Discussion in 'The Tradition' started by Hellisan, Feb 11, 2010.
Peeps: Preview your own team this year....
Rather than having Mo do everybody's hehehehehe....
The University of Tennesee 2015
We look at this season as our last really good to solid team.
The last three consecutive seasons we have lost our starting QB after the year.
QB grade: B
The X man left after a storied career.
Fred Alexander left school after failing to be a champion and thought the road to the NFL was paved with $ signs.
Simpson left after a career that saw him gather three BCS rings after his RS Jr season.
That leaves us with Ron Treangen a middle of the road QB and a RS Jr. He isnt anything to be excited about and were not.
RB grade: B to B +
James Keys left and that leaves a couple of ok to middle of the road senior RBs that I dont really like.
After then there is nothing.
WR Grade; A+
Carlson and Dingle both return for thier RS senior seasons. Carlson and Dingle both tried and failed to go pro.
We have some young WRs on the team now but nothing that comes close to either of them.
TE grade: B
We have a couple of solid players at this spot but none of them are close to the player Leroy Tucker was for us.
Oline grade: A
We are good and young here, this is one place we have consistantly recruited well at. Our LT is a senior but we will have a 90+ Soph to take his spot next season. LG 88 ovr Soph, C is a senior but we have a 85 ovr Freshman redshirting now that will take over there. RG we have a 90+ jr with two solid back ups. RT we have a 85 ovr Freshman starter.
Dline grade: A
Two senior DEs starting this season are both very good. What scares me is what is left for next year....which isnt much.
LBs grade: A
We are solid here but will have to start recruiting this spot this season as we look to the future.
Secondary grade: A+
We are very good and very young in the secondary. We could go this year without bringing anyone in and be fine.....but we wont.
Overall grade for 2015: A
Overall grade for 2016: C- Look out the future isnt bright in Tennesee right now. We just havent been able to land anything worthwhile at QB, RB or WR for a couple seasons now. This class isnt going to do much to change that...
2015 Georgia Bulldogs
Theme: Getting their chance to shine - There are seniors starting for the first time at numerous positions
Offense - We have the pieces in place to be a dangerous offensive team, just as we have for the the past several seasons. Yet we will be a much different team. Fewer quarterback options and scrambles, more running the football, and hopefully a better short passing game which was lacking in our last playbook.
QB: Nick Murray (89 OVR, 89 AWR, 91 THP, 88 THA) redshirted and then sat the bench for three years waiting for this opportunity, much like 2009 starter Joe Cox. He has the ability to lead this team to a very nice showing.
HB: This will be by committee as there is no clear-cut starter. Matthew Peters (92) started the first game but got dinged up and then was ineffective, so Curtis Bower (259 lbs, 87 OVR, 93 SPD) was inserted into the starting role and played very well. Ivan Jackson (87 OVR, 96 SPD) is going to start the second game, and Bower will see carries as the backup. After a few games we will see who is performing the best and give them the bulk of the carries, but we will likely give all three an opportunity this season.
FB: Freshman Bryan West has beaten out senior Marcus Johnson, for now. West (72) is a little faster and catches the ball much better than Johnson does, and has similar running ratings. And while Johnson is known as the better blocker, West is actually better at blocking in space.
WR: I love our depth at WR this year. Senior Michael Outlaw (93 OVR, 94 SPD) has good size and this is his first year as the clear-cut starter. Speedster Shawn Lee (89 OVR, 97 SPD) will also see starting action and both will probably get a lot of balls thrown their way this season. Senior Devon Kane will fill the slot role while Matt McDonald (79 OVR, 89 SPD) will be fourth. If any of these guys get hurt we have redshirts we can pull off young guys.
TE: Three serviceable tight ends led by the very good Geremy Brown (93 OVR). Brown is just a junior and will probably have a MUCH bigger role in the offense next season after Outlaw and Kane graduate, when Lee is our only star WR. That said, he had 90+ yards in the opening game and is a real threat.
OL: Very good bookends and center, questionable at the guards. Left guard Ryan Downing is a senior starting for the first time. His lack of strength scares us, and 342-lb Casey Franklin is there in case he falters. Franklin is a freshman but has good strength and obviously is huge. Right guard Orlando Richardson doesn't have great strength either but he's one of the most athletic linemen in football, and is awesome on screens and pulling/trapping plays. We have a left tackle and right tackle that are both juniors, and 98-99 OVR.
