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Review: Top 16 Impact Freshman

Discussion in 'Buckeye Football' started by Mothra, Jan 7, 2005.

  1. Mothra

    Mothra The Man In The Box '14 Bowl Upsets Champ

    Review: Top 16 Impact Freshman
    <TABLE style="BORDER-TOP-WIDTH: 0px; BORDER-LEFT-WIDTH: 0px; BORDER-BOTTOM-WIDTH: 0px; BORDER-RIGHT-WIDTH: 0px" width="99%" border=1><TBODY><TR><TD style="BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none" vAlign=top><TABLE style="BORDER-TOP-WIDTH: 0px; BORDER-LEFT-WIDTH: 0px; BORDER-BOTTOM-WIDTH: 0px; BORDER-RIGHT-WIDTH: 0px" width="100%" border=1><TBODY><TR><TD style="BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none"> One of the best parts about writing the Top 16 Impact Freshman article before the season started was the ability to go back now and evaluate how well I actually did in predicting how the true freshman would produce. So, in that spirit I present my review of the article I did 4 long months ago (which can be read here; as well as talk about some guys I missed, and the future.

    Tier #1: Automatically Great

    Ted Ginn Jr., WR/ Returner Ohio State: Preseason #1

    My Preseason #1 guy proved to be just the playmaker I thought he’d be, even though if I was completely wrong about him. Ted never got to play on the defensive side of the ball, instead starting as one of the most explosive players in the nation at Wide Receiver. Without real stability or experience at the QB position, Ginn’s incredible play is really a credit to his hard work getting physically ready for a college football season. Also, he was definitely one of the 3 best returners in the nation, taking 4 punts back for TDs, including an 82 yarder against the Wolverines (averaged 31 yards a punt return along with leading the Buckeyes in receiving that game). In the future, Ginn’s work ethic, which was only further proved to me by comments by his father at the Alamo Bowl, could have him as a start playing both offense and defense for OSU, with All American capabilities at both spots. Anyone that doubts him should pull out the tape of that OK State Bowl game and watch him go from sideline to sideline, and turn a nothing play into a near TD, just unbelievable.

    Dwayne Jarrett, WR USC: Preseason #7

    And to think, Dwayne was actually considering a transfer to Rutgers before the year. Dwayne probably wasn’t even looked at as the best WR being brought in by the Trojans last offseason, with Fred Davis headlining the ‘05 class, but a few months of practices showed USC coaches all they needed to see to give him a starting spot. With Mike Williams, Steve Smith, and Whitney Lewis all being inactive for various reasons, a slow start for Jarrett really disappointed the USC coaches. He was showing his inexperience and it seemed like his head just wasn’t in it. However, as the weeks rolled on and as he matured, all coming to a peak when he torched the Arizona State secondary for three TDs and 139 yards (all on just 5 receptions). He streaked on through the season, finishing up with 13 TDs, but his best performance probably came in the game that mattered most, when he finished the first half against OU with 4 catches for 103 yards; including a 54 yard TD catch that stuck one of the first of many knives into the Sooners hearts’. Jarrett will likely start out next year as the #1 target again, but with the experience of this past year he could be ten times as dangerous.

    Adrian Peterson, RB Oklahoma: Preseason #2

    It took AD about 4 minutes to adjust to the college game and start dominating. He put up 100 yards in his first college game, then went on a streak of doing so in each of the next eight games; only missing the mark twice, once in a brutal beating of Nebraska in which he only got 15 carries, the other in the National Title game. His best game came in the game everyone down on the Texas-Oklahoma border looks forward to, the Red River Shootout, in which he had 225 yards on 32 carries. In doing so he out rushed the guy many consider the best RB in the country, Cedric Benson, by nearly 130 yards; and proved to a nation of doubters that he was special. While the USC defense kept him from ever breaking out in the title game when he was looked at as THE guy for OU, the fact that holding him to 80 yards is a total success shows what other coaches think of him. His mix of speed, power, breakthrough ability and overall greatness make him the early favorite for the 2005 Heisman, and the 2007 #1 overall pick.

    Tier #2: Hits

    Jeff Byers, Center USC: Preseason #4

    This is really a credit that should go to the entirety of the Trojan offensive line. Despite being widely criticized before the year; Byers, Sam Baker and the other young Trojan OL were good enough to have their QB win the Heisman. Look for nothing but improvement in the future.

