherspoon has to come back healthy after suffering a shoulder injury this spring. In 07, 130 tackles, three sacks, and 9.5 tackles for loss in a first team All-Big 12 season. “Spoon” is a guided missile of a hitter with tremendous athleticism and range. He’s also extremely consistent. Now he has to be 100%.


    ... two exceptional safeties in this one -- you decide Vontae Davis or Willie Mo...
    [​IMG]

    William “Willie Mo” Moore, FS, 6-1 224 4.48, Missouri (1) - #7 on DS Top 64… 2008 Preseason All-Big 12 Football Team … Coming off injury – He’s the best athlete on a talented Missouri team; has returned two INTs for TDs. Pro size, cornerback speed, and an uncanny nose for the ball in both the running and passing games, Moore is a tremendous pro prospect who'll be one of the Big 12's signature defensive stars. He's a do-it-all playmaker who has to be accounted for on every play.

    Moore was good as a strong safety with 51 tackles as a sophomore, and then he blew up into an All-America caliber playmaker when he moved over to free safety. With more room to roam, he finished second on the team with 117 tackles, two sacks, and nine tackles for loss as he was all over the place against the run, and he was a force against the pass with eight interceptions and six broken up passes. With his combination of speed and skills, he'll be on the watch list of every NFL scout. First, he has to get back healthy after missing off-season workouts recovering from a shoulder problem.

    07/22/08 - “Pig (Brown) was one of the best safeties in college football the first five or six weeks of the season,” MU quarterback Chase Daniel said. “Willie Mo sort of took a back seat to that even though he was playing well. “But the last (six) games, Willie Mo took over. It seemed like he had a pick or a big hit every single game.”

    Few knew, but Moore played the final 8 1/2 games with a torn labrum in his left shoulder, an injury that required surgery at season’s end. “I didn’t sit there and worry about it,” Moore said. “Coach E (defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus) has a saying, ‘Don’t show me the pain, show me the baby.’ ” That’s what Moore did, finishing the season with 117 tackles and an MU season-record eight interceptions. That interception total tied for the NCAA lead, and earned Moore second team All-America honors from The Associated Press. Some expected him to pass up his final college season and jump to the NFL. “It would have been really easy,” Moore said. “But I didn’t want to be one of those guys who are a one-year wonder. “It’s great to be recognized for what I did. This year I’m going to do a lot more.” Moore smiles broadly at the suggestion that Missouri’s defense this season could be as loaded as the Tigers’ offense. - Mike DeArmond, The Kansas City Star.

    BTW, he was the Cotton Bowls defensive MVP with that injury... 2008 Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List and 2008 Maxwell Award Watchlist…

    -------
  17. LT-Express
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    LT-Express Bolttalk.com Janitor since 06' Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I went to bloomington last season and watched middleton. He is a monster and is no fluke. However this year teams in the Big 10 are going to gameplan for him. So it should be a much tougher year for him.
  18. LT-Express
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    LT-Express Bolttalk.com Janitor since 06' Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I also like Myron Rolle from FSU along with William Moore.
  19. SanDiegoRon
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    SanDiegoRon BoltTalker

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    the Sept 6 Edition...

    In San Diego, we are not likely to see either the GeoTech/BC or Cinn/OU games below, but these two games are the best matchups of draft talent today… we'll see them again...

    Sept. 6 - #43 Georgia Tech (1-0, 41/14) at #30 Boston College (1-0, 21/0) - 9:00 am pst ESPN/Raycom – so it starts for a matchup of ACC contenders... both won their opening cupcakes, with G.T. showing they will run Dwyer all day long and B.C. showing they will play run defense all day long - somethings gotta give… DE/OLB Michael Johnson may be the first tweener off the board, and the 'jackets have a couple of potential 3-4 DE’s of interest.... and how does NT B.J. Raji look....

    YellowJackets - Offense: an interesting offense to run in the ACC, using elements of the wishbone, the I-formation, the veer, and the run-and-shoot. Defense: a Merriman clone and two Castillo’s to watch…

    ACC Player of the Week: Georgia Tech RB Jonathan Dwyer ran 11 times for 112 yards and two touchdowns, and caught a pass for five yards in the 41-14 win over Jacksonville State.


    [​IMG]
    Andrew Gardner, LOT, 6-6 298 5.12, Georgia Tech (11) - 2008 First Team All-ACC… 3 year starter at left tackle. A terrific athlete with impeccable fundamentals, he’s a good drive blocker and an even better pass protector. He’s adapting well to the changes and will once again be the bedrock of this unit. He’s a safe bet to be back on the All-ACC First Team, (was All-ACC in 2007). Gardner was key in Georgia Tech leading the ACC in rushing in 2007, and he’s landed on 2008 Outland Trophy Watch List… This week, Gardner was named ACC Offensive Lineman Of The Week - Georgia Tech rushed for a league-best 249 yards and produced 484 yards of total offense. The four-year senior was instrumental to the effort, making his 40th consecutive start after adjusting to head coach Paul Johnson's new blocking schemes. *** I wonder if learning/playing in this offense, with college spread blocking schemes, will hurt or help his pro standing…


    [​IMG]
    Michael Johnson, DE/OLB, 6-7 256 4.67, Georgia Tech (1) - #5 DS Top 64… 2008 First Team All-ACC… Johnson is a phenomenal all-around athlete with serious pass-rush ability who is getting more room to roam around in the current defense. Above and below the neck, he is the prototype at the position by NFL standards. Long and extremely athletic, he uses every inch of his frame to bolt past helpless tackles and obstruct passing lanes for quarterbacks. He saw action in all 12 games, coming off the bench in basically every passing situation. His three forced fumbles last season were tied for second in the ACC and tied for 35th nationally. He had 20 tackles, including 10 solos, 6.0 tackles-for-loss and 4.0 sacks. Johnson led the team with four quarterback hurries and two blocked kicks. Last week he missed most of the opener with dehydration… 2008 Preseason All-ACC Football Team; 2008 Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award Watch list; 2008 Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List… and on and on…



    [​IMG]
    Vance Walker, DT, 6-2 295 4.93, Georgia Tech (8) - 2008 First Team All-ACC… Walker was a revelation in his first season as a starter, emerging as an outstanding run-stopper and pass-rusher… He parlayed 45 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, and three forced fumbles into a spot on the All-ACC first team. It’s his explosive first step that’s often too much for opposing blockers to handle. 2008 Outland Trophy Watch List… Last week: 3 tackles, 1 TFL

    Darryl Richard, DT, 6-3 290 4.99, Georgia Tech (9) – A veteran run-stopper on the defensive line... an outstanding student who graduated in three years and is in the MBA program... a second team Academic All-American in 2007... he posted career numbers last year, including 30 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, and 4.5 sacks. A bull, and capable of running through linemen and, like Walker (above), has the moves to get backfield pressure. Last week: 3 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack…

    you guys were askin for the beef,... well...
  20. SanDiegoRon
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    SanDiegoRon BoltTalker

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    Eagles – What to look for: A brick wall of a run defense. After yielding just 75 yards a game on the ground last season, the Eagles might be even stingier now that DT B.J. Raji and LB Brian Toal are back in the fold. The front seven is among the toughest in the country, meaning the secondary had better be prepared for plenty of attention.


    [​IMG]
    Ryan Purvis, TE, 6-4 258 4.83, Boston College (3) - #51 Top 64 DS… 2008 First Team All-ACC… Purvis has gotten more productive with each passing season, peaking in 2007 with 54 receptions for 553 yards and four touchdowns. Sure-handed and crisp in his routes, he also imitates a pulling guard on running plays.