DE: This is a mix and match unit. The only guy expected to be on the field every play is Brent Henderson (91). the junior is our only proven pass rushing threat. Larry Peoples is a 6-8 behemoth starting for the first time but isn't that fast. he will sometimes come off the field in favor of Dan Bailey, the former outside linebacker who went through a position change and redshirt season.
DT: (lol... what to say about this). We could really use a more athletic guy in here... I bet FSU could say the same. But we're big and stout so that's good. Senior Matt Taylor is a first-time starter and will be expected to stay on the field just about all game. Five-star Adam Phillips will see plenty of snaps as well and occasionally be spelled by Matt Anderson, a true freshman.
OLB: Louis Lee is a 3-star MLB that was the backup middle linebacker for the past two seasons but saw the field a lot since we do play a 3-4 look quite often. In the offseason, 2-star Willie Hall passed him by so in order to have him see the field Lee is starting outside. He is athletic enough to play out there. On the other side is manchild Marques Brown. The 6'7" 246-lb, 91 OVR sophomore intercepted three passses in the season-opener, taking one of them back for a touchdown. You can't throw over him and really shouldn't throw anywhere near him.
MLB: Willie Hall is a 6'5" 249 lbs. madman that has improved to 95 OVR as a 2-star recruit, due to hard work. He gets a chance to start as a senior and we expect a nice season out of him. Louis Lee is always ready to jump back over if we need him.
CB: Joe Dixon is back for his fourth year as a starter. He's had a really nice career, but isn't a shut down corner. What corner in this game is though. Eric Cole stands a chance to be something close to a shut-down cornerback one day. The 90 OVR sophomore has awesome speed and skills that could translate into great stats one day. Maybe even this year. Watch out for #12. Then there's Jake Rogers in the slot and Adam Childress as the #4 option. We have depth and talent here, nice combo.
FS: The 2-star circus continues as Joe Forte (87 OVR soph) is a rising star. The 5'11" 216-pounder will knock your head clean off. The only thing he doesn't do great is catch the ball, and he's o.k. at that.
SS: One of our deepest positions, as it is for most of us. Sophomore Tanner Jenkins (6'3" 219, 92 OVR) has great speed. Between Jenkins and Forte you're not getting an easy deep ball most of the time. Starting quality players Donnie Matthews and Kyle McBride are available in case Jenkins goes down or we decide to play him at cornerback. Which is a possibility against a couple teams this season.
Special Teams: one of the best kickers around in Joe Roland. The speedy Chris Reed (86 speed) is gonna be punting this season. Interesting to see how Reed does on kickoffs after Roland graduates, we expect him to come eat up some blocks that would normally be taken up by the rush guys. Our kick returners have a chance to be special. Ivan Jackson will handle punts and line up next to Jake Rogers (4 KO returns last year) on kickoffs. If Jackson becomes the full-time starter at HB his role will be decreased.
Overall: we look to have a nice team. Once again it will come down to coaching and consistency.
MIAMI HURRICANES SEASON PREVIEW
Quarterback - Grade A+
We arguably have the best collection of QBs in college football. There is a battle for the starting job between Adam Francis, a 3 year starter and All-American/Heisman candidate who has a cannon for an arm. But after missing all of last year with an injury, Ray Wise is back with avengence. He has improved his arm alot, and is much more mobile than Francis. Both with likely play with Francis seeing the majority of time simply due to Coach Juggs' loyalty to the senior. 3rd on the depth chart is Sophmore Quinton Lee. Much in the mold of Francis, he is slow as shit, but has a cannon for an arm and figures to be a future star once he takes over under center.
Running Back - Grade B-
At Halfback, Richard Smith had a great redshirt season, really improving his carry ability and has emerged as the starter. He is the fastest Miami HB in about 4 years, so it will be nice to have someone with speed back there. Behind him is a big brusing back Martindale, who will definitely see some time in short yardage situations. At FB, Watkins is the starter, but we plan on going with a heavy Ace/Shotgun playbook this year so he doesn't figure to see much time.
