B/R College Football's 2018 All-Spring Practice Team

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistMay 3, 2018

B/R College Football's 2018 All-Spring Practice Team

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    Nebraska's Adrian Martinez
    Nebraska's Adrian MartinezSteven Branscombe/Getty Images

    Another year of spring practice has finished, and Bleacher Report is taking one final look at some of the best performers in the offseason workouts.

    Across the Football Bowl Subdivision landscape, players put together what they hope are precursors to breakout campaigns. While that doesn't guarantee success in the fall, they attracted some much-deserved attention at an important time.

    We've highlighted a 22-man team of noteworthy performers, broken it down by position and shared what the players did well.

    Some are familiar names, but several players are either true freshmen or may only be known by the most ardent fans.


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    Adrian Martinez, Nebraska

    Class: Freshman

    Measureables: 6'2", 205 lbs.

    Spring Highlights: The departure of Tanner Lee created an opening at quarterback, and early enrollee Adrian Martinez appears ready to snatch the job. During the spring game, he completed 10-of-13 passes for 114 yards and one touchdown. Additionally, he picked up 60 yards and three scores on the ground. Patrick O'Brien's decision to transfer further suggests Martinez will start in 2018.

Running Backs

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    A.J. Rose, Kentucky

    Class: Redshirt Sophomore

    Measureables: 6'1", 208 lbs.

    Spring highlights: Benny Snell Jr. is the undisputed starter for Kentucky in the backfield, but A.J. Rose wants to be a factor in the rotation. He collected 134 yards and three touchdowns on just 11 carries during the spring game. Rose will be battling Sihiem King for snaps.


    Alexander Horvath, Purdue

    Class: Redshirt freshman

    Measureables: 6'3", 230 lbs.

    Spring highlights: Purdue had a banged-up stable of running backs, so Alexander Horvath slid into a larger role in March and April. The experience could be critical for his future. Horvath gathered 75 yards on 14 carries in the spring game and reeled in five passes for 65 yards.

Wide Receivers and Tight End

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Tee Higgins, Clemson

    Class: Sophomore

    Measureables: 6'4", 200 lbs.

    Spring highlights: Deon Cain and Ray-Ray McCloud both headed to the NFL, leaving Tee Higgins as the No. 2 returning wideout. If the spring is any indication, the receiving corps has a new leader. Higgins had four catches for 118 yards and two touchdowns, highlighted by a 50-yard connection with star freshman Trevor Lawrence.


    Chabastin Taylor, Kansas State

    Class: Redshirt Freshman

    Measureables: 6'4", 227 lbs.

    Spring highlights: When the quarterback labels a receiver a "ball hawk," as Alex Delton called Chabastin Taylor, per D. Scott Fritchen of 247Sports, you know that receiver is doing a great job. Taylor impressed in practices before securing five passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns to end the spring.


    Caleb Reams, Illinois

    Class: Junior

    Measureables: 6'2", 250 lbs.

    Spring highlights: Returning starter Louis Dorsey wasn't available during the spring due to a violation of team rules, and Caleb Reams took full advantage. The converted wide receiver showed off his versatility during workoutsperhaps enough to earn a role in the fallthen caught 71- and 25-yard touchdowns in the spring game.

Offensive Line

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    Penn State's James Franklin and Michal Menet
    Penn State's James Franklin and Michal MenetCarlos Osorio/Associated Press

    Nick Ford, Utah

    Class: Redshirt Freshman

    Measureables: 6'5", 315 lbs.

    Spring highlights: Nick Ford earned first-team reps at right tackle during the spring, but he also played all over the offensive line and continually impressed position coach Jim Harding.

    "I really think that he's going to be a really high-level player," Harding said, per Lynn Worthy of the Salt Lake Tribune.


    BJ Etienne, Florida Atlantic

    Class: Redshirt Freshman

    Measureables: 6'3", 295 lbs.

    Spring highlights: BJ Etienne an offensive tackle in high school, and according to Wajih Al Baroudi of Owl Access, he never played guard. That changed this spring, when the staff made Etienne the first-string left guard. Offensive coordinator Charlie Weis Jr. called Etienne one of the offense's most improved players.


    Colin Newell, Iowa State

    Class: Redshirt Freshman

    Measureables: 6'4", 282 lbs.

    Spring highlights: Colin Newell spent the 2017 season watching from the sideline. It sure appears Newell, who head coach Matt Campbell called "a special young man," per Noah Rohlfing of the Iowa State Daily, won't be spending much time outside the white lines in 2018. Newell worked at center and guard this spring.


