These are the guys that almost made the top five. They could most definitely blow up too, but for one reason or another, they didn’t beat out the other names on the list.
Robert Gunn: It will be a tough task to follow up BT Potter at kicker, but some of the early returns we’ve heard from camp observers suggest Gunn might be able to do it. We’ve heard about 50-60 yard field goals so far. Accuracy and consistency were something Potter struggled with early in his career. I’d like to think Gunn could blow up this season but I think this is a ‘wait and see’.
Phil Mafah: I’m a former Mafah doubter who was converted with his play in 2022. I think under the right circumstances both Shipley and Mafah could have 1,000-yard seasons in 2023.
Something must give in Riley’s offense. If there are going to be four receivers, then the running back or tight end must come off the field. As we noted, Riley says the tight end is a critical component of the blocking scheme.
We want four receivers and passes to the tight end and for Shipley and Mafah to get their work too, but we can’t have everything.
Ruke Orhorhoro: This big guy could be the biggest surprise of all, especially if Davis stays healthy. Considering Davis has missed time in each of the past two seasons, Orhorhoro could be called upon the lead the charge in the middle. The good news is there is a lot of depth, so if Davis does miss time, whoever steps in can pair together with Orhorhoro to shut down the middle.
Peter Woods: I’m excited to see Woods, and I would be lying if I didn’t think there was a chance he could blow up as a freshman. The key word is ‘freshman’. The big guy will figure it out on his timetable.