Wide Receiver - Grade C-
The loss of Patrick Harris, who opted to turn pro as a RS Soph, really really hurt us. JT Rogers, a sophmore who really emerged as a Freshman last year, will assume the #1 WR spot. He is huge (6'5/210) and has decent speed and hands. Behind him is Donte Bailey, a WR with some speed but a knack for dropping big passes. And converted CB Josh Stephens moves into the #3 spot to give us a game breaker. Overall though, probably the worst group of WRs of any user team
Tight End - Grade A-
A terrific trio of Keller, Stone and Randolph. Keller is a All-American candidate with terrific hands and great speed. Stone is an OL in a TE body. And Randolph combines both of their skills. All 3 will see the field as we plan on going with alot of 2 and 3 TE sets
O-Line - Grade B-
Not going to sit here and talk up Olineman. They are ok, we've had better, we've had worse.
D-Line - Grade A
We are stacked at DE. Ryan Benson returns after missing more than half the year last year. Even with missing 8 games, the freshman last year had 12 sacks and figures to wreck havoc again. Along side him will be Johnson at DT. He is big and a good run stuffer which is all we ask for in the 3-4. At the other DE there will be a combo of Jon Thomas and Pete Smith. Thomas is better at stopping the run, but Smith has 89 spd at DE and should be a pass rushing machine.
LB - Grade B
Tony Austin at MLB single handedly brings this grade from a C to a B. He doesn't have a weakness. Size, tackle, smart, speed, he should be a machine for us. Our OLBs are fast if nothing else which is important in the 3-4. And our other MLB can tackle and pursue which is good in run defense. But nothing special here after Austin
CB - Grade A-
This grade is subjective. On paper, they are stellar. Nicholas Thomas is probably the best corner in college. Brown, Kramer, Ferguson all are excellent as well. But we had the same bunch last year and users picked them apart. So we'll see
Safety - Grade B
In a year, this will be an A. But Montgomery and Dunlap are both only sophmores so their awareness isnt the best. They both definitely have all the physical tools and attributes though, so just need some experience
Predicition - 9-3. 5 user games is tough, prediciting I go 2-3 in them
Juggs and Bruce: Great previews, enjoyed reading those.
Juggs: LOL'd at "a knack for dropping big passes." can something like that really be described as a knack? hahahahahahaha
lol I didn't know how to put...the guy will put up big stats and make alot of catches on 1st and 2nd down, but on a 3rd and 6, he is my last option everytime cause i can't trust he will hold onto the ball
Yeah... I think that'd be called a "gift" for dropping passes. Or like.. Blessed with the ability to drop any pass that matters. Or possibly... a talent for dropping passes, a flair for the non-dramatic, an adroit command at messing up at inopportune moments... lol. Ok... Knack's the best thing I can think of too lolol
VA TECH HOKIES SEASON PREVIEW
Quarterback - Grade B+ Down graded to a B
We have a clear starter for the year. Klye Howard - JR -He has decent speed, 89 TP and 88 THA. His legs are the X factor and he has some moves also. He had some accuracy problem but he progressed 3 points in the offseason. We are very comfortable if he gets hurt as back up senior is Brandon Edward a Chad Pennington wannabe.
UPDATE: KYLE HOWARD out for 4 weeks+ with a pinched nerve...fucking pussy!
Running Back - Grade A
Well Bruce Burton (OVR 88) is the man here. Sophomore HB who was having a monster Freshman year before going down with a shoulder tear that ended his season early. Look for him to be the main horse but to be sharing carries to keep him fresh. We have a stable of backs including Senior captain Patrick Heinz (OVR 90) who decided to stay one more year. Look for SOPH Ryan Poole (OVR 85, 93 SPD) to see action as well.
Wide Receiver - Grade B+
Well not much to see here unless you miss 6'6 SEN - Jeff Ellis (OVR 96). The guy is a beast and will be heading into the NFL next year as a high draft pick. He can do it all and will be the main target for QB Howard. The rest of the crew are no names. SOPH - Todd Stanley (OVR 87) who is the #2 plays above his ratings but is mostly getting open due to the attention that Ellis gets. Look for Stanley to have decent stats this year. JR - 6'6 A.J Edwards would be playing TE if he could block but instead he is a guy with decent hands how you can fire the ball high to and expect him to come down with it. I expect him to convert some very important 3rd and medium downs.
