2007 CFN Redshirt Freshman
2007 Preview |
2007 CFN Redshirt
hundreds of freshmen across the nation, last season was undoubtedly the
most frustrating of their young lives. Yeah, there was plenty of
growing taking place, both physically and mentally, but there were no
games, no competition, and no box scores that contained their names.
For a variety of reasons, these idle warriors were redshirted in 2006
with the design that they’d return this year a little bigger, a little
stronger and a little wiser. And a whole lot more ready to start paying
dividends for all those recruiting trips, phone calls and text
DE Brandon Bair, Oregon – You’re not alone if Bair’s name fails
to ring a bell. He hasn’t played organized football since 2002,
spending a couple of years on a Mormon mission, taking some time off,
and redshirting last season. If there was rust, however, it wasn’t
evident in the spring, when the 6-7 and 250-pound Bair dominated Duck
linemen and ensured himself substantial playing time later this year.
DT Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma – One of the nation’s elite recruits
from 2006, McCoy made the most of his redshirt season, getting bigger,
stronger, and more technically sound. Much more than a year ago, he’s
ready to take baby steps toward becoming the next really disruptive
Sooner tackle. Very strong at the point of attack and athletic in the
Tommie Harris mold, McCoy will be a prominent part of the line
DT Dexter Larimore, Ohio State – Forget the future. The Buckeye
staff is convinced Larimore is ready to contribute right now. While
only 6-3 and 275 pounds, he is extremely strong, and plays with
outstanding balance and leverage. A non-stop worker and former high
school wrestling champ, Larimore is expected to get 30-35 snaps a game
whether or not he starts.
DE Eddie Jones, Texas – While he’s not quite there yet, the raw
potential exists for Jones to develop into a scary rush end for the
Longhorns. Built more like an outside linebacker at 6-3 and 255 pounds,
he has an explosive first step, and is relentless in backside pursuit.
At a minimum, he’ll cut his teeth as a pass rush specialist and give
relief to starters Brian Orakpo and Aaron Lewis.
LB A.J. Jones, Florida – Before suffering a season-ending injury
late last August, Jones appeared headed for playing time as a true
freshman. While noticeably undersized at the strongside, the 6-1,
210-pounder flies all over the field like a safety, and can really
deliver the payload. On a unit that’s replacing all three starters,
Jones is being counted on to be disruptive on the blitz and an ace in
LB Ryan Powers, Arkansas – Back from a hamstring injury, Powers
is a big part of Arkansas’ rebuilding plans at linebacker. The former
running back is slated to replace Sam Olajubutu at weakside, where the
hope is that his outstanding range and athleticism will help compensate
for a lack of experience and the inevitable missed assignments.
LB J.T. Thomas, West Virginia – Thomas digested Jeff Casteel’s
defense so quickly last August, he would have made the two-deep had it
not been for nagging ankle problems. Instead, he laid the foundation
for an outstanding career by getting stronger and being named the
Mountaineers’ defensive scout team player of the year. The successor to
Boo McLee at weakside, Thomas brings an element of closing speed and
athletic ability that was lacking on last year’s D.
CB Chykie Brown, Texas – Whether or not Brown wins a job right
away, there’s no doubt he’ll have some role in the revamped Texas
secondary. At 6-1 and 180 pounds, he has the ideal size, speed and
athletic package to be a true lockdown cornerback early in his college
career. For Brown, it’s a matter of when, not if he’ll be a
ball-hawking star in the Big 12 Conference.
S Brett Greenwood, Iowa – From walk-on a year ago to the Hawkeyes’
starting free safety heading into the season, it’s been a meteoric rise
for Greenwood. A workaholic with solid instincts and athletic ability,
he’s poised to follow in the footsteps of Dallas Clark, Derek Pagel and
Bruce Nelson, former Iowa stars that began their careers without a
S Reshad Jones, Georgia – For good reason, the Georgia staff
absolutely loves the potential of Jones, who’s fighting with C.J. Byrd
for the opening at free safety. And why not? He’s a 6-2 playmaker that
defends the run well and breaks on passes like a corner. Once he adds a
little more heft to his frame, he’ll be on his way to becoming one of
the SEC’s complete defensive backs.
CB Darian Hagan, Cal – The best news coming out of a Bear
secondary that loses All-American Daymeion Hughes is that Hagan is ready
for action after sitting out last year. A superb all-around athlete
with great hips and closing speed, he’ll be a huge part of the defensive
backfield for the next four years. More than just a collection of
measurables, Hagan has the instinct of an upperclassman and the
unmistakable swagger that’s ingrained in so many top corners.
Honorable Mention – Defense
DE: 1. Jason Worilds, Virginia Tech 2. Kentrell Lockett, Ole Miss 3.
Adrian Clayborn, Iowa 4. D’Aundre Reed, Arizona 5. Bryant Miller,
Auburn 6. Greg Romeus, Pittsburgh 7. Randy Grigsby, Louisiana Tech
DT: 1. Derrick Hill, Cal 2. Chris Stewart, Notre Dame 3. Abe Koroma,
Penn State 4. Brian Motley, Alabama 5. Kenrick Ellis, South Carolina
6. Ricky Lumpkin, Kentucky 7. Aundre Henderson, Louisville 8. Cameron
LB: 1. Derrell Acrey, Boise State 2. Jeremiha Hunter, Iowa 3. Darryl
Gamble, Georgia 4. Anthony Barnes, Georgia Tech 5. Nate Nix,
Pittsburgh 6. Ricky Brewer, Colorado State 7. Andrew Preston, San
S: 1. Shaun Draughn, North Carolina 2. Quintin Banks, Georgia 3.
Cedric Jeffries, Penn State 4. Alex Frye, Wake Forest
CB: 1. Jai Eugene, LSU 2. Matt Mosley, Washington