Early enrollees make an impact
"I started crawling all over again," Forston said. "I have to start walking."
Forston must develop quickly, because he has no choice. He is one of seven signees who skipped the spring of their senior year to enroll at Miami, and the Hurricanes' lack of depth at defensive tackle will almost certainly force Forston into the rotation. Forston is not alone, though. The BCS conference schools (and Notre Dame) took in a combined 105 early enrollees this year, and a handful of those youngsters will be asked to contribute immediately -- either by virtue of phenomenal talent, a lack of depth at their position or a combination of the two.
Here are eight schools that will count on early enrollees to play right away:
Along with Forston, linebackers
"Those guys will be able to contribute right away," Miami coach
Jones earned more respect from his coaches this spring when he played through a sprained ankle to keep himself on the two-deep depth chart. "You can tell he's trying like mad to do it just the way coach says," Richt said. "You can see he's coming. I don't know if he's coming fast enough to start in the fall, but I'm not going to put it past him."
That's why Meyer made Sturgis kick 60-yarders in front of thousands of fans and a national television audience on ESPN. "I was about three feet in front of his face in front of 60,000 people on national television, and he's what, 17 years old?" Meyer said. "How do you get that game rep (in practice)?"
Bradham, from nearby Wakulla, was one of the nation's top linebacker prospects, and he reinforced that assessment with a solid spring. And since Bradham was in high school when the suspended players received the answers for a test in a music class, he may find himself replacing them for the first quarter of the season.
Bowers made four tackles for loss in Clemson's spring game. Afterward, Bowden said Bowers certainly will play, but he stopped short of saying Bowers had earned a starting job. Bowden said Bowers has grown from 270 to 280 pounds, and the coach would like to see his freshman stud show up to practice a bit leaner. "He's shown that he's going to be able to help us next year," Bowden said. "How much depends on how much progress he makes this summer."