Now that we find ourselves in the thick of the offseason and spring practices, gearing up for another 2014 crazy talented recruiting class, let’s take a look at a handful of former five stars from 2012, according to 247Sports’ Composite Rankings, who are primed for breakout seasons in 2013:
1. Jonathan Bullard, DE, Florida
Before everyone starts worrying about all the talent Florida loses on the defensive line, just know that Will Muschamp is building an animal in the trenches. And Jonathan Bullard is a massive part of Muschamp’s big-picture plan. Bullard will combine with Dante Fowler to provide bookends for the Gators. The North Carolina native has tremendous upside and showed flashes last season as a freshman despite being overshadowed in overall production by Fowler. Bullard registered 27 tackles and five tackles for loss, and he’s primed for a big year, being thrust into the starting lineup.
2. Landon Collins, S, Alabama
How do you know Landon Collins? Most everyone knows Collins from his Under Armour announcement, picking Alabama and overriding his mom’s desire for him to go to LSU. Just get used to the fact that all Nick Saban does is develop first-round defensive backs. I know Collins is slated behind HaHa Clinton-Dix at safety, but his potential is so great Saban will be forced to put him field in some capacity. Could you imagine a safety-tandem of Clinton-Dix and Collins? Now that’s nasty.
3. Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Missouri
The former overall No. 1 player in the country, Dorial Green-Beckham, was hampered in production last season because of such a weak offense. DGB didn’t start really coming into his own as a player until the latter portion of the season, just in time for it to come to an abrupt end without a bowl game. He did register 28 catches for 395 yards and five touchdowns, but that’s not even scratching the surface of his potential. And with a new offensive coordinator and a more productive passing game, DGB should make his mark. He looks like a Baby Lebron running routes.
4. Josh Harvey-Clemons, DB/LB, Georgia
Expectations are soaring for the potential-packed hybrid player Josh Harvey-Clemons. JHC runs like a receiver, has the wherewithal of a safety and hits like a linebacker. There’s a whole lot to like. JHC will hold down Todd Grantham’s Star position and will play some outside linebacker and safety. He’s long and athletic, and his potential is through the roof. I look for JHC to emerge in 2013 in some facet for the Bulldogs’ inexperienced defense.
5. Channing Ward, DE, Ole Miss
All everyone wants to talk about regarding Ole Miss is the blue-chip defensive linemen who will arrive in 2013, but there’s already one on campus who just needs to break out of his shell. Channing Ward is the former top overall player in Mississippi, and he got his feet wet with playing time as a freshman. He played in 12 games, making 21 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss, but Ward could be the jelly to fellow end CJ Johnson’s peanut butter. Certainly don’t sleep on Robert Nkemdiche and Lavon Hooks, but Ward has a chance to be just as good as either player.
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