Over the past few seasons, we've had a pretty solid selection of players to don the coveted #1 jersey. Jerard Rabb, of course of "hook and lateral" fame. Kyle Wilson parlayed his 2 seasons in #1 into a first round draft pick. Most recently we had perhaps the most prototypical #1 ever, our very own Titus Young.
Those are some big shoes to fill.
I'm not an expert on this at all, but allow me to try to break this down.
First off, I believe I have observed some ground rules for the #1. It's usually an upperclassman though not exclusively. Generally in a speed position. And that player has to have the panache to pull off the #1. Here are the contenders as I see it from next years roster.
#22 Doug Martin
Pro: upperclassman. Speed? Um... yeah. Gravitas? Absolutely.
Con: Can someone that buff pull of the #1? I almost think he needs 2 blocky numbers to fill out that jersey.
#6 D.J. Harper
Pro: senior with a lot of years in the program. Hopefully still a home run threat. Already in a single digit.
Con: coming off 2 knee injuries, nobody knows how well he'll be able to go next year.
#8 George Iloka
Pro: 4 year starter. Speed to burn. Anchor of the secondary.
Con: None apparent
#4 Jerrell Gavins
Pro: Speedy. Rocking the Kyle Wilson hairdo.
Con: Not a shutdown corner at this point.
#21 Jamar Taylor
Pro: Has shown flashes of playmaking ability.
Con: Probably not consistent or enough of a leader.
#89 Tyler Shoemaker
Pro: Only senior receiver. Most experienced returner.
Con: Doesn't "feel" like a #1 to me. More of a lunch pail guy. Needs more flash.
#3 Chris Potter
Pro: has made some big plays in his career.
Con: most of those plays have come as a special teamer or runner, not receiver
#20 Mitch Burroughs
Pro: Local kid.
Con: Not much production last year. Only had 6 receptions all year.
Quarterbacks? Really, I don't think QB is a "#1" type position. Also, those guys are pretty locked into their numbers.
Does anyone see a player from some other position breaking tradition and taking the 1? Could Billy Winn or Shea McClellin still destroy O-lines in a single digit? How about one of the Nickels... Jeremy Ioane, anyone? Perhaps this is the year where one of the newcomers steps up and wears #1 for their whole career? Jay Ajayi? Blake Renaud?
Really this thing could go a number of different ways. If I had to put money on who would end up with the #1, I would have to go with Iloka. He seems to have all the attributes necessary to pull that off.
Your turn! Who would you like to see in the #1 and why? Did I leave anyone off the list? We're just a few short weeks away from the start of spring football and just 211 days, 5 hours, 54 minutes and 37 seconds until we kick off again at Georgia!