1. Rashan Gary, DT, Michigan
Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown says Gary has "got to earn it like everybody else," but we expect him to do that, and we think that, behind the coach speak, the Wolverines expect him to too. Gary is playing strongside end for Michigan and Brown says they "like to put him over those tight ends and see how many of those tight ends enjoy blocking him." His teammates have already raved about his athleticism so do not bet against him being out there with the first unit when the Wolverines open at home against Hawaii on September 3rd.
2. Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss
The left tackle void left by Laremy Tunsil is one of the hot competitions in camp for the Rebels. Former quarterback and tight end Jeremy Liggins entered amp as the starter, but is being held out for a "violation of team standards." That gives Little an opportunity along with several other players vying for the job. "We obviously think he’s super athletic," head coach Hugh Freeze said. "As all freshmen, he could stand to be stronger, and Paul will get him there no doubt in time. We do think he’s a really good future left tackle." OMSpirit publisher Chuck Rounsaville says Little is "breathing down the back" of Alex Givens, who is currently working as the first team left tackle.
3. Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
Lawrence checks in at 342 pounds, not much more than what he weighed in high school, but is showing the same athleticism in that body that made him such a sought after high school prospect. Head coach Dabo Swiney said "Dexter stands out. He stands out big time." The Tigers return senior Carlos Watkins and sophomore Christian Wilkins, another former top recruit, at defensive tackle, but there is little doubt that, even if Lawrence does not win the job outright, he will be in the rotation.
4. Shea Patterson, QB, Ole Miss
With Chad Kelly returning, it is not likely you will see much of Patterson this season, but head coach Hugh Freeze said the true freshman "looks good" so far. And added on the possibility of a redshirt "“No, we probably won’t think about that until we get into the games. He’ll be traveling with us, ready to play, and we’ll make that maybe even during the course of games. It’s not something we are going to discuss this early, but we’re getting him prepared to play.”
5. Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
Bosa was injured (ACL) as a senior in high school, but is participating in Fall camp, even if that is in a limited way, and the Buckeyes are doing that to make certain he will be able to play minutes this Fall. He has already been referred to as a "freak" in the weight room by teammates, and Big Ten Network's Tom Dienhart noted that Bosa looked "as good as advertised" when he attended practice.
6. Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
A historic signing for the Cougars, and the highest recruit ever signed by a Conference USA school, Cougars defensive coordinator Todd Orlando says how much he plays this year will be "up to Ed Oliver," adding that Oliver will work at three different defensive line spots during camp. Said Cougar Digest publisher Rob Sellers, "he will see the field early and often." Sellers also noted that Oliver had his stripe removed on Thursday.
7. Jacob Eason, QB, Georgia
The Bulldogs have several quarterbacks exchanging first team reps (premium) and Eason is one of them. In another premium practice report, Dawg Post's Dean Legge notes a beautiful throw Eason made, and also some of his freshman moments. He was dinged up a little bit, but returned and is expected to be fine. For now, he is in the race to start
8. Mique Juarez, LB, UCLA
Among this top ten, Juarez is probably the biggest story at the moment. He has been taking an "excused absence" from UCLA practice for the last two days. Bruin Report Online has the inside word on Juarez's status. Juarez enrolled early, and although he was limited in the spring with a concussion, the talent was evident (noted here by Bruin Report Online). Before his absence, he was on the two-deep at the SAM spot and there was some thought he could become the starter by the end of camp.
9. Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
Brown's maturity and athleticism drew praise from defensive line coach Rodney Garner earlier this week and Mark Murphy from Inside the Auburn Tigers noted that there is "little doubt" he will "play a major role" this season.
10. Jeffery Simmons, DE, Mississippi State
Simmons pleaded no contest to simple assault charges recently stemming from a domestic incident which was captured on video. Simmons is suspended one game, but is practicing with the team and Steve Robertson of Gene's Page says he is "doing great" and "expected to be in the rotation" this Fall. Simmons recently did 27 reps of 225 on the bench and "the seniors rave about him and how he's going to help them this year."