    [​IMG]
    B.J. Raji, DT/NT, 6-1 325 5.15, Boston College (5) - After sitting out last season due to an academic issue, senior B.J. Raji is back at defensive tackle and looking to recapture the form that made him an NFL prospect. A pillar of strength in run defense, he uses his leverage to his advantage, bull rushing opponents en route to the backfield.

    Ron Brace, DT, 6-3 325 5.32, Boston College (13) – Nearly as dominant in the trenches, he picked up a lot of the slack after Raji was declared ineligible with 27 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks. Tough to move off his blocks, he was a key reason why the Eagles were No. 2 nationally in run defense. Brace was awarded All-ACC honorable mention honors…

    Alex Albright, Jr., OLB/DE, 6-5 235 4.70, Boston College – For speed on the outside, the onus falls on Albright to do even more than last year when he had 38 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and a team-high 8.5 sacks… he shows good natural pass-rushing instincts and the closing speed to zoom around most tackles.


    [​IMG]
    Brian Toal, OLB, 6-1 238 4.67, Boston College - He’s Baaack!!! An already well-rounded group of linebackers will be even better with the return of Toal, who sat out last season to rehab an injury. When healthy, he’s extremely productive from the weakside, flashing tremendous, lateral quickness, and football instincts. If he can put it all together for 13 games, a career in the NFL awaits. "I feel great,…It's the first time in two years I've been pain free." – Brian Toal after a spring game…


    [​IMG]
    Mark Herzlich, Jr., OLB, 6-4 238 4.68, Boston College (3) - #25 DS Top 64 – The unheralded star at strongside, who quietly out performed the rest of the linebackers with 97 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, and a couple of forced fumbles. With the desired blend of size and speed, he reads and reacts in an instant and is a fundamentally sound tackler. 2008 Lott Trophy Watch List…

    ... pretty good year for OLB's....
  21. SanDiegoRon
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    SanDiegoRon BoltTalker

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    Sept. 6 - #37 Cincinnati (1-0, 40/7) at #2 Oklahoma (1-0, 57/2) - 12:30 pm pst ABC – While not as loaded as OU, Cinci will be an interesting team to follow this year... Mickens is one heckava corner - I wonder if Bradford will throw at him...

    BearCats - What to watch for on defense? more blitzes from the linebackers and safeties… That’s what happens when your strength is at cornerback and your weakness is a lack of proven pass rushers...

    [​IMG]
    Trevor Canfield, OG, 6-5 304 5.14, Cincinnati (3) - #39 on DS Top 64… an All-Big East second teamer, was suspended (felonious assault) before the spring, but has made it back to the team and will be a fixture on the left side. He’s a physical run blocker, who’ll need to improve his athleticism and pass protecting to make a run at the NFL.


    [​IMG]
    Terrill Byrd, DT, 6-0 275 4.87, Cincinnati (18) - Three-year starter who was all-Big East the last two seasons… Byrd is the centerpiece of Cincy's imposing defense… he’s a disruptive force who requires more than one blocker and makes everyone else on the defense a little better at his job. Only 6-0 and 271 pounds, Byrd used his quickness and leverage to amass 56 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, and eight sacks, all career-highs. Cincinnati was No. 19 nationally in run defense.


    [​IMG]
    Mike Mickens, CB, 6-0 182 4.49, Cincinnati (2) - #12 Top 64 by DS - The four-year starter and two-time All-Big East selection enters his final season with 10 career INTs; Mickens is a lockdown corner with the track speed (state HS champ 300-meter hurdles) and next level cover skills to vie for All-America honors. Far more physical than his frame might indicate, he had 53 tackles, six picks, and six breakups, despite being regularly ignored by quarterbacks. 2008 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List

    DeAngelo Smith, 6-0 190 4.54, Cincinnati (16) - When teams steered clear of Mickens’ (see above) side of the field, they got a rude awakening. Smith can also play. In his debut as a starter, he had 49 tackles, a nation-high eight interceptions, and a team-best eight pass breakups. he proved more than ready for the challenge, putting himself in a position to impress NFL scouts this season. Named to the all-BIG EAST Conference second team... started all 12 games...

    ... this could be interesting for Bradford...
  22. SanDiegoRon
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    SanDiegoRon BoltTalker

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    Sooners – Are LOADED again… we don’t need to scout the first 2 rounds of the draft, just draft Sooners… If the Sooners play up to their full capabilities, they'll be in Miami on January. The offensive line is the best in the nation; QB Sam Bradford lead the nation in pass efficiency last year; the defensive front has the requisite beef; and the back seven is very fast...


    [​IMG]
    Sam Bradford, 3rd yr. So., QB, 6-5 215 4.72, Oklahoma (1) – OU has first rounders, but Bradford's the one who makes it all go. The nation's most efficient passer last year in completing 70% of his throws for 3,121 yards and 36 touchdowns with 8 picks... He’s shown maturity beyond his years and scary-good decision-making ability. And while he's a good athlete, he's not a runner and he needs protection… it helps that he plays behind one of the nation's best offensive lines, so he has plenty of time to operate and pick everyone apart when he gets a chance, but he has struggled when pressured.

    Bradford had an up-and-down spring adjusting to the no-huddle offense. He completed 21 of 36 passes for 262 yards in the first two scrimmages, but was picked off three times in windy conditions in the Red-White spring game on April 12.


    DeMarco Murray, 3rd yr. So., RB, 6-0 190 4.46, Oklahoma (2) - Is Murray going to be healthy enough to continue to emerge as the star he was becoming before getting hurt? A phenomenal athlete with 4.43 speed and a 41-inch vertical, he has all the skills to be a next-level back, but he hasn't been a workhorse. Even so, he's a proven prime-time player… 2007 All-Big 12 Honorable Mention…

    Juaquin Iglesias, WR, 6-0 202 4.49, Oklahoma (8) - #53 on DS Top 64… Iglesias followed up a solid sophomore season by leading the team with 68 catches for 907 yards and five touchdowns. With 4.4 speed he's always been known as a home-run threat, but last year he became consistent short, middle and long. While not the scorer Kelly was, that could quickly change now that he's the true No. 1 target, but that also means he has to deal with all the attention. Along with being the top receiver, he's also an elite kick returner averaging 28.5 yards per try. 2008 Maxwell Award Watch List… 2007: Honorable mention All-Big 12 by the coaches and Associated Press...

    Jermaine Gresham, Jr., TE, 6-6 250 4.73, Oklahoma (1) - #18 on DS Top 64… OU always gets production out of its tight ends, and last year it found its breakout star in Gresham, who led the team with 11 touchdown catches (Gates #'s). He's a big target with the quickness to always find an opening. A matchup nightmare, he was third on the team with 37 catches for 518 yards… He needs to be more consistent and not disappear in games...


    [​IMG]
    George “Duke” Robinson, OG, 6-5 330 5.34, Oklahoma (1) - #13 on DS Top 64… a two-year starter at left guard who can also play tackle if needed… He could very likely be a high first rd pick… is this the year to grab the best OG to replace Goff... Last season, Robinson had an All-America year. A starter for the last two years, he's a huge blocker who has kept his weight in check after starting out his career at 360 pounds, and now at a strong 6-5 and 330 pounds he's been better on the move and just as effective against the run. 2008 Outland Trophy Watch List ; 2008 Preseason All-Big 12 Football Team… AFCA, AP, The Sporting News and Sports Illustrated first team All-American in 2007... All-Big 12 first team by the coaches and Associated Press… graded out at 85% for the season with 663 plays and 97 knockdowns.


