Oklahoma Wide Receiver – Kenny Stills
No more Ryan Broyles makes Stills the man. As a freshman last season Stills posted 61 catches for 786 yards and 5 touchdowns. This season Stills will be Landry Jones top target and that means big numbers. Stills stepped in smoothly last year after Broyles went down to injury. As long as Stills can remain focused and make catches as pretty as that purple dress he was photographed in earlier this summer then I have no doubt he will establish himself as one of the games top wideouts.
Ohio State Buckeye Quarterback – Braxton Miller
Last season was tough for Miller. He had his Head Coach quit amid a huge scandal. The coaching staff was sniffing its own ass while it had a freshman QB to groom. Up until that Wisconsin game we had pretty much written off Miller as a bust. But he showed signs of improvement. He showed flashes of greatness against Michigan and Florida as well last season. With Urban Meyer calling the shots at Ohio State I see Miller have a better season in an offense better suited to his skills. Miller is in the same mold as Tim Tebow while he’s not a great passer he can make plays with his feet. Miller has the ability to develop into a much better passer in this offense and build on his Gator Bowl performance against Florida last season.
Texas Longhorns Running Back – Malcolm Brown
Malcom Brown has the ability and the opportunity to shine down at 40 acres. With Texas running their dual QB system it’s obvious neither QB is showing much promise or improvement from last season so it’ll be up to the Longhorns running game to sustain the offense. That running game is led by Malcolm Brown. Brown is a big back who came bruise defenses but its also extremely quick for his size. Last season Brown disappeared in big moments. His lack of production was supposedly due to nagging injuries. He’s had an offseason to get healthy and grow in this offense. I look for Brown to be the first Longhorn back to eclipse the 1,000 yard mark since Jamaal Charles did it in 2007. He made the Maxwell Award watch list so let’s hope he lives up to the hype.
Georgia Bulldogs Wide Receiver – Malcolm Mitchell
Had Malcom Mitchell not been playing with an injured hamstring the majority of last year we would all know who he was. Mitchell has road runner speed and a friend of mine says “he’s as quick as a gazelle”. With Isiah Crowell off the team the Dogs will give their Freshman Running Back Keith Marshall a chance to prove himself but this is Aaron Murray’s team so he will be dropping back more than handing it off. Mitchell was recruited as a corner and practiced on the defensive side of the ball this Spring. With his speed and ability to make plays we might have another Charles Woodson on our hands. Mitchell’s prowess at corner on the college level has yet to be seen but from what he’s shown us everything is looking good. If speed kills Mitchell is ripe for a killing spree in 2012.
Washington Huskies QB – Keith Price
While the majority of the Pac-12 has become Matt Barkely fanboys Keith Price is going about business as usual, getting better and most importantly staying healthy. Last season Price played with hurt knees for the entire season. The one game he was 100 % was the Alamo Bowl against Baylor where he scored seven total touchdowns. Last season Price finished 6th in Heisman voting. Price is a dual threat QB who is deadly accurate and he plays in a pass happy offense that will allow him to post huge numbers. By seasons end I think Price will have made a case about who’s the best QB in the Pac-12.
West Virginia Mountaineers Wide Receiver – Tayvon Austin
Tayvon Austin ended his season by setting an Orange Bowl record for most TD’s by a receiver ( 4 ). Last season getting hands on Austin was about as easy as catching a gnat with tweezers. He lead the NCAA in all purpose yards last season with about 190 yards a game. With West Virginia moving to the Big 12 look for Austin to post big numbers against much better competition while making Geno Smith look good. This is Austin’s senior season and I do expect him to go out with a bang. Maybe this video will sway your opinion of Austin
Tennessee Volunteers QB – Tyler Bray
Many of the Volunteer faithful (myself included) and others believe that if Bray can stay healthy this can be his year. As it stands on most draft boards Bray is the 3rd or 4th best QB in this class. By years end he might be 1st or 2nd. O’Brien Trophy Watchlist and Tennessee’s Heisman hopeful Bray’s ceiling is just that high. Last year his production was detoured by injuries. He lost his top receiver Justin Hunter for the season early in the year against Florida. Just a few weeks later Bray went down to injury as well. He returned later in the year but it was obvious he just wasn’t clicking on all fours. The injury to Hunter allowed Da’Rick Rogers to develop into a serious threat at receiver and with both Hunter and Rogers coming back this season combined with a healthy Bray and a better O line this kid just might have Heisman hopes.
Louisville Cardinals QB – Teddy Bridgewater
Last season Bridgewater was a highly touted freshman coming out of Florida powerhouse Miami Northwestern. The same school that produced former Miami Hurricane QB Jacory Harris. Bridgewater is essentially the same player ass Harris but in a better offensive scheme against weaker competition. Bridgewater is also a better athlete and makes throwing on the run look as easy as buttering toast. Last season Bridgewater was forced to play due to injury and put up decent numbers ( 2129 Yards Passing and 14 TDs ). Bridgewater had several bright spots last year. With his athleticism and a year in this offense under his belt I see Bridgewater showing out against the subpar defenses of the Big East this year.
LSU Tigers Wide Receiver – Odell Beckham Jr.
Last season LSU’s offense struggled behind Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee. Both were shitty QB’s who couldn’t take advantage of the plethora of talent LSU has at wideout. Coupled with the fact that Beckham was a Freshman playing second fiddle to Reuben Randle in a run first offense didn’t help him either. With Zach Mettenberger under center this year we’ll expect many more big plays in the passing game. Les Miles has already alluded to the fact that he’s going to gear his offense around Mettenberger so expect Beckham to post big numbers this season. Beckham and Mettenberger have already looked in sync this spring with more than a few big hookups. Look for that chemistry to carry over into the season.
Oregon Ducks QB – Marcus Mariota
Okay Mariota isn’t a name many NCAA fans know or have ever heard of and as it stands he’s the #2 QB on the depth chart at Oregon. This is really only because Bryan Bennett played last year when Darren Thomas went down and lead Oregon to a few wins. They feel like Bennett has a better handle on the spread option than Mariota. But when I tell you Mariota is the real deal i’m not lying. Mariota’s passes are as pretty as a butterflies belly button and the boy has wheels. I’m talking 4.4 40 wheels…at QB. Comparing their Spring performances you’d think that Mariota would be the starter but they’re giving it to Bennett. But if Bennett struggles look for Mariota to shine.
Mariota’s High School highlight tape