Tight End - Grade B
After Logan Thomas they all suck! Well not totally true. SEN Brian Allen (OVR 93) is a solid TE can catch and block. Also SOPH Eric Wilson (OVR 81) is a receiving TE. He played FB all last year and made some nice plays but we need him at TE.
O-Line - Grade B
All Juniors and 1 Freshman....we could see more sacks....ouch!
D-Line - Grade B
We are the opposite of Miami. We are starting a 2 star Freshman Aaron Harrington (OVR 77, SPD 83) at LE and #1 DE Recruit of 4 classes ago Johnny MCconnell (OVR 88). The weird thing about these guys isthat they are HUGE for DEs, Harrington is 6'5 260 and MCconnell is 6'4 278. Large bodies! at DT we have solid SEN Easley (OVR 92) clogging the middle at 311 lbs.
LB - Grade A
VA Techs Strength. Anchored by JR Robert Evans (OVR 97). We love this guy he does everything. Behind him in the 3-4 is 6'7 JUN Bryan Sullivan (OVE 93). On the Outside we have SEN Matt Clark (OVR 93) and JR Brian Allen (OVR 90).
This is the CORE of the HOKIE Defense they are fast and smart. This is where plays will be made and this is we can change the game. Bring it on KERR!!!
CB - Grade B-
My secondary is a bunch of nobodies. SEN Terrence Mangum (OVR 89) is the leader but not by much. His biggest attribute is that he is 6'4 which rare for a CB. I really hopw these guys play above their heads. This is going to be a problem that game planning and play calling is going to have to make up for.
Safeties - Grade B
FS - SOPH Jamal Utley made some plays last year coming sometimes for mop up duty. He is only an 87 OVR but plays a bit tougher. He will be tested but we expect this young gun to step up!
SS -SEN Alex Tatum (OVR 91) will be filling in for AA Walter Britt for one season. We need him to play BIG! Curious to see how he performs.
Predicition - 10-2/11-1. Only 4 user games not counting the ACC Championship game. GT will looking for revenge but VTECH will be looking to prove that last year was no fluke!
UNC will be another team looking for revenge from the beating they took in the ACC Title game....some nice rivalries brewing!!
MIAMI - well we all no that old story....
LSU - The unknown....last game of the season. We will be primed and ready by then. Look out coach WYNO!
We are READY!!
Watch out for Burton man.
Anderson had the shoulder tear end a season... Then fumbled 11 times the next season, or approximately 3.5 times more than he'd fumbled the rest of the three years of his career. If you see fumbles early... don't assume they'll stop.
my goal this year is to take down VT...ill take 1-4 in user games if we beat them
lol...always ready for ya juggs to choke and give it away.
Update to the VA Tech thread....injuries already. Pulled all offensive starters at halftime.
How are you alive at this point, you two live in the same city....
we I see Mike we dont talk about NCAA football...
good job fellas i'll do mines tonight!
Good stuff fellas, I'll have mine up once I get back to town.
---The offense returns 4 of their key offensive cogs (Jones, Perry, Campbell, West) while losing star WR Shaun Brown and TE Avery Stevenson. Coach feels his offense shouldn't lose much of a beat, with a better deep threat and WR in Joe West as the #1, not to mention a better overall WR corps and TE corps.
QUARTERBACK- GRADE B+
SR Andy Jones (91ovr, 87spd, 89thp, 82tha) is back for his final season and he's outright won the starting gig at QB. JR-Jeremy Cooke (89) maybe a bit frustrated at this decision but it was made best for the team. Jones's playmaking ability cannot be questioned. While he's not like former star QB Jordan Luallen, he's a damn good player who can make plays with his feet and arm. With better improvement on his throws, look for Jones to be the leader of this team.