    Phil Loadholt, LOT, 6-8 350 5.38, Oklahoma (6) - Outstanding athlete who is entering his second year at Oklahoma after playing in junior college. Loadholt would've been a top 50 draft pick, but he's back at left tackle where he was strong in his first season from the JUCO ranks, but he could be better. The team's best run blocker for stretches, he now has to show he can handle all the speed rushers. If he gets his long arms on a defender, it's over, and with a little more work and a little more consistency, he could be the first tackle taken next year as he invites comparisons to former Miami Hurricane and current Minnesota Viking Bryant McKinnie. 2008 Outland Trophy… 2007: Honorable mention All-American by Sports Illustrated ... Dallas Morning News’ All-Big 12 first team ... named second team All-Big 12 by the coaches and Associated Press ... started all 13 games at left tackle ... overall season grade of 79% ... has the highest run grade on the team at 75% ... logged 740 plays with 104 knockdowns...


    Jon Cooper, C, 6-2 290 5.09, Oklahoma (8) - yet another very good center, that has become the rock of the OU line with 29 straight starts and All-Big 12 honors last year. A strong quarterback for a veteran, talented line, he might not be the team's best all-around blocker, but he doesn't make mistakes and is the unquestioned leader. More than anything else, he's always there as the ironman of the line. 2007: AP honorable mention All-Big 12 ... started all 13 games at center ... logged team highs with 798 plays and 136 knockdowns ... graded 79% for the season.


    DeMarcus Granger, Jr., DT, 6-3 305 4.98, Oklahoma (1) – #10 on DS Top 64 … In 07, the All-Big 12 selection with NFL talent had a good regular season making 34 tackles, 3.5 sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss, and then he made the mellonhead move of getting arrested for shoplifting a jacket just before the Fiesta Bowl. He's still on the team, but he's certainly not a sure thing considering the off-the-field issues. On the field, he has all the measureables, the quickness and the strength to be the best OU defensive line prospect since Tommie Harris. 2008 Nagurski Trophy…


    Gerald McCoy, 3rd yr. So., DT, 6-4 295 5.05, Oklahoma (1) - #14 on DS Top 64… The ultra-quick McCoy was a tremendous anchor for the front line and allowed everyone else around him to work. The superstar recruit has lived up the hype so far, and now he appears ready to take a big turn and become the type of star who gets the NFL scouts drooling.

    McCoy was the Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year, and no matter what happens to Granger throughout the year, will be one of the team's top linemen. A superstar recruit, the 2006 USA Today National Defensive Player of the Year made 19 tackles, two sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss, but his worth goes beyond stats. He has been tremendous in practices and terrific at occupying blockers in games to let everyone around him work, and now he should be the anchor of the front four. 2007 Sporting News Freshman All-America First Team: DT Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma, was selected First Team Freshman All-American by The Sporting News for the 2007 college football season.


    [​IMG]
    Auston English, Jr., DE/OLB, 6-3 258 4.63, Oklahoma (7) - #56 on DS Top 64… All of a sudden, junior English went from an afterthought who was supposed to be part of the rotation, to one of the nation's best pass rushers coming up with 9.5 sacks and 13 tackles for loss along with 38 tackles. More impressive is that he was able to come up with those numbers even though he missed the final three regular season games of the year after breaking his ankle. The former high school running back was consistent and explosive, and he was able to come up big in the biggest games… he's big enough to handle himself against the run, but his real worth is as a regular in the backfield.

    Ryan Reynolds, OLB, 6-1 238 4.72, Oklahoma (4) – Immensely talented and oft-injured Reynolds made 60 tackles, two sacks and eight tackles for loss, but he missed time with a neck injury after missing all of 2006 with an injured knee. As a junior, he got the call on the weakside after being considered early on for the spot in the middle, and now he'll likely take over in an attempt to replace Lofton's all-around playmaking ability. He has the speed and he has the toughness, but now he has to be able to stay healthy and put it all together for a full season.

    "He has great maturity,” defensive coordinator Brent Venables said. "He always kept the faith and has had a terrific attitude.” - Jake Trotter, NewsOK


    [​IMG]
    Nic Harris, FS/SS, 6-3 226 4.60, Oklahoma (2) – #24 on DS Top 64… Character? was nominated for FWAA Courage and Ronnie Lott Awards ... semifinalist for Wooden Citizenship Cup ... named to 2007 AFCA Good Works Team. Last season Harris was Big 12 first team by the coaches and second team by the Associated Press… he made 74 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and 9.5 tackles for loss, mostly at free safety, and now he'll take at strong safety where he'll use his size to do more against the run. With his ability to play anywhere in the secondary, he has the potential to be the best OU defensive back pro prospect since Roy Williams, but this needs to be a standout senior year. It should be… 2008 Preseason All-Big 12 Football Team; 2008 Lott Trophy Watch List; 2008 Nagurski Trophy; 2008 Jim Thorpe Award Watch List and also added to the Bednarik Award…

    lotta beef here too...
  23. SanDiegoRon
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    well, we will see this one...

    Sept. 6 - #45 Miami (1-0, 52/7) at #5 Florida (1-0, 56/10) - 5:00 pm pst ESPN - very nice comparison of LB's Spikes vs. Sharpton on center stage... Although each team is at different ends of the polls, anything can happen right (see Clemson/Alabama)… Florida has the talent to make a run for the national title, and we’ll be seeing more of them this season… while Miami would probably be happy to come up with its biggest upset win since 2005.

    Hurricanes - The Canes are a young team full of top recruits and upgraded athletes – this is as good a time as any for HC Randy Shannon to turn around this former superpower with a win in the Swamp, tonight. He’s going to need his super recruit freshman QB Robert Marve to find junior WR Sam Shields early and often. Shields has a world-class blend of speed, burst, and leaping ability, but needs to put it all together to finally reach his enormous potential… RB looks to be a position of strength for Miami - both Javarris James, who ran with more authority in the spring, and Graig Cooper (who showed a higher gear) return after combining to rush for 1,264 yards in 2007.


    [​IMG]
    Javarris James, Jr., RB, 6-0 215 4.58, Miami (5) - Although James had an off-year as a sophomore, some of the blame goes to a nagging neck injury and suspect blocking up front. His production dropped from 802 yards and 4.7 yards a carry to 582 yards and 3.7 yards a carry, while his longest gallop was for just 23 yards. Completely healthy again, he’s poised to return to his freshman form, pounding between the tackles with ferocity and overpowering defensive backs once he gets past the second line of defense. James spent the past few months working on his speed, delivering the program’s sixth fastest time in off-season testing… he doesn’t always have that extra gear to blow past defenders, but is quick to the hole and powerful between the tackles.


    Antonio Dixon, DT, 6-3 328 5.34, Miami (23) - Miami is still waiting for that breakthrough season from Dixon, a wide-body that’s had trouble staying on the field for an entire season and keeping his weight in check. A classic space-eater that moves well for his size, he started four games as a junior, making 21 tackles for 3.5 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks.

    Eric Moncur, DE, 6-2 252 4.75, Miami (14) - Moncur could be a star in the making; a speedy and powerful edge rusher that can shed tackles effortlessly. He had his breakout season as a sophomore, collecting 48 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, and six sacks, and is expected to grow into something special. Didn’t see him in the boxscore for last weeks game…

    Colin McCarthy, Jr., OLB, 6-3 230 4.62, Miami - In his first season as the starter at strongside, McCarthy demonstrated the he has the right makeup to evolve into the anchor of the defense. The fastest of the linebackers, with keen instincts, he cranked out 74 tackles, a 12 tackles for loss, and two sacks,… As much as any player on the defense, McCarthy is on the verge of a breakthrough season that ends with All-ACC honors.