    Erik Ainge and Brent Schaeffer, QBs Tennessee: Preseason #5

    I’m just grateful to the guys that gave me the heads up that these two kids would be starting for the Volunteers, because they definitely handled their business this year. Schaeffer started out the year and was a great change of pace (and would probably be an awesome WR if he moves), but it was Ainge who led the Vols for most of the year (including the victories over Florida and Georgia). Injuries kept them both out for a while, which is also the reason they didn’t make Tier #1.

    Brian Toal, LB Boston College: Preseason #9

    It didn’t take long for Toal to establish himself as a starter on a Boston College team that had every opportunity to win the Big East Title. He’s fast, smart, an excellent tackler, just pretty much everything a team could look for in a Linebacker, and could player either inside or outside. He may very well be the best player on the defense next year, so he’ll need to step up even more for the Eagles move to the ACC.

    Marshawn Lynch, RB California: Preseason #12

    You can’t question speed and agility like Marshawn’s. Even with J.J. Arrington having one of the best RB years in Cal history, Jeff Tedford still gave Marshawn every opportunity to get on the field, just because he is a natural born playmaker. Marshawn with the bulk of the carries would probably mean him in that top tier, but this is mighty fine for any freshman. Next year when Arrington, the WRs, and Rodgers are gone he’ll be the man on the offense, so look for huge things from him in the near future. After all, he had 9 yards per carry, that’s just obscene.

    Calvin Johnson, WR Georgia Tech: Preseason #13

    I even kind of surprised myself with this one. Calvin was able to dominate to the tune of 48 catches for 837 yards despite QB Reggie Ball not having near the year coaches or fans hoped for, and being the only real offensive threat healthy throughout the season. Calvin has Andre Johnson type size, speed, and athletic ability, plus a pair of hands that would make Marvin Harrison jealous (maybe not, but they’re good). Calvin’s lack of premier talent around him at GT or national exposure may keep him from getting any awards in the future, but I wouldn’t worry too much about him in term of NFL potential.

    Zach Miller, TE Arizona St.: Preseason #15

    Miller was the biggest lock outside of the top 2 guys. Miller had no competition at TE for the Sun Devils, even though it’s not like he wouldn’t have beaten them out had there been any. The comparisons that he had to a young Todd Heap were pretty eerie, even though his game seems to be a lot more polished at an early age. He’ll be one of the best in the game sometime over the next two years.

    Tier #3: Misses

    Willie Williams, OLB Miami (FL): Preseason #3

    An early suspension and then an injury kept Willie off the field for the entire year, basically forcing a redshirt. That’s not good considering he said he’s 3 years and out in college, but maybe a season away from football helped him get his mind right, which is good considering he has a starting spot waiting for him next year.

    Early Doucet, WR LSU: Preseason #6

    With 18 catches and 250 yards, Doucet put himself in a very good place in regards to his part in the future of the offense, but with problems all year at LSU he really never got into a great rhythm. However, his breakout could come at any time, so keep an eye of him at the start of next season.

    Cameron Colvin, WR Oregon: Preseason #8

    Cameron had an ok season for a regular freshman, putting up 14 catches for 190 yards and a pair of TDs, but that’s nothing compared to what I think he’ll do next year. Mark down the Oregon Ducks as my breakout team of 2005, with seniors across the board, and a number of guys on the verge of breakout seasons (QB Kellen Clemons especially).

    Myron Hardy, WR Texas: Preseason #10

    Hardy managed to catch one pass for three yards this season. I know what you’re thinking; he’s the next Roy Williams. Seriously though, he’ll be an important member of the offense, it just might take some time (like when Ryan Perriloux takes over).

    DeMario Pressley, DT NC State: Preseason #11

    DeMario saw playing time in most of the Wolfpack games, but didn’t really get a chance to show off his talent. Look for him next year with a year of experience in him, and a top 5 pick playing next to him in Mario Williams.

    William Morrisey, DT Texas A&M: Preseason #14

    As I said in my preseason article, picking a kid with two solid starters ahead of him was risky, and in that regard I was right. He redshirted the 2004 season.

    Chris Patterson, OLB Oklahoma: Preseason #16

    He couldn’t make the grades to get into OU and ended up at some Junior College. We’ll have to way a bit longer to see if he’s the real deal.

    The Overlooked

    Dan Connor, OLB Penn St.

