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May 5, 2010
Early enrollees get a jump on the competition
Early enrollees are becoming more in vogue for numerous reasons, chief among them the opportunity for the player to become acclimated to college life quicker than his classmates.
Players also can become acclimated to football quicker, which is why more and more coaches seem to be pushing early enrollment.
Coaches who turn to junior college transfers often want a quick fix at a position. When a JC transfer is able to enroll early and go through spring practice, coaches can get a better idea of whether that player can provide a quick fix. Frankly, it also gives coaches an idea of whether that transfer is going to be a bust.
The stakes usually aren't as high for a high school player who enrolls early. There are some who wow coaches and earn a starting spot, but for the most part, it seems prep stars who come in early do so to start getting bigger and to start truly learning the playbook.
Here's a look at 10 early enrollees - both high school players and JC transfers - who impressed their coaches this spring. By no means is this a comprehensive list; rather, it's a look at guys who went a long way toward nailing down starting jobs for teams that really needed a starter at that position or guys who surprised by staking a claim for a starting job that seemed likely to go to someone else.
The players are listed alphabetically.