MORE: Signing Day Central
Rivals.com recruiting analyst Barry Every breaks down five freshmen the 2010 class that were passed over by some of the bigger programs but should have an impact at the next level.
CB Orne Bey, Monroeville (Penn.) Gateway (Miami University)
Most college coaches and recruiting experts have been calling the 5-foot-8, 160-pounder too small for his entire high school career. But Bey had a stellar performance and earned First Team All-Defense at the 2009 U.S. Army All-American Combine. He demonstrated excellent change of direction, good ball skills, and the ability to stay low while in his backpedal. He followed this up with an excellent performance at the State College Nike Training Camp. Still, many "Big Six" programs passed on him because they thought he was too small. Bey is fearless when it comes to contact. He will add much needed speed to the RedHawks defense the instant he shows up on campus. Most coaches thought current Indianapolis Colts standout Tim Jennings was too small, too. But that didn't stop him from having a terrific career at the University of Georgia. I see a lot of Jennings in Bey.
S Chris Hughes, Mobile (Ala.) Davidson (Mississippi State)
Hughes missed most of his senior season with an injured Achilles tendon. During his junior season, Hughes (6-0, 215) racked up 118 tackles and three picks playing a hybrid linebacker/safety position. Members of the group that put on the Alabama/Mississippi All Star Classic admitted that Hughes would have made an excellent addition to the Alabama squad and should have been nominated. Don't be surprised if he ends up playing outside linebacker - where he can use his speed and ball skills against spread offenses - for the Bulldogs. Hughes will also become a stalwart on special teams. He will physically remind the Mississippi State faithful of Jamar Chaney, who just finished his college career playing in the East West Shrine Bowl.
WR Lamar Ivey, Mebane (N.C.) Eastern Alamance (East Carolina)
Ivey was one of the most consistent pass catchers and potential playmakers at practices for the NC/SC Shrine Bowl. That's not bad considering he played quarterback as a senior. He threw for more than 2,200 yards while rushing for more than 1,400 yards. Ivey's play led his school to its first state championship appearance in 28 years. Ivey not only possesses soft hands, but has the quickness and elusiveness to make yards after the catch. Don't be surprised if the Pirates use him in the wildcat formation. Ivey (6-1, 182) also possesses the skill set to be very effective returning kicks.
DQB Kevin Spain, Phoenix (Ariz.) Paradise Valley (Hawaii)
Spain (6-3, 190) has played in a run-oriented offense for most of his career. Because of that fact, his stats over the past two years seem fairly pedestrian (2,494 passing yards and 25 touchdown passes). But it's his combination of arm strength, size and athletic ability that reminds me of Wyoming quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels - who was the Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year. Spain earned top quarterback honors at the National Underclassmen Combine held last February in Arizona. He followed up that performance with a good showing at the Las Vegas Elite11. He has the ability to make unscripted yards with his feet. He is also mobile enough to buy more time in the pocket while defensive coverages break down. If Spain can pick up the pass-happy offense while improving his footwork, I expect him to put up huge numbers - on the ground and through the air - for Hawaii before his career is over.
CB Dale Trimble, Gadsden (Ala.) Gadsden City (Kentucky)
Trimble does not have the size or overall athletic ability of fellow AL/MS All Star Classic teammate DaMarcus Milliner. But Trimble (5-10, 175) turned the All Star Classic around with a 36-yard interception return for a touchdown. Trimble's score helped lead the Alabama squad to victory. His biggest asset is his ability to come out of his backpedal and make plays on the ball. He does have good height, but will need to add some size and strength to help his durability in the SEC. I really think Kentucky has found a slightly shorter Trevard Lindley. Lindley happened to be a low two-star prospect who turned himself into a Senior Bowl participant and future NFL draft pick.
Others considered: Ben Gottschalk, C, Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame (SMU); Jacoby Hale, OLB, Beaumont (Texas) Central (Utah); Jamerson Love, CB, Aberdeen (Miss.) Mississippi State; Dylan Lusk, OG, Peoria (Ariz.) Centennial (New Mexico State); Cameron Nwosu, ILB, Houston (Texas) Klein Forest (Rice).