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February 3, 2009

The next wave: Redshirts to watch in 2009

Sorted by conference: ACC | Big 12 | Big East | Big Ten | Pac-10 | SEC | Others |

ACC
Georgia Tech DT T.J. Barnes: Barnes is a 6-foot-7, 325-pounder from Enterprise (Ala.) High who was a three-star offensive lineman coming out of high school. He might be big enough to fill the giant hole created by the departures of multiyear starters Darryl Richard and Vance Walker in the middle of Georgia Tech's front four.
Clemson WR Jaron Brown: Brown, a former three-star prospect from Cheraw (S.C.) High, should earn substantial playing time this fall as the Tigers seek replacements for Aaron Kelly and Tyler Grisham - two of their top three receivers from 2008.
Florida State S Nick Moody: The Seminoles lack depth in the secondary and need someone to take over at the rover position (strong safety) now that Myron Rolle's heading to Oxford. That situation creates a golden opportunity for Moody, a former four-star prospect from Philadelphia Roman Catholic.
Boston College QB Justin Tuggle: Dominique Davis' struggles in the ACC Championship Game and Music City Bowl should give Tuggle a former three-star prospect from Duluth (Ga.) Northview who is the son of former NFL linebacker Jessie Tuggle a legitimate chance to compete for the starting job this spring.
Virginia Tech RB Ryan Williams: Rated as the No. 3 running back in the 2008 recruiting class, Williams a former four-star prospect from Manassas (Va.) Stonewall Jackson has enough talent to make an impact this fall as a complementary back to Darren Evans, who rushed for 1,265 yards as a redshirt freshman this past season.
Big 12
Texas Tech S Cody Davis: A ballhawker who always is in the right spot, Davis a two-star prospect from Stephenville (Texas) High intercepted Graham Harrell more than a few times as part of the scout team. The Red Raiders will need that kind of play because their top four safeties from '08 completed their eligibility.
Texas TE D.J. Grant: Originally a four-star prospect at wide receiver, Grant from Austin (Texas) Lyndon B. Johnson made the move to tight end and may emerge as a starter if Blaine Irby doesn't return 100 percent from a knee injury.
Nebraska DT Baker Steinkuhler: Steinkuhler, a five-star prospect from Lincoln (Neb.) Southwest, figures to step in for older brother Ty.
Oklahoma DE R.J. Washington: There's a spot open in the four-man rotation at end. When Auston English and Frank Alexander were hurt last season, OU coaches resisted the temptation to take the redshirt off Washington, a five-star prospect from Keller (Texas) Fossil Ridge.
Missouri WR Rolandis Woodland: He could be penciled in to replace Jeremy Maclin, which is a tall order. Then again, Woodland a three-star prospect from Cincinnati Harmony Prep is 6-5 and has good speed. Besides, Maclin once was a redshirt freshman, too.
Big East
Connecticut OT Jimmy Bennett: The Huskies had great success with redshirt freshman guard Moe Petrus this past season. Bennett, a former three-star prospect from Alexandria (Va.) West Potomac, could step in for departed All-Big East left tackle Will Beatty.
Pittsburgh RB Chris Burns: The Panthers' offense is full of question marks, starting with who will replace running back LeSean McCoy. Burns, a former four-star prospect from New Wilmington (Pa.) Wilmington Area, will be in the mix along with Shariff Harris and Kevin Collier.
Syracuse RB Averin Collier: Collier a former four-star recruit from Churchville (N.Y.) Churchville-Chili enrolled early at Syracuse last year with hopes of playing immediately, but injuries put those plans on hold. Now healthy, he could give first-year coach Doug Marrone a building block for a struggling offense.
Cincinnati S Patrick Lambert: The Bearcats' defense was hit hard by graduation, but replacing the standouts in the secondary might be the tallest task of all. Lambert is a former three-star prospect from Kissimmee (Fla.) Osceola.
Rutgers WR Keith Stroud: The Scarlet Knights' passing game took some major hits with the departures of quarterback Mike Teel and wide receivers Kenny Britt and Tiquan Underwood. Stroud (6-3/200), a former four-star recruit from Fork Union (Va.) Fork Union Military Academy, could give Rutgers the size in the passing game Britt provided.
Big Ten
Iowa RB Jeff Brinson: Brinson, a former three-star recruit from St. Petersburg (Fla.) Northeast, will battle Jewel Hampton for the starting running back job vacated by Shonn Greene.
Ohio State CB Travis Howard: The Buckeyes are looking to replace both starting cornerbacks, and Howard a former four-star prospect from Miami Dr. Krop will go into spring ball as a legitimate contender at one of the spots.
Wisconsin DE Brendan Kelly: Playing time will be available with the departure of Matt Shaughnessy, and Kelly a former three-star prospect from Richfield (Minn.) Academy of the Holy Angels, the alma mater of Arizona Cardinals star Larry Fitzgerald will be in the mix.