    Darryl Sharpton, Jr., ILB, 5-11 234 4.58, Miami (9) - Sharpton plays with great explosion, leverage, and sideline-to-sideline speed. Although he made 57 tackles and six tackles for loss as a part-time starter, even more production is expected from one of the unit’s most athletic defenders

    Bruce Johnson, CB, 5-11 176 4.43, Miami (7) - #57 on DS Top 64 – a CB with speed - Johnson is a veteran of 30 career games and eight starts from last season. While not the consistent lockdown corner that the ‘Canes are craving, he brings experience and savvy to a position that’s still green at this time. In his most extensive playing time, Johnson had 28 tackles and broke up six passes a season ago.

    ... let's see what Dixons got...
  24. SanDiegoRon
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    Gators - For Florida, it’s a three game season for the national title: LSU, Georgia and the SEC Championship game… Sitting at #5, the time is ripe for Florida to putting a whoopin on the Canes to officially declare its nat'l champ candidacy... Florida gets back star LB Brandon Spikes (not confirmed) and WR Percy Harvin from foot problems, as if the Gators needed more help… No one's going to stop the offense. If you can't put up at least 35 points, you're not going to keep pace with a loaded Gator attack, even with the loss of NFL TE Cornelius Ingram to season-ending injury.


    [​IMG]
    Tim Tebow, Jr., QB, 6-3 235 4.58, Florida (2) - #4 on DS Top 64 – I marvel at what Tebow did last year... He averaged 4.3 yards per carry while running for 23 touchdowns… led the team in rushing with 895 yards… was one of the nation's most efficient passers completing 67% of his throws… threw for 3,286 yards and 32 touchdowns with only 6 picks… He ended up with the greatest statistical season for any quarterback in the history of college football and became the first player to ever run and throw for 20 touchdowns in the same season. He has a good-enough arm, tremendous accuracy, and great mobility… while he's tough as nails and played through some injuries late in the year, his numbers won't be nearly as good as last year, and that's by design.


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    Percy Harvin, Jr., WR, 5-11 188 4.40, Florida (1) - #9 on DS Top 64… If he can stay healthy, he can earn serious Heisman consideration… Not only did he lead the Gators with 59 catches for 858 yards and four touchdowns, but he also finished second on the team with 764 yards and six scores averaging 9.2 yards per carry. While he's a tremendous receiver and there are more than enough running backs to carry the workload, the results are spectacular when the gameplan revolves around getting him carries. In the four games that Harvin ran the ball ten or more times he gained a total of 523 yards with four touchdowns averaging a whopping 10.64 yards per crack. Now he needs to get over a heel problem that plagued him this spring - "They actually took bone out of his heel," UF coach Urban Meyer said. "Then they drilled holes in his heel." … I’m sure Coach Meyer hopes Harvin will be ready for the really, really big games. He was named a first-team All-American by The Sporting News in 2007.

    Louis Murphy, WR, 6-2 202 4.38, Florida - #25 on DS Top 64 – fastest guy/pre combine…. there will be more work for the veteran after he finished third on the team with 37 catches for 548 yards and five touchdowns. One of the stars of the 2007 off-season, the senior was a consistent target who was able to take advantage of the one-on-one coverage when everyone was paying attention to Caldwell and Harvin.


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    Cornelius Ingram, TE, 6-4 232 4.64, Florida (5) – INJURED/OUT - Came to Gators as a quarterback; had 34 catches last season and 7 TDs. He was this close to jumping early to the NFL before changing his mind late. Ingram is a tall, lanky wide receiver who has too much athleticism for most when he lines up as a tight end… he did most of his damage against the mediocre teams. 08/11/08 - TE Cornelius Ingram suffered a torn ACL in a non-contact drill. Although Ingram is eligible for to apply for a medical redshirt following the season, he will focus his attention on rehabbing for the NFL Combine, bringing his career with the Florida Gators to an end. He was projected as a third-round pick in last years draft.

    Jason Watkins, LOT, 6-6 306 5.22, Florida (10) – Has seen action in 39 games 15 starts (13 at left tackle and two at tight end) …In 07, he started all 13 games at left tackle…

    Jim Tartt, OG, 6-3 316 5.26, Florida (33) – Tartt is the star of the line, but health has always been an issue. He struggled to stay injury-free in 06, but he managed to still start almost every game. He has 29 career starts and is dependable, and when he's 100%, he's a dominant performer. Now he has to get past a shoulder injury that limited him in spring ball and will be a concern throughout the season; he missed almost all of 2005 with shoulder problems. 2007 All-SEC Second Team..

    Brandon Spikes, Jr., ILB, 6-3 242 4.69, Florida (OLB) (1) - #12 on DS Top 64… OSU’s Laurinaitis or USC’s Rey Maualuga will get all the recognition as the nation's best middle linebacker, but if Spikes chooses to skip his senior season, he could be the first linebacker taken in the 2009 NFL Draft. It's salary drive time… one of the five best pro linebacking prospects in college football and a special all-around leader for the front seven. The tackling machine cleaned up everything for the SEC's top run defense with 131 stops and a whopping 16.5 tackles for loss. Always around the ball, he recovered three fumbles and broke up seven passes. Quick like an outside linebacker with the strength of a defensive end, he'll do it all. He’s a baaaad man… In 2007, he earned first-team All-SEC. Did not see him in last weeks participation report, guess the foot is week-to-week…


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    Jermaine Cunningham, Jr., DE, 6-3 234 4.72, Florida (OLB) (6) –Cunningham made a tremendous impact in 2007 after serving in a backup role in 2006. He took over for Jarvis Moss and blossomed on the other side of Derrick Harvey…Over his first two seasons, he has seen action in 20 games with 13 career starts, and recorded 66 tackles, 34 solo and 30 assisted. Cunningham also has 12 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. In 2007, he led all Gator defensive linemen with 64 tackles, 34 solo and 30 assisted. Those numbers registered as the third-highest total among all linemen in the SEC. More than just a pass rushing specialist… he's an all-around playmaker who was better than Harvey, but never got the credit or attention. Now he'll have to prove he can shine with the attention focused on him. 2008 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List:


    ** Sophomore Watch:
    Carlos Dunlap, So., DE, 6-6 290 4.73. Florida - While much might be made out of the loss of Derrick Harvey, the team's leading pass rusher, his replacement could be even better. 6-6, 290-pound sophomore Carlos Dunlap went from being a decent reserve making seven tackles and a sack to a jaw-dropping speed rusher this off-season. Unstoppable at times in spring ball, he has the combination of quickness to go along with his size to give the line a player to revolve the pass rush around. He has NFL millionaire written all over him if he can keep progressing. 06/09/08 –Gators offensive line coach Steve Addazio says Dunlap might be better then both Jarvis Moss and Harvey by the time he leaves Gainesville. Dunlap's stats this spring certainly didn't halt any of the hype as he clocked a 4.63 at Florida's spring 40-timing day and was credited with five sacks in the Gators' spring game.

