The Toledo Rockets typically aren't a program to play a lot of first-year players, especially with Jason Candle being in his first season as head coach. However, Candle brought in a great signing class in 2016, which will certainly pay off down the road, but could become useful as early as this fall. Let's take a look at some of the players that could see the field this season, especially with a productive fall camp:
Desmond Phillips - Wide Receiver - Miami, FL
Desmond Phillips is the first man on this list to watch. Phillips, who had offers from several bigger programs such as Miami (Fl), Pittsburgh, and Syracuse, chose Toledo and enrolled early, giving him an early leg up. The five-foot-ten, 170-pound wide out has explosive speed and could be plugged into the slot on certain possessions to give someone like Corey Jones a quick breather. The interesting aspect to Phillips' game is that he also has the ability to returns punts and kicks, which gives him an even better chance of playing right away, despite Diontae Johnson and Corey Jones typically taking those duties. The Florida native, barring a slow beginning to his Fall Camp, should be extremely difficult to keep off of the field this season. Most of the time, freshmen don't make major impacts right away and will be fortunate to see the field, but with Phillips' speed and athletic ability, there's a real chance he plays in some crucial moments this fall.
Aaron Covington - Cornerback - Seffner, FL
Despite being a redshirt, Aaron Covington is still a name that is still unknown to most Toledo Football fans. That will change this fall. If nothing else, Covington, younger brother to Toledo alum, Allen Covington, will see the field in nickel and dime formations. The five-foot-ten, 180-pound corner had offers from Baylor and Maryland, amongst several others but chose Toledo for a chance to play early on. After redshirting last season as a true-freshman, expect Covington to play a significant role in the Rocket defense.
Cameron Bell - Offensive Tackle - Macedonia, OH
Honestly, Cameron Bell was too good to leave off of this list. Despite the Toledo offensive line being stellar and veteran loaded, there's expected to be an opening at center, which Bell is obviously not a fit at since he's six-foot-eight, 330-plus pounds. However, there could be some shifting around on the Rocket offensive line to plug the redshirt-freshman in. Early on, it appears Nate Jeppesen will become the starter at center, but if the Rockets wanted to, they could move someone like Mike Ebert to center and plug Bell in at right tackle. To be honest, Bell is still likely one more year away from starting for Toledo but barring injury, Bell is ready to go as a stellar back up this fall.