Raphael Kirby- With all the changes that are being done this year with the linebackers, there was skepticism in the air when Kirby was said to step up to a starting role. The sophomore was no more than a reserve last year and didn't show anything spectacular from his freshman year, but Kirby is stepping out of his comfort zone. Kirby was probably the most physical guy out there on Friday. The 230-lb linebacker did get a little too excited when he knocked the air out of tight end Standish Dobard. Kirby didn't produce much in terms of numbers in Naples, but his energy and speed have definitely improved, and he has adjusted to his new role as mike. He might not have been the best defensive player in the scrimmage, but his attitude has changed from last year and he seems to get more hands on the ball. Kirby is someone to keep an out for the next few scrimmages and during fall camp.
Rashawn Scott –Size wise, he's virtually the same, but during the scrimmage at least, he seemed to have made friends with the ball. Scott didn't complete last year's season because of disciplinary reasons, but he was doing well before he was forced to sit out. Scott was by far the MVP in Naples, playing receiver for all three rotating quarterbacks and receiving 128 yards from nine catches. What's exciting about Scott is not his catching abilities, but what he does with the ball after the catch. He has gained some good footwork and his hands are probably better than last year. He will make a big impact on the offense this year and add some yardage on those receptions with his swiftness if he can continue on from the spring.
Dallas Crawford – Crawford is like the quiet guy that no one knew could fight until some poor bully tries him and gets his butt kicked for it. There were some big questions after signing day on who was going to replace Mike James and share the load with Duke. Crawford stepped up and is dominating practice and scrimmages. He didn't have great rushing numbers in the scrimmage, but he's toughness and athleticism really showed last night and brings hope to the vacancy in running back. He can catch the ball as well, and just has a good feel in the fray. Stephen Morris and Al Golden have both said that he is doing better than anyone else in the spring. Crawford's football IQ is also impressive, as he has played on both sides of the field and can read plays pretty well. He will be moving chains this season.