Sleeping Seniors: Big East

Chichester towers over everybody at 6'8...can you say red zone threat?

The Big East may have taken a beaten in recent years when compared to other BCS conferences but that doesn’t change how much talent exists in the conference already. Filled with plenty of under the radar players who could be big time performances is this the year a Big East team makes a claim to fame?

WR AJ Love-South Florida

6’2, 205 lbs.

2 Star WR-Rivals

AJ Love is one of the Bulls more proven offensive weapons coming into 2011, but coming off his injury even he has some questions to answer. Love has great size and exceptional hands for his position. He does a good job tracking the ball down and the field and is one of BJ Daniels most trusted targets. There were already looming doubts about Love’s ability to get separation down the field and now that he has had a knee injury those doubters will only get more frequent.

FS Jerrell Young-South Florida

6’1, 208 lbs.

2 Star S-Rivals

If there is one player that most Bulls fans are excited to see more of this fall it has to be Jerrell Young. The gifted safety has good speed and size for the position, he has solid range and is very tough to get behind. The part of his game that most excites fans is his ability to deliver big hits and jar the ball loose. Young is known as a head hunter in CF, and he has made more than a few players hear his footsteps. Young is entering only his second year as a starter so his lack of experience is a bit concerning for us, we also notice on film that he has a tendency to go for the hit over trying to make a play on the ball. He led the team in INT’s last year (3), but we felt there was more than a few missed opportunities where he could have created a turnover.

OT Don Barclay-West Virginia

6’4, 305 lbs.

3 Star OT-Rivals

West Virginia has produced quite a few NFL caliber linemen in recent years and Barclay should continue that trend after this season. He displays excellent footwork and does a really good job when setting up in pass protection. He handles speed rushers very well and looks smooth in his kick step staying in front of the rusher. We would like to see Barclay get a little meaner with his blocks this season. He doesn’t have the mentality to finish his blocks off in the run game, and there are questions about if he has the necessary strength to handle the bull rush.

OT Alex Hoffman-Cincinnati

6’7, 299 lbs.

2 Star OT-Scout

A versatile and dominant OL for the Bearcats, Alex Hoffman has seen his role as a leader increase in recent years. Hoffman has spent time at both the RG and RT in his career and that versatility could be valuable projecting forward. While Hoffman has ideal height for the OT position his lack of bulk is slightly concerning. In the Big East where the DL are a little smaller he can probably get away with it but in the NFL he will need to put on a few pounds in order to take on those bigger lineman.

LB JK Schaffer-Cincinnati

6’1, 232 lbs.

2 Star LB-Scout

The hometown kid, JK Schaffer is the heart and soul of the Bearcat defense. He shows good lateral mobility for an ILB, flows well to the ball and understands how to fill holes. He has decent instincts which allow him to get into the backfield and make plays. He struggles at times in coverage and doesn’t have enough athleticism to stay with the more athletic TE’s that he’s asked to cover. His height is slightly below ideal and could be an issue projecting forward.

OT Mike Ryan-UConn

6’5, 333 lbs.

2 Star OT-Rivals

A massive OT, Mike Ryan is the captain of the Huskies offense. Blessed with terrific size and above average athleticism he’s been a stalwart player for UConn and will be counted on even more to help make up for the loss of Zach Hurd to graduation. There are concerns about his conditioning level and weight after he showed up at 330+ this year. Scouts are torn on whether he is a RT or RG in the NFL, but we personally see him more as a OG. He must first show that he is fully recovered from his shoulder injury (suffered in 2010) and his knee injury (2011) before he be given a draftable grade.

TE Josh Chichester-Louisville

6’8, 240 lbs.

4 Star WR-Scout

We still remember the first day we read about Chichester, we were just checking out Scout.com for some local HS kids and suddenly we came across a top rated WR who was listed at 6’8. We thought it was originally a typo so we did some searching and quickly realized that in fact it was not and that Chichester really is an astonishing 6’8. Since that moment you can say our interested have been piqued and we’ve kept up with Chichester who we think has really shown some development in the past year. He has added a good amount of bulk to his frame and still has room for more, he has worked hard on his blocking and while it’s not quite there yet, its coming along. Our biggest question moving forward is whether or not Chichester can continue to add bulk and maintain enough speed to still gain separation.

Tags: Big East, Cincinnati, Lousiville, NFL Draft, South Florida, UConn, West Virginia

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