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Old 07-03-2007, 04:26 PM   #1
buckeyefan78
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Default 10 Freshman to Watch...

Illinois' Benn, ND's Clausen impact newcomers for 2007

Arrelious Benn should make an immediate impact at Illinois, but will Jimmy Clausen live up to the hype at Notre Dame? Will Noel Devine and Joe McKnight deliver at West Virginia and USC, respectively? Check out the freshmen you should be watching this fall.

1. Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois
Benn, who enrolled at Illinois in January, should have a tremendous impact this fall because, frankly, he's better than the rest of the Illini's returning skill players. He was a major recruiting coup for Coach Ron Zook, after choosing Illinois over Florida State, Maryland, Miami and Notre Dame. Look for the 6-foot-1, 210-pound native of Washington, D.C., to become quarterback Juice Williams' favorite target.

2. Eric Berry, CB, Tennessee
Berry, one of the country's most highly regarded defensive back prospects, will have an opportunity to start in the Volunteers' revamped secondary. Free safety Jonathan Hefney is the only returning starter. If Berry can hold off a pair of junior-college transfers, he might be starting at cornerback by the Sept. 1 opener at California.

3. Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
The California high school legend is in a three-man battle to replace departed Fighting Irish starter Brady Quinn. Clausen had surgery recently to repair damage in the elbow of his right (throwing) arm, which might prevent him from beating out Evan Sharpley or Demetrius Jones for the starting job before the Sept. 1 opener against Georgia Tech. Barring complications with the elbow, expect Clausen to be starting by midseason, though.

4. Graig Cooper, RB, Miami
Cooper might be the key to the Hurricanes turning around their fortunes during Coach Randy Shannon's first season. After enrolling in January, Cooper outplayed returning tailback Javarris James during spring practice. So much so that Edgerrin James, the incumbent's cousin, told Shannon that Cooper was a better runner during spring drills. The Memphis native attended prep school in New York last year, so he's more physically ready to go.

5. Torrey Davis, DT, Florida
The 300-pounder from Seffner, Fla., will be given every opportunity to produce on the defending national champions' rebuilt defensive line. Coach Urban Meyer expects as many as six freshmen to play on the defensive line this season, and Davis is the best of the bunch.

6. Noel Devine, RB, West Virginia
Mountaineers fans might have burned couches in celebration the day Devine revealed he had qualified academically to play this coming season. While the 5-foot-8 speedster from Fort Myers, Fla., isn't going to unseat Heisman Trophy candidate Steve Slaton in the backfield, he gives coach Rich Rodriguez yet another fast option in the spread offense.

7. Ronald Johnson, WR, Southern Cal
Johnson is so athletically gifted that Trojans coach Pete Carroll can't seem to decide whether to play him on offense or defense. The 6-foot, 177-pound native of Muskegon, Mich., runs the 40-yard dash in about 4.4 seconds and was coveted by Michigan, Ohio State and Florida, among other schools. The Trojans have a glaring hole at receiver with Steve Smith and Dwayne Jarrett departing, and Johnson might end up being better than each of them.

8. Willy Korn, QB, Clemson
After watching Will Proctor struggle throughout the 2006 season, Clemson fans couldn't wait for Korn to arrive this winter. Korn couldn't beat out Cullen Harper for the starting job during the spring, but he'll undoubtedly play this coming fall. Clemson coach Tommy Bowden won't be able to keep Korn on the bench -- and might not keep his own job if Korn doesn't perform well.

9. Joe McKnight, TB, Southern Cal
The New Orleans native was drawing comparisons to the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush -- and receiving phone calls from the current New Orleans Saints star -- before he ever stepped on the USC campus. McKnight joins a very crowded Trojans backfield this fall, with seven first- or second-year players battling for the starting job. But figure McKnight to make some kind of impact this season. Asking McKnight to beat out the likes of Chauncey Washington, Emmanuel Moody, C.J. Gable and Allen Bradford might be too much to ask, though.

10. Keith Nichol, QB, Oklahoma
Can the two-time Michigan high school player of the year make enough progress this spring to make a serious challenge at the starting job? Nichol had a trimmed-down playbook during the spring after enrolling early. But he still stayed in the hunt with redshirt freshman Sam Bradford and junior Joey Halzle as the Sooners search for Paul Thompson's replacement.

By Mark Schlabach

Mark Schlabach covers college football and men's college basketball for ESPN.com.

