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Old 07-17-2006, 03:35 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2006 preview: Top 100 Heisman candidates

here's another part (it's pretty damn gay that you can only have a certian amount of letters in a post)

70. LB Rufus Alexander, Oklahoma – If he isn’t already, Alexander is about to become a household name outside the Big 12. He’s a disruptive defender, who makes lots of plays for negative yardage and should be on the short list for most defensive honors at the end of the regular season.

69. QB John Stocco, Wisconsin – In 2005, Stocco made the quantum leap from an anonymous cog in the Badger running game to the school’s single-season record holder for touchdowns and passing yards. With no replacement for RB Brian Calhoun in sight, Stocco may be asked to do even more this fall.

68. FB Brian Leonard, Rutgers – Leonard has become the face of Rutgers’ recent rise to respectability. He’s a horse between the tackles, but has great feet and has also caught 169 passes and 13 touchdown receptions over the past three seasons.

67. QB Brent Schaeffer, Ole Miss – A real wildcard this year, Schaeffer was last seen flashing gobs of potential as a young member of the Tennessee Volunteers. After a short and successful stint in junior college, he’s back in the SEC and determined to be the Rebs’ offensive savior.

66. WR Derrick Williams, Penn State – A broken left arm cut short Williams’ freshman year, but couldn’t prevent him from tantalizing Lion fans with his big-play potential and world-class speed. The coaching staff will invent ways to get the ball in his hands this fall, including lining him up in the backfield and taking handoffs.

65. RB Chris Wells, Ohio State – It wouldn’t exactly be unprecedented for a true freshman back from Columbus to contend for the Heisman, and Wells actually enters Ohio State rated higher than Maurice Clarett was four years ago. He won’t supplant Antonio Pittman, but after a solid spring, showed he’s ready to contribute right away.

64. RB Keegan Herring, Arizona State – That Sun Devil passing game is going to open up wide running lanes for Herring, who returned from last year’s 870-yard freshman debut a little thicker and ready to shoulder the load on the ground.

63. RB Andre Brown, North Carolina State – For a few years now, the headliners in Raleigh were on the defensive side of the ball. That ought to change in 2006 thanks to backs like Brown, a 230-pound speedster, who debuted with 667 yards in just over half a season as a true freshman.

62. QB Brian Johnson, Utah – Johnson was rapidly emerging as one of the game’s young phenoms last November when a knee injury curtailed his breakout season. If he can get healthy by September and pick up where he left off, and also hold off the charge from Brett Ratliff, the Utes will have a dynamic bridge to the Alex Smith days.

61. RB Alley Broussard or Justin Vincent, LSU – Neither Broussard nor Vincent was healthy enough to practice this spring, but both are expected to get the medical clearance necessary to suit up in August. And both have proven capable in the past of being big-time backs with 1,000-yard potential.

60. RB Chris Markey, UCLA – Along with Kahlil Bell, Markey is half of the dynamic duo that will try to replace Maurice Drew and who fueled a 300-yard running attack in last year’s Sun Bowl. Markey doesn’t have sprinter speed, but he does have shifty feet and the ability to pick up first downs as a receiver.

59. RB Jonathan Stewart, Oregon – Beginning this September, the training wheels come off Stewart, one of the biggest recruits to ever call Eugene home. The true sophomore, who backed up Terrence Whitehead a year ago, has that blend of power and speed that makes NFL scouts salivate.

58. QB Nate Longshore, Cal – Back-to-back really bad years at quarterback for Cal is unlikely. Longshore was slated to start last year, but missed all but a few series with a severe ankle injury. He’s likely to regain the top spot, where he figures to hasten WR DeSean Jackson’s trip to stardom.

57. RB Rafael Little, Kentucky – In the post-Hal Mumme era, it’s been tough for Kentucky players to get much pub, but Little is working overtime to change that trend. The nation’s top returning all-purpose runner did a little bit of everything in 2005, setting a ‘Cat single-season record with 1,982 all-purpose yards.

56. WR Sidney Rice, South Carolina – Whether or not it’s draped in hyperbole, when Steve Spurrier suggests Rice may be the best wideout he’s ever coached, you know the kid is special. He exploded for 70 catches and 13 touchdowns as a redshirt freshman, and could be even more prolific in year two with Spurrier and QB Blake Mitchell.

55. QB Dennis Dixon, Oregon – Think Vince Young with a little less size, skills and money. Once Dixon officially wins the right to replace Kellen Clemens under center, he’s liable to develop into one of the more entertaining dual-threats this side of Nashville.

