Friday, August 9, 2013

Impact newcomer of 2013

After looking back at where we were with Todd Gurley a year ago, as well as setting some qualifications for speculating, it's time to talk about who will be this season's impact newcomer. Here are the top candidates as I see it right now (again, based on the qualifications set forth yesterday):
Leonard Floyd
Floyd came hungry from Hargrave. (via)
  • Leonard Floyd - at a position of need at outside linebacker and is turning some heads for sure.
  • Jonathan Rumph - really like this guy and want to pick him. But even though his spring was jaw dropping, he's not at a position where instant production will be key.
  • Tray Matthews - after some key losses at safety, we have to have someone step up back there. Matthews isn't just turning heads, he's knocking em off.
  • Reggie Carter - with one inside linebacker starting spot up for grabs, Carter seems to have a slight edge over fellow freshman Ryne Rankin in terms of press mentions. I like both. And we'll see both of them too. A lot.
  • JJ Green - has the eye popping highlight thus far, for sure.
  • Shaq Wiggins - gonna be a star, definitely. But has he outshone he comrades?
You just have to go defense, obviously. And the signature departure for the defense was Jarvis. So my instinct is to go with someone I think can help Jordan Jenkins rush the passer and wreak havoc. But I'm more tempted to go with someone in the secondary that can help buy the pass rush some time while also stepping up to make some tackles. And for the record, if Richt had redshirted Sheldon Dawson last season (and glad he didn't btw), I would've totally picked him here. Dude is killing it out there so far and it is welcome news to my ears. 

But like alabamadawg and wilk said yesterday in the comments, this is an easy choice - Tray Matthews. If he can balance his physicality and coverage skills, he'll have every opportunity to make some plays. Starting with week one in Clemson.

Get after that ass Tray!