Tomorrow marks the true beginning of the football season with Big Ten Media Days kicking off in Chicago. I will be in attendance for both days in the Windy City. The credential is set and most of my coverage for the Big Ten at large will be over at the Indiana Regional SBNation site.
In the meantime, we have two more players to focus on today: One offense and one defense.
Akeem Hunt - Fr.
Hometown: Covington, GA (Newton HS)
5'9" 175 pounds
2011 projection: Likely Redshirt
After last season I am not going to discount playing a true freshman running back ever again. When Reggie Pegram saw some snaps out of necessity it is certainly possible that Hunt could play this year. More than likely he will redshirt as long as a certain running back (also out of Georgia) is healthy.
Hunt was our eighth football commitment last season. He rushed for 654 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior in high school and caught 15 passes for 231 yards and two more touchdowns. Auburn, Wisconsin, and South Carolina were all showing interest before his commitment. Ralph Bolden and Akeem Shavers are expected to be the top two backs with Hunt playing for the #3 spot at best, hence the redshirt.
Mike Lee- Fr. (RS)
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA (Woodland Hills HS)
6'2", 220 pounds
2010 Projection: Reserve at Linebacker
I think we're starting to notice a trend where the incoming Danny hope players are starting to force out many of the remaining Joe Tiller recruits. I think that is why guys like Mike Lee are getting more of a look at linebacker than upperclassmen like Nnamdi Ezenwa who have been around awhile. Lee was able to hold on to his redshirt last season and he comes into this year competing for a reserve linebacker spot. There is also the possibility that he will "stick his hand in the dirt" with a need at defensive end.
He was a three year starter as a linebacker and tight end at Woodland Hills, but his basketball and track and field background shows he has some speed and skills to work around bodies. Those are qualities I like to see in a good rush end. In 2009 he helped Woodland Hills make the State playoffs with 14 catches for six touchdowns on offense and 17 tackles with six sacks on defense. He left his final high school game with a concussion as Woodland Hills lost to Jack DeBoef and State College High.