    ... gotta be watching Spikes and Dunlap...
  25. SanDiegoRon
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    the 9/13 Edition...

    there's only one game that matters this weekend, and we all get to see it... there’s soooo much defensive talent in this game, and in positions of Bolt need, you’ll want to watch it…


    Sat. 9/13 - #5 Ohio State (2-0, 69/14) at #1 USC (1-0, 52/7) - 5:00 pm pst ABC - It could be an EPIC, a five star game to be sure… a National Title on the line… Will the loss ruin either teams title chances... the history - since 1996, USC has gone 7-0 against the Big Ten by a total score of 268 to 91, or an average of 37 to 13. ‘96 was also the last time a Big Ten team got more than 18 points against USC.

    Both teams are NFL loaded - depending on who leaves early, stays healthy, and doesn't bomb at the Combine, there could be at least seven players in this game who'll go in the first round, and at least 15 who'll be taken within 5 rds…

    ILB James Laurinaitis and OLB Marcus Freeman, ILB Rey Maulaluga and OLB Brian Cushing, are all projected to be among the top 60 picks, but at the top of the pro prospect charts, along with Beanie Wells, are CB Malcolm Jenkins and DT Fili Moala, who could each be the first players taken at their respective positions. This is a MONEY game for all these guys…


    Buckeyes – By headcount, no one has more NFL talent. Ten starters are back on offense and the one new face to the top of the depth chart, OT Bryant Browning, will be a star. Chris Wells is a Heisman caliber back who might be the No. 1 overall pick in next year's draft if he comes out early. Super-recruit Terrelle Pryor will add another dimension to an attack that already has a future NFL clipboard holder in Todd Boeckman. The defense went from terrific to impenetrable with the stunning decisions by LB James Laurinaitis and CB Malcolm Jenkins to return for their senior seasons. The linebacking corps is great, the secondary is better, and the D line appears to have improved despite the loss of Vernon Gholston

    Malcolm "The Eraser" Jenkins - one of the Top 5 picks in the draft??

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    Malcolm Jenkins, CB, 6-1 200 4.45, Ohio State (1) - #3 on DS Top 64… 2008 First Team All-Big Ten… Part-time starter as a true freshman and has started ever since… He was a first-round pick last draft, but he said he had unfinished business (he wants the Thorpe Award)... One of the nation's best all-around defensive backs, the All-American has the size, the 4.3 speed, and the tackling ability… 137 career stops with 8 picks… he's now on everyone's all-star team and is the premier cover-corner in college football… as the nation's top defensive back everyone will stay away from him, but they did last year, too, and he still produced. His worth is more than just stats; he erases everyone's No.1 receiver…

    08/24/08 - Top 10 Big Ten seniors eligible for the 2009 NFL Draft: While Penn State has aptly been nicknamed "Linebacker U," no team in college football can claim the Buckeyes' success in producing NFL caliber cornerbacks. Jenkins ranks up there with the best of them, earning consensus First Team Big Ten accolades after each of the past two seasons. With opponents rarely electing to throw in his direction, the Buckeyes have moved Jenkins to free safety at times, taking advantage of his instincts and superior ball skills. Another strong campaign could move Jenkins, given a first-round grade by the NFL Advisory Committee last year, into the Top 10. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com, The Sports Xchange


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    James Laurinaitis, ILB, 6-3 240 4.59, Ohio State (1) - #4 on DS Top 64… 2008 First Team All-Big Ten… It is unusual to see an ILB in the Top 5, but the leader of this defense will go down as one of the greatest Big Ten linebackers of all time... Laurinaitis won the Nagurski Award (nation's best defensive player) in 06 and the Butkus Award (nation's best linebacker) in 07… the three-year starter already has career numbers with a year left to play: 236 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 9 sacks and 7 INTs in the last two seasons… with 121 tackles, 2 INTs and 5 sacks last year... he's always around the ball, he's always making plays, and he has the utmost respect from the rest of his team.

    09/10/08 - "I just think James' knowledge of the game is what helps him the most," <Malcolm> Jenkins said. "He's always watching film, he knows the game a lot. He has a great knack for being around the ball. He makes plays when plays need to be made. That's what makes him a little unique." - AP Sports 07/25/08 - Big Ten Preseason Defensive Player of the Year…


    Marcus Freeman, OLB, 6-1 238 4.58, Ohio State (3) - #25 on DS Top 64… 2008 First Team All-Big Ten… Is a three-year starter who had a very good 07, finishing second on the team with 109 tackles, 1.5 sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss… he proved he was fully past the knee injury that knocked him out for the entire 2005 season... While he could stand to do a bit more against the pass on the weakside, his speed and athleticism allow him to cover running backs out of the backfield and is a rock against the run… Another player who could’ve left early, he wants no regrets - "The big thing is, you can regret leaving early, but you can't regret coming back," he said. "It was a tough decision. I went back and forth. One minute, I was thinking it was time to move on. When I was sitting on the bench after the game, I was saying, 'This is my last one.' "But you can't beat the atmosphere here.

    Donald Washington, Jr., CB, 6-0 194 4.52, Ohio State (9) – A very smart, very athletic playmaker over his first two seasons, he held up well when teams were staying away from Malcolm Jenkins. While he had problems this spring and was suspended, sort of, for a while and might end up missing a game or two this September depending on what he did (the coaching staff is mum) and what the punishment is, he'll still be one of the Big Ten's better No. 2 corners. He'd be a No. 1 almost anywhere else.

    Lawrence Wilson, Jr., DE, 6-6 270 4.72, Ohio State (10) – a legitimate NFL DE – size/speed, perhaps this years Gholston… The tackle-sized defender has been this close to blossoming into a superstar, but he didn't get his chance early on. Once he got the starting nod, he didn't have any luck breaking his leg in the season opener. Healthy again, he has the size, the motor, and the pass rushing ability to grow into a superstar. 05/27/08 - SPRING MOVERS: DE Lawrence Wilson -- Looked good in his first appearance since having a steel rod surgically implanted in his leg. Lawrence Wilson, is ready to be unleashed. Now is his time.
  26. SanDiegoRon
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    [​IMG]

    Chris “Beanie” Wells, Jr., RB, 6-1 236 4.53, Ohio State (1) - #3 on DS Top 64… 2008 First Team All-Big Ten… Is he the No. 1 pick in the 2009 NFL draft? Maybe… The workhorse played through injuries all year long in 07 and still rushed for 1,609 yards and 15 touchdowns… he's the star the offense will work around… he brings power between the tackles, and he has the breakaway speed to hit the home run from anywhere on the field. He's not going to catch it much and he has to continue to prove he can hold up under the pounding and the pressure, but he's the real deal and on the short list of Heisman candidates… but will he play…

    09/11/08 - Ohio State coach Jim Tressel says it's doubtful that starting tailback Chris "Beanie" Wells will play Saturday night against top-ranked Southern California. Tressel said Thursday there was lingering soreness for Wells in his right foot after he worked out the night before. Wells did not practice with the team Thursday morning. Wells injured his right foot in the fifth-ranked Buckeyes' opener against Youngstown State, did not play last week against Ohio and has not had contact in partial practices this week. Tressel said team officials would monitor Wells' condition before ruling him out for the game in Los Angeles. - AP Sports


    Brian Robiskie, WR, 6-3 198 4.54, Ohio State (1) - #17 on DS Top 64… 2008 First Team All-Big Ten… The top ranked senior came through last year as the teams #1 wide-out as well as expected with 55 catches for 835 yards and 11 touchdowns averaging 17 yards per catch… he's a big, strong target who was a consistent producer all season long... A smart player with great hands and good toughness, he's a fantastic all-around NFL prospect. 05/27/08 - WR Brian Robiskie missed the spring following routine arthroscopic surgery on his knee.


