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January 26, 2009

Some departures easier to replace than others

Now that underclassmen have made their decisions about entering the NFL draft, what about the teams they are leaving behind?

Here's our look at the impact the college teams will feel. In addition, we look at who we think will take over for the guys who are leaving.

The "impact" section is ranked from five stars (meaning the player will be extremely difficult to replace) to one star (meaning the player will be easy to replace).

WHO: RB Glen Coffee. Mark Ingram, who emerged as a solid complement to Coffee as a true freshman this past season, and oft-injured Roy Upchurch will vie for the starting job. Upchurch has more speed, and Ingram is a strong between-the-tackles runner. Former starter Terry Grant still is around, but there are rumors he will transfer. The Tide has a commitment from five-star prospect Trent Richardson, and if his commitment sticks, he should play a lot this fall. Holdovers Demetrius Goode and Ivan Matchett need to impress coaches this spring.
THE IMPACT: 3 stars
THE BUZZ: Coffee was one of the most productive running backs in the SEC this past season, but there is enough talent that the Tide can get by without him assuming Richardson signs.

WHO: OT Andre Smith. The list of potential candidates is a long one. One possibility is that Mike Johnson, who started at guard this past season, could move to Smith's left tackle spot. Another is that Drew Davis, who started at right tackle this past season, could move to the left side. Youngsters John Michael Boswell, Barrett Jones and Tyler Love also are expected to be in the mix. Alabama has a commitment from five-star tackle prospect D.J. Fluker, who would seem to be a candidate for immediate playing time once he arrives in the summer. And another freshman or two also could end up on the field.
THE IMPACT: 5 stars
THE BUZZ: Smith was Alabama's best player in 2008. He also would've been the best offensive lineman in college football in '09. He will not be easy to replace.

WHO: OT Eben Britton. Britton's decision means Arizona will have to replace both starting tackles. Adam Grant likely will be one of the new starters; he started five games this past season before being injured. Phillip Garcia, who redshirted after signing out of junior college, and redshirt freshman Trace Biskin are others who can help their case in spring ball. Junior college transfer Jack Julsing signed last month and also will go through spring drills.
THE IMPACT: 5 stars
THE BUZZ: Britton would've been one of the nation's best tackles next season, and it's hard to replace tackles of that caliber.

WHO: TE Andrew Davie. D.J. Williams was Arkansas' leading receiver, and he again will be the starting tight end. Ben Cleveland, who was highly touted coming out of high school, needs to do something to make the coaches notice him during spring practice.
THE IMPACT: 1 star.
THE BUZZ: Davie won't be missed as a receiver. He was a solid blocker, though.

WHO: DT Sen'Derrick Marks. Senior-to-be Jake Ricks seems likely to get first crack at the job, and he, Mike Blanc and Zach Clayton appear to be the Tigers' three-man rotation at the tackle spots. True freshman Nick Fairley already is enrolled and will get a chance to make his mark in spring ball. Expect two or three other true and/or redshirt freshmen to get in the mix during the spring and summer.
THE IMPACT: 5 stars
THE BUZZ: Marks would've been Auburn's best lineman in '09. In addition, he had a chance to be an All-SEC performer and contend for All-America honors.

WHO: CB Jerraud Powers. Neiko Thorpe and D'Antoine Hood saw action as true freshmen this past season and will be in the mix to start opposite Walter McFadden. Aairon Savage, who missed the season with an injury, bears watching. Redshirt freshman T'Sharvan Bell should get an opportunity this spring as well. The Tigers also could have a true freshman corner get on the field this fall.
THE IMPACT: 4 stars
THE BUZZ: Powers' departure hurts a secondary that didn't make many big plays in 2008.

WHO: QB Nate Davis. Tanner Justice was Davis' backup the past two seasons, but new coach Stan Parrish already has said redshirt freshman Kelly Page will go into spring ball as top guy on the depth chart. True freshman Aaron Mershman already is enrolled and will get a shot as well.
THE IMPACT: 5 stars
THE BUZZ: Davis would've been one of the nation's top 10 to 15 quarterbacks next season. Suffice it to say his replacement won't be that good.

WHO: WR Jeremy Childs. Titus Young, who was suspended for most of the 2008 season, will go through spring practice, and his presence will go a long way toward alleviating some of the angst resulting from Childs' departure. If Young can return to form as a big-time deep threat, he and Austin Pettis should form a nice duo on the outside. Holdovers Tyler Shoemaker and Michael Choate need to step it up during the spring, and you can expect two or three true and/or redshirt freshmen to see a lot of time in the fall as well. The question is which ones.
THE IMPACT: 4 stars.
THE BUZZ: Childs likely would've set every important school receiving record, and that kind of production is hard to replace.

WHO: WR Austin Collie. Junior-to-be Luke Ashworth and sophomores-to-be O'Neill Chambers and Spencer Hafoka will be under pressure to produce in spring practice. Chambers, from the Orlando, Fla., area, has good speed and a ton of potential. McKay Jacobson, who played as a true freshman in 2006 before going on a Mormon mission to Japan, will go through spring drills. Collie was productive in 2007 upon his return from a mission to Argentina; can Jacobson who will be one of the best athletes on the roster come through in the same way?
THE IMPACT: 4 stars
THE BUZZ: Collie is the most productive receiver in BYU history. While the Cougars won't find one player to match his production, a committee approach could work OK.

WHO: TE Cameron Morrah. Holdovers Tad Smith and Anthony Miller and redshirt freshman Spencer Ladner will battle for the starting position during spring practice. Smith is known more for his blocking. Ladner is a former four-star prospect.
THE IMPACT: 2 stars.
THE BUZZ: Coach Jeff Tedford makes good use of his tight end in the passing game, and Morrah could have greatly improved his draft stock by returning for his senior season. His TD stats (he had eight) were a bit inflated this season because Cal's wide receivers were so ordinary.

