One Man's Opinion: Guys to Surprise in 2009

With camp starting today, InsideKnights.com will do its best to keep you updated of all notable information this summer. While we will provide objective camp reports, we will also try to throw in some opinions for those who aren't there to gather their own conclusions.

Inside Knights has given you a brief rundown of what to expect in camp this summer, offering different players that would need to take on different roles starting today to make the season successful. With camp ready to begin, I wanted to give my perspective on a few situations heading into the season. I usually try to keep my opinion out of stories but for the summer, the staff at Inside Knights and I will offer not just recaps, but will try to provide opinions of practices. I feel that a blend of straight facts with the occasional opinion piece not only keeps things fresh, but presents a different perspective for those who cannot always attend summer practices. Obviously, I cannot divulge too much during practice because there is proper protocol, but I do want our readers to get a comprehensive look at what their Knights are looking like heading into a critical 2009 season.

I'll start off my "One Man's Opinion" series with some guys I am personally really excited about heading into the season. We'll see how much of an impact they will make starting this summer, as the next few weeks will lay the foundation of the season.

Following the spring, there were a few guys that I really thought looked impressive. After a press conference with both coordinators (Charlie Taaffe and Dave Huxtable), a lot of my thoughts in regards to potential surprises were justified, as they seemingly felt the same way.

I'm not going to go off and list obvious players such as Torrell Troup or Bruce Miller as guys could potentially make significant contributions…they are no brainers. However, there are a few players that really look like they have all the makings of stepping up their game.

The first guy I'd like to hit on is Justin Boddie, who projects as a corner for the Knights this year.

"Justin Boddie has some game experience underneath him and came on really strong in the spring time, so I'm looking forward to him having a good year for us," said Knights defensive coordinator Dave Huxtable.

The junior has nice size and I thought his gradual progression this spring was phenomenal. He was contesting every pass thrown his way and with Emery Allen sitting out, I think he appeared to be the most polished looking corner out there. If he picks up where he left off, I'd feel a lot better about the secondary.

Next up is Marquee Williams. The wide receiver is a grey-shirt freshman who played quarterback in high school. It took one day of practice to notice how smooth he was and his hands were arguably better than any other receiver on the team.

"Marquee Williams is a young guy we want to get a real good look at because he's very fluid," said Taaffe. "He has maybe the most natural hands of anyone in the receiving corps, so we'll see how far he can progress."

He has to digest the playbook, but being here during the spring must have helped. If he continues to progress, I think you could pencil him in as a guy that can possibly come out of nowhere and tally at least 200-300 yards receiving.

A potential special teams demon this year is Josh Linam, as he looked damn good this spring after being a little lost two years ago (when he came in from a grey shirt year, so it's more than understandable.)

"Josh Linam did a real nice job in the spring. I think he knows and understands his position better now, said Huxtable. "He's worked extremely hard and really did some nice things in the spring time. He's going to be a very good player for us."

He'll have to battle his way up the depth chart, but I think Linam can see the field on special teams and in the rotation. It's imperative for him to get some playing time, because the team graduates four senior backers after this year, so he'll need to have game experience for 2010.

Finally, I have a guy feeling on this guy; Jonathan Davis. The kid is a football player and can be inserted anywhere on the field, but UCF has decided to plug him in at running back. Desperate for a change-of-ace back behind Brynn Harvey, Davis will get every opportunity to see field. While he lacks ideal height, Davis has good speed, excellent quickness and is well built. Taaffe alluded to his maturity during the press conference and that will undoubtedly help in his transition to college. What I like best about Davis is his balance. He has the innate ability to absorb contact and then square himself immediately and continue moving towards the end zone.

Well, this concludes my list of surprise players this summer. I'll follow them closely and keep you updated on their progression, as well as all the other events going on this summer.


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