- Todd McShay, Scouts Inc.
With 119 Division I-A programs and more than 100 players vying for roster spots on most of those teams, predicting the future standouts is no simple chore. Every team has its established playmakers but new stars are born each year. After studying film during the offseason, here's a breakdown of 10 players who are primed for breakout seasons in 2006.
1. Willie Tuitama, QB, Arizona
It didn't receive much national attention on a three-win Wildcat team in 2005, but Tuitama threw for 923 yards and seven touchdowns in his first four career starts, two of which were upset victories over Oregon State and UCLA. Last season he got his feet wet; now it's time for Tuitama to shine. With an outstanding combination of size, mobility, arm strength and poise, Tuitama is the type of playmaker head coach Mike Stoops needs in order to turn the Arizona football program around.
2. Alex Boone, OT, Ohio State
Boone was the most-hyped offensive lineman to hit the Columbus campus since Orlando Pace. His monstrous frame (6-foot-8, 315 pounds) is tough to miss, and it allowed him to get away with some freshman mistakes as a starting left tackle last season. With better technique and improved footwork, Boone should emerge as one of the premier offensive linemen in the country this fall. A year from now, NFL scouts will be drooling over Boone as a potential early-entry first-round prospect.
The rich get richer in 2006, according to Todd McShay. Ohio State, USC and Auburn are all expecting big contributions from players you might not know.