One of the most exhilarating feelings is the start of a new football season. Every team starts the season undefeated. The crystal football is there for every team to grab. Expectations are high and anticipation is higher. Many fans dream of the possibilities of calling this year, "Their Year."
Is that realistic? Is it realistic to return for your senior season for the sole possibility of winning a national championship, being that one team out of the 100+ teams in Division One football? I don't know and don't want to influence that dream in one direction or the other for anyone that cares to read this post.
What I take great enjoyment in is the fact that we always have a lot of young talent each year, that surprises us. I look forward to seeing the guys that were recruited with a lot of hype. It's interesting to see which players live up to the hype and which players don't. Which players are unfairly hyped to the level that they can never measure up? What is great about next year, is that we have the opportunity to see a lot of young talent during games that should be winnable with low risk. The stakes are higher against Miami and Colorado, whom are both traditionally, though not recently, powerful schools. When playing at their best they can give any team fits. Miami with their speed and Colorado with their...well they did beat Georgia in 2010.
This year we had several players step up and I was curious about the view point of the readers. Which young players do you think showed the most promise this year and which players are you most excited about next year? Tell me why.
This year I was most excited about C.J. Barnett before he received that season ending injury. I had little to gage his potential on but from what I saw in him he looked like his ceiling was unreachable. If I had to chose a player that played the entire year, I would say that Corey Brown and Travis Howard both filled in admirably. Both players had games where they demonstrated their abilities brilliantly, and both had games that showed they were young and had room for improvement.
Corey Brown: 8 Receptions for 105 yards and showed great hands on some pivotal plays but also had the dropsies in one contest this year.
Travis Howard: 13 tackles 1 TFL 1 Sack 2 Interceptions with one returned for a touchdown and 2 Pass breakups.
Jaamal Berry: 32 rushes 266 yards 8.3 YPC (Mostly garbage time) 1 TD
In 2011 I look forward to seeing Roderick Smith take the field. I am very interested in seeing the new Boom and Zoom combo, between Smith and Berry. (Sorry Herron, I meant to imply the future Boom and Zoom and should hold off on that analogy until you officially go pro.) Hall is very elusive and makes people miss on punt returns. I noticed his speed wasn't overly impressive. I wouldn't rule him out as a starter for the first 5, hopefully just four games next year.
On defense, with out question, I am looking forward to Storm Klein starting at Linebacker. I truly believe that he is the next big name Buckeye at that position. I watched him during the few times that he played this year and watched his presence on special teams. This Kat can make plays. Rolle and Holman were under appreciated by everyone not a Buckeye fan, and flew under most peoples radar. After this year, I don't anticipate Klein will be afforded that anonyminity. His stats aren't very revealing, at 17 tackles and one interception but its the intangibles that I saw in him.
Of course, there is the unanimous favorite: Braxton Miller. You can write 4 or 5 different posts on the hype this man has coming in but I wanted to focus on the Buckeyes that already exist on this team. So Buckeyes, what say you....?