Category Archives: Player 2 Watch

This week’s player to watch: Jeff Fuller

Jeff Fuller could have entered the NFL Draft last spring and found himself playing on Sundays this year.

Instead, the senior wide receiver decided to stay at Texas A&M and try to set as many school records as possible. So far, he hasn’t had much trouble in that department.

Fuller sits atop the Aggies’ record books in three major categories. He is Texas A&M’s career receptions leader with 213, career receiving yards leader with 2,786 and career receiving touchdowns leader with 31.

He has battled injuries this season, but they haven’t slowed him down all that much. As a senior, he has grabbed 50 passes for 522 yards and three touchdowns. Along with Ryan Swope, quarterback Ryan Tannehill has two highly reliable receivers to target in the passing game.

If K-State’s secondary is to redeem itself after allowing more than 500 passing yards in back-to-back games, it will need to find a way to effectively defend Fuller.

This week’s player to watch: Henry Josey

Missouri running back Henry Josey enters tomorrow’s game against Kansas State as the Big 12′s leading rusher. He has amassed 533 yards and four touchdowns on 43 carries. For those of you without a calculator, that equates to an average of 12.4 yards per rush.

Those numbers are pretty crazy. Here’s something that’s crazier: Josey entered the season third on the Tigers’ depth chart. He was supposed to be a backup. But after three other Missouri running backs suffered injuries, he was left to carry the load by himself.

Guess that worked out well for everyone involved.
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Player to watch: Terrance Ganaway

If last year’s game between Baylor and Kansas State taught us anything it’s that the Bears have more offensive weapons than Robert Griffin III.

While the Wildcats’ defensive backs played off the line of scrimmage and tried to prevent Griffin, Baylor’s do-everything quarterback, from throwing deep, running back Jay Finley did all kinds of damage at the line of scrimmage. He turned 26 carries into a career-high 250 yards and two touchdowns.

Granted, K-State’s defense is much better today than it was back then, but the point remains: Baylor’s offense is more complex than just its best player. Even if he is a Heisman Trophy contender and has completed more touchdown passes (13) than incompletions (12).

One player who could hurt K-State this year is running back Terrance Ganaway, a senior from DeKalb, Texas. In three games this season, he has rushed for 289 yards and three touchdowns on 51 carries. He has rushed for at least 80 yards and a touchdown in every game.
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This week’s player to watch: Roosevelt Nix

Roosevelt Nix made quite a name for himself last season when he became the first true freshman to ever be named Defensive Player of the Year in the Mid-American Conference.

The 6-foot (or 5-foot-11, depending on where you look) 244-pound defensive tackle earned the honor by making a whopping 20 tackles for loss, including 10 sacks, and forcing four fumbles. Now a sophomore, many in the MAC are wondering how he didn’t get more of a look from nearby Big 10 schools, especially after he started the 2011 season by recording a sack and two tackles for loss at Alabama.

No wonder he was a consensus freshman All-American and made it onto both the Bednarik and Nagurski Watch Lists.
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Player to watch: Rodney Stewart

RodneyStewart

In the Big 12, few running backs are more dependable than Rodney Stewart. The Colorado junior rusher currently ranks third in the conference with 1,035 yards on the ground and eight touchdowns.

He is a consistent threat to move the ball on the Buffaloes’ offense, and is capable of handling a heavy workload. Last week against Iowa State, he ran for 123 yards on — get this — 36 carries.

Earlier this season, Daniel Thomas raised a few eye brows by stating that he would be happy to run the ball 30 times per game. Though I’ve never had the pleasure of interviewing Stewart face to face, I’m guessing he would have no problem issuing a similar statement today.

Stewart’s strong will and running ability will pose challenges to Kansas State’s rush defense, which allows an average of 220 yards per game and ranks 119th out of 120 Division I teams nationally.
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This week’s player to watch: Michael Egnew

Michael EgnewThe Missouri football team is once again prominently featuring a tight end in its offense this season.

His name is Michael Egnew.

Through nine games, he has caught 66 passes for 531 yards and three touchdowns. His receptions total is the most in the nation among tight ends. The next closest (Iowa State’s Collin Franklin) has 40 to his name.

Pretty impressive, but if you are familiar with Missouri’s offense under coach Gary Pinkel, a pass-first tight end is nothing new. Martin Rucker and Chase Coffman were both All-Americans at the position, and some argued that Danario Alexander could have been listed as a tight end last season.

Egnew is simply the latest in a long line of big targets for Mizzou quarterbacks to throw to.
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Player to watch: Quinn Sharp

QuinnSharp Kansas State hopes Quinn Sharp gets all kinds of playing time tomorrow. It also hopes he has an off day.

Those two statements don’t normally go together, but Sharp is an exception. Getting the sophomore punter on the field is a victory for opposing defenses. But it’s not always a happy occasion for opposing offenses.

Sharp, you see, is the nation’s No. 1 ranked punter. He has booted 29 punts this season, and has averaged 48.2 yards while doing so. He has a 78-yard punt to his name, and six of more than 60 yards. With that kind of power, Oklahoma State could be forced to punt from its own 20 and K-State’s offense could take over near its own goal line.
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Player to watch: Robert Griffin

Robert Griffin This space is normally used to highlight an opposing player that isn’t already in the limelight. So far this season, we’ve advised you to watch a kicker, a cornerback and two linebackers. But this week we go with an obvious choice: the quarterback.

Why? Because Robert Griffin means everything to Baylor. When he was injured at the beginning of last season, the Bears went from a trendy pick to reach a bowl game right back to the Baylor of old.

Now that he’s back and healthy, the Bears sport one of the most explosive offenses around — they average 33 points and 446 yards per game — and are on the verge of becoming eligible for the postseason for the first time since Starter jackets were cool.

He is more important to the Bears than Daniel Thomas is to the Wildcats. He is the most popular athlete in Waco. Heck, even the mascot likes him.

Stopping him will be Kansas State’s top challenge. Bill Snyder understands it will be difficult.

“He can run. He can throw. He can lead and motivate his team,” Snyder said. “He is a complete player. Read More »

This week’s player to watch: Jeff Godfrey

JeffGodfrey Jeff Godfrey is one of the top recruits George O’Leary has ever landed at Central Florida.

In high school, his 7,251 passing yards made him the career passing leader in Miami-Dade county history, and his quick feet made him the No. 8 dual-threat quarterback in the nation according to Rivals.com. O’Leary had to beat out Miami, Tennessee and Florida State to get him.

It was not an easy process.

“Everybody was after him,” O’Leary said. “He was the 6A Player of the Year in Florida. That’s pretty good. He came up to visit and the coaches did a great job recruiting him. He liked what he saw here. He liked the situation. He liked the school.

“He’s about the team and that’s what has really impressed me about him. He’s very team-oriented. He has some great awards in his young career, but I think he plays very level headed. I’m very happy he’s in the program.”

You don’t say? Read More »

This week’s player to watch: A.J. Klein

Iowa St Football Media Day

An unlikely player as emerged as the Big 12′s leading tackler two games into the season: A.J. Klein.

The Iowa State sophomore linebacker has 26 tackles so far, and is one of the Cyclones top up-and-coming players.

Klein, a 6-foot-1, 240-pounder, first showed his talents last season, when he made it on the field for all 13 of Iowa State’s games as a true freshman. He only recorded 17 tackles, but the groundwork for a strong career was established.
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