    Michal Menet, Penn State

    Class: Redshirt Sophomore

    Measureables: 6'4", 301 lbs.

    Spring highlights: Michal Menet took a redshirt in 2016 and played sparingly last season, but he's close to standing atop the depth chart. While that could be at right guard, Penn State coach James Franklin said Menet may have a future at center, according to Land of 10's Audrey Snyder.


    Linwood Foy, Louisville

    Class: Redshirt Senior

    Measureables: 6'4", 299 lbs.

    Spring highlights: Louisville only needs to fill one position on the offensive line. In his final year of eligibility, Linwood Foy put together a strong start. Jake Lourim of the Louisville Courier Journal noted Foy drew "rave reviews" from head coach Bobby Petrino and co-offensive coordinator Mike Summers.

Defensive Line

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    Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

    Antonneous Clayton, Florida

    Class: Junior

    Measureables: 6'2", 254 lbs.

    Spring highlights: After managing just seven total tackles in 2017, Antonneous Clayton nearly matched that production in the spring game. He collected six stops with three tackles for loss and two sacks. Clayton also posted 2.5 sacks in an earlier scrimmage.


    Robert Fuentes, UTSA

    Class: Redshirt Freshman

    Measureables: 6'4", 205 lbs.

    Spring highlights: Robert Fuentes spent a Saturday in the backfield. That probably won't happen in the fall, but it's no less impressive that he amassed six tackles with five for loss, three sacks and a forced fumble in UTSA's intrasquad scrimmage.


    Christian Howard, Arkansas State

    Class: Redshirt Senior

    Measureables: 6'2", 281 lbs.

    Spring highlights: Arkansas State must replace a couple of key pieces on the defensive front, and Christian Howard certainly played like he deserves one spot. All four of the senior's tackles during the spring game occurred behind the line of scrimmage, and three were sacks.


    Gregory Rousseau, Miami

    Class: Freshman

    Measureables: 6'6", 225 lbs.

    Spring highlights: The Miami staff nabbed a steal in 3-star defensive end Gregory Rousseau. He notched four sacks in the Hurricanes' first scrimmage and two during the spring game.


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    Eric Gay/Associated Press

    Jeffrey McCulloch, Texas

    Class: Junior

    Measureables: 6'3", 250 lbs.

    Spring highlights: Once a prized recruit, Jeffrey McCulloch hasn't yet backed up his billing at Texas. But in the spring game, the linebacker flashed his star potential with three sacks and added one other tackle and a quarterback hurry. McCulloch finally looks ready for a starting job.


    Kaulana Apelu, Oregon

    Class: Senior

    Measureables: 5'11", 204 lbs.

    Spring highlights: An ankle injury limited Kaulana Apelu to five appearances in 2017, but he certainly made his presence known during the scrimmage. The senior recorded a team-high nine tackles and returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown.


    Monty Rice, Georgia

    Class: Sophomore

    Measureables: 6'1", 235 lbs.

    Spring highlights: Replacing first-round draft pick Roquan Smith will be challenging. Somehow, Monty Rice has managed to stay out of the national spotlight despite a monster spring. He racked up 14 tackles and one sack during G-Day.

Defensive Backs

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    Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

    Elijah Molden, Washington

    Class: Sophomore

    Measureables: 5'10", 191 lbs.

    Spring highlights: "Every day, Elijah Molden was diving for balls," Washington defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake said, per Adam Jude of the Seattle Times. "You could see it: He wanted this really, really bad."

    The result? Six interceptions during the spring, including one during the final scrimmage.


    Amani Hooker, Iowa

    Class: Junior

    Measureables: 6'0", 210 lbs.

    Spring highlights: Iowa's spring game was a showcase for Amani Hooker. In addition to intercepting one pass and forcing a fumble, he perfectly read another pass. Though the safety missed the ball, he tipped it directly to fellow safety Jake Gervase.


    Brendan Radley-Hiles, Oklahoma

    Class: Freshman

    Measureables: 5'9", 187 lbs.

    Spring highlights: He might play cornerback. Or nickelback. Or safety. But it's safe to project Brendan Radley-Hiles will be an immediate contributor for Oklahoma. To close a tremendous spring, the early enrollee posted four tackles with one sack.


    Jaiden Woodbey, Florida State

    Class: Freshman

    Measureables: 6'3", 216 lbs.

    Spring highlights: "Jaiden is a dude. He's a dude, man," head coach Willie Taggart said, per Chris Nee of 247Sports.

    Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man. Movie quote aside, the early-enrolling freshman provided nine tackles with a sack in the scrimmage. If he keeps that up during the fall, Woodbey is headed toward immediate playing time.