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/column...ark&id=2912876


It has been quite awhile since I've seen the hype that this Benn kid has received here in the Big Ten.
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Old 07-04-2007, 08:44 PM   #2
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This Schlabach fellow must have been in research for the Sporting news before he landed this gig. How could he leave out Michigan QB Ryan Mallett, Auburn OL Lee Ziemba and LSU WR Terrance Toliver?And I could go on. Jimmy Clausen is a poster boy who is overrated. They are several others more dersevering than he is. Even at the same position. Will Korn-Clemson, Tyrod Tylor- VT and John Brantley- Florida. I personally feel that Ryan Mallett is the best of the class. Just hate to see him waste his skill at Meatchicken.
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Old 07-04-2007, 10:52 PM   #3
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I haven't followed it much but is he really receiving that much? Derrick Williams got quite a bit back in the '05 pre-season when many, PSU and non-PSU people alike, essentially anointed him as the savior of Penn State football. I suppose Benn could be viewed in that same light. Both are from Maryland too.
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Old 07-05-2007, 06:39 PM   #4
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Dano, I think the spirit of this article is ranking those who will actually see significant playing time this fall and not necessarily those that will end up with the better college career when all is said and done. With that being said Ryan Mallett won't see anything more than garbage minutes with Chad Henne still there. Tyrod Tyler and John Brantley are in the same position as well with Glennon and Tebow still in college.
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Old 07-05-2007, 08:11 PM   #5
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Dano, I think the spirit of this article is ranking those who will actually see significant playing time this fall and not necessarily those that will end up with the better college career when all is said and done. With that being said Ryan Mallett won't see anything more than garbage minutes with Chad Henne still there. Tyrod Tyler and John Brantley are in the same position as well with Glennon and Tebow still in college.
Yes...in the opening of the thread it says...

Check out the freshmen you should be watching THIS fall.
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Old 07-05-2007, 08:13 PM   #6
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Just true freshman I'm guessing.
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Old 07-05-2007, 08:30 PM   #7
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Just true freshman I'm guessing.
Benn and Clausen are true freshman.

I don't know about the rest of 'em. They don't play in the Midwest.

Outta my jurisdiction ya know.
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Old 07-05-2007, 08:32 PM   #8
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Well, I'm gonna play homer and throw the name I have been yelling for a couple of months. Knowshon Moreno - HB - UGA. Will split time w/Lumpkin, but will be a force when in the game.
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Old 07-05-2007, 08:36 PM   #9
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Well, I'm gonna play homer and throw the name I have been yelling for a couple of months. Knowshon Moreno - HB - UGA. Will split time w/Lumpkin, but will be a force when in the game.
Ohio State is leaning toward the 2-back system ala New Orleans Saints this year. I'm kind of excited about it. You guys have a better QB than us at this point though.
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Old 07-05-2007, 08:38 PM   #10
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Yeah, I think UGA is still a year away though. Next year they should be serious contenders.
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Old 07-06-2007, 10:21 PM   #11
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Moreno... is he a redshirt freshman? And what about Caleb King? How's he looking on the depth chart?
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Old 07-06-2007, 10:48 PM   #12
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Moreno is a redshirt freshman. Caleb King will come into a crowded backfield, but should still see playing time. He may also be in on the return game.
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Old 07-06-2007, 10:55 PM   #13
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Ohio State is leaning toward the 2-back system ala New Orleans Saints this year. I'm kind of excited about it. You guys have a better QB than us at this point though.
The Buckeyes are going to live and die with the running game this year. You're kinda football. :thumbup:

Chris Wells could be a real good Big Ten back. He showed some signs of big time potential last fall. Not too sure about Maurice Wells. He's a junior and has been a solid but largely unspectacular player. I have a feeling that the younger Wells will ultimately win out.

Not being an OSU expert I'm not sure if this is the case but looking at the OSU roster it looks like the depth behind the two Wells is rather thin. Can't say much considering the state of PSU's running game post-Hunt but it seems unusual for OSU.
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Old 07-07-2007, 11:21 AM   #14
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Yeah I'm going to keep an eye on Jimmy Clausen this season. He could be a great one.
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Old 07-07-2007, 01:51 PM   #15
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Yes...in the opening of the thread it says...

Check out the freshmen you should be watching THIS fall.
Do I sense a bit a sarcasm in your post? I read what it said and I'll stick with what I posted. Mallett is an injury away in a pretty tough leauge of getting the call. this guy is no fluke. He's the real deal sportsfans.
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