Under-the-radar players perform in Week 5
They might not be household names yet, but JaMarcus Russell, Adrian Arrington and Garrett Wolfe will be, writes Todd McShay.
The junior wideout emerged on the scene Saturday with 59 yards on three receptions, two of which he took to pay dirt in a 14-point victory over Minnesota. Arrington has shown improvement as a route runner throughout this season, and his height (6-foot-3) is a problem for smaller cornerbacks left alone on an island to defend him. The more opposing defenses roll coverage to protect against go-to-receiver Mario Manningham, the more opportunities Arrington will have to shine. It also should be noted that Steve Breaston chipped in with five catches versus the Golden Gophers, which is a promising sign for QB Chad Henne and the Michigan offense.
James Laurinaitis, ILB, Ohio State
Laurinaitis is a beast. What he lacks in athleticism he more than makes up for with instincts and reckless abandon. Laurinaitis has been making big plays since the first quarter of the first game versus Northern Illinois, but Saturday night's effort in the 38-17 drubbing of Iowa was so much more than the six tackles, one sack and one interception in the box score. What I witnessed from the sideline of Kinnick Stadium was an inexperienced player taking his game to the next level. It took only five games for Laurinaitis to emerge as the Buckeyes' most reliable defender and for the rest of the unit to take on his ferocious personality.
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