So who is NEXT in college football? Each blogger was asked to come up with one player from their respective conference as the next breakout star.
My choice was West Virginia receiver Tavon Austin. You can check out our snazzy video: my part is at the 3:22 mark. In the video, I discuss the possibility of 100 catches, something that has never been done in the Big East. More on that in this post from last week.
Who else could be next? Here are nominees from each school:
Cincinnati: Akise Teague, running back. Starter Isaiah Pead is in his final season, so Teague definitely could be NEXT for the Bearcats. Jameel Poteat may have gotten some more headlines, but it is Teague who already has a complete grasp of the playbook in less than a summer on campus. Quarterback Zach Collaros said Teague is quite advanced for a true freshman, and expects him to play this season. I will have more on Teague later this week.
Connecticut: Lyle McCombs, running back. I listed D.J. Shoemate as a potential impact player for 2011 in my video series, but McCombs has the potential to be NEXT. As a redshirt freshman, he has his entire career ahead of him. He got into off-the-field trouble in January and had to serve a suspension in the spring, but there is a chance he could overtake Shoemate as the starter. UConn generally has success with its running backs, so he could be the next big name.
Louisville: Teddy Bridgewater, quarterback. Expectations are high for Bridgewater to come in and take the starting job. He could be a starter for four seasons and become the face of the Big East. That is plenty to ask for somebody who is 18, but that is how high the potential is for him under Charlie Strong.
Pittsburgh: Devin Street, receiver. When you talk about potential for 100 catches, throw Devin Street into the mix. He and Mike Shanahan form a nice duo of receivers for the Panthers. Street is just a sophomore, and his potential in this offense is extremely high when you consider his speed, his ability to get YAC and his deep-threat possibilities.
Rutgers: Savon Huggins, running back. This is an easy one, considering many expect him to come in and be the next Ray Rice. The offensive line has to improve first, but with Huggins entering the mix, the Scarlet Knights could be much more dynamic and balanced on offense.
Syracuse: Dyshawn Davis, linebacker. Davis enrolled early and switched positions, but impressed coaches with his ability. At 6-foot-2 and 206 pounds, he could probably stand to gain 15 pounds, but no doubt he will have every opportunity to make a name for himself in the type of defense Syracuse runs. He could be the next Marquis Spruill.
USF: Ryne Giddins, defensive end. The Bulls have gotten good at producing NFL-caliber defensive linemen. Now comes along Giddens, who should be a terrific speed rusher and be a breakout star in 2011. Just a sophomore, Giddens played some as a redshirt freshman, but now more is expected as a starter.
Leave your nominations in the comments section, and I will do a post with your picks later this week.