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Thursday, February 26, 2009
Early enrollee rankings feature Michigan, PSU

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Scouts Inc. national recruiting director Tom Luginbill recently published his Top 10 classes of early enrollees. Not surprisingly, Michigan comes in at No. 2 behind Georgia, while Penn State ranks No. 8.

Check out the full list, but here's a tidbit from Luginbill on Michigan's class:

"The Wolverines' seven early arrivers will all have an impact. But we think QB Tate Forcier [No. 14] has a chance to make the quickest, biggest splash. At 6-foot-1, 183 pounds, Forcier doesn't have ideal size. But with his speed and Jeff Garcia-like ability to improvise outside the pocket, Forcier's a good fit for Rich Rodriguez's spread offense. Look for defensive linemen Anthony LaLota [No. 13 at DE] and William Campbell [No. 21 at OT] to also compete for time right away."

And here are his thoughts on Penn State:

"Though we're not sold on Kevin Newsome at the [quarterback] position [we ranked Newsome as our No. 15 athlete], he no doubt helps out with depth. Right now, Newsome plays more like a street-ball winger than a polished college prospect. That's why we think he could be an even better linebacker or safety. Colleges looked at versatile Gerald Hodges as a safety, quarterback and return specialist. We like Hodges [our No. 17 safety] in the secondary -- he's a fantastic interceptor -- where he could push for playing time right away."

Michigan certainly needs its early arrivals to catch on quickly this spring, particularly Forcier, who gets a head start on Denard Robinson. Spring practice also should be very beneficial from Newsome, who can apprentice for Daryll Clark and start polishing his game for a backup role in 2009 and a possible starting job in 2010.

Not every Big Ten team has early enrollees, but I was a little surprised that Ohio State didn't make Luginbill's list. The Buckeyes boast four early enrollees, including heralded offensive lineman Jack Mewhort. Wisconsin also got a nice head start with four early arrivals, including quarterback Jon Budmayr and defensive tackle Jordan Kohout.