ON THE RISE- SO-QB Kendall Washington (81ovr, 87spd, 81thp, 80tha)
RUNNING BACKS- GRADE B
SO-Clifford Perry (82ovr, 92spd, 84trk, 87stiff) had a great year running for 1500 yards last season. He returns as the main back this year and a preseason all-american. His speed and power for the 6'1", 220lb back makes him one of the better backs coming into this season. Coach would like to lessen the load off of Perry this year, using his senior-RB Richard Smith (88ovr) who's the more steady back by all accounts. "Perry is our HR hitter, while Smith, we'll need to get doubles from him," said Coach Moreecemos. SO-FB John Campbell (76ovr, 92imp, 84rbk) is proving to be quite the blocking FB showing great improvement and surprising hands to carry the rock and catch it out of the backfield as well.
ON THE RISE- FR Jason Vaughn (80ovr, 91spd, 83juke)
WIDE RECEIVERS- GRADE B
While losing star WR Shaun Brown hurt, it makes way for the erratic, yet exciting WR Joe West (92ovr, 92spd, 90rte, 87cit). West has what it takes to be a star WR in the nation with his knack for getting open and if he does, making dazzling moves in the open field. The 6'3", 217lb West figures to be an impact player for the Yellow Jackets. Starting the other spot is SO-Maurice Oliver (85ovr, 90spd, 87rte, 90jmp) a kid GT loved when recruiting him a few years back. As a sophomore, Oliver is ready to man that other WR spot. At the slot, true freshman Ronnie Stephens (80ovr) beat out JUCO-WR Nate Green. Stephens a 6'2" kid who reminds many of Shaun Brown simply is a guy who's ready to play now as many feel he's going to be the next star WR at GT.
ON THE RISE- FR Ronnie Stephens (80ovr, 88spd, 79cth, 83spec)
TIGHT ENDS- GRADE C+
At first look, the TE group doesn't look spectacular but what coach Moreecemos has recruited here are big behemoth TE's who have excellent hands and who can block. While they don't have breakaway speed, these group of TE's have the best hands on the team. Getting the starting nod here is SO-Donte Joseph (82ovr, 76spd, 85cth). Standing at 6'7" gives Jones a huge target to hit over the middle. FR-Richard Parsons (77ovr) is another kid GT recruited, standing at 6'6", 276lbs with 79 speed. GT felt the wrath of dropped passes last season and hope that these guys getting more looks in the passing game can help alleviate that problem.
ON THE RISE- FR Caleb Love (79ovr, 78cth, 80cit)
OFFENSIVE LINE- GRADE A-
GT has done a great job having offensive linemen ready to play at any given moment, steady working on depth and having quality guys on the team. While GT lost LT Richard Gallagher to the NFL draft, they simply just moved SR-Adam Jacobs (94ovr, 90pbk, 87rbk) into the starting spot at LT and Mike Hills (92ovr, 94pbk, 87rbk) won the starting job at RT. Arguably the best offensive linemen in the nation is SR-Tyrone Baker (99ovr, 98pbk, 88rbk) a stud who stand at 6'5", 318lbs and can move very well. JR-C Greg Newsome (93ovr, 86pbk, 87rbk) returns to the center position after a big time year last year which earned him all-american honors. The only question mark would be RG where SO-Josh Kirk (88ovr, 85pbk, 80rbk) gets the early nod at that spot. We aren't sure how well he'll do in game situations but he's been impressive so far in camps.
ON THE RISE- FR-RG Tyler Nash (81ovr, 84pbk, 77rbk)
DEFENSIVE LINE- GRADE A
The defensive line sees a few guys who with hard work have overcome their shortcomings to become starters for GT. JR-RE Marcus Gunn (92ovr, 87spd, 91bsd) returns to his spot at RE trying to improve on his 6 sack total. Starting in place of stud LE Brannon Edwards is SR-LE Brandon Young (92ovr, 86spd, 84str, 92hpwr). Young is an interesting kid. He's only 6'1", 221lbs but he's fast and surprisingly powerful and boy does he pack a punch. Young benefits from being a FS/LB in HS which helped him develop into the player he is now, starting in place of a GT legend. Manning the middle are two powerful DT's in SR-Tony Brooks (97ovr, 96str, 92bsd) and JR-Justin Hurd (93ovr, 96str, 89pwr) who should be a load for opposing interior offensive linemen.