54. QB Anthony Morelli, Penn State – Whether Penn State is all the way back or headed back to mediocrity hinges on the development of Morelli, the Lions’ prized recruit from 2004 and successor to Michael Robinson. Morelli showed off his cannon this spring and will be supported by a speedy cast of skill position players.

53. QB Colt McCoy, Texas – McCoy has to be mentioned because he’s the likely starting quarterback of the defending national champs. And he has to be a distant longshot because he’s never thrown a pass in college and has true freshman Jevan Snead in his rear view mirror.

52. QB Alex Brink, Washington State – Former Cougar Jerome Harrison proved in 2005 that even on a losing team, the right combination of stats and highlight reel plays can propel a kid into the top 10 in Heisman voting. Brink tossed 24 touchdown passes last year and gets back favorite target, Jason Hill.

51. DE Quentin Moses, Georgia – Moses stepped out of David Pollack’s shadow in 2005, and cast a pretty long one of his own. He finished the year with 20? tackles for loss and 11? sacks in his first year as a starter, and with a few more sacks will pick up pockets of votes in December.

50. QB Ben Olson, UCLA – Four years after being one of the most coveted high school recruits in America, Olson’s time has finally arrived. The big lefty with the rifle arm and enormous upside is about to take over the Bruin offense after watching Drew Olson light up the Pac-10 in 2006.

49. RB Antonio Pittman, Ohio State – Most years, a Buckeye back like Pittman, who ran for 1,331 yards in 2005 would belong in the Top 20, at worst. However, on a team that already boasts QB Troy Smith and WR Ted Ginn, and is set to unwrap all-everything rookie RB Chris Wells, Pittman will need to be otherworldly to be a serious contender.

48. WR Jeff Samardzija, Notre Dame – Samardzija enters the 2006 season as one of the premier wide receivers in the country after he exploded for 77 catches and 15 touchdown receptions last fall. He’s got tremendous hands and size, and as Brady Quinn’s main target, will put up huge numbers for a second straight year.

47. QB Tyler Palko, Pittsburgh – With protection, Palko showed in 2004 that he can be quite the sharpshooter. However, he spent most of 2005 ducking for cover a few seconds after dropping back to pass. And the early exit of Greg Lee means he’ll be without a reliable deep threat for the first time since becoming a starter.

46. RB Tyrone Moss, Miami – A trim and determined Moss was pretty darn good last year before tearing his ACL and missing the last third of the season. He sat out this spring and got soft around the mid-section, making off-season rehab and conditioning priorities No. 1 and No. 2 if he’s to recapture last year’s tackle-shedding form.

45. QB Bret Meyer, Iowa State – Now that Vince Young and Brad Smith are in the NFL, Meyer is suddenly the most polished quarterback in the Big 12. He came a long way as a passer in 2005, throwing for 19 touchdowns and nearly 3,000 yards, and is on the cusp of becoming one of college football’s best all-around signal-callers.

44. RB Arian Foster, Tennessee – The Tennessee offense stunk last year, but Foster didn’t. In fact, the freshman was the lone bright spot of the unit, rushing for almost 800 yards and four touchdowns in the Vols’ final five games.

43. RB Ken Darby, Alabama – The line is a year older and the quarterback is still looking for his first start, meaning the stage is set for Darby to go over 1,000 yards for the third straight year. Until John Parker Wilson gets comfy under center, the Tide will lean heavily on their all-league senior.

42. QB Colt Brennan, Hawaii – No matter the system or the competition, some voters will always gravitate toward the kind of jaw-dropping numbers Brennan is going to hang up this season. After throwing for 4,300 yards and 35 touchdowns just a couple of months after arriving in Hawaii, 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns may be within reach in 2006.

41. QB Graham Harrell, Texas Tech – Harrell’s getting pushed by Chris Todd, but should hold off the challenge and inherit the keys to Tech’s supercharged offense. He’s a far better prospect than Kliff Kingsbury, B.J. Symons, Sonny Cumbie or Cody Hodges, each of whom led the nation in passing running the same system.

40. RB Darius Walker, Notre Dame – Walker has been the unsung hero of the offense for the past two seasons, giving the Irish balance and another set of hands in the passing game. He accounted for over 1,500 yards from scrimmage last season, but loses pub playing in the same backfield as Brady Quinn.

39. WR Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech – Pound for pound, Johnson’s the best receiver in America. However, unless he has a Larry Fitzgerald circa 2003 season and Reggie Ball starts channeling Joe Hamilton, he’ll spend the year vying for the Biletnikoff Award. A Sept. 2 visit from Notre Dame gives Johnson a high-profile chance to upstage Brady Quinn.

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