    Bash Joe Paterno all you want, he knows how to mold those Linebackers. Connor was all over the field this year for the Nittany Lions, registering 85 tackles and potentially reserving a spot in the pantheon of great Linebackers at PSU if he can keep it up for a few more years.

    Chad Henne and Mike Hart, QB and RB Michigan

    I guess an invitation to the Rose Bowl and a share of the Big Ten title is good enough to get some attention. Hart for a long while was right next to AD in terms of praise from the college football world, and Chad Henne looked like the next great Wolverine QB.

    Anthony Reddick, S Miami (FL)

    I’d like to say that his blocked punt against Houston tipped me off that he’d be something special, but I was blinded by his low preseason ranking. That was dispelled when he moved into the starting lineup and starting showing up both Greg Threat and Brandon Meriweather. Convenient that the Next Miami Safety has the same number as the last one, 26.

    Brandon Siler, MLB Florida

    It may have taken an injury to the Gators most talented Defensive player to give him a chance, but the UF nation is just glad that Siler was able to show off what he can do. His emergence really softens the blow of Channing Crowder heading to the NFL, some might even see it as an upgrade when injuries and off the field issues are factored in.

    Ko Simpson, CB South Carolina

    With all the talented DBs in the SEC, its kind of a surprise that the league’s leading INT man would be a true freshman, not to mention one from South Carolina. Then again, after what Dunta Robinson did last year, maybe there’s a trend starting to grow at SC, and with new coach Steve Spurrier’s recruiting abilities its one that may continue for a while.

    Jemario Thomas, RB North Texas

    It’s possible to say that no one saw him coming because Patrick Cobbs was in front of him on the depth chart, but whether or not Cobbs was healthy a player like Jemario would have gotten onto the field. For not being the biggest RB he’s a load to take down, credit great technique and physical training for that.

    Re-Ranking the 16

    Based on what they did this past season:

    1. Ted Ginn, WR Ohio St.

    2. Adrian Peterson, RB Oklahoma

    3. Dwayne Jarrett, WR USC

    4. Chad Henne, QB Michigan

    5. Calvin Johnson, WR Georgia Tech

    6. Erik Ainge (Brent Schaeffer), QB Tennessee

    7. Brian Toal, LB Boston College

    8. Mike Hart, RB Michigan

    9. Marshawn Lynch, RB California

    10. Brandon Siler, LB Florida

    11. Jemario Thomas, RB North Texas

    12. Ko Simpson, CB South Carolina

    13. Dan Connor, LB Penn State

    14. Anthony Reddick, S Miami

    15. Antoine Cason, CB Arizona

    16. Jordan Dizon, LB Colorado

    Top Ten ’05 Impact Freshmen

    Way too early, but I know you can’t

    wait 8 months for the in depth version.

    1. Derrick Williams, WR Penn St. - May be the best player on the offense the minute he steps on campus.

    2. Fred Rouse, WR FSU*- With all the WRs FSU loses, the QBs are going to be glad they have a talent like Rouse.

    3. Marlon Lucky, RB Nebraska – The Huskers might have some talent at RB on the roster (and Leon Jackson in this class), but none compare to Marlon.

    4. Victor Harris, CB Virginia Tech – The potential loss of Jimmy Williams could cause a hole in the secondary that Harris can fill.

    5. Rey Maulauga, LB Oregon* - Oregon just needs talented football players to plug in on defense, Maulauga might have a starting spot ready when he gets there.

    6. Dajleon Farr, Miami (FL) – The Miami offense isn’t the same when they don’t have two skilled TEs; he should form a great combo with RS Soph Greg Olsen.

    7. Luther Brown II, LB USC* With Lofa Tatupu reportedly entering the draft, an amazing physical talent like Brown could step in and take his spot at MLB

    8. Malcolm Kelly, WR Oklahoma – The Sooners lose so many receivers that a physically mature young guy like Kelly could be starting at WR in September.

    9. Jemario O’Neal, CB/S Ohio State – This would have to be a case of O’Neal forcing his way onto the field, but his versatility and tackling ability should earn him some PT.

    10. Travis Beckum, LB Wisconsin – A big time recruit for Barry Alvarez, there’s no reason to keep him off the field in Madison.

    * Uncommitted

  2. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member

    JamO getting the early love...
  3. wstripes

    wstripes Newbie

    IMO- You have to put the top four together....Peterson, Jarret, Henne, Ginn.......That doesn't have to do with talent, or future has to do with impact this last year and how they impacted the team from begining to really can't distinguish them...aside from Peterson..

