Top 5 Players Primed for a Breakout Season

ScarletReport.com's "30 lists in 30 days" continues with its Top 5 players poised to breakout during the 2011 season.

5. DE Justin Francis: It's been a few years since Rutgers had a legitimate pass rusher off the edge, and Francis began to show glimpses last season of being a player who can stop the run and also get to the quarterback.

The red-shirt senior made 21 tackles and tied for second on the team with two sacks, and also had two quarterback hits. He eased into the starter's position during a solid spring, and he has the athleticism to play the "R" position.

4. WR Tim Wright: Lots of the spring practice talk centered around red-shirt freshman Brandon Coleman, and for good reason, but Wright and Mohamed Sanu didn't practice in the spring, which left more reps for Coleman.

Wright, a red-shirt junior, is coming off a torn knee ligament that kept him out of 2010, and lest most folks forget, he is yet to catch a pass in college. As long as he is healthy, his size, speed, strength and experience of playing in 2009 have him ready to be a big asset in Rutgers' offense.

3. LB Khaseem Greene: Green was a big free safety, and is now an undersized weakside linebacker, but his speed and physical play make him perfect for the type of swarming defense the Scarlet Knights want to play.

The red-shirt junior made the move despite being the second-leading returning tackle (77) and leading the defense with three interceptions, and had a strong spring.

2. C David Osei: The season-ending knee injury suffered by junior college transfer Dallas Hendrikson in spring practice was a blow to the offensive line, but it gives Osei a chance to make his mark. He is 6-foot-4, 285 pounds and athletic.

Making the offensive line calls and following through with assignments is the toughest things for centers but Osei, a red-shirt sophomore, has enough time in the program to feel comfortable, and physically, he has the talent.

1. FS David Rowe: Two years ago the now-senior said he had 4.6 speed, and it meant his technique had to be perfect against high-level receivers because he didn't posses the speed to make up for getting beat at the line of scrimmage.

The move to safety lets Rowe rely heavily on his technique, but also keep the game in front of him. On a defense in need of players who can the ball away, Rowe can be that guy. He reads the ball well coming out of the quarterback's hand and likes to hit.


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