2012 NCAA: Matt Barkley Among 10 Players Who Make The Difference
I'm pumped up to see which college players will set the tone for their team. Every year, college football teams improve, reach new goals, or win it all.
Some players make a positive contribution, while others hurt their team's chances.
I ranked the following impact players between the heroes and the players that lose focus.
10. QB James Franklin, Missouri - When the Missouri Tigers look back on the 2012 season, they'll remember the big plays by James Franklin. They'll want to forget the turnovers that Franklin will make; He had six interceptions combined between the Kansas and the Oklahoma State games.
If he makes mistakes against those type defenses, what will he do against the SEC defenses as the season goes on?
9. DE Ronald Powell, Florida Gators - With 32 tackles, six sacks, and one forced fumble as a Sophomore last year, Powell will need to set the tone for this Gator defense. With every starter coming back on defense, Powell will help this Gator D become one of the best in the country.
8. DE Brandon Jenkins, Florida State - With Greg Reid going back to my hometown of Valdosta,Ga., Brandon Jenkins will play a larger role than he ever imagined. Jenkins had 21.5 sacks combined for the last two seasons. He'll be a difference-maker by helping his secondary out with the pressure he puts on quarterbacks.
7. QB Denard Robinson, Michigan - Robinson makes Michigan exciting! He's what Michigan needs in a very competitive Big 10. Wolverine fans take note; He'll become predictable with his running and don't depend solely upon Robinson's passing game. Eight wins will be all the Wolverines can get in 2012.
6. DB Everett Golson, Notre Dame - If Notre Dame wants to be relevant, Golson needs to stay at the starting position regardless of only getting the job because original starter Tommy Rees was suspended. Golson's high school success with becoming sixth all-time in TDs thrown (151) will continue in college.
5. QB Zack Mettenberger, LSU - Zack Mettenberger, after his sexual assault arrest two years ago (in my hometown of Valdosta,Ga.) is in a position of being a starting quarterback for LSU. Mettenberger, with no experience, will lead the No. 3 team in the AP poll. Hope he's alright after playing Bama, Florida, and Arkansas.
4. QB Aaron Murray, Georgia - Here we go again! Pumped up by the media, "Murray the Man" at UGA. He'll be very important both offense and defense. He needs to keep his offense on the field, stay consistent and not go three and out when playing ranked opponents - I don't see this happening in 2012.
3. WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson - If Clemson can get past Auburn without Watkins, then Watkins can take over from there. Watkins is one of the most valued players in college football. It showed last season when Clemson lost three out of their last four games due to Watkins' injury. Watkins needs to stays healthy and out of trouble and Clemson can be that 9-1 team they were at the beginning of last season.
2. QB Matt Barkley, USC - Racked up3,500 yards passing, 39 TDs thrown, and 7 INTs - and those are only the stats Barkley accumulated last season. There's more than meets the eye with this kid! He brings true leadership to the USC program. Barkley will make Silas Redd better!
1. RB Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina - Most Valuable Player - when it concerns Marcus Lattimore and the Gamecocks, the term MVP brings a far greater meaning. South Carolina won't have the depth on the defensive side, therefore Lattimore will be depended upon more than any player in the country.
The Gamecocks lose their balance on offense when Lattimore gets injured. Herschel Walker commented on Lattimore, "Lattimore is the first running back who reminds me of myself in college."
Sweetheart has no comment at this time.