Published August 2, 2011 - 8:31am
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Football is right around the corner for everyone, including us fans who get high off watching our team take the field.
There are some superstars in this league, and these superstars bring high expectations. With those high expectations come multiple ways players can underperform.
Here is a list of what could be four legitimate underperformers in 2011:
1. Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina
Marcus Lattimore has been deemed by many to be the best running back in the SEC. While it certainly is hard to argue with that, Trent Richardson is better. What if Lattimore doesn’t deliver for his Gamecocks in 2011? It’s very possible his greatness is simply overhyped. South Carolina’s quarterback position has a chance to be super-spotty throughout the year in 2011. With the spotty quarterback play, teams will consistently key on Marcus Lattimore to make this offense go. I know he had a great year in 2010 as a freshman, but teams have had a year or more to prepare for this cat in the backfield. Teams will consistently make Stephen Garcia, or whoever the eligible quarterback is, beat them through the air. Can Garcia do it? If not, can Connor Shaw do it? While Lattimore is a special talent, the expectations are too high, and there are just too many questions around Lattimore to make me think he will exceed 1,000 yards rushing again.
2. Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee
Tyler Bray had a great year to end 2010, but let’s face it, he played NO ONE. Everyone is hating the fact that Bray is ranked in the middle half of the SEC in quarterbacks, but he has yet to prove anything. He beat Memphis, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Kentucky and lost to North Carolina. Can you point me out a legitimate defense he defeated? Exactly. While there is talent surrounding Bray, there are too many signs of an Erik Ainge-type season for me. I think Tennessee fans are going to be somewhat disappointed with their young-gun this season. Consistency might be the problem. We’ll see.
3. Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia
While I do agree that Aaron Murray is arguably the best quarterback in the SEC coming in this season, there are way too many question marks about his team. He has no go-to receiver, and if there is one, it’s tight end Orson Charles. There are too many questions starting with the offensive line and what a patch-up it will be. Next, the Bulldogs have NO running game. Washaun Ealey is gone. Caleb King is gone. True freshman Isaiah Crowell is nowhere near the talent of either Lattimore or Michael Dyer. Crowell won’t even have a decent OL to run behind. Teams will key in on Aaron Murray in this season and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo will continue to underwhelm with his play calling. If things don’t start well, this season could have disaster written all over it.
4. Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
Tyler Wilson has yet to start a football game for the Fayetteville Hogs, but he has been deemed already better than Ryan Mallett. I love the fact that fans rationalize the way Wilson will be unbelievable by pointing out all the talent around him and his stellar one half of a football game against Auburn. Stick John Brantley in that offense and there will be minimal production from that position, and I don’t care if Bobby Petrino is the coach. I simply feel the expectations on Wilson are way high with some, saying Arkansas will win the West and Wilson will pick up right where Mallett left off. There will be a learning curve.