Looking into this year's college football season, there are two players the whole nation should be watching: Eric Decker and Adam Weber. As a quarterback-receiver tandem, there are many reasons why they will be top in the nation.
I'll start with Adam Weber:
Weber is entering this season as a junior, and is happily playing for his hometown. He's 6'2" and 220 lbs. Furthermore, he's had good stats his first two years.
Year CMP ATT YDS CMP% YPA LNG TD INT SACK RAT
2007 258 449 2895 57.5 6.45 71 24 19 13 120.80
2008 255 410 2761 62.2 6.73 71 15 8 31 126.93
I consider these stats good for a college quarterback, but they are great for a freshman and sophomore quarterback. As a freshman, Weber was the Gophers' best quarterback.
It also must mean something when head coach Tim Brewster picked Weber over his son, Clint Brewster.
Clint Brewster was highly ranked when the Gophers recruited him. So, by picking Weber as the No. 1 quarterback, Brewster demonstrated his belief in his ability.
He certainly picked the right quarterback. Weber has put up great stats his first two years.
Like many quarterbacks, Weber is looking to improve next season, and considering the Gophers' better and healthier receiving crew, that may happen.
Due to a rather weak running game, Weber and the Gophers must use the passing game often in order to score. Weber has shown that he can beat teams with or without a running game, so I don't see it as being a big problem.
Moreover, Weber could use much better blocking than last year. In 2008, the offensive line gave up 31 sacks, as you could see in the stats. It's difficult for a quarterback to work under pressure all the time. The blocking doesn't have to be great, but they need to give Weber at least three to five seconds to get rid of the ball.
Now, we look at his receivers: Eric Decker, Brandon Green, Troy Stoudermire, and newly recruited Hayo Carpenter. Decker was the main reason why Weber was on fire early last season.
At midseason, Decker lead all Division I wideouts in receiving yards. Unfortunately, his success was derailed by an injury. If healthy, he would've been one of the best receivers in the nation.
He is now going into the season as a third-team All-American. I don't see why he can't repeat last year's performance.
Weber and Decker will be one of the nation's top quarterback-receiver tandems this year. Decker will be the go-to-guy that Weber can count on.
Brandon Green and Troy Stoudermire aren't guys who will put up huge numbers, but they will contribute in smaller ways. They have great speed, and they can make big plays whenever they get the ball.
Now, Hayo Carpenter is a new guy that I'm excited to watch. He was ranked the best receiver in the junior college league and was a huge steal for the Gophers.
He's going to step in right away and will be a big playmaker the whole season. Hopefully, he can take some pressure off of Decker. He will be fun to watch and will be another huge weapon for Weber.
There you have it. These are the players who will contribute to Weber's success. I'm really high on the receiving crew.
Every quarterback needs great receivers, and every receiver needs a great quarterback. When they're together, there's nothing that can stop them.
This is a team sport. Weber won't be on the field by himself. Everyone has to play their part if they want to succeed.
I see Weber becoming a future professional quarterback.
In addition, I think the Gophers have a good chance to make the Rose Bowl.
I wish Weber the best of luck and hope he will lead the Gophers to victory.