Posts Tagged ‘freshman of influence’

Freshman of Influence – Week 2

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Posted by Mark Branstad – Football Talent Advisors

We’re two weeks into the college football season and there are more freshman making their impact felt.  This week I found a few defensive lineman and a linebacker that are making major contributions. 

Freshman of Influence Week 2:


Jonathan Bostic, LB – Florida

Bostic graduated high school in January and currently leads the Gators in tackles as true freshman. Pretty impressive.  He also ran some quick times as a high schooler at Palm Beach Central, Florida.  Ran 11.41 /100, 23.15/200 at the District 9-4A Meet in 2008…also ran on regional meet qualifying 4×100 relay (43.11), even threw some shot put 40’07. 

Baker Steinkuhler, DT – Nebraska

Originally recruited as an offensive lineman but made the switch to defense.  Had three tackles against Arkansas State and looks to receive more playing time as season progresses.  Threw shot put in high school 52’06 at A4 District Meet (2007) for Lincoln Southwest HS, Nebraska. 

Devon Kennard, DE – Southern Cal

Kennard, a true freshman, has been quite productive in USC’s first two games with multiple tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss.  With Matt Barkley there he’s not getting the attention he probably deserves.  Anyway, he threw shot put and discus as freshman and sophomore at Desert Vista HS in Arizona…suffered a knee injury missing most of senior high school season. 

Tyron Smith, OL – Southern Cal

Alright, I’m cheating a bit with this one because he’s a true sophomore but Smith is starting on an offensive line that many consider to be extremely good.  Guess that means Ohio State’s defensive line is extremely good too?  He also was quite a good thrower at Rancho Verde HS in California…throwing the discus 152’10 ranked one of top throwers in Riverside County for 2006.  Also threw shot put 46’07.  

Ryan Williams, RB – Virginia Tech

A redshirt freshman, had an exciting spring game, was put into action after the ACL injury to Darren Evans.  Williams has responded well with good performances in the first two games.  He also qualified for Virginia’s state track meet as a freshman high schooler at Stonewall Jackson HS.  Williams ran 11.04/100 and 22.90/200 at the Northwest Region Meet and placed fourth at the state meet in the 4×100 relay (43.05). 

Branden Smith, RB / KR / WR? – Georgia

Okay how do we categorize this true freshman?  He’s listed on the roster as a defensive back but he carries the ball, return kicks, catches passes he can do it all.  Through two games he carried the ball five times for 76 yards and a 61 yard touchdown run, caught a reception for three yards and returned four kickoffs for 84 yards. 

We can certainly categorize Smith as fast!  Smith attended Booker T. Washington HS in Georgia…ran personal bests of 21.27 / 200 and 4×100 relay (41.21) at the Region 5-3A Meet this past spring.  His 4×100 relay went on to win the 2009 3A state championship.  He also ran as fast as 10.53 /100 and long jumped over 22 feet.     

Smith’s Georgia teammate and fellow kick return, Brandon Boykin, is every bit as exciting but Boykin is a true sophomore.  And yes…Boykin was an outstanding high school track athlete. 






Freshman of Influence – Week 1

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Posted by Mark Branstad – Football Talent Advisors

Each week I’m going to briefly highlight college freshman (true and redshirt) players that contribute to their team’s victory and or have spectacular performances.  The players highlighted will have had high school track and field backgrounds, as only we do it here at FTA.  I’ll try to plug some freshman lineman here and there… 



Chris Polk, RB – Washington

Had 90 rushing yards and 2 receptions for 34 yards against LSU in UW opening game under Sarkesian.  I should mention Polk ran a 10.90, 22.25/200 and long jumped over 21’00 while at Relands East Valley HS in 2007.

D.J. Monroe, RB/KR – Texas

Recently switched positions from receiver to running back but his real impact may be kick returner for the Longhorns.  Returned first kickoff of career 89 yards for a score against Louisiana-Monroe.  D.J. was also state champion 100 meter sprinter and 4×100 relay member in Texas at Angleton HS running 10.41 and 40.93.  

Greg Reid, CB – Florida State

A true freshman cornerback for the Noles turned in a great performance against Miami, including an interception, 4 tackles, a quarterback hit leading to an interception for td and 3 kick returns for 100 yards.  Greg was also a solid sprinter at Lowndes HS in Georgia running 11.08/100 and 22.30/200 and long jumping 20’10 at the Region 1-5A Meet in 2008 and appearing at the State Meet in 2006 running a leg on the 4×400 (3:26.07). 

Onterio McClaebb, RB – Auburn

Went to Hargrave Military to get to Auburn but this freshman opened againt La Tech with 22 rushes for 148 yards and two kick returns for 49 yards. This diminutive guy is very quick.  Ran 10.93/100 and 22.44/200 to become state champion for Fort Meade HS in Florida during the 2007 and 2008 track seasons. 

Dion Lewis, RB – Pittsburgh

Another diminutive freshman back that had a dominating opening performance,  gaining 129 yards on 20 carries for two TDs and another 10 yards on two catches and TD.  Apparently Dion was a three year track and field letterman at Blair Academy in New Jersey. 

Marsalis Teague, WR – Tennessee

Actually I was expecting a big receiving day out of one of the other Vol receivers, Nu’Keese Richardson (I’m sure his big game will come shortly), but Marsalis had a great performance six catches 86 yards and a touchdown.  Marsalis ran 11.19/100 and 22.24/200 his only year running track at Henry County HS in Tennessee. 

Kevin Newsome, QB – Penn State

Despite not being the Penn State starter the freshman came in against Akron and certainly looked like he belonged going 3 of 4 for 26 yards and have 2 rushing attempts for 12.  No turnovers. Newsome was a state champion high hurdler at Western Branch HS in Virginia going as fast as 14.15 and winning the state indoor 55 high hurdles in 7.35.  Just to let you that’s flying…he even threw some shot put too. 

Denard Robinson, QB – Michigan

Like Newsome, Robinson isn’t even the starting quarterback on his own team.  Fellow freshman Tate Forcier has that duty.  That didn’t stop Robinson from running 11 times for 74 yards and a score and electrifying the crowd.  He was only 2 of 4 passing for 18 yards but his rushing did the talking and there are many players faster than D. Robinson, period.  He ran a legit 10.44/100 at the Broward County Meet this past spring and was a state champion 4×100 member for Deerfield Beach HS in Florida running as fast as 40.64. 

What is it with these fast Big-10 quarterbacks all the sudden?  First Terrelle Pryor now D. Robinson and Kevin Newsome…is this a revolution at the position for the Big 10 or what?

I should mention that no freshman probably had as spectacular a debut as USC QB Matt Barkley.  But we’re not spotlighting him here. 

Well that’s a good start for freshman of influence for the first week of college football.  Hopefully we’ll uncover a few defensive players and lineman next week.