FSU, Miami duos lead freshman watch list
1. Safety Myron Rolle, Florida State
Our No. 1-ranked player in the 2006 class did not disappoint Florida State coaches this spring, when he emerged as the starting rover for the fall.
Rolle, a 6-foot-3 200-pound cornerback/safety hybrid, is not only big, fast and instinctive, but he is smart and picked things up very quickly. He provides coordinator Mickey Andrews with a lot of options because he can get up in press coverage, and he shows sideline-to-sideline range in run support.
Rolle is versatile and can play several positions on defense, not to mention return kicks as well. He has excellent football skills and is big enough to consistently play close to the line of scrimmage and flashes to be an explosive blitzer when called upon.
2. RB C.J. Spiller, Clemson
Spiller is the ultimate scatback and should be the lightning to James Davis' thunder in 2006. Clemson is loaded on offense, and as good as Davis is, Spiller is a phenomenal player in space and the perfect fit for the spread offense and its zone blocking schemes, which exploit cutback lanes allow backs to cut against the grain.
Where fans will likely see Spiller make an impact is in the passing game. Swing routes, check downs and screens will get him in the open field and he'll make people miss, which will provide a big spark on third downs. He is undersized and may not be a full-time back just yet, but he is lightning in a bottle when the ball is in his hands.
3. RB Kylan Robinson, Miami
With the suspension of Tyrone Moss, Robinson, a Tampa product, could get his chance. He burst onto the scene as a senior after transferring from Alaska to Chamberlain High School and is like Eric Dickerson in terms of size, speed and running style.
Robinson is tall and well-built and has all the makings of the next great Miami back. He is a power runner with explosive capability in the open field, and he flashes the ability to wear down defenses over the course of the game.
4. WR/KR Sam Shields, Miami
With the losses of Sinorice Moss and Devin Hester to the NFL and inconsistent wide receiver play from Lance Leggett and Ryan Moore (suspended), the door is open for Shields to hit the field in 2006.
Shields is a big-play guy with adequate size and he has excellent ability as a route runner for a young player.
With Hester gone, there is a big void in the return game, and this is where Shields is special and could contribute right away. Incumbent Darnell Jenkins is fast, but the speed hasn't translated into consistent production. Shields has a knack for finding seams and getting upfield with no wasted motion.
5. TE Brandon Warren, Florida State
There was some question over whether Warren would qualify academically, but he did. Now he has a chance to take over the starting reins at tight end.
It has been a long time since Florida State had a difference maker at tight end, and Warren, the top tight end in the '06 class, is a difference maker as an overall athlete. He could appear at fullback, H-back and even give the team a spark at defensive end.
Warren is considered a significant receiving threat, particularly over the middle, where the Seminoles need a presence. He is big, fast and shows rare athleticism and versatility.
Tom Luginbill is the national recruiting director for ESPN's Scouts Inc. He is a former quarterback, scout and coach.
To continue reading this article you must be an Insider