There are quite a few newcomers heading to non-AQ schools in 2010, but below are a few I’m interested in seeing next season. All five of the players listed should have an opportunity to start and make a national name for themselves early.
John Cullen, LT, Utah: Cullen might have been the biggest get for Utah this year because he fills one of the only immediate need the Utes had. He’ll replace Zane Beadles and be in charge of covering quarterback Jordan Wynn’s blind side.
Jake Heaps, QB, BYU: Heaps was the most highly-touted recruit to commit to a non-AQ school this year and will have a chance to make an immediate impact with an open quarterback competition. Max Hall is gone, leaving four guys to battle for the starting quarterback spot. Heaps enrolled in school early and will start his career in the spring.
Jeffrey Godfrey, QB, Central Florida: The quarterback position has been somewhat inconsistent over the past couple of seasons, but coach George O’Leary has raved about Godfrey and his accuracy, and he could be the next signal-caller in the backfield. Rob Calabrese was the backup to senior Brett Hodges last year, but he’ll have a fight on his hands.
James Aiono, DE, Utah: Aiono was supposed to join Utah last year, but academic problems forced him to stay in junior college another season. He was the top-rated junior college defensive end last year and we’ll see if he can live up to that hype in the Mountain West. The Utes lost some top players on the defensive side of the ball, so Aiono should be able to come in and play right away.
James Green, WR, Toledo: Green was the hook of this year’s recruiting class and should be the perfect player to replace receiver Stephen Williams. Toledo is really building its team around young players, and with Green enrolling early, he should be able to slip in there and earn some playing time.