Big East Rookies to Watch, Pt. III

Aug 27, 2010 | By: Random Blogger


As we approach the beginning of the 2010 College Football season we here at would like to bring our readers up to speed on some of the most notable Big East incoming freshmen. The upcoming season has the potential to be a banner year for the Big East as the quality of talent in the league appears to vastly be improving. A big reason for this is that the talent influx entering the conference is getting better as evidenced by the talented individuals on this list.  Without further adieu, we bring you our third and final installment of Notable Big East Notable Rookies to Watch.


1. Ivan McCartney- WR-West Virginia-  Hands down, McCartney is considered the top incoming freshman in the conference. Coming out of Miramar High School (Fla.), McCartney was regarded as one of the top five prospects in the state of Florida this past year. He was nominated to play in the U.S. Army All-American game. Standing 6-foot-3, he is a very athletic wide receiver. He reminds many recruiting experts of his cousin and Cincinnati Bengal, Chad Ochocinco. McCartney will need to add bulk to his paltry 180-pound frame, however, his ball skills and route running ability are highly advanced for a player his age.  Expect McCartney to contribute to the Mountaineers offense early and often, allowing them to expand their downfield passing game. 
2. Quinton Spain- OG-West Virginia- Quinton Spain of Petersburg High School is an offensive line prospect who was considered one of the top-5 recruits in the state of Virginia for the class of 2009. He was also nominated to play in the U.S. Army All-American game. Spain’s physicality along the offensive line is impressive. Standing 6-foot-5 and 340 pounds, Spain has the ability to be a dominant interior offensive lineman. His ability to make crushing blocks inside of the tackle box should allow West Virginia to continue to excel in running its spread-option offensive attack. Spain does have some strides to make in his conditioning and may not have the opportunity to contribute during his freshmen year, but he does have the ability to one day be considered one of the top offensive linemen in not only the conference,  but the country.
 3. T.J. Clemmings- DE- Pittsburgh- Clemmings was regarded as the top prospect in the state of New Jersey this past year while playing for Paterson Catholic High School (N.J.). The 6-foot-5 prospect is reportedly up to 270-pounds of lean mass in order to fit the scheme of the Pitt Panthers and possibly contribute early. Clemmings impressed the staff at several events and ran a 4.7-second 40-yard dash at the BigTime Showcase in 2009, while weighting 260 pounds. While Pitt returns a wealth of experienced talent along their defensive line, if Clemmings remains healthy, he should find a role in the defensive line rotation sometime over the course of his freshmen year. He brings to the Panthers his freakish athletic ability for his size and could end up being a proto-type defensive end that NFL scouts drool over.
4. Deon Long-WR-West Virginia- For a team who doesn’t attempt to stretch the field much via the pass, they sure picked up two studs at wide receiver. After prepping for a year at Hargrave Military Academy (Va.), the former Dunbar High School product will enter the Mountaineer program ready to contribute. The 6-foot, 180-pounder was considered one of the top 2009 prospects in the Washington D.C. After being unable to qualify initially, Long attended Hargrave, got his academics in order and enrolled at West Virginia for the spring semester, where he has since impressed. Look for Long to also possibly contribute immediately during his freshmen year. Do not be surprised to see Long and fellow incoming Mountaineer Ivan McCartney form one of the best receiving tandems in the conference before it is all said and done.
5. Kenbrell Thompkins-WR- Cincinnati- Thompkins is a junior college transfer who was considered one of the best junior college wide receiver in the class of 2009. Thompson, like several other players on this list, attended Miami Northwestern High School (Fla.). However, he had trouble standing out on the talented Bulls squad since most passes went to current Miami Hurricanes Aldarius Johnson and Tommy Streeter. After graduating from Northwestern, Thompkins attended El Camino Community College for two years where he caught 126 passes for 2,052 yards and 15 touchdowns. The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder originally signed a letter of intent with the Tennessee Volunteers, but decided to look elsewhere after former Vols head coach Lane Kiffin decided to leave the Tennessee program. The NCAA had determined that Thompkins must sit out the 2010 season. However, he will have two years of eligibility remaining and should be one of the best receivers in the conference for the 2011 and 2012 season. 
6. B.J. Butler-DE-Louisville- Butler is somewhat of an underrated prospect, but many of the big-time programs have taken notice. With an offer list including Florida, Florida State and Alabama, he must have done something right on the high school level. Butler is an explosive athlete around the edge while standing 6-foot-3, 240 pounds. He has the frame and is versatile enough to play the hybrid position on the next level if head coach Charlie Strong chooses to install it in order to best utilize Butler’s talents. Although initially committing to Georgia, Charlie Strong’s reputation and skills as a recruiter were enough to subplant the Bulldogs as Butler’s top choice. Expect Butler to make noise early and become the pride of Osceola High School (Fla).
7. Jeremy Deering-WR-Rutgers- Deering was one of the highest regarded prospects in the Tampa area for the class of 2009 and since arriving at Rutgers has earned praise from Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano. The 6-foot-2, 198-pounder from Leto High School has the ability to become a standout wide receiver, and will likely initially make a name for himself playing the wildcat quarterback position for the Scarlet Knights in relief of Rutgers star, Mo Sanu.
8. Todd Thomas-WR-Pittsburgh- Pitt just got deeper at the wide receiver position. Thomas is a physical wide receiver standing 6-foot-3, 200 pounds. He will add a very good option to the panther’s offensive arsenal from the “X” position. The Beaver Falls (Pa.) product, who ran for more yardage than he caught for in high school brings a tough mentality of a receiver core that can use one. Look for Thomas in year two of his college experience to truly break out and help the Panther.
9. Dyjuan Lewis- WR- Cincinnati-The Pike High School is considered Cincinnati’s top incoming prospect and was regarded as one of the top three prospects out of the state of Indiana for the class of 2009. Lewis is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound receiver who is a smooth route-runner with good ball-skills. He reportedly needs to add some strength due to the fact that he struggles at times blocking, and in press coverage. As Lewis matures, he should be able to put up impressive numbers in the Bearcats’ wide-open passing game.
10. Rashad Knight-CB-Rutgers- Knight was one of the top defensive back products to come out of the state of Florida. He has very good cover skills and is an aggressive defender. Standing 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds, Knight is a good-sized corner who plays with the tenacity that he learned from playing the safety position in high school. If not for the logjam at the defensive back position for Rutgers, the former Trinity Catholic star would likely play a big role early for Rutgers. As of right now, it appears that he is destined for a red-shirt year unless his productivity becomes head and shoulders about the rest of the competition.




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