Oklahoma State is replacing its 28-year-old quarterback with a fresh-faced high school graduate. Five months after leading Rochester (Ill.) High to its second consecutive state title,
I'm overwhelmed," Lunt told reporters after the announcement. "It's such a humbling experience. Coming in early, I knew I had a chance to compete for the job, and to get it is just overwhelming. I know that we're still going to compete through summer and two-a-days, so it's not over."
Lunt represents the most notable example of a newcomer who helped his case by enrolling early and participating in spring practice. But he's certainly not alone. Here's a look at 15 early enrollees, both true freshman and JUCO transfers, who could make names for themselves this fall.
Barely a blip on the national radar a few weeks ago, Lunt may now face the most daunting task of any true freshman in the country. He'll attempt to replace Brandon Weeden, the minor league baseball prospect turned Oklahoma State great who holds all of the Cowboys' major passing records. But Lunt seems up to the challenge. He threw for more than 7,000 yards and 65 touchdowns during his junior and senior seasons and could thrive in an offensive scheme that resembles the one he ran at Rochester. In spring practice, he beat out junior Clint Chelf and redshirt freshman J.W. Walsh for the starting gig.
The obvious choice for a high-profile Alabama newcomer is running back
Now that third-round draft pick DeVier Posey has moved on to the NFL, the Buckeyes need someone to step up at wideout. Not one returning player had more than 294 receiving yards last year, and Ohio State ranked a meager 115th in the FBS in passing offense.
It's difficult to say exactly how much
The Gators didn't have any player compile more than 432 receiving yards in 2011, exemplifying their need for an aerial threat.
The latest in a lineage of heralded Florida recruits,
A JUCO transfer from Fort Scott (Kan.),
Tulane obviously isn't nearly as well-reputed as any other program on this list. But any time that a recruit exits spring practice as a first-team cornerback just a few months after graduating from high school, it demands attention.