Bowl Schedule 2012: 5 New Stars Who Have Emerged During Bowl Season
The bowl season is more than just a reward for the regular season and a farewell to departing seniors. It is also a time that future stars have a coming out party. With a full regular season under their belt and a month of preparation behind them, it is a perfect scenario to see a glimpse of the future.
So far this bowl season, we have already seen a handful of young players who have burst onto the scene with monster games and promising future.
Here is a list of five players who have already been impressive and made a name for themselves.
James Franklin, Missouri Tigers
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Missouri quarterback James Franklin has been solid all season long. However, this was the first time that he has been on the national scene with all eyes on him and he impressed.
Franklin passed for 132 yards and one touchdown and rushed for 142 yards and two touchdowns.
Missouri had over 500 yards of offense and were 10-of-14 on third-down conversions in the 41-24 victory over North Carolina.
It was a strong statement for the Tigers, who are headed to the SEC next season. Missouri is losing depth on their offensive line, but Franklin’s mobility is going to help ease the transition.
Onterio McCalebb, Auburn University
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Onterio McCalebb has been a known commodity for the Auburn Tigers for some time. However, for most of the last two seasons he has been a complementary backup to star running back Michel Dyer.
However, with Dyer suspended for the game and his future uncertain, McCalebb was thrust into the spotlight.
McCalebb responded with 109 rushing yards and two total touchdowns.
If the Tigers can find a complement back to go with McCalebb next season, the rushing game should be in good hands.
Blake Bell, Oklahoma Soooners
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Going into the Sooners' bowl game, freshman quarterback Blake Bell came into the game with eight yards passing. He would not complete any passes in Oklahoma’s bowl game but he was one of the key to victories.
The Sooners used a special run package for the 6’6", 245-pound freshman and he responded. Bell rushed for 51 yards on 10 carries and scored three touchdowns.
It is unclear if current quarterback Landry Jones will return for his senior season, but it is clear that Bell will get extended playing time. This season, he had only 44 carries but scored 13 touchdowns.
We have not seen enough of Bell throwing the ball to gauge how solid of a quarterback that he is, but we know he is Mr. Touchdown for the Sooners.
Rashad Greene, Florida State Seminoles
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The Florida State Seminoles were trailing 9-14 in the fourth quarter of their bowl game against Notre Dame. Needing someone to step up and make a play, they turned to freshman wide receiver Rashad Greene and he hauled in the go-ahead touchdown on a 15-yard reception.
Greene finished the game with five receptions for 99 yards and one touchdown.
The future is bright for the 6'1", 180 lb. freshman from Albany, GA. This game will serve as his coming out party.
Keith Price, Washington Huskies
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If you had told me prior to the Baylor Bears' bowl game that they would score 67 points in their bowl game and that there would be a quarterback with over 400 yards passing and seven total touchdowns, I would have assumed you were speaking of Robert Griffin III.
However, the correct answer is Keith Price from the Washington Huskies.
Price completed 23-of-27 for 438 yards and four touchdowns. He also carried the ball five times for 39 yards and three additional touchdowns.
Price is only a sophomore and has been solid all season long. However, RGIII was supposed to steal the show. Despite the defeat for the Huskies, viewers left watching one of the most dominant performances in college bowl history.
How good will price be in the future? That is unknown. All we know is that on that night he was as good as anyone with a pigskin in their hand.