Breakdowns

College Football 2022: Unexpected Breakout Candidates

College Football 2022: Unexpected Breakout Candidates

The 2022 College Football season is quickly approaching. Teams are gearing up for a run at the College Football Playoff and players are preparing to have breakout seasons to help their teams achieve that goal and to help themselves one day make it to the NFL. Many household names like Bryce Love, CJ Stroud, and Will Andersen are looking to improve upon the success they had in their 2021 seasons, but here we are going to highlight some of the under the radar names you should keep an eye out for in 2022 to have breakout seasons.

Jarek Broussard-RB-Michigan State

Kenneth Walker III transferred to Coach Mel Tucker and Michigan State and had an absolute monster year, earning him the 2021 Doak Walker Award. Jarek Broussard is transferring from Colorado, where Coach Tucker was the head coach prior to MSU. Broussard was the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year in 2020 rushing for 813 yards and averaging over 162 yards per game. He didn’t fully replicate those numbers this past season but still had 661 yards rushing and 4.65 yards per carry. I expect Broussard to have a big year in 2022, much like Kenneth Walker did in 2021.

Dallas Turner-OLB-Alabama

Dallas Turner had a sneaky good year for the Crimson Tide in 2021. The Freshman earned Freshman All-America honors as long as All-SEC Freshman. Turner had 30 tackles, 10TFL, 8.5 sacks, 5 hurries, and a fumble recovery. He saw his snap count increase from week 6 through the end of the year and he will only improve going into his sophomore campaign. A lot of opposing offenses will be looking to neutralize Will Andersen on the opposite side, leaving Turner to have a lot of one-on-one battles against opposing tackles. Expect Turner to have a huge year.

Clark Phillips III-DB-Utah

Phillips really started to show his talent midway through the season in 2021. Per PFF, over his last 6 games Phillips was the highest graded corner in the country. He finished his 2021 season with 63 tackles, 13 PBU, and 2 INT. Phillips was a player all over the field in the Rose Bowl where he had 5 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 1 PBU, and 1 interception. Phillips III only got better last season so look for him to take a massive leap going into his 3rd year.

Andrew Vorhees-OT-USC

Vorhees is a 6th year senior who has played both inside and outside for the Trojans. Vorhees graded out a 90.0 per PFF in 2021. He was a dominant offensive lineman and I only see him improving this next season. Offensive Linemen will usually fly under the radar until around the end of the year but this is a name to keep an eye on for the 2023 NFL Draft. He is an athletic lineman that is explosive off the snap and finishes blocks with authority. A new look USC program under Lincoln Riley that will have a lot of eyes on them in 2022 will certainly only help Vorhees gain the recognition he deserves.

Donovan Edwards-RB-Michigan

Edwards was a four-star prospect coming into Michigan and contributed his true freshman season with 35 carries for 174 yards and caught 20 passes for 265 yards. Hassan Haskins is off to the NFL which lets Edwards step in as one of the main backs, along with Blake Corum. Edwards also showed his versatility as he was a significant receiving threat out of the backfield in 2021. Look for Edwards to break out this season with an elevated role this season in a run heavy Michigan Offense.

Jack Sawyer-DL-Ohio State

Sawyer was a highly touted recruit coming out of the state of Ohio in 2021. He chose to stay home and play for the Buckeyes. He had 11 tackles, 3TFL, and 3 sacks in 6 games his freshman season. Expect Sawyer to breakout in 2022 as he has had the time to develop his technique and grow in the weight room. Ohio State has a rich recent history of producing high quality edge rushers like the Bosa brothers and Chase Young. Sawyer possesses all the traits to carry along that tradition.

Jared Verse-DL-Florida State

Verse is a transfer from FCS program Albany. He was a FCS Freshman All-American in 2021 with 53 tackles, 11.5 TFL and 10.5 sacks. He had 14.5 sacks in 15 games for Albany over his two seasons there. He comes to FSU with Jermaine Johnson II off to the NFL, looking to step in and fill that edge rushing void for the Seminoles. Look for Verse to translate his production from the FCS over to the ACC this upcoming season.