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February 8, 2008

Rivals5: Impact freshmen

Rivals.com Team Recruiting Rankings | Signing lists

Each year it seems more true freshmen come in and make an impact on college football. Rivals.com recruiting analyst Barry Every looks at five prospects that are so good and college-ready physically, you might see them in a starting lineup next season.

Rivals5: Impact freshmen
Marcus Forston, DT, Miami Northwestern (Miami)
This FlaVarsity.com Defensive Player of the Year already has the size (6 feet 2, 290 pounds) to compete at the next level. In the last two seasons he has recorded 157 tackles and a whopping 33 sacks at the highest level of competition in Florida. This U.S. Army All-American dominated at the practices and carries himself with the swagger of defensive players of Miami's past. Forston also plays a position that really takes a beating in college which means he will always be one step from starting throughout this coming season. Barring an injury prior the start of the season, I truly believe he will get his chance to shine for the Hurricanes this fall.
Omar Hunter, DT, Buford, Ga. (Florida)
This first-team all-state performer led a dominating Buford defense to the 2A state title. His week-long performance at the Under Armour All-Star practices sealed the deal that he could not only dominate in the state of Georgia but dominate against the nation's best. The 6-foot, 310-pound pound Hunter not only is as strong as a bull, he is a master technician. Again, this is a position that takes a beating, so I believe Hunter will get his shot to start sometime during his freshman year. As long as he comes to Florida in shape, expect to see him in action in The Swamp this fall.
Michael Floyd, WR, St.Paul (Minn.) Cretin-Derham Hall (Notre Dame)
Not many high school receivers can say they've had the career Floyd has. In the last two seasons alone, he has caught 122 passes for 2,487 yards and 32 touchdowns. Floyd followed that up with a great week of practice at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, showing that not only does he have great hands and body control, but he also possesses the ability to beat defensive backs deep. Then his week of practice translated into four catches for 118 yards and two touchdowns in the game. Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis is looking for playmakers on offense and he may have found one that can contribute right away. So don't be surprised if Floyd cracks the starting lineup at some point during the season.
Mark Barron, ATH, Mobile (Ala.) St. Paul's (Alabama)
Barron led his team to the 5A state championship playing running back, wide receiver, linebacker and safety during the season. In the championship game, Barron was named MVP after rushing for 97 yards, racking up six tackles and making a key interception to stop a Briarwood drive. This all-state performer has tremendous speed, great hands and hits like a ton of bricks. The Crimson Tide coaching staff is looking for playmakers on both sides of the ball. So don't be surprised to see Barron start out at strong safety. He is probably their top defensive candidate to make an impact as a freshman, so look for him trotting out onto the field at Bryant Denny Stadium.
Brandon Harris, CB, Miami (Fla.) B.T. Washington (Miami)
Harris was another high school football star that helped lead his team to a state title. He caught 57 passes for 1,063 yards and 23 touchdowns, while recording 61 tackles and nine picks over the last two seasons for Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington. This all-state performer also gave extraordinary effort on all the special teams and was an aggressive blocker on running plays. Add these accomplishments to his top-rated performance at the Under Armour All-Star practices and you have a college football star in the making. He will get an early opportunity to show off his ball skills and speed on special teams for the Hurricanes. This should follow up with him being worked into nickel and dime packages in the defensive secondary.
Other possible starters: Daquan Bowers, Bamberg (S.C.) Bamberg-Ehrhardt; Julio Jones Foley, Ala., Will Hill Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peters Prep; Sean Spence Miami (Fla.) Northwestern, A.J. Green Summerville, S.C.

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