The son of former SMU and New England Patriots running back Craig James, Adam seems to have taken his Dad's best traits and used them to turn himself into a very interesting athlete. James has the size currently to play as a blocking back or the frame to add 10 to 15 pounds and play as a hand down tight end. He also has the superior speed and agility to play as a true receiver, either Y or H. His hands do need some work but if the Baby Moose can turn in a 1300 yard season, Adam James should have no problem becoming a very dangerous football player, regardless of where he is on the field.
The definition of an unknown player is walk on Clint Stoffels. The defensive tackle who stands no more then 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs maybe 260 pounds seems to have taken a Wes Welker type drive and moved it to the defensive side of the football. Stoffels is so fast off the snap that several times during the spring he was into the backfield before offensive linemen were able to get out of their stances. He has also shown a tremendous willingness to pursue a play down the field, including an awe inspiring hit of Eric Morris nearly 20 yards down the field. Stoffels could draw comparisons to any number of undersized players that have become successful, and while he hasn't proven anything, there is a fire inside of him that is just waiting to get out.
Another name without a face to most fans, Howard was an un-heralded and unknown player through his red-shirt year during the 2006 football season. Even during the spring of 2007, Howard kept a low profile until the annual Red and Black game rolled around. Suddenly, Howard looked like the kind of athlete that fans have been clamoring for at the linebacker position for many years. His speed is good but his ability to time hits is reminiscent of one Dwayne Slay. Julius also seems to be one of several players that truly enjoy practice and the learning that goes along with it. Seemingly every time that he would make mistake and be corrected by the defensive coaching staff, he wouldn't make the same mistake twice. Added to great football instincts in the first place, Howard can currently be compared to a Fourth of July firework bought on the side of the road. He could either fizzle and fade or explode so loud that it wakes up the neighbors. And from what he has shown, the neighbors just might need some ear plugs.
2- Pete Richardson
Pete Richardson played running back for a while at Texas Tech and then was moved to cornerback. Normally, this type of transition means getting buried on the depth chart by players who were recruited to play defensive back. And yet,
1- Stephen Hamby
Hamby is the obvious choice for the number 1 slot because he came almost completely out of left field. With the strained back that kept Brandon Carter sidelined for almost the entire spring, Hamby stepped into the starting offensive line and played like he had been there the entire time. As the starting right guard, Hamby proved that sometimes sized doesn't matter. He is easily the smallest of the players in the starting lineup but played like a seasoned veteran. While never flashy, Hamby seemed to be learning everything he could and then some from his counter part on the other side of the line, Louis Vasquez. While Brandon Carter showed during the 2006 season that he can indeed be an extremely talented guard, Hamby showed during the spring that not all of the eggs have to be in one basket and that there is some versatility in the back-up players on the offensive line.