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    Alex Boone, LOT, 6-8 312 5.18, Ohio State - #53 on DS Top 64… 2008 First Team All-Big Ten… Boone will start for the Buckeyes for the fourth straight season, with 23 games at LOT the past two seasons... He has the build and footwork to become a top NFL lineman… he's a great pass blocker with the long arms that keep all the pass rushers at a distance and has the power to be a dominant run blocker. He's a rock of a player who's getting more and more consistent. He was projected as a second round pick last draft but elected to stay in school… Considered by some to be the best Buckeye line prospect since Orlando Pace, all eyes will be on him as the possible first tackle taken in next year's draft.

    Jim Cordle, Jr., C, 6-4 298 5.12, Ohio State (2) – A tough guy and another very good center… Unsung compared to the rest of the stars on the line but Cordle is a steady center who's tough as nails and is one of the line's better athletes. He suffered a foot problem as a true freshman and played through a broken wrist last year. It'll be interesting to see what he can do if and when he stays healthy; he was good enough banged up.

    Steve Rehring, OG, 6-7 345 , Ohio State - Rehring is back to start for his third season at left guard after growing into a steady run blocker. While he's not athletic enough to be an NFL tackle, and might be considered too tall to be a consistent guard, he certainly gets the job done at the collegiate level and should have a long career waiting for him at the next level. He's a blaster of a run blocker.

    Brian Hartline, WR, 6-2 186 4.56, Ohio State - Hartline took over the starting flanker spot early on and never let go. With tremendous hands and good route running ability, he can be used in any situation and can be a reliable deep threat averaging 13.3 yards per catch with 52 grabs for 694 yards and six touchdowns. He's also a talented punt returner averaging 11.4 yards per try.

    09/08/08 -On squeaking by Ohio U - "There always seems to be a down game, but this was just a little too down for my liking. I don't want to read too much into it, because everyone has them, but I have a tough time believing a lot of those other top teams in the country would've played like we played today." -- Senior wide receiver Brian Hartline.
  27. SanDiegoRon
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    Trojans – When linebackers Rey Maualuga and Brian Cushing decided to put off their NFL millions for another year, all of a sudden the already good-looking D took on a whole other personality. The secondary is sensational with six players with starting experience returning, while the D line has its usual share of pro prospects, led by DT Fili Moala and speedy Everson Griffen on the outside. Joe McKnight and Stafon Johnson, might not be Bush and White, in the offensive backfield, but they'll produce... speaking of producers...


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    Rey Maualuga, ILB, 6-3 250 4.74, USC (2) - #6 on DS Top 64… A modern-day Junior Seau, Maualuga will be a contender for just about every individual award given to defensive players. In 07, he earned his second straight First Team All-Pac-10 nomination with a career-high 79 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, and six sacks, but numbers tell only part of the story. Even when someone else is making the play, opponents always knew where No. 58 is on the field. He’s a human wrecking ball at middle linebacker, coming off as an intimidator, whose bone-jarring hits make receivers think twice about crossing the middle and running backs step out of bounds to avoid being punished… The problem? He’s not a blazer and he isn’t going to time well in Indianapolis. 09/02/08 - Senior LB Rey Maualuga suffered from cramps during the Virginia game, and he also played with a broken left ring finger, an injury suffered during game-week practice. Maualuga finished with just two tackles.

    We could certainly use an intimidator in the middle,...


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    Taylor Mays, Jr., FS/SS, 6-3 230 4.52, USC (1) - #7 on DS Top 64… Mays is an athletic oddity at free safety, his combination of size and speed in a safety is freakish – he is an enforcer with the wheels of an elite cornerback. Now entering his third season as a starter, he’s poised to become one of the emotional leaders of the defensive backfield and a candidate for more national honors. In 07, he was third on the team with 65 tackles, adding six pass breakups.

    Mays' workout numbers are ridiculous. He's 6-3, 226 pounds, with 6 percent body fat and ran an electronically timed 40 this spring in 4.32 seconds. He did 26 reps with 225 pounds while also vertical jumping 41 inches and doing a standing broad jump of 11-4. Asked if he's even seen anything that big, move that fast, USC strength coach Chris Carlisle paused for a few moments: "Maybe when I walked by the cheetah cage at the wildlife park."

    Mays' athleticism actually presents USC with a different kind of issue: a talent with such growth potential that you have to guard against him outgrowing the position. "Our big thing is he could get too big too fast," says Carlisle, who also gushes about the player's work ethic. "He could easily be like his daddy [former NFL defensive lineman Stafford Mays] so we have to make him better without making him bigger because he could be like 260 in a month." Carlisle predicts Mays could still run a sub-4.4 40 at that size, but says the key is keeping the DB from bulking up too much in his lower body. "We could use him like a science experiment, but that really wouldn't be of value to him or the team."

    08/20/08 – named to the 2008 Thorpe Award Watch List... Last week, he made his presence felt all over the field against Virginia, making six tackles, including 1.5 for loss.


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    Brian Cushing, OLB, 6-4 255 4.75, USC - #18 on DS Top 64… Mr. Versatility - played DE in 06 and then started 13 games at strongside LB in 07… a week ago played the strong side and in the middle (when Maualuga was suffering from cramps) and recorded two tackles… From strongside, Cushing is one of those freakish athletes with outstanding upper body strength and enough speed to make plays all over the field. A natural pass rusher, he’s as scary on the blitz as he is defending the run. He had nagging injuries throughout 2007, so don’t put much stock in his modest numbers, 25 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and a sack. Yet, he was named 2007 All-Pac-10 honorable mention. He sat out most of 2007 spring practice with a strained hamstring. He had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee following 2007 spring practice. Can he stay healthy...


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    Fili Moala, DT, 6-5 298 5.14, USC (3) - #31 on DS Top 64… Strong and active, he can be a force at DT… an under-the-radar guy who’s very popular among NFL scouts, he’s explosive off the snap, uses his hands well, and often requires double teams to keep him out of the backfield. He came up 32 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks, but the numbers don’t accurately portray his importance to the run defense. *** Maybe the bolts have been waiting for this guy…

    Kevin Ellison, SS, 6-1 225 4.67, USC (4) - Started 13 games in 06; After getting named First Team All-Pac-10 in 07, Ellison will be looking for more accolades in his final season on campus. A devastating thumper and outstanding open-field tackler, he had 57 tackles, eight tackles for loss, two sacks, and six passes broken up. In terms of work ethic, Ellison has few peers on the roster. 08/20/08 - 2008 Thorpe Award Watch List..
  28. SanDiegoRon
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    Mark Sanchez, Jr., QB, 6-3 228 4.78, USC (3) - The nation’s top prep quarterback of 2004, Sanchez hasn’t had many opportunities to shine… In 07, he was forced into the lineup for a brief period, got three starts, and went 69-of-114 for 695 yards, seven touchdowns, and five interceptions…. he has the rifle needed to make all the throws, impeccable fundamentals, and an intensity that radiates throughout the offense. He’s a little more mobile than the last few Trojan hurlers, but he won’t threaten defenses with his legs.

