Big 10 and Notre Dame Spring Stars
Big 12 Spring Stars
Pac-12 Spring Stars
ACC Spring Stars
With the help of the Scout network and publishers here's a list of 15 spring stars from across the Power Five conferences. These are players that had a terrific group of practices who look to contribute or star for their respective programs this fall.
The A-Day game was a coming out party for wide receiver Robert Foster. He finished with six catches for 125 yards. In nine games played in 2014, Foster totaled six receptions for 44 yards. Alabama needs to find production and big plays after losing the sensational Amari Cooper to the NFL. Foster is a former five-star recruit from Monaca (Pa.) Central Valley that red-shirted in 2013. Now he’s ready to take off for Alabama’s offense. Foster has good size and speed. He’s athletic and physical. Foster appears ready to be a main contributor on the perimeter along with Ardarius Stewart.
Ishmael Zamora is a name to remember at Baylor. This is a 6-foot-4, 220-pound red-shirt freshman wide receiver from Houston (Texas) Elsik. Zamora can be a beastly player at times with his size/speed/athleticism combination. He may not be listed as a starter yet but expect Zamora to make his share of plays this fall. K.D. Cannon made a huge splash last year in Waco. Look for Zaomora to do the same. He had an impressive spring.
Clemson scored some elite, high level recruits in last year’s Class of 2015. One such prospect was five-star offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt, who graduated early and participated in spring drills for the Tigers. He was absolutely sensational. He progressed nicely over the course of the practices, adjusted quickly to the playbook and the speed of the game. Barring injury Hyatt could be the starting left or right tackle in game one at Clemson.
One of the stars of the Georgia Bulldogs spring football was Natrez Patrick. He’s a true freshman that enrolled early and was set to play outside linebacker at 255-pounds. But the Dawgs moved him from the outside to middle linebacker. It appeared he made a seamless transition. Patrick didn’t just have a good spring, he had a great spring. This former defensive end showed he was a virtual natural playing on the inside, dominating in the box. He plays fast and he plays aggressive. Patrick had a big spring game, finishing with eight tackles, one sack and one tackle for a loss. He should end up winning a starting job.
Quan Muhammad was a highly recruited defensive end from New Jersey that signed with the Hurricanes. He played a lot as a freshman and then was suspended for the entire 2014 season. Muhammad is back and in a very big way in Coral Gables. Not only did he have an outstanding spring, he emerged as one of the top two or three players on the Miami roster. He’s set to have a potentially huge 2015 fall campaign. Al Golden and the ‘Canes will need just that from him on the edge this fall.
I remember Jeff Jones being one of the most impressive prospects at the 2014 Under Armour All-America Game. He signed with the Gophers but didn’t play last season because of academic issues. Now that’s all cleared up and Jones is ready to go for Minnesota. Look for him to be a versatile talent in the Gophers backfield. He can line up at running back or at wide receiver. That’s what he showed this spring and was impressive in doing so. He’s dangerous with the ball in his hands. There’s no question that Jones is one of the more talented offensive players in recent years on this roster.
J.K. Britt is a true freshman that participated in spring football in Chapel Hill after being a member of the North Carolina 2015 recruiting class from Newnan (Ga.). He impressed new defensive coordinator Gene Chizik and head coach Larry Fedora with his play and quick study. He's got a high football IQ and very good athleticism. You tell him something one time and he immediately picks it up. On top of that, he's not shy of contact and quite physical. Britt’s going to push the older guys in front of him for extensive playing time this season.
Sam Hubbard was one of the best athletes and defensive recruits in the 2014. This former five-star safety red-shirted last season in Columbus despite the Buckeyes tempted to get him on the field. But Ohio State didn’t burn his year and now he’s a 6-foot-5, 265-pound defensive end who had a great spring. How athletic is this former lacrosse standout? In his short time as a Buckeye he has moved from linebacker to tight end back to linebacker and now defensive end. This former Cincinnati Moeller star has a really bright future.