Michigan WR Roy Roundtree: Michigan needs to upgrade its passing attack this fall, and Roundtree a former four-star prospect from Trotwood (Ohio) Trotwood-Madison is expected to play a role.
Penn State LB Mike Zordich: Zordich, a former four-star prospect from Youngstown (Ohio) Cardinal Mooney, is expected to be a key backup at linebacker for the Nittany Lions this season.
Pac-10
Oregon State WR Jordan Bishop: The loss of starting receivers Sammie Stroughter and Shane Morales, who combined for 124 catches and 15 touchdowns, leaves a big void. Look for Bishop a two-star recruit from Salem (Ore.) West Salem to try to help fill it.
USC WR Brice Butler: Someone needs to step in for the departing Patrick Turner and Butler, a four-star prospect from Norcross (Ga.) High, is a prime candidate. He has drawn raves for his precise routes.
UCLA RB Johnathan Franklin: "Jet Ski," as Franklin is known, has a chance to make a big splash for the Bruins, whose '08 leading rusher was a senior (Kahlil Bell) and gained less than 400 yards. Franklin is a four-star prospect from Los Angeles Dorsey.
Arizona State S Keelan Johnson: Both starting safeties are gone, and Johnson a three-star prospect from Mesa (Ariz.) High has great speed and range and figures to distinguish himself quickly.
Arizona State DT Otis Jones: The feeling in Tempe is that Jones, a former three-star prospect from Lawndale (Calif.) Leuzinger, is ready to become a fixture on the Sun Devils' defensive line for the next several seasons.
SEC
Vanderbilt WR John Cole: As a true freshman, Cole played in the opener before getting hurt and missing the rest of the season. Now that he is back on the field, Cole a three-star recruit from Somerset (Ky.) High should emerge as one of the Commodores' top two or three receivers.
Georgia CB Sanders Commings: Asher Allen's decision to enter the NFL draft leaves a hole at cornerback. Commings a three-star prospect from Augusta (Ga.) Westside has the size (6-2/210) and physical style to make an immediate contribution.
Alabama QB Star Jackson: Jackson, a four-star prospect from Lake Worth (Fla.) High, will be competing with Greg McElroy for the right to replace John Parker Wilson as the Tide's starting quarterback.
Auburn WR Philip Pierre-Louis: This three-star prospect from Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas might have earned substantial playing time this past season if he hadn't sustained a knee injury while returning the opening kickoff of the Tigers' first game.
Kentucky CB Cartier Rice: The return of Trevard Lindley leaves Kentucky set at one cornerback position, but the Wildcats need depth elsewhere in their pass defense. Rice, a three-star recruit from powerhouse Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes, will have to catch on quickly.
Independents and others
Ball State QB Kelly Page: Page a former three-star recruit from Mesquite (Texas) High will go into spring ball as the top guy on the depth chart as the Cardinals look to replace NFL early entrant Nate Davis.
North Texas QB Riley Dodge: Dodge, a former three-star prospect from Southlake (Texas) Carroll, is expected to be the Mean Green's starting quarterback this fall. Dodge is the coach's son and originally committed to Texas where his dad played before changing his mind.
Fresno State QB Ebahn Feathers: The Bulldogs are looking for a new quarterback with the graduation of Tom Brandstater, and Feathers a former three-star prospect from Fresno (Calif.) Washington Union will have a chance to win the job in spring ball. Feather is a good athlete who would give the Bulldogs a running threat at the position.
Troy WR Josh Jarboe: Jarboe originally signed with Oklahoma but was kicked out for some off-field issues; he ended up at Troy. Jarboe, a former four-star recruit from Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove, has excellent size and good speed, and he should become a big-time deep threat for the Trojans.
Notre Dame DE Kapron Lewis-Moore: Notre Dame doesn't technically redshirt players, but Lewis-Moore is a sophomore who could move into the starting lineup this fall after not playing at all in 2008. Notre Dame's severe lack of depth and experience on the defensive line could allow Lewis-Moore a four-star prospect from Weatherford (Texas) High to fill one of the holes created by the losses of departing seniors Pat Kuntz and Justin Brown.
East Carolina CB Leonard Paulk: Paulk, a former two-star prospect from Columbia (S.C.) Richland Northeast, was ECU's scout team defensive player of the year. At the least, he should add depth to what should be Conference USA's best secondary this fall.
Utah RB Sausan Shakerin: Starting running back Darrell Mack was a senior, and Shakerin a former three-star prospect from Sandy (Utah) Alta will get an opportunity to show his wares during spring practice.



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