24 July 2011

Big Light Sophs: 10 To Keep An Eye On

Every year sports fans across the nation will often debate at some point athletes who might be rising or also might fail to live up to the hype of their first effort. It's always exciting to watch to see if they make the cut and live up to the hype of fans expectations. That's what makes sports so enjoyable. That valued time around the water cooler discussing everyone's viewpoints. Here's ten sophomore quarterbacks that certainly could be worth keeping an eye on this year.

Jake Heaps/BYU wasn't truly handed over the car keys to the offense until week 4 and never had full snaps like most in spring/fall camp. Jake finally has that repetition available now with an assistant staff overhaul. The offense should be settled and in sync ready to roll. The question remains was last season's last half of the schedule that easy or was there truly that improvement. Cougar fans should be able to answer that watching how the blue and white jerseys handle the front loaded 2011 schedule.

Keith Price/Washington hopes to be the next great Husky to take the reins behind center with Jake Locker taking his game to the Tennessee Titans. So, where does Price stand? Back in high school he had over a 70 percent completion ratio. Price was also selected in high school as the 33rd ranked dual threat QB prospect. Out of spring practice he was also essentially named the starter. The offense does have its share of playmakers which should help ease the "Price" of the transition from Locker which includes junior Chris Polk who rushed last season for 1415 yards (second most in school history).

Danny O'Brien/Maryland emerged last season as one of the nation's best promising young quarterbacks after throwing for over 2400 yards and 22 TDs including an efficiency rating of 134.5. O'Brien is only one of four players in school history to throw for over 400 yards in a game. With four returning OL starters O'Brien should be poised to have yet another successful season.

Nathan Scheelhaase/Illinois came into the 2010 season as a unproven redshirt freshman who emerged as a solidified starter. Scheelhaase threw for over 1800 yards and 17 TDs (even rushed for 868 yards with 5 TDs) in his freshman campaign. His aerial assault (TD to INT) ratio even is definately respectable 17 to 8.

Jeff Godfrey/UCF very well could be driving his way to yet another successful sophomore season. He has an entire OL returning with experience and the lineman have even promised not to give up a sack in 2011. Last season Godfrey threw for 2159 yards 13 TDs 8 INTs and a 154 efficiency rating while rushing for 566 yards and 10 TDs on the ground.

Casey Pachall/TCU was a four star athlete ranked in 2009 by recruiting services rivals as the 9th best best dual threat QB in the nation. The time to rise and shine is now. Dalton exhausted his collegiate eligibility heading to the next level and that mantle now falls squarely on the shoulders of Pachall. Yes, the horned frogs may have only one returning OL starter back but TCU also has an insanely favorable schedule with a defense which has been tops (or darn close to tops) the past three or four years to help ease any pressure.

Aaron Murray/Georgia may have lost wideout standout AJ Green to the Cincinnati Bengals but may have found some capable replacements in freshman Malcolm Mitchell and junior Tavarres King. In his freshman season Murray connected for 24 TDs and nearly 3050 yards with a rating a 154.5. If the dawgs OL can hold together to give Murray ample time there's no reason why Murray can't succeed. Although, the first week Boise State might have something to say about that.

Kolton Browning/UL Monroe might as well been selling pop corn in the stands last season. It's about all that was left out far exceeding all expectations of a normal incoming freshman. Browning amassed nearly 3000 yards of total offense (rushed for 385 yards and 4 TDs). He threw for 18 TDs with 2552 passing yards with nearly a 62 percent pass completion ratio. The warhawks definately need to rally around Browning but also need to raise the bar of performance considering considering some tough road games against Florida State, TCU and Iowa.

Corey Robinson/Troy couldn't have asked for a freshman season statistically. Robinson struck for 28 TDs covering over 3700 yards. Yes, 3726 to be exact. His offense averaged over 34 points on the scoreboard last yer (ranked 17th nationally). He even lit up Ohio at the New Orleans Bowl going 32 of 47 for 387 yards and 4 TDs.

Tyler Bray/Tennessee produced some rather respectable stats in a considerable early season substitutional role. In only 5 starts Bray threw for 1849 yards 18 TDs with a efficiency of 142.7 without the benefit of an effective ground game that finished basically dead last in the SEC (managing only 116 yards per game).

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