This is Part Two of our breakdown of the 2010 freshmen. The first part, "The Now," was an attempt to list the players according to the likelihood that they would contribute in 2010.The Future
1. Malcolm Jones, RB, UCLA (True)
Of course, most freshmen won't see their best days until two or three years from now. For that reason, we've assembled this list. This list tries to take into account what the players will do over a 3-to-4 year span.
Assuming he suits up in 2010, we expect Jones to take over the starting running back spot for UCLA this year. We think he’ll be really good, too. Needless to say, a top option at running back for 3-to-4 years merits top consideration in a keeper context.
2. James Green, WR, Toledo (True)
If Green had kept his grades in order, he could have been playing at schools like Ohio State, Auburn, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee. Talents like him just don’t show up in the MAC very often, and we think he’s going to tear it up, perhaps as soon as this year.
3. Jake Heaps, QB, BYU (True)
The BYU offense is very good to its quarterbacks, and Heaps figures to be extremely effective once he takes hold of it. That should happen this year some time. He could end up being better than players like Max Hall
and John Beck
4. Kendrick Hardy, RB, Southern Mississippi (Redshirt)
is too good for Hardy to keep him off the field entirely, but Hardy does seem like the reasonable favorite to take away the red-zone and maybe even workhorse running back role for Southern Mississippi. That team is going to have a great offense this year and probably will have a good one in the years beyond, so whoever takes the top running back spot there should put up big numbers. We like Hardy’s chances.
5. Dillon Baxter, RB, USC (True)
Baxter has excellent vision and has the acceleration and lateral quickness necessary to exploit any gap a defense gives him. Allen Bradford
has the feature back role locked down this year, but both he and C.J. Gable
will graduate, leaving the 2011 backfield entirely up for grabs in 2011. We don’t see anyone at USC who can compete with Baxter, so it should be an open-and-shut case.
6. Tai-Ler Jones, WR, Notre Dame (True)
Jones is the best bet to take over as the top Notre Dame receiver after Michael Floyd
leaves. He has a Torry Holt-like skill set as a slightly built but very sudden and quick pass-catcher. Whenever Floyd leaves, Jones ought to be coach Brian Kelly
’s Notre Dame version of Mardy Gilyard. The main reason we have Jones this high, though, is that he’s expected to start in 2010. Don’t expect him to match the fantasy point totals of players like Silas Redd
or Lache Seastrunk once those guys are starting.
7. Silas Redd, RB, Penn State (True)
Redd is a consensus top-five running back recruit in the 2010 class, and the Penn State running back position is about to become wide open. Evan Royster
will be gone after this year, and Stephfon Green
isn’t the type of player who’s built for a full-time role. Brandon Beachum
and Curtis Dukes
are Redd’s only obstacles, and we think he’ll be able to take the job by the middle of 2011.
8. Lache Seastrunk, RB, Oregon (True)
Seastrunk is not unlike Baxter in that he’s an extremely quick and fluid runner with the speed to make the most of every gap a defense might leave uncontained. LaMichael James
is only a redshirt sophomore, but we wouldn’t be totally shocked if he declared for the NFL Draft after what will almost definitely be another brilliant season for him. But because James might not declare, we feel obligated to put Seastrunk just below Redd.
9. Brennan Clay, RB, Oklahoma (True)
We’d have ranked Clay higher, but former five-star recruit Jermie Calhoun
figures to start once DeMarco Murray leaves at the end of this year. Still, the Sooner offense made highly productive players out of both Chris Brown
and Murray two years ago, so Calhoun and Clay could prove to be a similarly dominant tandem. In any case, Clay brings extreme explosiveness that Calhoun lacks, and we like his chances of being the more productive player.
10. Johnny Deaton, QB, Oklahoma State (True)
Deaton is the favorite to start for Oklahoma State after Brandon Weeden
leaves. Given that Weeden will be a 27-year-old redshirt junior, we think he’ll choose to leave after this season. In the Dana Holgorsen Houston offense, whoever starts for the Cowboys figures to be a major fantasy asset by default.
11. Jordan Reed, TE, Florida (Redshirt)
Reed has to be the favorite to be the long-term tight end option for Florida. Given what that turned out to mean for Aaron Hernandez
, we have to rank Reed relatively high in the keeper rankings. His ability to double as a wildcat quarterback makes him especially intriguing to us.