Oklahoma could have a new battery this fall with a potential new quarterback (Baker Mayfield) and wide receiver Dede Westbrook. Westbrook transferred in from Blinn Community College and was sensational this spring, though he had a quiet spring game. Over the practice sessions the Sooners tracked his stats. He caught 59 passes and had only one drop. He had 1,260 yards and averaged 21.4 yards per reception. Westbrook, only 167-pounds, will get a lot of opportunities this fall, especially considering how many wide receivers will be in the Sooners rotation in their new offense under Lincoln Riley. This is a very explosive talent.
One of my favorite players from the 2013 class from the state of Florida was Charles Nelson. He was a super athletic and a speedy talent from Daytona Beach Seabreeze. That’s exactly what he has shown while at Oregon. He started off at wide receiver and played well as a true freshman. Nelson made the switch to cornerback this spring and had an interception during the spring game. He also moonlighted on offense, catching five passes for 144 yards and two scores. How can the offensive minded Ducks not play him on that side of the ball? He’s just so explosive.
There’s a buzz in Happy Valley and it’s all centered around a former walk on in defensive end Carl Nassib. Now a senior, Carl is the younger brother of former Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib (now with the Giants). He showed up as a 6-foot-5, 218-pound player in 2011 and now stands 6-foot-7, 273-pounds. Penn State coaches feel he has NFL potential. He’s big, strong and plays with a relentless attitude and effort. Nassib is an example of what hard work and dedication can do. He had a strong spring and is poised for a big fall.
Tennessee and Butch Jones have recruited exceptional well the past few years. Their 2015 was no different and several of those prospects should make an impact this fall. One of the Vols ten early enrollees was defensive tackle Shy Tuttle. This four-star from Lexington (N.C.) Davidson had a spring were he saw a lot of action and garnered a ton of reps. Tuttle didn’t flounder and fade, rather he learned, progressed, and made his presence felt. That bodes very well for Tuttle and the Tennessee defense, as he should make an instant impact in Knoxville.
Charlie Strong and the Texas coaches are looking for players to step up on offense this season. One player that had a very good spring was junior wide receiver Jacorey Warrick. He played in all the Longhorn games in 2014 but only caught 10 passes. With John Harris and Jaxon Shipley no longer in Austin, the Longhorns need consistent performers at wide receiver. That’s what Warrick did this spring for Texas. He's too talented not to become a very good player for this program and the coaches and fans have been waiting patiently for him to come around. This is a great sign for the Longhorns because he can be a dangerous weapon for the Texas offense because of his speed and elusiveness with the ball in his hands. Hopefully, this is just the beginning for Warrick and he has a breakout fall campaign for this team.
There’s a reason why Josh Rosen was the No. 1 ranked quarterback and five-star recruit in the class of 2015. He has everything you want in a signal caller – size, arm talent, the brains, brass and poise to succeed and succeed early at the college level. The big test for Rosen is simple – the adjustment to the speed of the game. Some make the quick transition while others do not. If this spring was any indication then the Bruins look set at quarterback, at least for the next three years. Rosen played like a true freshman at times for UCLA but he improved and progressed with every practice and scrimmage. This quarterback has as high of a ceiling as any I have seen in recent years.
If there was one player that needed to step up and have a monster spring for the Trojans it was Steven Mitchell and boy did he deliver. This former four-star recruit from Mission Hills (Calif.) Biship Alemany is now a red-shirt sophomore wide receiver. His first two seasons at USC were plagued by knee and groin injuries. Finally healthy, Mitchell showed off his speed, quickness and ball skills this spring. He’s stronger and more explosive than ever. If Mitchell can avoid the injury bug this fall expect a giant season from this Trojan in that offense. In fantasy terms, he could project as a No. 1 wide receiver playing with Cody Kessler.
SEC Spring Stars
Big 10 and Notre Dame Spring Stars
Big 12 Spring Stars
Pac-12 Spring Stars
ACC Spring Stars