ON THE RISE- FR Darryl Moss (79ovr, 84spd, 84str, 94pur)
LINEBACKERS- GRADE B+
At first look, this LB corps doesn't look impressive but what they are, is a bunch of hard working kids who have put in their time and now are reaping the benefits. At the LOLB spot, JR-Brian Romero (87ovr, 86spd, 97pur) is a kid who just has a knack for finding the football. He's relentless out there and we expect him to benefit most from moving back to a base 4-3 defense. At MLB, SR-Alex Gore (92ovr, 87spd, 95pur) is similar to Romero in how he plays out there. As the leader of this defense, he's expected to have another solid year (194 total tackles, 5 sacks, 5 INT's in two full seasons). At ROLB, JR-Garrett Barrett (88ovr, 87spd, 88tak) had to put in two years of being on the special teams coverage team and now is paying dividends. Barrett is our most aware LB on the team right now and we expect him to show how good he really is.
ON THE RISE- FR-MLB Ryan Smith (86ovr, 78spd, 87tak, 87bsd)
CORNERBACKS- GRADE A-
CB has always been a recruiting strength for GT and it's still remains true. While recently they haven't been able to find those uber-athletic CB's, they've been bringing in solid CB's to mature into starters. SR-CB Ross Merrick (93ovr, 93spd, 94awr, 93mcv) is one of the better cover CB's in the nation and has taken over the #1 spot for GT since the middle of last year and hasn't looked back since. SR-CB Anthony Hood (93ovr, 89spd, 98mcv, 99prs) gets the early nod at the other spot. Hood hasn't been on the field much due to depth and injuries but realistically, he's our best cover CB out on the field yet we have an eye on him with guys like SO-James Adkins (87) and JR-Perry Thomas (86) waiting in the wings.
ON THE RISE- FR-CB Jake Davis (85ovr, 89spd, 94zcv, 97prs)
SAFETIES- GRADE A
Star FS and all-american SR-George Dunn (89ovr, 92spd, 95mcv, 73cth) really tested the waters to go pro but despite his playmaking ability, was only slated to go in the later rounds of the NFL draft. Now he's out to improve on his GT records he broke last year. He had 8INT's last year and returned 4 of them for TD's. He has 23INT's on his career, breaking the mark set by Cooper Taylor. The 6'3" senior is looking to have an outstanding year. At the other safety spot is the unheralded SR-Michael Banks (94ovr, 91spd, 93awr, 94zcv). Banks had 75 tackles, 2 sacks, 3INT's and 3TD's last year. Banks is the more NFL ready prospect and bringing him back another year will only improve his stock as a stud SS.
ON THE RISE- FR-SS Brian White (79ovr, 78awr, 88tak, 79cth)
Coach is taking a risk looking for walk-on kickers and punters for this season as he has two seniors at the those spots. SR-Nick Smith (82ovr, 86kpw, 85kac) missed only 4 FG's last year, making him very reliable. Meanwhile, SR-Ryan Horne (83ovr, 86kpw, 86kac) is a good directional punter, as he had 15 of his 43 punts land inside the 20 yard line. The speedy JR-CB Glenn Butler (89ovr, 93spd) gets KR/PR duties and while he's been a disappointment as a CB, GT hopes his speed can get the team easy TD's off kickoffs. Waiting in the wings is JUCO-WR Nate Green, if Butler has problems holding onto the ball.
OVERALL GT will come down to their consistency at QB and how well their defense plays. Last year, their defense was broken into two by VaTech and Tennessee. Of course the week 3 showdown against VaTech will loom large so early on. GT once again is a title contender but will they get there? We'll see.
University of North Carolina
QUARTERBACK - GRADE B-
The Tarheels will run out RS(SO) 6'1" 185 LB, Michael Robertson at the QB position this year. Robertson was one of Coach Blaza's first recruits at the position and although he is only an 84 ovr, he was impressive on the scout team last season. Robertson is a statue but already boasts an NFL arm (91 THP, 88 THA). With some seasoning and a few battles under his belt, we expect Robertson to be a quality passer.
The backup role is up for grabs with 6'4" 219 LB (RS) Senior Joe Butler trying to hold off the freakish 6'4" 204 LB RS(JR) Jeff Maxwell. Butler has been the backup for the last two years, but Coach Blaza remains intrigued with Maxwell's upside. Affectionately dubbed "White Vick" by his teammates, Maxwell is a JUCO project with some characteristics that you just cannot teach. (89 SPD, 92 AGI, 87 ELU, 77 BCV, 88 SPM, 88 JKM). Look for Maxwell to fight his way onto the field for a few plays a game.
