2009 Spring Preview - The New Superstars
LSU RB Charles Scott
LSU RB Charles Scott
Posted Mar 29, 2009

Dexter Davis, Sergio Kindle, and Charles Scott ... these are some of the players you already know who are about to go ballistic. They might have earned all-conference status, but now they're about to become the year's superstars. These are college football's new superstars. Check them out in the 2009 CFN Pre-Spring Preview

Spring Preview 2009

The 20 Big Questions ... No. 3

By Pete Fiutak 

Spring Preview 2009
20 Big Questions

- No. 4 - The pain-in-the-butt team in each league
- No. 5 - The pressure will be on ...
- No. 6 - The major unit issues
- No, 7 - Ranking the leagues

- No, 8 - The teams that could tumble

- No, 9 - The teams that could surprise

- No, 10 - The 10 coaches who must win now
- No, 11 - Is the SEC worth the hype?

- No. 12 - Will the Pac 10 finally get some respect?
- No, 13 - The top BCS. vs. non-BCS games

- No. 14 - Why no Big East love?
- No, 15 - Does the Big Ten suck?

- No. 16 - Was the Big 12 exposed?

- No, 17 - Just how good is the ACC?
- No. 18 - Are we any closer to a playoff?

- No, 19 - Potential BCS Busters

- Top 50 Non-Conference Games (No. 1 to 10)
- Top 50 Non-Conference Games (No. 11 to 20)
- Top 50 Non-Conference Games (No. 21 to 30)
- Top 50 Non-Conference Games (No. 31 to 40)
- Top 50 Non-Conference Games (No. 41 to 50
With spring ball underway, here are the 20 Big Questions to start off the offseason.

3. Good players who are about to go nuclear.

These are the players who you know about, they might have earned all-conference status, but now they’re about to become the biggest players of 2009. These are college football’s new superstars.

Dezmon Briscoe & Kerry Meier, WR Kansas
Michael Crabtree, Jeremy Maclin, Dez Bryant, Juaquin Iglesias … it was certainly easy to get lost in the Big 12 wide receiver shuffle last season. But KU’s Kerry Meier tied Crabtree in receptions with 97 grabs for 1,045 yards and eight touchdowns, and Briscoe was third in the conference in touchdown catches with 15, to go along with 92 grabs for 1,407 yards. The two Jayhawk targets should be in for big years once again with veteran Todd Reesing under center again. It’s possible the twosome could combine for 200 catches.

John Clay, RB Wisconsin
The Badgers always crank out backs that rank among the nation’s best, and Clay could be the best the program has had since Ron Dayne. A star recruit a few years ago, Clay should blow up now that P.J. Hill moved on to the next level. He has the size and 6-2 and 230 pounds, and while he might not have Michael Bennett wheels, he was a star high school sprinter who ran in the 4x100 state finals two years in a row. The 884 yards and nine touchdowns of last year might have just scratched the surface on what should be a huge career.

Dexter Davis, DE Arizona State
Davis hasn’t made too much of a splash on a national scale, but that’s not his fault. The Pac 10’s leading returning pass rusher has 27.5 career sacks and 113 tackles over the last three seasons, and now he should be in for his biggest season yet. At 6-2 and 252 pounds, he’s not just a beefed up linebacker playing on the end. With tremendous pop off the line and closing ability, he could be the next Terrell Suggs. Watch for him to be on the short list for all the major awards for defensive linemen.

Colin Kaepernick, QB Nevada
While he might not be the next Vince Young, Kaepernick certainly plays a lot like the former Texas superstar. The Nevada junior ran for 1,130 yards and 17 touchdowns last season, averaging 7.02 yards per carry, and he also finished 31st in the nation in passing throwing for 2,849 yards with 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions. While he might be running a bit less with Luke Lippincott getting a sixth year of eligibility to go along with Vai Taua in the Wolf Pack backfield, he’ll still be among the nation’s best all-around playmakers. He’ll get a national stage early on in the opener against Notre Dame.

Case Keenum, QB Houston
Sam Bradford threw for 4,720 yards and 50 touchdowns in 14 games on his way to the Heisman. Keenum threw for 5,020 yards and 44 scores while finishing second in the nation in passing behind Graham Harrell. Keenum also ran for 221 yards and seven touchdowns, but he’ll make his money at the next level winging it around. While he only threw for 252 yards in the Armed Forces Bowl win over Air Force, he threw for 360 yards or more in the other 12 games of last year and went over 400 yards five times including the final three games of the season. Get ready to watch up in September shootouts against Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.

Sergio Kindle, DE/LB Texas
While he only made 45 tackles last season, Kindle was on the short list for all the All-America teams as a linebacker. Late in the year when superstar pass rusher Brian Orakpo went down, Kindle took over on the end and finished with 12.5 tackles for loss and ten sacks. Orakpo made 11.5 sacks. Now, Kindle is expected to spend most of his time as a pure pass rushing end where he should blow up and get the press Orakpo received last year. He could move back to linebacker from time to time, but for the most part he’ll be a terror into the backfield and could become one of the nation’s sack leaders.

Kendall Hunter, RB Oklahoma State
Cal’s Jahvid Best is the nation’s leading returning rusher, Ball State’s MiQuale Lewis is second, and Hunter is third. Lewis will have a hard time repeating last year’s success with so many big losses on the Cardinal offense, including four starters off the line, and Best will have to show he can stay healthy for a full season. Hunter ran for 1,555 yards and 16 touchdowns last season coming off a 696-yard, four touchdown freshman campaign. OSU has all the key parts back on offense, including most of the starters on the line, meaning Hunter should get past the 1,500-yard mark again and be in the hunt for the Doak Walker Award from the start.

Charles Scott, RB LSU
Scott ran for 1,174 yards and 18 touchdowns last season, tying Knowshon Moreno for the most touchdowns by anyone in the SEC, but he hasn’t received much in the way of national attention. Part of the problem was LSU’s struggles compared to the national title season of 2007, and part of the issue was the lack of production late in the year rushing for 10 yards against Ole Miss and 28 against Arkansas, both losses, before scoring three times in the Chick-fil-A Bowl win over Georgia Tech. He might have been held to 35 yards against Florida, but he ran for 92 yards and two scores against Alabama and 144 yards and two scores against Georgia. With a strong offensive line returning and what should be an improved passing game, Scott should be in the hunt for 20+ touchdowns and well over 1,200 rushing yards.  

Sean Weatherspoon, LB Missouri
The Tiger defense might have tanked last season, but Weatherspoon did what he could to carry the front seven by leading the Big 12 in tackles. He finished fifth in the nation with 155 stops, while his solo stops alone would’ve made him 38th in the conference. Not just a run stopper, he picked off three passes, taking two for touchdowns, and he led the team with 18.5 tackles for loss and tied for second in sacks with five. With Mizzou rebuilding on both sides of the ball, he’ll be the team’s signature star and in the hunt for the Butkus Award all year long.