Breakout Player not named Duke Catalon

Give me a player you think is poised to take a step forward this year. I think everybody expects Duke to blow the doors off the AAC this year, so give me someone else.

Personally, I’m looking at Matthew Adams to fill 44’s shoes rather nicely. If he can build on the performance from the FSU game, look out.

I feel like Howard Wilson is my top choice, but the easy way out seeing as we saw him start ahead of BW.

So my third choice behind DC and HW is Khalil Williams. I liked what I saw from him in a reserve role last year. With how blitz happy CTO is, we will need him to be very solid in the back, whether it be stopping running backs for a 8 yd gain versus a 50 yd gain, or capitalizing on mistakes made by the pressure of the front 7.

Tough call. I’ll say Mason Denley. By the time he’s a 5th year senior he could be a nominee for the Outland Trophy. He’s very quick and up to about 6-4, 310. Also watch Jerard Carter. He had a great spring. Wouldn’t be shocked if he starts ahead of Thurman at DE. I like Howard Wilson and Khalil Williams as well. I feel that the secondary is fine with those two and Brandon Wilson. I’m more concerned about Garrett Davis and Jeremy Winchester.

It better be someone in the secondary.

Khalil Williams. Book it.

Edit: I’m glad others saw the same things I did from him last year.

I think Winchester will imrove but mainly one of the receivers will arise to remind us of Patrick Edwards/Tyron Carrier.

I’ll stick with RB and say that I think Mulbah Car will have a nice season as the “2” in a 1-2 punch combo with Catalon. Car has speed for days and Herman and Applewhite will figure out how to get him involved.

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Ra’shaad Samples.

Honestly? I think Greg Ward is going to be the breakout player this year. Consistency, confidence, control - I expect him to break out as a passer in this offense and put up some truly mind blowing numbers without having to run for his life.

I think he’s going to shock people with his all around improvement under this staff and deliver a truly monster season.

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I know you said “a” player, but I’m going to go with the duo of Isaiah Johnson and Stephen Dunbar. Two huge receivers at 6’4" and 6’3" respectively, and both of which we’ve seen flashes from. Even with the loss of Ayers, this could be the deepest, and biggest WR core we’ve had in a while. We had great receivers when Case was here, but no big targets to throw at. If these 2 guys have improved, we should be able to punish teams with smaller CBs all day long.


Yes, based on the Spring Game, I.J.

I’ll go with Howard Wilson, too. Kid is really talented and looks the part. But Terrell Williams is one I’d keep an eye on at the safety spot.

Isaiah Johnson. World-class speed. Improving hands. And a strong showing in the spring game. He’s due to step up.

Good call on Johnson. Forgot him. I do think he’ll be an impact player this year. I hope Dan is right about Samples. Would do wonders for the offense to have three good receivers to go with Ward and Catalon.

Does anybody know who is leading the battle for the MLB2 spot, D’Juan Hines or Emeke Egbule?

I have seen both guys play outside backer as well so that should help them see the field, whether or not they get the starting job.

I believe Hines was ahead at the end of spring and in fact was coming on pretty strong. I think next year you’ll see those two outside with Adams in the middle. But I doubt you’ll see us playing much 3-4. I remember Orlando saying that would be our base defense when he got here, but I think the coaches have seen how effective the 3-3-5 can be if we have a special guy at the nickel/hybrid safety position and really like the alignment. It’s a little like TCU’s 4-2-5. Two LBs (Taylor and Roberts) are in pretty traditional 3-4 positions, roughly head up with the guards and some four yards back from the LOS. Bowser is head up on the TE on the LOS. But they can switch things up, too, move a safety up, put two LBs where 4-3 OLBs would play up on the line, etc. I’m hoping Brandon Wilson fills in very capably for Trevon Stewart; I think he will. He has the speed and size to be a real force for our defense.


i say bowser, he’s been due for a breakout season for a while, he lead the nation in sacks coming into UH in HS and every preseason since his freshman season whoever has been our coach always calls for him to put monster sack numbers that he is that physically gifted…i think he finally put it together his senior year

I played every skill position in high school except qb. I new the oline blocking scheme because I played TE, FB, and RB, but also new the qb reads because I was a receiver. I never understood defense though. They tried to get me to play some safety too, but I was lost out there.

I say this because your post just confused the hell out of me. Their were times last year when Tomme Mark was the end man on LOS in a 4i. I always wondered why teams didn’t run outside zone every time and just hook him. But after reading your posts and an article posted on another thread about the 3-3-5, I realized that I have much more to learn. It is way more than simple alignment. Everyone has an assignment, but you trick the offense by not showing your hand before the play. The less down lineman, the more tricks you can do. Unless you have the 2015 stl rams 4-3 dline, where every player is a star, then it is probably a good idea to confuse the offense and make them think rather than firing off the ball. Similar assignments, but you start from different places.

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I think your comment about “trick the offense by not showing your hand” is exactly right. The blitz might be obvious at times, but coverages and who’s coming from where can be mysteries to QBs. I saw a video–might have been a color guy discussing our defense with film during a game–that showed Paxton Lynch throwing a short pass to a spot that looked as if it would be open but that was covered by two defenders when the ball got there and was batted away. Yeah, the alignments can move around, but I think they like that nickel/hybrid safety out there most all the time. He can do so much–blitz (Stewart was tied with Roberts for 2nd in sacks), cover (Trevon had 4 INTs), and come up against the run (he had 10.5 TFLs and 76 tackles). I love it. It’s such a pleasure for a fan of defense like me to see us shut down offenses like we did in the 70s and some of the 80s but then went nearly a quarter-century before doing it again!

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Sorry but I believe we are missing the …

as the ONLY PLAYER besides the Duke who will be a breakout player …

AS USUAL as has been my experience following the coogs since the early '60s …

one doesn’t find out until the actual games start who the surprise of this season



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