Freshmen to Watch in 2014

We all feel it in the air and have started to see it take place it's spring again and that means the beginning of college football to the die hard fans out there. With spring comes new challenges and new excitement for each team, whether its trying to replace the Junior phenom that you lost to the draft or its seeing the faithful Seniors walking across the stage. Recruiting is a sport within itself trying to find the biggest,fastest, most dominating high school or junior college player to add to your team and fill the holes left from the previous season. Remember just because your the Freshmen doesn't mean your not a key player to your team, take a look at Tony Dorsett, Colt McCoy, Adrian Peterson, and even Sammy Watkins all stepped in as true Freshmen and helped they're team. So who are the guys that could have the potential to do that this year?

Travis Rudolph WR, Florida State

For those who enjoyed watching the Seminoles roll last year, look for this kid to help step in and fill the void of losing top two receivers Kelvin Benjamin and Kenny Shaw. The 6'1 185 pound receiver from West Palm Beach Florida just recently racked up 1237 receiving yards along with 15 touchdowns in his Senior season. Rudolph has the potential to be one of Jameis Winston's next weapon in the passing game. He runs a 4.52 40 yard dash which means he doesn't have Sammy Watkins like speed and he'll need to bulk up a little if he wants to catch balls between the hashes but all should come in time. Look for him this season to come to the next level and make a splash.

Jerrod Heard DT QB, Texas

A lot of people may wonder why I placed Heard on my watch list, but I've seen the kid play. With how bad things are down in Austin at the quarterback spot, you have to throw his name in the mix to contend for snaps this year. David Ash has had his moments, but the guy is just way too inconsistent for a program like Texas to continue to let drag them down. Tyrone Swoopes has potential at quarterback with his 6'4 245 pound frame. He was the number 2 dual threat quarterback in the 2013 class. The downside to Swoopes is that he was under utilized and really didn't get the playing time that you would expect from such a highly rated player which has brought doubts about him being the qb for the Longhorns. Heard is coming off a State Championship season with 2136 passing yards and 22 passing TDs and only 7 interceptions. To add to his resume he rushed for 2161 yards and 27 rushing scores. Watch for Heard to come into Austin and compete for playing time.

Leonard Fournette RB, LSU

When it comes to offense Fournette is the best player coming out of high school out of NOLA. From a Freshmen to a Senior Fournette has never rushed for under 1700 yards which is very impressive in itself but to add over 15 rushing scores as well can start to make people think your a Freak! At 6'1 221 pounds he is already an NFL sized running back with the sky as his limit to improve. LSU is going to try to replace Zach Mettenberger along with Jeremy Hill so expect Fournette to get a good number of carries as LSU tries to renew the offense left by NFL talent. Viewers wont be disappointed this year watching what could be a break through Freshmen campaign for young Fournette.

Zach Whitley ILB, UCLA

A big 6'2 223 pound inside linebacker from Houston Texas Whitley may see more playing time then a lot of other players in his class base on pure need at the position. UCLA has just lost Jordan Zumwalt and Anthony Barr and as everyone knows Jim Mora has no fear in starting a true Freshmen especially a play maker like Whitley. Finishing off his Senior season off with 144 tackles and seven sacks there is no doubt that Whitley could be one of the next great backers for the Bruins.

Myles Garrett DE, Texas A&M

It's hard to ignore the talent from Texas this season but Garrett is by far the best to come out in 2014. Standing at 6'4 and 245 pounds with a 4.6 forty yard dash he resembles Jadeveon Clowney, both are speed rushers and both make highlight film plays lets just hope Garrett is a lot more consistent. After one of the best Senior seasons a defensive lineman can have Garrett recorded 88 tackles, 39 for loss, 20.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, and best of all a scoop and score to add to it. A&M's offense is always competitive the questions are always on defense, and with such a big and fast player coming off the edge it may help throw some of the SEC qbs off their game a little bit.

Jabrill Peppers CB, Michigan

With the struggles the Wolverines had this past season down the stretch Peppers needs to be a key role in the secondary to help slow down the B1G's best offenses. Being a 6'1 corner with 4.4 forty speed is ideal for covering the small quick receivers and stay with the big ones. There may not be too much to say about Peppers except he played on both sides of the football in high school..... AND DOMINATED!!!! Having 57 tackles and 4 interceptions on defense Peppers also rushed for over 1500 and tallied 18 touchdowns. Look for Peppers to get put right into the lineup day one on campus, and don't be surprised if he turns into a shut down corner during his time at the Big House.

Other Players to Watch
Adoree’ Jackson ATH, USC Deshaun Watson QB, Clemson Raekwon McMillan LB, Ohio State D’Ernest Johnson RB, USF Kyle Allen QB, Texas A&M

While we can't always predict a player's success before he takes the field, you can get a pretty good feel for the good ones when you see them play like men among boys in high school. While injuries may cut players' careers short or the possible conduct mishap it is pretty safe to say that the young men above have a good chance to have their names heard to have the chance to play on Sundays.

Twitter: @RappVince

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