football

Five instant impact recruits

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Tryingtodecidewhatfreshmanwillhaveanearlyimpactcanbedifficult.Firstofall,thedepthchartcoupledwiththequalityofpersonnelatagivenpositionmustbeinastateofflux.Also,certainpositionsjusthaveashorterlearningcurvethanothers.Belowarefiveprospectsthatmaybeabletotakeadvantageofthesesituationsattheirrespectiveschools.
Earlyimpactfreshmen
RBMalcolmBrown,Cibolo(Texas)Steele,TexasLonghorns
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ThelackofaconsistentrunninggamewasevidentthispastyearforTexas,whichfinishedasurprising5-7justoneyearafterplayingintheBCSnationalchampionshipgame.Brownbringstothetabletheabilitytomakeyardsaftercontactandmovethechains.Heisthetypeofbackthatcanweardowndefensesbythethirdquarterandchewuptime,whileconservingtheleadbynotallowingtheopponent'soffenseontothefield.Forabigback,Brownalsohassofthands,whichshouldmakehimanevery-downback.Hisaffinityforsmellingtheendzoneoncetheballgetsinsidethe10-yardlinewillallowhimtoputpointsontheboardwhiletakingpressureoffthepassinggame.HemaynotstarttheyearoutastheNo.1backbutcouldendupbeingthego-toguybyseason'send.
ILBC.J.Johnson,Philadelphia(Miss.),OleMissRebels
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Thishuge,athleticinsidelinebackerdemonstratedduringtheAlabama-MississippiAll-StarClassicthathethrivesoncontact.Johnsonhasthesizeandstrengthtobouncearoundinthetackleboxwhilestuffingtherun.Hislateralmovementissuperiortomostinsidelinebackersashecanchasedownplaysruntotheboundary.TheRebelsaresurelyinneedofadifferencemakeronthedefensivesideoftheballafterhavingadismal2010season.NotonlyisheasuretacklerbutanintimidatorsimilartoRayLewis,someonewhowillknocktheheadoffreceiverswillingtocrosshispath.Lookforhimtoplayearlyonspecialteamsasheisworkedintothestaringlineup.
CBMalcolmMitchell,Valdosta(Ga.),GeorgiaBulldogs
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RegardlesswhichsideoftheballtheBulldogsplaythespeedyMitchell,hewillhaveaninstantimpact.OffensivelyGeorgiaisinneedofsure-handedreceiversthatcanmakeyardsafterthecatch,somethingMitchelldidallseasonandattheUnderArmourAll-AmericanGame.Asacorner,heofferstheBulldogsexcellentheightandballskills,whichwillmakehimadifferencemakeronthedefensivesideoftheball.SpecialteamswillsurelybeanareathatMitchellwillgetachancetoshowoffhisquicknessandspeed.Donotbesurprisedifhe'sreturningkickscomeopeningdayagainstBoiseState.Thesoonerthecoachingstaffmakesadecisiononwhichsideoftheballhewillplay,thesoonerMitchellwillmakehisimpact.
WRSammyWatkins,FortMyers(Fla.)SouthFortMyers,ClemsonTigers
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NoreceiverduringtheweekoftheU.S.ArmyAll-AmericanBowlmadedefensivebackslookaslostanddeathlyslowasWatkinsdid.Hepossessesthechangeofdirectionandaccelerationthatwillleavedefensivebackscorkscrewedintotheground.Hissofthandsandbodycontrolallowhimtomakeplaysonunderthrownballs.Thoughlistedata4.540-yarddash,heprovedtobeimpossibletocorralonceinspace,squirtingbetweendefendersforhugechunksofrealestate.Clemsonisindireneedofadifferencemakeratreceiver,especiallysincetheTigerswillbebreakinginanewstartingquarterback.LookforWatkinstoeventuallybecometheNo.1receiverfortheTigersduringhisfreshmanseason.
RBBrandonWilliams,Brookshire(Texas)Royal,OklahomaSooners
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Approximately 70 percent of the Oklahoma rushing attack is gone with the departure of future NFL draft pick DeMarco Murray. Yes, there are other backs Williams will compete with for playing time, but his size and speed combination clearly is at another level. He displayed superior acceleration getting to the corner and the vision to slice through the middle of the defense while at the Under Armour All-American Game. Williams is also an excellent receiver out of the backfield, which will create more early opportunities for playing time. His home-run speed may also get him looks as a kick returner. I don't expect him to be the starter right away, but he should gradually work his way onto the field once he shows off his big-play ability in an actual game. Oklahoma is loaded with experienced receivers and a veteran quarterback. This will allow the young backs to run wild.
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