football

Big Ten newcomers who could step in

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As colleges get ready for the start of preseason practice, some of the players
who garnered so much attention on the recruiting circuit for the last year are
about to introduce themselves to the rest of the college football world.
We finally know where these guys have chosen to go to school. Now the real
questions start.
Will some former five-star prospects prove they're worth all the hype? Could a
hole on a team's depth chart allow a sleeper recruit to contribute right away?
Which junior college prospects can step into featured roles immediately?
We're trying to provide some early answers to those questions by offering lists
of five true freshmen or junior college transfers in each conference who could
make immediate impacts. We already profiled the top newcomers in the ACC and the
Big 12. Our series continues today with a look at the Big Ten, which will be
introducing plenty of newcomers at the running back and linebacker positions.
Keep in mind we were considering only true freshmen and junior college transfers
- not transfers from Division I schools - for the purposes of this project.
That's why we didn't include Maryland transfer Danny O'Brien, the likely
starting quarterback for Wisconsin.
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Indiana LB
Jacarri Alexander
Particulars: 6-1/230; Iowa Central Community College
Recruiting rating: Three stars
Buzz: Indiana went 1-11 last season while ranking 109th in total defense
(458.7), 114th in scoring defense (37.3), 116th in pass efficiency defense
(156.76) and 118th in run defense (243.7). The Hoosiers clearly need
reinforcements on that side of the ball. Alexander may be the best of the
newcomers. He arrived on campus in time for spring practice and heads into
preseason camp as the projected starter at weakside linebacker. Alexander
delivered 78 tackles and six sacks last season while playing linebacker and
defensive end at Iowa Central Community College.
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Nebraska LB Zaire Anderson and CB Mohammed Seisay
Particulars: Anderson: 5-11/220; Riverside (Calif.) Community College.
Seisay: 6-2/200; Eastern Arizona Junior College
Recruiting rating: Anderson: Four stars (No. 13 junior college prospect
in nation). Seisay: Four stars (No. 8 junior college prospect in nation).
Buzz: Both of these junior college prospects could move right into
Nebraska's starting lineup. Seisay's not really a Division I newcomer. He
started for Memphis in 2010 and was a Conference USA all-freshman selection that
season, but he spent last year at Eastern Arizona. Seisay joined Nebraska in
time for spring practice. Anderson didn't participate in spring practice, but
his track record at Riverside suggests he should make an immediate impact this
fall. Anderson recorded 95 tackles - 19 for loss - and 6.5 sacks last season. He
delivered 92 tackles - 17 for loss - and nine sacks in 2010.
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Michigan LB Joe Bolden
Particulars: 6-3/230; Cincinnati (Ohio) Colerain
Recruiting rating: Four stars (No. 7 outside linebacker and No. 111
overall prospect)
Buzz: Michigan returns starting linebackers Jake Ryan, Kenny Demens and Desmond Morgan from last year's Sugar Bowl championship team, so the
Wolverines can afford to bring Bolden along slowly. But even if he doesn't open
the season in the starting lineup, Bolden figures to earn plenty of playing
time. His talent demands that he earn some type of role. Bolden enrolled at
Michigan early and made quite an impression with his performance in spring
practice.
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Iowa RBs Greg Garmon and Barkley Hill
Particulars: Garmon: 6-1/200; Erie (Pa.) McDowell. Hill: 6-0/210; Cedar
Falls (Iowa)
Recruiting rating: Garmon: Four stars (No. 19 running back in 2013
class). Hill: Three stars
Buzz: Iowa's running back situation is one big question mark,
particularly now that a couple of off-field incidents resulted in sophomore
De'Andre Johnson's suspension. Iowa's only other running back with much
experience is sophomore Damon Bullock, who ran for 20 yards on 10 carries last
season. All that uncertainty should create immediate opportunities for Garmon
and Hill. Garmon rushed for over 1,000 yards each of his last two years in high
school. Hill rushed for over 6,000 yards and 89 touchdowns in his high school
career. Garmon pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia
two weeks ago, but the incident won't result in a suspension.
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Minnesota RB James Gillum
Particulars: 5-11/204; Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
Recruiting rating: Three stars
Buzz: Gillum should step right into a featured role for Minnesota,
whether he emerges as a clear-cut No. 1 running back or instead splits carries
with Donnell Kirkwood. Gillum rushed for over 1,000 yards each of his
two-years at Mississippi Gulf Coast Junior College and arrived at Minnesota in
time to participate in spring practice. He starred at Pearl River (La.) High
before heading to junior college.
Steve Megargee is the national college columnist for Rivals.com. He can be reached at smegargee@rivals.com, and you can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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