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5 College Football Players Who Will Burst onto the Scene in 2012

Adam RandallContributor IIMay 29, 2012

5 College Football Players Who Will Burst onto the Scene in 2012

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    The parking lots are filled, and the aroma of burnt hot dogs enters your nose as you drink your favorite beer while reliving fond memories of your days in college. 

    In as little as four months, we welcome back college football and once again forget that we even had a desire to watch baseball.

    The 2011 season will not be forgotten, as we watched stars like Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III dominate all the way to the 2012 NFL Draft.

    With the 2012 season upon us, what better way to dive back into college football than to examine five players poised to thrive this year?

Andrew Maxwell, QB (Michigan State)

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    Former Kirk Cousins understudy Andrew Maxwell is likely to get the nod at quarterback for the Spartans entering the season.

    Fans will surely expect less of Maxwell, who is taking over after Cousins' successful three-year run. Maxwell is entering his junior season as a Spartan and is being compared to Cousins, who threw for 2,680 yards, 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions in his debut season in 2009.

    When asked about the similarities of Cousins and Maxwell, Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio told the Detroit News last month, "You have to be your own person, too."

    Despite suffering a knee injury during a scrimmage last month, Maxwell should be cleared to return sometime in June. Look for him to be one of the best in the Big Ten this year, picking up on the success of where Cousins left off.

Nick Florence, QB (Baylor)

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    New Baylor quarterback Nick Florence will certainly be under watchful eyes as he takes over for Heisman Trophy winner and No. 2 overall draft pick Robert Griffin III.

    Florence obviously doesn't match up to the same skill level of RGIII, but he brings leadership and the same desire to be a playmaker as RGIII did during his tenure with Baylor.

    Most of the team as a whole remains intact despite the loss of Griffin and three defensive starters.

    Look for the Baylor Bears to continue to compete at a high level, but they probably won't be able to achieve the same level of success without Griffin.

Trey Metoyer, WR (Oklahoma)

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    Freshman wide receiver Trey Metoyer proved he belongs, thanks to an impressive debut during the team's annual spring game where he hauled in six passes for 72 yards.

    Metoyer has an impressive frame at 6'2'' and 198 pounds. He is quick, strong and physical, and he has the ability to make leaping catches. He should get a lot of looks in the end zone.

Tharold Simon, CB (LSU)

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    Tharold Simon will try to plug the hole left by former cornerback Morris Claiborne in LSU's secondary. Simon brings speed and athleticism and should have no trouble covering some of college football's finest.

    LSU is on a mission to not only get back to the national championship game but to win it.

Eddie Lacy, RB (Alabama)

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    Alabama's roster currently has a sign taped loosely to it that reads "under construction," as most of last year's talented roster is gone.

    Trent Richardson heads to the Cleveland Browns, and the Tide will roll with Richardson's backup, Eddie Lacy.

    Lacy doesn't quite have the same skills as Richardson, but he'll likely have a huge year and a possible Heisman nomination in a run-first offense.

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