College Football Predictions: Five Players Everyone Will Know by Season's End

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistJuly 12, 2011

College Football Predictions: Five Players Everyone Will Know by Season's End

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    Coming into 2011, there are players expected to win awards and become All-Americans.

    There are also players whom no one expects to do well.

    In between these players is another category. Some players have the talent, but either have not had a chance to display it or have squandered it.

    In 2011, players will become household names for various reasons.

    Here are five players everyone will know by the end of this season:

Davin Meggett

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    Davin Meggett has a chance to emerge as a star in his senior season for the Maryland Terrapins.

    With the departure of Da'rel Scott, Meggett will see his role grow into a feature back position.

    Considering he racked up 720 yards on the ground as a supplement to Scott in 2010, Meggett could explode in 2011.

    He is smaller in stature, but Meggett is shifty in the open field and is great at finding holes at the line.

    His lack of size adds to his elusiveness, but his toughness makes up for any lack of strength he may have.

    With the loss of Torrey Smith at wide receiver, quarterback Danny O'Brien may need to lean on his run game at least at the beginning of the season.

    Meggett will be up to the task and will open some eyes around the nation.

Tavon Austin

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    Geno Smith is a true dark horse candidate for the Heisman trophy before the season. Tavon Austin is Geno Smith's top target and a very dangerous player.

    Standing at just 5'9'', Austin is very speedy and should see his role increase with the departure of receiver Jock Sanders.

    In 2010, Austin hauled in 58 passes for 787 yards and eight touchdowns. Under new head coach Dana Holgorsen, look for these numbers to increase in a big way.

    Austin may lack the size necessary to play physical, but he excels over the middle of the field because of his quickness.

    Smith will need a target he can rely on. Expect Austin to emerge quickly as one of the best playmakers in the Big East and the nation.

Silas Redd

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    Evan Royster departed Penn State as its all-time leader in rushing yards. Silas Redd will be expected to carry that torch in 2011.

    Redd proved his ability in 2010, carrying the ball for over 400 yards on 77 carries.

    He is an explosive runner who uses his low center of gravity to bowl over defenders. Redd is very good at keeping his pad level low, and has the balance needed to weave his way through all three levels of the defense.

    While Joe Paterno tries to figure out his quarterback dilemma, Redd could become the feature offense for Penn State.

    He will be up to the task. Redd's talent, combined with his limited experience in 2010, will have him poised for a major breakout in 2011.

Markelle Martin

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    Markelle Martin gets overshadowed outside of Stillwater, Oklahoma because of the prolific Oklahoma State Cowboys offense.

    However, Martin will be one of the best safeties in the nation in 2011.

    Standing at 6'1'', Martin has the size to play in run support, but he also has the hands and savvy to drop back into pass coverage.

    Both of the Cowboys' starting cornerbacks have departed since last season, and that should lead to an even bigger role for the ball hawk this season.

    The Cowboys' offense should once again be excellent in 2011. If Martin has anything to say about it the defense will also be a sufficient unit for Mike Gundy.

Greg McCoy

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    Greg McCoy is the TCU Horned Frogs best playmaker on either side of the ball.

    McCoy returns to a defense looking to build off of its success in 2010. His experience at corner should make that process a little bit easier.

    However, McCoy may be better on special teams than he is in coverage. He averaged 33.4 yards per kick return last season.

    Combine his special teams prowess with five career interceptions, and McCoy could be a major reason the Horned Frogs are back in the spotlight again in 2011.