Quantum Leaps

Last season these guys, like Notre Dame's Brady Quinn, were either invisible or underused while playing in a major program. What a difference a year can make.
November 14, 2005

Washington State RB Senior

After a breakout spring in which he was nicknamed the Ghost because of his elusiveness, the undersized (5'10", 199 pounds) Harrison (above) has rushed for the most yards in Division I-A this year: 1,550. Against Arizona State last Saturday, he ran for 240 yards.

Miami CB Senior

A fast (4.25 in the 40) and physical corner, Maxey was buried on the depth chart for two seasons as a safety. He changed positions in 2004 and now starts ahead of the more-heralded Devin Hester. This year Maxey has 19 tackles and two interceptions for the nation's top-ranked defense.

Colorado State RB Sophomore

A 6'2", 225-pound steamroller who was mostly a backup in 2004, Bell got his shot after Nnamdi Ohaeri went down with an ankle sprain in the Rams' season opener. Since then Bell has rushed for 899 yards and six touchdowns.

Oregon State RB Sophomore

Having passed up an $80,000 signing bonus from the Minnesota Twins in 2003 to play football for the Beavers, Bernard got stuck behind two more experienced backs last year and carried only six times, for 20 yards. Given his chance this season, he has averaged 123.6 rushing yards per game, sixth best in the nation.

Indiana QB Sophomore

Asked recently who the Hoosiers' most-improved players were, coach Terry Hoeppner said Powers "may be 1 and 2." After throwing only 22 times as a backup in 2004, the 6'4", 235-pound Powers has passed for 2,043 yards and 21 touchdowns and helped the Hoosiers improve from 83rd to 44th in Division I-A in passing offense.