Even after losing key talent to the NFL, the pantry is still full of the next wave of NFL players. Let me introduce you to the next great Bama RB, Bo Scarbrough. The offensive line is set. There is no quarterback (QB) controversy as far as I’m concerned. Either Cooper Bateman, Blake Barnett or Jalen Hurts will assume the QB position and the Tide will Roll. It helps to be passing to WR Calvin Ridley as well. The defense could potentially be better which makes them a frightening thought for the rest of the country.
Redshirt freshman QB Deondre Francois has star written all over him and will be the next great Seminole QB. He makes the offense more dangerous and is just an electrifying talent. Running back (RB) and Heisman candidate Dalvin Cook is primed to have a better season than last. The WR group has potential with Travis Rudolph, Jesus Wilson and Kermit Whitfield. The defense is deep and talented which should have them return to dominant form.
The talent is back in Ann Arbor. Once coach Jim Harbaugh settles on a QB between Wilton Speight, Shane Morris and Houston transfer John O’Korn, the offense should consistently score more points. RB DeVeon Smith will look to have a breakout season. But it’s the defense that has them in this position. Freakish talent Jabrill Peppers will be making plays all over the field.
The country should be sold on QB Deshaun Watson as the best player in the country. The offense is absolutely loaded which also features RB Wayne Gallman who is special and will be a weapon to reckon with. Points will be scored in bunches. Not sold on a defense that returns only three starters which is just too much to overcome. They will give up more points than they score to better competition.
Coach Les Miles’ defense is always loaded. Will they get the necessary key stops in big games? Sensational RB Leonard Fournette is the standard at his position and will keep defensive coordinators up at night trying to game plan for him. Wide receiver (WR) tandem Malachi Dupre and Travin Dural are top five in the country. The issue is the enigma which is QB Brandon Harris. At some point, he will have to make some plays in big games. Don’t trust him.
They should be the class of the Big 12. Offense is the strength with a dynamic trio in QB Baker Mayfield, RB Perine and RB Joe Mixon. Who will be the new go-to receiver? Keep an eye on senior Jarvis Baxter. The bigger concern is finding pass rushers. The back end of the defense is solid but won’t last without QB pressure.
Coach Brian Kelly has upgraded the talent and depth since arriving but that will be challenged this season. The QB position will be a strength with DeShone Kizer and Malik Zaire. Whoever wins the starting job will be backed by starting tailback Tarean Folston. WR’s Equanimeous Brown and Corey Holmes are now the guys who must makes plays. The defense will ultimately decide how good this team will be. Always centered around talented linebackers (LB), Asmar Bilal, Nyles Morgan and James Onwualu will get their chance to lead the defense.
Nine returners on offense and eight on defense has the fan base very excited. The offense will go as far as QB Josh Dobbs, RB Jalen Hurd and WR Preston Williams takes them. The defense will be led by stud defensive end Derek Barnett and all-world LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin. Can they put it all together under immense pressure and expectations?
Coach Urban Meyer must replace the embarrassment of riches drafted by the NFL. Don’t shed a tear though because Meyer is a recruiting genius. They will still be a very good team but not elite like usual. They still have QB JT Barrett to lead the offense. RBs Curtis Samuel and Mike Weber will try to make up for Ezekiel Elliott’s departure. The WR tandem will comprise of untested but talented Sophmores Noah Brown and Parris Campbell. The defense has a lot more uncertainties.
Expect a steady diet of spectacular RB Christian McCaffrey. Just don’t expect him to duplicate last season’s numbers. First, they must figure out who is their starting QB, a battle between Keller Chrystal and Ryan Burns. Along with replacing three starters on the offensive line, the defense will be a bend but don’t break unit yet, still won’t have a high scoring offense to rely on to bail them out when need to.
My dark horse crasher
If they can survive the ugly off field issues and firing of Coach Art Briles, they actually have enough talent to make some noise. If healthy, they have two talented QBs in Seth Russell and Jarrett Stidham. Ultra quick RB Shock Linwood will pile up the yards. WR KD Cannon is next in line to put up video game numbers. The defense will be unveiling a new 3-4 look after losing four defensive linemen to the NFL. If the defense can somehow bend but not break in big games, the offense will do it’s part. They could make it interesting.