    Rey Mauluga isn't going to Oregon....
  4. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Never Forget 31-0

    gotta give the love to Teddy...unbelievable impact considering he only played half the season.
  5. BuckStocksHere

    BuckStocksHere Semper Fi!

    I too would put Petersen as #1. I love Ginn, don't get me wrong, but because Petersen started from the get go and plays a position where he gets his hands on the ball 25 times a game.... hard to beat that. What did he end up with like 1,800 yds rushing or something... sick for a freshman.

    I'd take a stud RB anyday of the week over a stud anything else.

    But you have got to LOVE Ginn's it.
  6. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member

    Hmmm...not sure, but solid points. AP controlled games and Teddy changed them. You can scheme to take away a RB...ask USC...but its much more difficult to take away a versatile threat like Ginn & Bush.

    Definitely a matter of opinion though.

    I'll take Teddy
  7. BuckTwenty

    BuckTwenty Parties with Pete Johnson's Beard

    It makes me cringe to see so many guys on this list that we were in on. We were very to pretty close to landing D.Jarrett, J.Byers, A.Reddick, D.Conner, and if my memory serves me right, B.Siler. Also recruited W.Williams, C.Patterson, and C.Henne. Shows that we are definetly on the right path recruiting wise. I mean, how amazing would we have been this year if we had those first five guys to complement Ginn in this past year's recruiting class??
  8. jlb1705

    jlb1705 hipster doofus Staff Member Bookie

    I rate Ted Ginn above Peterson. I don't think Oklahoma is much worse off without Peterson. I don't think he's as complete a player as Clarett was. Clarett could block and was a threat as a reciever. At Oklahoma, they bring in another guy to do that stuff out of the backfield. Peterson is a hell of a runner though, and he can take the pounding that Clarett could not. I give him full credit for that.

    Ted Ginn, on the other hand, made the entire Buckeye team better. His abilities stretch opposing defenses, draw attention away from Holmes, and our defense stays fresher by virtue of the offense being able to stay on the field longer. Without Ted Ginn, the Buckeyes probably wouldn't have made it to a bowl game.
  9. RugbyBuck

    RugbyBuck Our church has no bells.

    Well, I was going to post on this, but JLB just said it.
  10. Dryden

    Dryden Sober as Sarkisian Staff Member Tech Admin

    Solely on potential and game breaking ability I'd take Ted Ginn Jr. However, this year I would have to say AP was more important. His 225 yards on 32 attempts against Texas, which finished with a Top-20 rushing D at under 110 yards/game avg, was pretty darn impressive. Against that particular defense, AP's performance was statistically more significant than the 200+ yards games Clarett posted on the likes of Texas Tech and Wazzu, and don't forget everyone in Ohio was ready to hand him a Heisman after his 3rd game!

    1,800 yard backs don't come along every year, and here's a freshman RB who posted better numbers than even our own "horse" in 2002 while being durable enough to play a full season. Over the course of their careers, I think Ginn will be a truly unique, one-of-a-kind talent. But based on this year I'd put Peterson #1.
  11. sandgk

    sandgk Watson, Crick & A Twist

    Guess I have more of the glass half full kind of view of this.

    We are definitely going after the right kind of player, and we are getting some of them to don Scarlet & Grey.

    Aside from Willie Williams of Miami it seems to me we (and our recruiting staff) are keeping pretty good company.
  12. USCRH07

    USCRH07 Newbie

    Ted Ginn ahead of Adrian Peterson?

    Here's my top 5 for what it's worth:

    1. Adrian Peterson - Broke the freshman rushing record. Lifted OU in key games.
    2. Chad Henne - Helped lead Michigan back to the Rose Bowl
    3. Ted Ginn - Would be higher up on the list, but really didn't put together a full season.
    4. Dwayne Jarrett - Stepped up as a go-to target.
    5. Calvin Johnson - Solid freshman season.
  13. BB73

    BB73 Loves Buckeye History Staff Member Bookie '16 & '17 Upset Contest Winner

    Peterson gets held to 82 yards, and is losing some love.

    He is the only freshman to ever finish second in the Heisman. But he'll have a tough time getting as many yards next year, with Oklahoma losing so many players. Everybody will play 8 or 9 in the box all day long against the Sooners next year.

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