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Friday, June 22, 2007
Amendola, Brinkley highlight seniors to watch in '07

By Mark Schlabach
ESPN.com

Texas Tech wide receiver Danny Amendola could double his offensive production next season. Florida State defensive tackle Andre Fluellen dominated spring practice and could be poised for a breakout year. South Carolina linebacker Jasper Brinkley might become a household name. Check out who else made the list of the seniors to watch in 2007.

1. Danny Amendola, WR, Texas Tech
The Red Raiders' top three receivers left, so Amendola moves to the front of the line in Mike Leach's pass-happy offense. He caught 47 passes for 482 yards last season -- and might double that production this fall.

2. Gary Barnidge, TE, Louisville
Harry Douglas and Mario Urrutia will still be quarterback Brian Brohm's top targets, but new Cardinals coach Steve Kragthorpe loves to employ the tight end in his offense. Barnidge caught 55 passes with 10 touchdowns during his first three seasons and is a huge target at 6-feet-6.

3. Jasper Brinkley, LB, South Carolina
The middle linebacker had 107 tackles and 14½ tackles for loss last season, but largely went unnoticed nationally. His twin brother, Casper, also is a tackling machine.

4. Tashard Choice, RB, Georgia Tech
The Oklahoma transfer was an All-ACC choice with nearly 1,500 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns last season. But with Calvin Johnson bolting for the NFL draft, the tailback becomes the Yellow Jackets' top choice on offense this fall.

5. Justin Forsett, RB, California
Forsett ran for 626 yards and scored five touchdowns playing behind Marshawn Lynch last season. Lynch will be playing in the NFL this fall, and Forsett has the speed and vision to become the Pac-10 Conference's premier running back.

6. Andre Fluellen, DT, Florida State
Fluellen has been pretty good the past two seasons, with 16½ tackles for loss, the ninth-highest total in FSU history. But he was a dominating player during spring practice and looked ready to take his game to another level.

7. Matt Flynn, quarterback, LSU
Flynn waited patiently behind JaMarcus Russell the past two seasons and now assumes the starting job after Russell was selected first in the NFL draft by the Oakland Raiders. Flynn was named MVP of the Chick-Fil-A Bowl following the 2005 season, leading the Tigers to a 40-3 win over Miami.

8. Dre Moore, DT, Maryland
Moore came out of nowhere last season and had 7½ tackles for loss and 3½ sacks. The 311-pound defensive tackle is the cog in the Terrapins' defensive front, often commanding double-team blocks and freeing up linebackers to make plays. If Moore plays well as a senior, he could move among the highest-rated tackles available in next spring's NFL draft.

9. Eddie Royal, WR, Virginia Tech
Royal was one of the country's most electrifying kick and punt returners last season, but has lacked consistency as a receiver during his three seasons with the Hokies. But Royal has blazing speed and could become an NFL first-round selection with a spectacular senior season.

10. Austin Scott, RB, Penn State
Nittany Lions fans envisioned greatness for Scott after he started the first four games of his freshman season. But Scott hasn't started a game since, after falling behind Tony Hunt, who was drafted in the third round by the Philadelphia Eagles this spring. Scott redshirted last season and ran for 911 yards in three seasons. Scott can only hope to do what Larry Johnson did as a senior at Penn State: run for more than 2,000 yards after three largely mediocre seasons.

Mark Schlabach covers college football and men's college basketball for ESPN.com. You can contact him at schlabachma@yahoo.com.