College Football 2011: 5 Players Who Might Lose Their Starting Job Next Season
Starting jobs are never safe - especially in February.
Maybe a big time recruit has just committed to your program at your position. Maybe a proven performer is transferring into your program.
Maybe the coach who believed in you got fired or left. Maybe disciplinary action or simply a lack of production has your starting spot in danger.
In any event, the spring and summer are times where most jobs are up for grabs. Here are five guys nationally who may have their playing time in jeopardy this season for various reasons.
Washaun Ealey, Georgia
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Washaun Ealey has shown of a ton of potential at the running back position for Mark Richt's Bulldogs. He's gained over 1,500 yards in the last two seasons combined as a freshman and sophomore.
But he's had trouble staying out of the doghouse, if you will. He was suspended for the season opener of 2010 after being arrested for charges of a hit and run while driving with a suspended license.
Now, he has been suspended for unidentified reasons. Coach Mark Richt said he wasn't doing things "the Georgia way." Whatever the reason, he's found himself in trouble again.
Top running back prospect Isaiah Crowell is also already expected to get carries in the season opener. All of these things combined together most likely means Ealey's role will at least be decreased. There are also transfer rumors swirling right now.
I expect Crowell to get the first start of the season.
Tre Newton, Texas
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Tre Newton and the rest of the Texas running backs completely underachieved last season. Their offensive line didn't help out very much, but the running game as a whole was still disappointing.
Enter Malcolm Brown. He's one of the more hyped running backs to come to Austin in the last few years. He probably won't be starting on opening day, but don't be surprised if he becomes the feature back for the Horns when conference play begins.
Quandon Christian, Clemson
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Clemson cleaned up on National Signing Day, earning commitments from the top outside AND inside linebacker in the country, according to ESPN. Tony Steward and Stephone Anthony each chose the Tigers on February 2.
After being redshirted in 2009, Christian played a lot at strongside linebacker in 2010. He probably will still get to play quite a bit in 2011, but having two highly rated linebackers come in at the same time may hurt his and his fellow linebackers' playing time.
Demetris Murray, USF
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Darrell Scott was rated by many as the number one running back coming out of the 2008 recruiting class. He eventually chose to go to Colorado over Texas, Florida, and LSU. He played in his true freshman season, but only earned one carry in the season opener of the 2009 season. He decided to transfer during the 2010 season to South Florida.
Demetris Murray was in line to step into the starter's role after spending last season sharing time with Mo Plancher, but with the entry of Darrell Scott, it is likely that he will continue to split carries.
Devin Taylor, South Carolina
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
As as sophomore in 2010, Devin Taylor emerged as a playmaker for the Gamecocks. He recorded 8 sacks and returned an interception for a touchdown from his defensive line position. He likely will still be in the playing rotation this season.
Top overall prospect Jadeveon Clowney is still deciding on his college choice, but many are predicting he will be taking his talents to Columbia. If this is the case, the rest of the defensive lineman will have to step it up a notch to keep their playing time.
Clowney appears to be the kind of lineman that can contribute right away, and he should get every opportunity to do that in Columbia. Steve Spurrier usually has no hesitation regarding playing true freshmen.