It's a rite of spring every year -- newcomers begin to emerge to make a name for themselves for the upcoming season. They could be freshmen. They could be transfers. They could be former junior college standouts. They could be a backup finally getting his chance to shine. So who are some of the top newcomers to watch in the Big East for 2012? Here are just a few.
Ashton Broyld, QB, Syracuse. The Orange have been hush-hush about their practices this spring. Coach Doug Marrone has alluded to changing up some of what the team is doing on offense, defense and special teams. That might mean getting a potential playmaker like Broyld more involved at quarterback. Nobody is suggesting that Ryan Nassib is losing his job. But if Broyld is as athletic as we have been led to believe, Syracuse is going to have to find a way to get him the football.
Chris Coyer, QB, Temple. Big East fans are going to want to familiarize themselves with Temple in a hurry, and the first person they are going to need to pay attention to is Coyer. When he was a high school recruit, he was described as having Tim Tebow-like qualities. Indeed, Coyer is a dual-threat quarterback -- he was third on the team last season with 562 yards rushing and threw for 463 yards in eight appearances. He also happens to be left-handed with a bit of size to him (6-foot-3, 230 pounds). Coyer made big-time strides in the bowl game last season; how does he carry that into 2012?
Rushel Shell, RB, Pitt. Shell is not even on campus yet, but he is the most highly-touted recruit in the class of 2012 heading to the Big East. Expectations are for him to compete immediately, even with Ray Graham returning from a torn ACL and Isaac Bennett having an outstanding spring camp. Coach Paul Chryst is not shy about giving a variety of his running backs the ball, and the Panthers are going to be a much more run-heavy team moving forward. Should Shell prove his worth, there will be opportunities for him in this offense.
Want more? Here are a few transfers to watch as well.