    09/09/08 - Most of the outside attention on USC focused on the quarterback position, especially when new starter Mark Sanchez dislocated his kneecap in fall camp. No problems at all in the opener, though, as Sanchez completed 26 of 35 passes for 338 yards, with three touchdowns and one interception. And for that, was named O'Brien National Quarterback of the Week and Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week… His yardage total was a career best. He hit on 12 straight passes at one point and completed 16-of-19 passes in the first half. - USC Football

    "He looked very sharp," coach Pete Carroll said. "It is really exciting for us as we look ahead." QUOTE … "I feel very comfortable with the offense this year. My injury really made me take a step back and think about what I wanted this season to be. We came into camp with so many expectations, and then my knee gives out; but thanks to the training staff and the medicine, I was able to get back in shape. We have a big opponent to prepare for, and I need every second to get things right." -- USC quarterback Mark Sanchez



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    Stafon Johnson, Jr., RB, 6-1 210 4.46, USC (6) – Johnson was the Trojans’ second-leading rusher, running for 673 yards and five touchdowns on just 98 carries in 07... If not for the crowd in the backfield, he might be on Heisman short lists as a prototypical feature back with elusive speed and acceleration wrapped in a compact frame. 08/19/08 - 2008 Maxwell Award Watch List…

    Allen Bradford, Jr., FB, 6-0 225 4.58, USC (1) – The biggest story out of the backfield this spring was the play of junior Allen Bradford, who traveled from afterthought to a contender to start in a matter of 15 practices. Big enough to play fullback at 6-0 and 225 pounds, he drew rave reviews for his athleticism, versatility, and knack for making big plays. Faster and leaner than at any point in his career, he has earned a place in the running game rotation.

    Vidal Hazelton, Jr., WR, 6-3 210 4.55, USC (6) - As a first-year starter, Hazelton laid the foundation for the second half of his career making 50 grabs for 540 yards and four touchdowns in 07. A step faster than Turner, he can make people miss in the open field and pull down the improbable grab with outstanding ball skills. While he still has plenty of room to grow, it’s clear he has all of the physical tools to develop into one of the Pac-10’s top receivers. 02/20/08 - USC wide receiver Vidal Hazelton underwent surgery for two muscle tears in his stomach that bothered him most of last season.. 09/02/08 - WR Vidal Hazelton suffered a sprained ankle that is not expected to keep him out Sept. 13 against Ohio State.


    *** I hope this game matches all the hype...
  29. SanDiegoRon
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    the 9/20 Edition...

    Sept. 20 #4 Florida (2-0, 82/13) at #32 Tennessee (1-1, 59/30)- 12:30 pm pst CBS - this Saturday is all about an insanely strong SEC, and the playoffs start today...

    Why watch: Florida WR Percy Harvin vs. Tennessee safeties Eric Berry and Demetrice Morley. Harvin finally appears to be over a foot problem that kept him out of the Hawaii game and limited him a bit against Miami... Meanwhile, Berry has lived up to his All-America potential so far with 10 tackles, two fumble recoveries and two interceptions, while Morley has eight stops and a fumble recovery.

    Gators – The Gators lead the nation in turnover margin, taking away 10 while losing just one interception. The special teams have been fantastic, and while penalties have been a problem, they haven’t been a killer. Meanwhile, Tennessee’s punting game has been awful. The last thing the Vols need is for Florida to win the field position battle. I have covered the Florida players in an earlier post… we’ll be seeing them again no doubt…

    Vols – the Vols would love to erase memories of last years 59-20 schooling - Tim Tebow, Percy Harvin and Brandon James combined for more than 600 all-purpose yards… to do so, they must execute their gameplan… The coaching staff has great confidence in the offensive lines ability with the running game, but they’ll face a Florida defense that has been dominating… the Vols need to keep Tebow/Harvin on the bench… Trench warfare… and here’s the guy to do it…


    [​IMG]
    Arian Foster, RB, 6-1 218 4.53, Tennessee (3) – It’s MONEY time - he's playing for a fat contract...

    After flirting with the idea of turning pro early, he might go in the first round this year, if he stays healthy… In 07 - Foster came up with a huge season as the main man for the ground game ripping off 1,193 yards and 12 touchdowns with five 100-yard days. He also turned into a fantastic receiver catching 39 passes for 340 yards and a score. He's not necessarily a home run hitter, but he's good at getting to the second level and can tear off yards in chunks. He'll have to change up his running style a little bit in the new offense, he'll be used in more power sets than last year and he should thrive. Only 480-some yards away from being Tennessee's all-time rushing leader, he should have few problems getting it if he stays healthy…

    2008 SEC Coaches Preseason All-SEC First Team … Although Foster was a preseason All-SEC pick by league coaches this summer, he’s still undervalued, Fulmer says. “I think Arian has stayed under the radar and has been underappreciated a bit,” Fulmer said.

    Foster admits that he is often overlooked while other SEC players grab the spotlight. “Probably so, but that’s neither here nor there,” he said. “I can’t do anything about the recognition I get. All I can do is try to perform to my best level.” - Brett Hait, Nashville City Paper

    Has he arrived? Lately, 96 net yards against UCLA, and followed that with 100 net against UAB… he’s rollin behind these fat boys…


    [​IMG]
    Anthony Parker, OG, 6-3 305 5.12, Tennessee (4) - #50 on DS Top 64 - A very good athlete who has started 23 consecutive games for the Vols. An All-American and All-SEC performer at left guard last season, he will play around with his position this year seeing time at both guard and center. He has gotten over issues with a knee injury that kept him back a few years ago and turned into one of the nation's best all around blockers. A devastating road grater for the running game, he's quick enough to handle any interior pass rusher. He's a special player who'll be a multi-millionaire very soon.

    07/22/08 - 2008 SEC Coaches Preseason All-SEC First Team: Started all 14 games at left guard in 2007 after making dozen starts at right guard in 2006 ... Owns the strength, technique and savvy to shut down the best defensive linemen. With him leading the way, UT allowed fewer sacks than any team in the nation last year.


    Josh McNeil, Jr., C, 6-4 288 5.12, Tennessee (1) - McNeil is back for his third season at center with 23 straight starts under his belt. While he's not a huge blocker, he became more and more consistent as last season went on and became phenomenal in pass protection. Tough as nails, he played hurt throughout the year and spent the off-season healing up. He's an all-star waiting to happen.


    Rico McCoy, Jr., OLB, 6-1 224 4.58, Tennessee (SS) (1) – The Top rated Junior OLB (although Weatherspoons a stud) and the star of the defensive front seven, McCoy is a tremendous all-around playmaker who finished second on the team with 106 tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss with five broken up passes in 07… Overshadowed by Mayo last year, he was able to do a little bit of everything on the weakside and often cleaned up plenty of messes. He's huge hitter with tremendous speed and toughness. Even though he's an All-America caliber linebacker, he'll be a strong safety at the next level.


    Sophomore Watch:
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    Eric Berry, 5-11 195 , Tennessee - Probably the best defensive back in America you've never heard of, if you don't live in SEC country… Berry was a superstar recruit with cornerback speed and big-time tackling ability… As a true freshman in 2007, Berry quickly established himself as one of the top safeties in the country. If Berry isn't currently the best strong safety in America, he's in the team photo. He has superior play-making ability, logging 5 interceptions for a school-record 222 return yards in '07… He'll be a free safety at the next level, with his range and skills to hunt down passes making him a perfect Cover 2 defender, but for now, he'll be one of the SEC's best all-around defensive backs and on the short list for All-America honors.


    Sleeper Watch List:
    Demonte' Bolden, DT, 6-5 290, Tennessee – having a solid season and has NFL measureables… had 4 tackles/2 TFL against UCLA …
  30. SanDiegoRon
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    Sept. 20 #6 LSU (2-0, 82/16) at #9 Auburn (3-0, 63/15) - 4:45 pm pst ESPN – always one of my favorite matchups, a 4+ star and perhaps Nat'l Title elimination game… no question - my Game of the Day…

    Eleven of the last 18 Auburn-LSU games have been decided by a touchdown or less, including the last four in a row. The home team has won the last eight games in a row in the series since an Auburn win in Baton Rouge in 1999. Auburn is 15-2 in home night games since 2000, including a 4-0 mark against nationally-ranked opponents.

