Thursday, February 13, 2014

Recapping Predictions: Immediate Impact Freshman

1) Thomas Tyner, RB, Oregon Ducks
Tyner got spot duty this year, but still managed to produce and give a lot of hope to the Oregon coaching staff over the next two or three years. His biggest game came in the Civil War against Oregon State when he carried the ball 22 times for 140 yards and a touchdown. Other than that, he only received about a dozen carries a game but averaged over six yards a carry with them. Tyner has a huge frame and has incredible speed to go along with someone his size, but throughout the year had to split carries with Byron Marshall and even lost plays on designed runs for Marcus Mariotta. Expect to see a more even distribution of carries between Marshall and Tyner next season.

2) Max Browne, QB, USC Trojans
Browne did not play at all in the 2013 season which I find a bit surprising. USC went through an interesting season where they played two other quarterbacks, Max Wittek and Cody Kessler, and saw the firing/departure of two coaches, Lane Kiffin and Ed Ogeron. Neither of them was terribly impressive, although Kessler did win the starting job and was good enough that Wittek has declared his intent to transfer this offseason. I had heard rumors that Browne could be redshirted, but so far nothing is concrete. If USC's new coach Steve Sarkisian believes in Kessler enough going forward next year, I wouldn't be surprised if Browne was redshirted.

3) Ricky Seals-Jones, ATH (WR), Texas A&M Aggies
Seals-Jones was only able to play in the season opener against Rice before injuring his knee and undergoing surgery that effectively ended his season. He is going to redshirt. He should a good amount of his talent in the game against Rice, catching three passes and turning a quick slant route into a 71 yard touchdown. It was a flash of what he can bring to an already dynamic team, so hopefully he can make a full recovery before the start of next season.

4) Eli Apple and Vonn Bell, DBs, Ohio State Buckeyes
Neither of these guys really got on the playing field due to the depth chart, but Bell had a bit of a baptism by fire in the Orange Bowl. He had a drive stopping interceptions when Clemson was in the redzone, getting great air and snagging it with one hand. With guys like Christian Bryant, Bradley Roby, and CJ Barnett graduating or moving on, both Bell and Apple should receive much more playing time and benefit from new secondary coach Chris Ash.

5) Derrick Green, RB, Michigan Wolverines
Derrick Green was by far the biggest disappointment of the freshman I had projected to have an impact early in their career. He is much more talented than the incumbent Fitzgerald Toussaint was, but reportedly could not keep his weight under control which gave him very limited snaps in games. He only carried the ball 83 times at a paltry 3.3 yards per. Some of that could be attributed to the predictable play calling of Al Borges or the mediocre line play, but Green didn't really do anything to make a case for the starting back. Toussaint graduates this year, so maybe next year Green can stop channeling his inner Raymond Felton.

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