Keep An Eye Out For These Offensive Players In 2014
1) Taysom Hill Quarterback BYU Cougars
Hill is not your prototypical Cougar pocket quarterback. He is a tough kid who makes plays with his legs and is not afraid to lower the shoulder on opposing defenders. In 2013, Hill rushed for 1,344 yards with 10 touchdowns and completed 53.9 percent of his passes with 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Now entering his junior season look for Hill to build off of last year's success and lead the Cougars to postseason play.
2) Dominique Brown Running Back Louisville Cardinals
With the departure of star quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to the Minnesota Vikings look for new head coach Bobby Petrino to utilize Brown in multiple ways. The Cardinals have two big backs in Brown and former Auburn Tigers running back Michael Dyer. However, I love the ability of Brown as he hits the hole at full speed and rarely goes down after the first hit. A former high school quarterback, Brown will be counted on to take the pressure off of the Cardinals new quarterback. Brown has great size at 6'2 233 pounds and averaged 5.1 yards per carry in 2013 with 867 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns. Look for Mr. Brown to have a great 2014 as the Cardinals will break into ACC play hitting on all cylinders.
3) Jerron Seymour Running Back Vanderbilt Commodores
Former Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin loved to run the football and Seymour follows former Commodore Zac Stacy as being the next solid running back in Nashville. Seymour built low to the ground (5'6 200 lbs.) and is very hard to tackle. He has great vision and has a nose for the endzone (14 touchdowns in '13). New head coach Derek Mason who comes over from Stanford favors a run first mentality on offense and look for Seymour to be featured in the Commodores offense in 2014.
4) Richard Mullaney Wide Receiver Oregon State Beavers
With the loss of leading wide receiver Brandon Cooks to the NFL, Mullaney becomes the #1 receiver for the Beavers entering the 2014 season. Last year, Mullaney was second on the team in receptions and yards. He was a big play threat in 2013 as his 15.2 yards per catch were better than Cooks. Look for starting quarterback Sean Mannion to throw to Mullaney often this year as the Beavers try to make some noise in the PAC-12. Last year, the Beavers averaged over 400 yards of offense per game and look for Mullaney to be a bigger part of the offense entering this year.
5) Terrell Hunt Quarterback Syracuse Orange
Hunt is a dual threat quarterback had great ability. In 2013, he struggled with consistency in the passing game (10 touchdowns and 8 interceptions). However, he did comlete 61.8 percent of his passes and added 600 yards with 7 touchdowns on the ground. With Hunt entering his junior season, look for a breakout season as his offensive production should double in 2014.
6) Justin Hardy Wide Receiver East Carolina Pirates
Probably the best wide receiver college football fans have never heard of. The Pirates have always had solid wide receivers and Harris is another wide receiver that runs great routes. He is likes to work the middle of the field and has great hands. All Hardy did in 2013 was lead the team in receptions (114) , yards (1,284) and touchdowns (8). He was quarterback Shane Carden's #1 target, however, Hardy is not mentioned as being one of the best receivers in college football. Look for Hardy to duplicate his numbers in 2014 and be a sleeper pick come the 2015 NFL Draft next season.
7) Clint Trickett Quarterback West Virginia Mountaineers
Entering his senior season Trickett will be counted on to lead the Mountaineers back to the postseason. Last year, Trickett came to the Mountaineers from Florida State and only completed 52.8 percent of his passes for with an even touchdown to interception ratio (7-7). However, with head coach Dana Holgersen on the hot seat, look for the Mountaineers to open up the offense even more in 2014. Trickett will be aided with by a solid rushing attack. Running backs Dremarius Smith (4.8 yards per carry in '13) and Pittsburgh transfer Rushel Shell, who was a five star recruit, will take the pressure off of the offensive line to protect Trickett. Look for Trickett to lead the Mountaineers this season and have a solid season under center.
8) Sterling Sheppard Wide Receiver Oklahoma Sooners
While the Oklahoma Sooners have seen former wide receiver Kenny Stills tear up opposing defensive backs in New Orleans, Sheppard could have a stellar 2014 season. Only a junior, Sheppard caught 51 passes in 2013 for 603 yards and 7 touchdowns. With quarterback Trevor Knight's development down the stretch in 2013 coupled with another year of maturity, look for the Sooners to throw more this season. Sheppard is not afraid to catch the ball in traffic and was utilized in more short to intermediate routes in 2013. He has very good speed to stretch opposing defenses and I look for Sheppard to double his production this year and be utilized more in the vertical passing game.
9) Jarred Goff Quarterback CAL Bears
Second year head coach Sonny Dykes threw Goff into the fire last season as a freshman and Goff responded with completing 60.3 percent of his passes for 3,508 passing yards with 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. While the Bears only won one game (1-11 in '13) Goff showed poise in the pocket and made solid decisions in finding his receivers. The fact that Dykes had enough confidence to start the freshman, shows you what the coaching staff thinks of his ability. If one thing is clear, Dykes is a great evaluator of talent and look for Goff to build off of his freshman season.
10) Kevin Parks Running Back Virginia Cavaliers
Parks had a very productive 2013 season gaining 1,031 rushing yards and averaging 4.5 yards per carry with 11 touchdowns. He has great vision and pounds the ball between the tackles. Standing at 5'8 and weighing 205 pounds, Parks does not get tackled by one defender. A reliable receiver with great hands, Parks recorded 38 receptions for 329 receiving yards and 1 touchdown. With quarterback David Watford's inconsistency in the passing game, look for head coach Mike London and the offensive staff to utilize Parks more in the offensive scheme and have a run first mentality entering 2014. The Cavaliers have a very difficult schedule to open up their season with games against UCLA, Louisville and BYU all in the first four games. In order to be competitive the running game must get going and look for Parks to be counted on to carry the team.
Joseph Lisi is a former ABC Sports college football researcher. He is the owner of www.NCAABLITZ.com and www.GOFORTHE2.COM. Joseph has contributed for www.Rantsports.com- You can follow him on YOUTUBE at: MRJAL2230 or on Twitter @Goforthe2
Joe has a weekly radio show on www.blogtalkradio.com called:
Check Venuing Live each week for our featured guests!!!!!