Over the next several weeks, CUTigers will roll out a list of the 25 players we think will have the most productive seasons in 2013.
On our previous Top 25 list, which debuted in 2011, former defensive tackle Brandon Thompson was listed at No. 1. Andre Ellington, Dwayne Allen, Andre Branch and Dalton Freeman rounded out the top five.
That year also saw DeAndre Hopkins at No. 7, Tajh Boyd at 13 and Sammy Watkins at 15.
No. 25RB Tyshon Dye, Freshman
Dye enters his first season of college ball as one of five running backs vying for playing time in year three of the hurry-up, no-huddle offense. He is one of two freshmen running backs on this year's roster.
The ResumeThat's the knock on including incoming freshmen on middle of the summer lists like ours. There's a strong high school resume, but the college one hasn't even been started.
But there is plenty to like about Dye, who was named the No. 27 running back in the class of 2013 by Scout.com. First, he fits the mold of back that Chad Morris has targeted. Dye is currently listed at 6-1, 205 pounds.
And he does a lot of things on the field really well, much like fellow 2013 running back signee Wayne Gallman.
Dye is a typical ‘football player' kind of a prospect. He could play well at multiple positions on either side of the ball. At running back, he does so many things very, very well. Though Dye won't make folks miss with wiggle, he runs with good vision and is a strong cut-back runner -- with an emphasis on strong.
There is some slight concern because of an ankle that he fractured at the end of his senior season at Elbert County High School in Georgia. But it appears to be well on the way to fully recovered, if it's not there already. This spring, he qualified for the state track meet in three events.
As a senior, Dye had 95 rushes for 817 yards and 12 scores in just seven games. He also had eight kickoff returns for 120 yards and a touchdown.
As a junior, he gained 1,561 yards on 212 carries and scored 21 touchdowns. Dye also caught 17 passes for 198 yards and two scores and had a pair of punt returns for scores.
During his sophomore season, Dye ran for 889 yards on 90 carries. He had 11 rushing touchdowns and three on kickoff return touchdowns.
Moving ForwardSo we like Dye as a running back. That much is a given. What also adds to his potential for 2013 is the value he could in the return game, both kickoffs and punts.
Dye's six total returns for scores in high school have our attention. He could figure into the return game equation this fall, at least as a kick returner.
At running back, Dye will contend for playing time with Roderick McDowell, D.J. Howard, Zac Brooks and Gallman. McDowell, the lone senior in the group, is listed as the starter. In the post-spring depth chart, Howard and Brooks were listed second and third, respectively.