RUNNING BACKS - GRADE A+
With the #1 and #4 OVR players at the position, Carolina has the best backfield in the nation. Heisman trophy winner, Mark Kerr will lead the charge. Standing 5'9" 206 LB, RS(SR) Mark Kerr (96 OVR) is a bowling ball with an uncanny ability to break tackles. The only 99 BTK back this year, Kerr has proven that the rating is deserved as he doubled the runner up in broken tackles and yards after contact last season. Kerr ran wild on opposing defenses with 2173 yards/30 TDs at a 5.4 YPC clip. However, Kerr also led the nation in rushes with 402 carries. His 97 JKM allowed him to slip tons of big hits, but Kerr expressed concern about the high number of carries. Although he enjoyed his newfound celebrity, Kerr told Coach Blaza in the offseason that although he wanted to return and help win the National Championship, he also wanted to preserve his body a bit for the next level.
Enter 6'0 214 LB RS(SR) Brent Hayes. In Kerr's shadow for the past 2 years, Hayes has had a terrific career as a backup running for 831 yards/17TDs as a Sophomore and 709 yards/14 TDs as a Junior. Hayes is a big back, but also smooth runner who many pro scouts believe has a bigger upside than Kerr. Hayes is 94 OVR with 94 SPD, 88 BTK, 94 ACC, 87 BCV, 94, STA, 87 SPM. The thing Coach Blaza loves about Hayes is that he's a student of the game who can always be found breaking down film with his position coaches. (88 AWR) Look for Hayes to get a lot more action this season as Coach Blaza has spent alot of time figuring out ways to get him on the field.
With the talent UNC already had on board it came as a shock to some that highly touted HB Patrick Hoffman would sign with the Heels. Considered by peer coaches to be the top back in last season's class, Hoffman steps on campus as an 84 OVR diaper dandy (5'11" 198 LB/ 89 SPD, 94 ACC, 83 AWR, 89 SPM, 87 JKM). With Kerr and Hayes both leaning towards the draft last season, Hoffman was expected to come in and play a huge role with the team. However the veteran backs both decided to return leaving Hoffman a little concerned about his role. Although a redshirt would be more beneficial to the team, Coach Blaza will do his best to get the talented rookie on the field.
Considered one of last season's biggest sleepers, FR FB Mario Bowen (6'2" 230 LB) will get the start at FB. A Jumbo RB in HS, Bowen is a talented overall back with carrying ability and excellent blocking technique. (81 SPD, 85 BTK, 87, TRK, 85 SFA, 80 RBF, 81 PBF).
WIDE RECEIVERS/TE - GRADE B-
The WR's will be led by 89 OVR JR speedster Kyle Nelson. Nelson is small in stature (5'11" 184 LB) but is a team leader and should be able to stretch the field to keep defenses honest. With the departure of 99 SPD Jheranie Boyd, the Heels struggled with 3 starting WR's below 88 SPD. Nelson has a newfound swagger this season improving 8 OVR points and we will look to get the ball in his hands. Albert Harris and Aaron Smith will be the co-starters. Both are big strong WR's who can make something happen after the catch (88 and 84 BTK).
RS(JR) Marcus Wiggins will be the starter at TE. The 6'3 246 LBer has blossomed nicely into an 87 OVR stud who can make plays in the passing game but is just as comfortable in the trenches opening lanes for Hayes and Kerr.
OFFENSIVE LINE - GRADE A-
The OL is solid with 3 92+ers and and 2 88ers. They are the definition of blue collar, and prefer to keep their mouths shut and pave the road for Kerr and Co. Out of respect for the unit's code of silence, we will keep their summary short and sweet.