12. Terrance Broadway/Aaron Johnson, QB, Houston (True)
These two were similarly regarded recruits with similar skill sets. They both have the athleticism to run effectively, but the Houston scouts obviously must believe they’re capable of operating the Houston spread passing system. We list them this high despite the uncertainty of who will get the nod just because the Houston starting spot is so unbelievably profitable.
13. Ross Apo, WR, BYU (True)
Apo is one of the top receivers from the 2010 class, and we like his chances of being Heaps’ top target over the next few years. The BYU offense figures to afford Heaps huge numbers, which would likely result in big numbers for Apo, who has the build and athleticism to be both a possession wideout and a big-play threat. At around 6-4, 190 pounds, Apo should be an excellent find for BYU, as he chose the school over programs like Texas, Nebraska and Missouri.
14. Michael Dyer, RB, Auburn (True)
Dyer isn’t a favorite of ours to produce much in 2010, but we like his chances beyond this year. He’ll need to split carries with Onterrio McCalebb for the foreseeable future, but he might be good enough to take the feature role even with McCalebb around. Dyer is a small, stocky back with a good combination of power and speed, and he should be effective whenever he does find the field.
15. Corey Robinson, QB, Troy State (Redshirt)
Robinson might not be able to beat out Jamie Hampton for the starting spot in 2010, but we think the odds are very good that he'll be starting by 2011. In an offense that's loaded at receiver and plays against a weak schedule, Robinson could be very productive.
16. Andre Debose, WR, Florida (Redshirt)
Once Deonte Thompson and Chris Rainey are out of the way, Debose could be putting up big numbers for Florida. History says that the top Gator receiver will be a (potentially very big) fantasy factor, and Debose is the top candidate to assume that role in the relatively near future.
17. Kenny Stills, WR, Oklahoma (True)
Stills figures to be one of Oklahoma's rotating receivers as a true freshman this year, and coach Bob Stoops has already identified him as one of the team's best receivers not named Ryan Broyles. The Oklahoma passing attack will be high-powered for the foreseeable future, and Stills is a good bet to become the face of that attack in the next couple years.
18. Blake Bell, QB, Oklahoma (True)
Bell is a very good bet to put up huge numbers whenever he starts for Oklahoma. The obvious issue is that Landry Jones
is around, and he did pretty well last year. As a redshirt sophomore, of course, Jones is able to declare for the NFL Draft if he has a big season. We think the more likely scenario is that they both come back in 2011 and compete for a starting job, and how that ends is anyone’s guess.
20. Joseph Randle, RB, Oklahoma State (True)
There are a couple other players on the Oklahoma State roster who could earn the starting running back spot after Kendall Hunter
graduates this offseason, but Randle might be the most talented of the bunch. He has the skill set to do well in the Holgorsen offense, and his big-play ability is just what the Cowboys will be looking for in the Houston-style attack.
Others to consider, in no particular order:
Devin Gardner, QB/ATH, Michigan (True)
Spencer Ware, RB/ATH, LSU (True)
Nathan Scheelhaase, QB, Illinois (Redshirt)
Nick Montana, QB, Washington (True)
Bryn Renner, QB, North Carolina (Redshirt)
Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia (Redshirt)
Andrew Hendrix, QB, Notre Dame (True)
Luke Massa, QB, Notre Dame (True)
Nathan Sorenson, QB, Oklahoma State (True)
Michael Ford, RB, LSU (Redshirt)
Jeff Lewis, RB, Wisconsin (True)
Matt Perez, RB, Indiana (True)
Giovanni Bernard, RB, North Carolina (True)
Malcolm Marable, RB, Oregon State (True)
Deontae Cooper, RB, Washington (True)
Bradley Battles, RB, South Florida (Redshirt)
Marcus Coker, RB, Iowa (True)
James White, RB, Wisconsin (True)
Curtis Dukes, RB, Penn State (Redshirt)
Chris Whaley, RB, Texas (Redshirt)
DeAndre Johnson, RB, Iowa (True)
Dyjuan Lewis, WR, Cincinnati (True)
Billy Ray Stutzmann, WR, Hawaii (Redshirt)
Mike Davis, WR, Texas (True)
Darius White, WR, Texas (True)
Kyle Prater, WR, USC (True)
Robert Woods, WR, USC (True)
Markeith Ambles, WR, USC (True)
Manasseh Garner, WR, Wisconsin (True)
Austin Haywood, TE, Oklahoma (True)
Hutson Prioleau, TE, Texas A&M (Redshirt)
Xavier Grimble, TE, USC (True)