It is time for the annual installment of the Devy 100, the third-most ballyhooed set of devy rankings completed within the greater Southwest Minneapolis area. As always, whittling this down to a mere one hundred was no simple task. If there is anybody you believe was omitted erroneously, feel free to pop in the comments and express your displeasure.
95. Sewo Olonilua, RB TCU Horned Frogs
Profile: A jumbo athlete as a recruit, the 6’3”, 225-pound Olonilua could have potentially thrived on the defensive side of the ball, yet settled in as a supersized running back who has been a niche player during his first two seasons on campus. The upside, however, is tantalizing. Olonilua is a fluid athlete for his size and has shown advanced acumen as a receiver. He’s a back with an impressive tool-kit; production should come.
2018 Outlook: Senior Kyle Hicks is no longer part of the backfield, and while Darius Anderson returns as the probable lead back, 2018 is a golden opportunity for Olonilua to really shine and cement himself as a notable prospect in what I consider an underrated yet still wide open at the top running back class in 2019. With the Horned Frogs ushering in a new quarterback, it could be a heavy dose of Anderson and Olonilua early with the latter delivering on his breakout promise.
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94. Trevor Lawrence, QB Clemson Tigers
Profile: I normally disregard incoming freshmen at quarterback, as there is such a high transfer rate for college quarterbacks and I prefer players who are established at the position. 2018, however, will cause me to toss said approach out the window as it is a uniquely talented group with potential early-impact talents. Lawrence has been the nation’s number one recruit for a long time and held onto the ranking despite a strong push from other elite quarterbacks late in the process. Standing nearly six and a half feet tall and with hair which would make Ronnie Bass envious, Lawrence looks the part and has the game to back it up.
2018 Outlook: Kelly Bryant would appear entrenched as the starter given he led the Tigers to the College Football Playoff in 2017. However, he leaves a lot to be desired as a passer and it is fair to wonder if Clemson can topple a team like Alabama without a difference-making talent under center. Even with Bryant and rising sophomore and former five-star recruit Hunter Johnson in town, Lawrence may prove to the best talent and push for playing time in 2018, with an opportunity to win the job outright out of camp.
93. Jordan Scarlett, RB Florida Gators
Profile: Following a promising sophomore campaign which included numbers illustrating his ability to make people miss, Scarlett was ensnared in the credit card fraud scandal with led to the suspension of he and many of his teammates and subsequently missed the 2017 season. A decisive, high-effort runner, Scarlett had the potential to become another talented runner in the 2018 class before having his career derailed by some off-field issues. Reinstated by new coach Dan Mullen, he has an opportunity to reassert himself as a legitimate NFL prospect.
2018 Outlook: The Gators had far bigger problems than their running game in 2017, and were in good hands before a knee injury to Malik Davis ruined his promising freshman campaign. With Davis’ health a question mark, there is a rather wide-open competition for touches in the Gator backfield, with productive if uninspiring Lamical Perine and rising sophomore Ardarius Lemons the main competition for backfield work. Despite a year off, Scarlett is the most talented of the group and should regain lead back status, at least until Davis returns to full strength.
92. Parris Campbell, WR Ohio State Buckeyes
Profile: Shimmying right into the Curtis Samuel role as an explosive intermediate threat, Parris Campbell flashed in the opener against Indiana and immediately cemented himself as one of the Buckeyes’ best offensive weapons in 2017. With elite speed and perhaps even more impressive acceleration, Campbell destroys pursuit angles and is a menace in the open field. He does most of his work near the line of scrimmage, and much like his predecessor Samuel, he may be viewed as more of a niche weapon than having a well-defined position. His overall athleticism is unquestioned; his fit and usage at the next level will come into question, though he has an elite trait which somebody will find a way to use.
2018 Outlook: As the established H-back in Urban Meyer’s offense, Campbell is a stone-cold lock to post quality numbers. The real question will be who Ohio State deploys under center. A more traditional passer, Dwayne Haskins could either unlock Campbell’s true upside or expose him as a mere gadget player. A traditional dual-threat, Tate Martell would likely lead an offense similar to the 2017 iteration. Campbell will have a major role in any event, though Haskins may be more beneficial for his long-term development.
91. Caleb Wilson, TE UCLA Bruins
Profile: A foot injury wiped away what was going to be a monster 2017 for Caleb Wilson. A 15 reception, 208-yard eruption in the season-opening, epic comeback with against Texas A&M was Wilson’s breakout party, and he posted a monster 38-490-1 line over the season’s first five games before succumbing to the aforementioned lower-body malady. Wilson controlled the middle of the field and proved one of Josh Rosen’s most trusted weapons. Formerly considered an oversized receiver, Wilson instead has emerged as one of the nation’s better tight end prospects.
2018 Outlook: The 2018 Bruin offense is a total mystery, though we at least have a background of what Chip Kelly likes to do from his Oregon days. Despite question marks, Wilson stands as UCLA’s best returning weapon after the departure of Jordan Lasley. No matter who is under center, they should quickly find a friend in the former USC walk-on.
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