DEFENSIVE LINE - GRADE A-
The D-Line loses two 99 OVR DT's but writers around the nation are predicting the unit to be just as solid this season. Nicknamed "Big Cat", 6'2" 229 LB LE Shawn Patterson was downright dominant last season winning the Bednarik, Lombardi, and leading the nation with 22 sacks. Expect the JR to use his speed (86) and quickness (88 BSH) to live in the opposition's backfield once again this season. The reason many feel this DL won't miss a beat is the emergence of Derrick Peters and Tim Blanco. Peters has never started a game but the RS(JR) 6'2 315 LB DT boasts a 94 OVR rating. His running mate will be 6'3" 284 LB RS(FR) Timmy Blanco. Blanco was disappointed with last season's redshirt, but was able to perfect his technique learning behind two 1st rounders last season. Blanco was a determined student and will step onto the field with a 91 OVR rating.
LINEBACKERS - GRADE B
The Linebacking core will be comprised of a duo who have never started a game. RS(SR) Anthony Burley has patiently waited his turn and will man the LOLB spot. Burley is a tweener but has tremendous athleticism and rates out at a 90 OVR.
The MLB will be "The Big Muslim", 6'4" 224 Talib Freund. Freund is a RS(JR) who uses his 86 Spd to get sideline to sideline. Freund is a big tackler and also prays 5 times a day
CORNERBACKS - GRADE A
Quite simply, UNC is loaded in the secondary. RS(SR) 5'11" 198 CB Roman Rodgers will once again be the leader (98 OVR, 97 ACC,75 CTH, 87 JMP, 95 MCV, 95 ZCV, 96 PRS). Rodgers has started at FS for the last 2 seasons and racked up 81 tackles, 2 TFL, 3 INT, and 2 DEF TD's last season. Rodgers was also near the top of the nation with 15 Passes deflected. Rodgers tested the NFL waters last season and several NFL GMs indicated that with his ball skills, he would be a perfect NFL Cover Corner. Rather than learn on the job, Rodgers elected to return to school. Coach Blaza promised he would get a look at corner, and the transition has been magical, with Rodgers jumping 4 points to a 98 OVR after the switch from FS to CB.
The other corner will be manned by RS(JR) 91 OVR 6'1 181 LB Matt Cooper. Cooper is a former #1 OVR CB in HS and tremendous athlete (92 JMP, 94, MCV, 93 ZCV). Cooper stayed in shape this winter as he was voted ACC 6th man of the year in his 1st season on the basketball team.
SAFETIES - GRADE A
RS(SR) 6'0" 181 Ryan Walker will be the starter at SS. Walker (93 OVR) is a heatseeker and one of the nation's biggest hitters (96 Pow), but his also very good in coverage. (90 MCV, 96 ZCV, 93 PUR, 87 AWR). Walker missed 6 games through injury last season and the Heels are hoping the injury bug doesn't strike twice.
RS(SR) SS 5'10" 179 LB Beau Benjamin is the player who filled in for Walker last season and he did a magnificent job. Compared to pro SS Jim Leonard, Benjamin was voted team captain by his peers and forced Coach Blaza to change philosophy to get him on the field. In an experiment that will probably only last this season, UNC will go with a 4-2-5 this season. Benjamin will play SPUR which is a OLB/SS hybrid. Benjamin is excelling in the spot and has been flying around all spring. Look for Benjamin to have a big year (90 OVR, 92 ACC, 87 AWR, 85 TAK.)
Last but not least, is FR FS Dwayne Phillips. 6'2" 207 LB, Phillips steps onto campus as the most highly touted player ever signed by the Tarheels. Labled a can't miss NFL prospect, Phillips combines speed and athleticism with a brutal physical game. His technique in the tackle is phenomenal and he was instantly the best tackler on the team. As the center fielder in the new look 4-2-5, look for Phillips to adapt well to the college game. (85 OVR, 93 Spd, 90 AGI, 77 AWR, 89 TAK, 87 POW.
Hayes and Huffman will be the kick returners, with Hayes remaining the team's primary punt returner. 4 Year starter Jacob Gold will handle kicking duties, with JR James Jackson handling punts.
OVERALL It is no secret that the Tarheels have evolved into a smashmouth style of football. Although their running game is second to none, Coach Blaza is hoping Mike Robertson and can help UNC become more balanced. Many forget that only 2 seasons ago, UNC had a 4,000 yard passer. On defense, Coach Blaza has proven to be a force, with user offenses rarely hitting scoring over 28 pts. Will the move to the 4-2-5 prove to be a great call or a horrible mistake? Only time will tell.
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