Colleague Bruce Feldman has a new blog post ranking his Top 10 impact true freshmen. Two are from the Big East, and should come as little surprise.
Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater comes in at No. 5 and Rutgers running back Savon Huggins ranks right behind at No. 6. Here is what Feldman has to say about them.
On Bridgewater: Landing the Miami native was quite a coup for Charlie Strong. Bridgewater arrived in time for the spring and battled for the job vacated by Adam Froman and Justin Burke. His only challenger is 5-foot-10 former walk-on Will Stein. ... Given the Cards' inexperience on the offensive line, Bridgewater's playmaking skills and mobility only figure to be that much more valuable this fall.
On Huggins: Greg Schiano needs a big-time back to emerge, and the 5-foot-11, 195-pound Huggins has the kind of "lets-get-to-business" running style the coach likes. The book on Huggins is that he doesn't waste time, he just attacks the hole and has the burst to get through, and can finish off his runs. For a program that has struggled in the running game since Ray Rice left for the NFL after the 2007 season (finishing 80th, 78th and 110th in the last three seasons), Huggins' arrival is a welcome one.
How about candidates for the other Big East schools?
Marquise Vann and Jefferson Ashiru, Connecticut. Linebacker is the biggest question on defense after the Huskies lost two starters in Lawrence Wilson and Scott Lutrus. Vann and Ashiru were two of the most highly touted in the signing class in February and should have a chance to contribute immediately.
Nick Temple/Dwight Jackson, Cincinnati. The Bearcats have the potential to have a handful of impact true freshmen. Jameel Poteat, Shaq Washington and Akise Teague could have filled in this spot here. But I am going with the linebacker tandem of Temple and Jackson because the Bearcats are in need of help on defense more than offense. With Walter Stewart moving to the hybrid defensive end/linebacker spot, Cincinnati really needs one of its freshmen to step up at linebacker.
Ejuan Price, Pittsburgh. The Panthers landed a pretty explosive player in Price, who came to Pittsburgh after being granted his release from Ohio State. Price seems to be the perfect fit for the 3-4, and will no doubt compete for playing time at the "Panther linebacker" spot as a hybrid linebacker/defensive end.
Elkino Watson, USF. The four-star defensive tackle prospect was perhaps the biggest coup for the Bulls on signing day, when he chose USF over Miami. He will have a chance to play immediately and help the USF defensive line.
Dyshawn Davis, Syracuse. Davis enrolled in school early and ended the spring atop the depth chart at weakside linebacker. This is one of the biggest question marks for the Orange, so it makes the most sense for Davis to have the biggest impact here.
Andrew Buie/Vernard Roberts/Dustin Garrison, West Virginia. Yes, I am a weasel for not picking one of these players. Easy way out for sure. But I have to honestly say I am not sure which of these players is going to emerge, and I am pretty sure the coaches have no idea, either. But I do think one of these guys is going to come out and make an impact. No question this is going to be one of the most fun competitions to watch during fall practice.