What we learned this spring

May, 10, 2011
5/10/11
1:30
PM ET
Were there any answers to some of the most pressing questions of the spring? Some, but not many.

Here are five impressions from the spring:

1. Geraldo Hiwat is a rising star. By all accounts, the young Boise State receiver had a terrific spring. Even better news for Broncos fans is how much improvement he can make, considering he has played only three years of organized football.

[+] EnlargeTank Carder
Icon SMITank Carder returns to a TCU defense that could once again be one of the best.
2. BYU picked up where it left off in 2010. The last time we saw the Cougars, they were trampling UTEP in the New Mexico Bowl to the tune of 52 points and 514 yards. That momentum carried them throughout the spring. Coach Bronco Mendenhall said it was his best spring as BYU head coach.

3. TCU's defense could be No. 1 again. The Horned Frogs lose their leader on defense in Tejay Johnson, but they bring back Tank Carder and Tanner Brock, a formidable combination at linebacker for a team that gave up only 12 points a game last year. The defensive line is so deep and talented, coach Gary Patterson believes it has a chance to be better than last season -- even without end Wayne Daniels.

4. Plenty of new faces. With 10 new head coaches among the non-AQ teams, there was plenty of fresh energy across the country. Most of the coaches spent the spring evaluating their players. Now the hard work of fitting talent to scheme begins, and fall practice will serve to separate those who will have the opportunity to succeed in a change environment.

5. Not much QB news. Of the 21 non-AQ schools that went into the spring with a competition for the starting quarterback job, only two have named a starter (Derek Thompson at North Texas, Casey Pachall at TCU). The rest are going to wait and see how fall competition plays out before making any decisions.

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