- Matt Fortuna, ESPN Staff Writer
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Best spring game performance: Blake Bortles showed why he is, as of now, the second-best quarterback in the conference despite being a newcomer. It may have been against just the second- and third-team defenses, but the UCF signal-caller completed 18 of 24 passes for 276 yards and two touchdowns in UCF's spring game April 13. Bortles connected on 10 straight throws at one point. After throwing for 3,059 yards with 25 touchdowns and just seven picks a season ago, this was exactly what the Knights' staff wanted to see out of the redshirt junior.
Best overall spring: Jumping from fourth to first on the depth chart over the course of 15 practices will get you this honor, especially when it is at the most important position on the field. Connor Reilly did just that at Temple, leaping over last season's starters, Chris Coyer and Clinton "Juice" Granger, and emerging as the front-runner heading into the fall. Having played football and baseball last season, Reilly dominated this spring, capping it with a 25-for-41, 366-yard, four-touchdown performance in the Cherry & White spring game. Coyer and former quarterback Kevin Newsome are now both H-backs in the Owls' offense.
Best spring comeback: Dominique Brown missed all of the 2012 season with an MCL tear, but he received No. 1 reps at running back this spring for Louisville. With Senorise Perry recovering from an ACL tear from the 2012 season and Jeremy Wright no longer enrolled in classes, Brown made the most of the opportunity, as the converted quarterback received a majority of the work in the backfield and starred in the spring game, rushing for 79 yards and two touchdowns on just nine carries. He scored four times in a scrimmage one week earlier, too.
Best addition: Tommy Tuberville landed his first major recruit at Cincinnati in securing a pledge from Notre Dame quarterback transfer Gunner Kiel, but Kiel will have to sit out this season. So coach Tony Levine gets to brag about this honor in Houston after the Cougars landed Markeith Ambles, who will be eligible to play this fall. The former high school All-American spent one season at USC and another at Arizona Western College. ESPN.com's No. 23 overall player in the Class of 2010, Ambles will team up with Deontay Greenberry to form what should be the conference's most lethal receiving duo.
Best performance by a transfer: He may have had just two tackles and one sack in the spring game, but Aaron Lynch has done exactly what he has needed to this spring at USF. The former Notre Dame defensive end and freshman All-American from 2011 is finally eligible and, frankly, is a pass-rushing talent of the kind this conference has not seen in some time. He has been described as unblockable this spring, and it will be a surprise if he is not near the top of the conference's sack leaderboard by the end of 2013. (He had 5.5 in his first and only year with the Irish.)