5 College Football Players Who Could Lose Their Jobs to True Freshmen in 2012
We always want to see true freshmen play, as the hype of these high school players grows year after year. Some are ready, some are not. However, many other factors play into the result of whether a true freshman plays, let alone starts.
One of those factors is the depth chart. If a true freshman has more talent than the incumbent, then it really just depends on how fast the freshman can learn the system to hold his own on the field. For this read, I'm going to name five players that could lose their jobs to a true freshman.
Here we go!
5. Mike James, RB, Miami
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James is a nice RB, but Duke Johnson is a beast.
At the RB spot, where it's pretty easy and almost normal for a young player to make an impact, James is in trouble.
I'd bet money that Johnson is quicker and faster than James is right now. At the very least, he's going to take carries away from James.
Johnson will probably be the starter at some point in the middle of the season.
4. Matt Patchan, LT, Florida
I don't know what it is about Patchan, but the 6'6" 280-pound junior hasn't gotten it done at Florida.
Patchan has battled some nagging injuries here and there, but 5-star OT D.J. Humphries has NFL ability. He's 6'5", 265 pounds and has elite athleticism for a left tackle.
Humphries hit some rough patches this spring, as expected, but he should beat out Patchan in summer camp or the early part of the season.
3. Tommy Rees, QB, Notre Dame
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Rees lost his job to Dayne Crist last year. Then Crist played poorly and the job fell back into Rees' lap. He played solid for a while, but Rees isn't a spectacular QB .
With Gunner Kiel being easily the most hyped QB prospect to come to South Bend since Jimmy Clausen, plus the history of Brian Kelly switching QBs at the drop of an Irish leprechaun's pipe, Kiel will play this year.
He's already at Notre Dame, will be at spring practices and ran a similar spread system in high school.
2. Zach Maynard, QB, Cal
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I watched several Cal games last year and I was not impressed with Maynard. He's a 6'3" lefty and I don't think he has enough arm strength to really get the job done consistently.
In fact, it's amazing Keenan Allen put up the stats he did with Maynard as the QB in Berkeley. However, I think Maynard's days as the starter are numbered.
Zach Kline—a 6'2", 205-pound 4-star QB with a cannon for an arm and good moxie—is already at Cal and will battle Maynard for the job this spring and summer.
1. Clay Burton, TE, Florida
Burton (6'4", 242 pounds) is not the starter at Florida, but with Jordan Reed, Trey Burton and Omarius Hines not being the type of tight ends that love to block, Burton could see time.
However, his hands are awful and his spring practice reviews have not been good at all. Kent Taylor and Colin Thompson will easily be ahead of him in the fall and Burton will be behind the eight ball.
Taylor could challenge for time because of his size, hands and ball skills. Thompson will also be a candidate to play because he's a solid blocker and has superior hands to Burton.