    Why watch - No series this decade has had more thrilling, edge of your seat, exhausting endings than this one. This battle of Tigers could decide who wins the SEC West title and it’ll launch the winner into national title discussion. Both the offensive and defensive lines for each team are loaded with NFL talent, including a few potential first rounders on display… Tyson Jackson, Al Woods and Ricky Jean-Francois form the nucleus of arguably the most talented defensive line in America… Meanwhile, Auburn’s Sen’Derrick Marks can solidify himself as a top ten pick, assuming he’s leaving early, with a second straight strong game against LSU. He was a monster in last year’s 30-24 loss in a game that shot him up everyone’s draft board. Now he’ll be a marked man and the first player LSU has to focus on stopping…


    LSU’s Tigers – ”the factory”… this is a NFL farm club… the players should get paid practice squad money… they are loaded annually, even if they are minus star LB Darry Beckwith (knee injury) today...

    A school-record 41 former LSU players are on the 2008 opening day rosters of NFL teams, which is up from the 39 former Tigers on NFL rosters a year ago. LSU has three former players on the rosters of the Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints and Buffalo Bills. The position with the most LSU influence in the NFL is that of wide receiver and defensive line as the Tigers have seven former players occupying each of those positions in the pro ranks. - 09/08/2008 by LSUsports.net


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    Keiland Williams, Jr., RB, 5-11 225 4.52, LSU (2) - The team's second leading rusher last season ran for 478 yards and six touchdowns with a gaudy 6.8-yard-per-carry average, but he was limited this spring with an ankle injury and wasn't able to take the No. 1 job by the horns. While he only had one game with double-digit carries with a 10-rush day against Arkansas, he has the size to take more of a pounding to go along with sub-4.4 speed.


    Demetrius Byrd, WR, 6-2 195 4.48, LSU (7) - #47 on DS Top 64… the former JUCO transfer stepped in and produced right away as the team's most dangerous receiver… The senior speedster led the top tiger receivers with a 17.7-yard-per-catch average and led the team with seven touchdown catches on 35 grabs for 621 yards. With 4.3 speed, stretching the field isn't a problem at the X, and he turned out to be tremendously consistent. Now the spotlight is on. He has the potential to become a first round draft pick, and the scrutiny will start to be glaring. That's not a bad thing; he's that good.

    07/21/08 - 2008 SEC Coaches Preseason All-SEC Second Team… Played in all 14 games with six starts… Nine of his 35 receptions went for at least 20 yards and had four catches of 35 yards or better, including two against Alabama. - LSU Football


    Brandon LaFell, Jr., WR, 6-3 210 4.54, LSU (4) - LaFell isn't exactly chopped liver, he's a top pro prospect as well. And currently, the team leading receiver with 11 catches for 156 with 2 TD’s… He was the team's leading returning receiver last year catching 50 passes for 656 yards and four touchdowns. With excellent size and good enough speed, he has a dangerous combination of skills. His excellent hands and consistency make him a near-lock to be taken on the first day if he chooses to come out early.


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    Ciron Black, Jr., LOT, 6-5 327 5.29, LSU (2) - Black is big, quick, and athletic enough to become a ten-year NFL starter. Black could be the first offensive tackle selected if he chooses to come out early. In charge of handling all the SEC speed rushers for the last two seasons, he's an experienced, smart, tough blocker who can do everything well. He can maul the speed rushers and push around the bigger run defenders. Tremendous in pass protection, he can do it all.

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    Herman Johnson, OG, 6-7 362 5.47, LSU (2) - #17 on DS Top 64… the biggest player ever to play for LSU, he has started the past two seasons at guard for the Tigers. Johnson is a tremendous athlete for his size with the strength and ability to push linemen wherever he wants to. The key is his weight. He's able to play effectively at around 340 pounds and be used at tackle, but he started out his career at 371 and can't let things get out of hand. He'll be fine as long as he stays under 360; he has the frame to support the bulk.

    07/21/08 - 2008 SEC Coaches Preseason All-SEC First Team…Starter in all 14 games at left guard in 2007... Earned first-team All-SEC honors from both the AP and the SEC Coaches…

    got beef???

    Ricky Jean-Francois, DT, 6-3 289 4.86, LSU (3) – A fantastic national title game showed he's ready to be the next great LSU defensive lineman... too much quickness for most guards and too much size and strength for most tackles if he moves outside to end... Jean-Francois is also a shot putter who earned All-SEC indoor honors as a freshman in 2006..

    Al Woods, Jr., DT, 6-4 323 5.16, LSU (6) - Woods slimmed down a bit from last year and should be even more active. He was a strong reserve last season making 22 tackles with two sacks and three recovered fumbles as a key part of the rotation working behind a banged up Dorsey. He's the team's biggest tackle option and a quick run stuffer.

    Charles Alexander, DT, 6-3 310 4.98, LSU - Started first three games of 07 season before he was sidelined with a season-ending injury (ACL) to his right knee… A fast lineman with a pass rushing end's ability in the body of a tackle, he was the starter inside last year making six tackles and generating two quarterback pressures in three games... He made 28 tackles and 2.5 sacks two years ago and should be as good as new.

    Marlon Favorite, DT, 6-1 295 4.96, LSU (15) - has been a spot starter over the years and has grown into a nice reserve with 28 tackles last season working next to Dorsey. A star recruit in 03, he hasn't lived up to the expectations, but he's been good enough to work as an anchor from time to time. Now with the emergence of Ricky Jean-Francois, Favorite will be tremendous off the bench and in the rotation.

    Tyson Jackson, 3-4 DE, 6-5 292 4.87, LSU (6) - #63 on DS Top 64… Has good size, quickness and strength, and has a great first step off the edge... has started 26 games... Jackson has NFL scouts (and RIP) drooling; players his size aren't supposed to play on the end... The ideal 3-4 end at the next level, he needs to flourish in his final year and has to become a better finisher as a pass rusher. He's great against the run and good at getting into the backfield, but a player of his size and talent needs to come up with more than 4.5 tackles for loss...

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    Darry Beckwith, I/OLB, 6-1 232 4.59, LSU – #55 on DS Top 64… OUT… currently projected as a 2-3 rdr, he started at OLB in 2006 and MLB in 2007… he has good speed and lateral movement and will hit hard; very tough… earned second-team All-SEC honors after making 65 tackles, 1.5 sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss.. He's not flashy, but he'll be a steady veteran leader of a good front… 07/21/08 - 2008 SEC Coaches Preseason All-SEC First Team… Beckwith often played under the public radar last season on a defense with so many stars, but he was a second-team All-SEC pick...

    “There is an injury of significance to Darry Beckwith, and it’s safe to say he won’t be available this week. I think he’ll be back pretty soon, but I don’t know when.” …On what Les Miles misses most with Beckwith out... “Certainly, his experience is something that you just can’t measure. His leadership has always been good. Certainly, he’s a guy that this team enjoys being the center of the defense, but in the same vein, the guys need to step in there and be responsible for playing the same way. We are fortunate to have talent there.”

    Curtis Taylor, FS, 6-3 208 4.52, LSU (5) – Replaces four-year starter and NFL first-round draft pick LaRon Landry as the Tigers’ starting free safety ... Has been credited with 49 tackles, including one for loss and a sack ... Has also broken up six passes, picked off two others, recovered a fumble and registered a quarterback hurry ... he currently has the teams only INT…

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