Posts Tagged ‘Ryan Williams’

Freshman of Influence for 2009

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Posted by Mark Branstad – Football Talent Advisors

Here’s the final edition of this year’s Freshman of Influence.  Over the course of the season we compiled 62 true and redshirt freshman.  Our criteria was pretty simple…find freshman players making an impact on a weekly basis that had multi-sport athletic backgrounds in high school.  Our criteria did sort of limit the number of quarterbacks and offensive linemen we could choose because there are not a lot of freshman that receive playing time at those positions.        

Regardless I was impressed by the number freshman with multi-sport backgrounds.  It indicates to me that most high school players SHOULD be participating in other sports.  Coaches and parents that preach sports specialization and believe in the ‘focus on football only mentality’ might want to take a look at this list and rethink this one.  

Freshman of Influence blogs include detailed breakdowns on 62 players:  20 running backs, 10 wide receivers, 10 defensive backs, 9 linebackers, 8 defensive linemen, 4 quarterbacks, 1 offensive lineman.   

(Click on icon to link to each week of Freshman of Influence blog and complete player data)

WEEK 1:  

Featured Pittsburgh’s star running back Dion Lewis and Florida State’s exciting cornerback / return man Greg Reid


This week highlighted Virginia Tech’s great back, Ryan Williams and Georgia’s all-purpose threat Branden Smith. 


This week included two linebackers, Virginia’s Steve Greer and Walter Stewart of Cincinnati. 


Highlights perhaps the most exciting freshman quarterback in USF’s B.J. Daniels

WEEK 5: 

Two wide receivers are mentioned which will be heard from a ton in future seasons…Rutger’s Mohamed Sanu (he’s also part quarterback and running back too) and Chad Bumphis of Mississippi State. 

WEEK 6: 

Temple’s dominant running back, Bernard Pierce, and Michigan State D-Tackle, Jerel Worthy are detailed. 


 Three D-Tackles this week and TCU’s running back, Ed Wesley


This week the only freshman to intercept Tim Tebow not once but twice!  That would be Mississippi State’s Johnthan Banks.  Also this year’s only freshman O-Lineman…Texas Tech’s LaAdrian Waddle


Wisconsin’s tackling-machine, Chris Borland and Tennessee’s surprise starter in the secondary Janzen Jackson…this week. 

WEEK 10:

Warren Norman, Vanderbilt back and SEC Offensive Freshman of the Year, tops this week’s review. 

WEEKS 11 & 12:   

Combine weekly review includes two kick returners Jesse Grandy (Mississippi) and Al-terek McBurse (Purdue) and intriguing Troy linebacker, Kanorris Davis.

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.