WHO: RB Donald Brown. Andre Dixon, who shared time with Brown in 2007 but basically fell off the map in '08, and sophomore-to-be Jordan Todman will vie for the starting job. Dixon was a second-team All-Big East selection in 2007, when he ran for 828 yards and three touchdowns. Todman has good speed and is more of a slasher than Brown or Dixon.
THE IMPACT: 5 stars
THE BUZZ: Brown led the nation in rushing and basically was the Huskies' offense in 2008. It's hard to see the potential replacements making the same type of impact.

WHO: WR Percy Harvin. Harvin's departure opens the door for sophomore-to-be Deonte Thompson, a speedster who had 18 receptions this season. Florida also loses starting WR Louis Murphy, so ample minutes will be available. This will be an important spring for redshirt freshmen Frankie Hammond Jr., T.J. Lawrence and Omarius Hines; at least two need to show they can be counted on. Expect at least one true freshman Andre Debose? to get on the field in the fall.
THE IMPACT: 5 stars
THE BUZZ: The Gators have a number of receivers on the roster. But Harvin was the nation's most dangerous player. While Florida will get solid production from its receivers, none can match Harvin's explosiveness.

WHO: DE Everette Brown. FSU is losing two defensive ends, which leaves them with just two ends Kevin McNeil and Markus White who have any real experience. Redshirt freshmen Everett Dawkins and Toshmon Stevens, sophomore Jamar Jackson and true freshman Brandon Jenkins who already has enrolled also will be in the spotlight during spring practice.
THE IMPACT: 5 stars.
THE BUZZ: Brown had 13.5 sacks this past season; the returning ends had six.

WHO: CB Asher Allen. Sophomore-to-be Brandon Boykin and redshirt freshman Sanders Commings look like the main candidates to replace Allen and play opposite Prince Miller. Bryan Evans moved from corner to safety midway through the '08 season, and he seems likely to stay at safety. The Bulldogs have a commitment from five-star cornerback Branden Smith, and they likely will try to sign at least three corners. Expect two to play this fall.
THE IMPACT: 4 stars.
THE BUZZ: Nothing against Allen, but he is the least-talented of the three Bulldogs going pro. He also might be the toughest to replace adequately this fall.

WHO: RB Knowshon Moreno. Sophomores-to-be Caleb King and Richard Samuel will battle for the starting spot. King is a former four-star recruit, Samuel a five-star prospect. Redshirt freshmen Dontavius Jackson and Carlton Thomas also will be in the mix, but it would be a shocker if King and Samuel don't come out of spring as the starter and the backup, in some order. The Bulldogs also have a commitment from touted Washaun Ealey, who is set to arrive in the summer.
THE IMPACT: 3 stars
THE BUZZ: As talented as Moreno was, the Bulldogs shouldn't see a drop-off in production at the tailback spot. Indeed, a legit goal for Georgia is more rushing yards in '09 than in '08. One big plus is that the offensive line should be better.

WHO: QB Matthew Stafford. Fifth-year senior Joe Cox will go into spring practice as the No. 1 quarterback; he played in three games this past season. Sophomore-to-be Logan Gray will battle touted true freshmen Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger both of whom already have enrolled for the No. 2 job.
THE IMPACT: 4 stars.
THE BUZZ: For all his physical gifts, Stafford never impressed as much as expected. But the inexperience factor at the position is a bit worrisome.

WHO: CB Vontae Davis. Sophomore-to-be Tavon Wilson like Davis, originally from the Washington, D.C., area seems likely to head into spring ball as the starter opposite Dere Hicks. Wilson has good size (6-0, 191) and can run. Antonio Gully is another who could vie for the job.
THE IMPACT: 4 stars.
THE BUZZ: Davis played better in 2007 than he did in '08. Still, his type of talent is hard to replace.

WHO: WR Andrew Means. The Hoosiers have a severe lack of playmakers, and they need a receiver or two or three to step to the fore during spring drills. Ray Fisher and Terrance Turner seem set as starters. Sophomores-to-be Damarlo Belcher and Tandon Doss and redshirt freshmen Tyler Adetona and Charles Love III seem to be the most likely candidates to vie for the other starting spot. And expect at least one true freshman to play this fall.
THE IMPACT: 3 stars
THE BUZZ: Means is a far better baseball prospect than football prospect (he will be playing pro baseball this summer). Still, he was Indiana's second-leading receiver. Considering the state of the Hoosiers' offense, he will be missed.

WHO: RB Shonn Greene. Jewel Hampton, who ran for 463 yards and seven touchdowns as Greene's backup, heads into spring practice as the starter. He was an unheralded member of the 2008 recruiting class; classmate Jeff Brinson, who redshirted this season, is the other guy coaches are eager to see in the spring. Iowa expects to sign at least two running backs in the 2009 recruiting class, and one four-star prospect Brandon Wegher? likely will see time in the fall.
THE IMPACT: 4 stars.
THE BUZZ: Greene emerged from nowhere and had a monster 2008 season. But while it's unlikely the Hawkeyes will get the production Greene provided (1,850 yards), the potential exists for the team as a whole to run for as many yards in '09 as it did in '08.

WHO: QB Josh Freeman. Carson Coffman, the brother of former Missouri TE Chase Coffman, was the backup last season and should go into spring practice atop the depth chart. Collin Klein also could be in the mix. New coach Bill Snyder was known for his athletic quarterbacks in his first go-round at K-State, and it'll be interesting to see how the holdover quarterbacks fit his offense.
THE IMPACT: 5 stars.
THE BUZZ: Freeman has a ton of physical tools and his production isn't going to be matched by any of the holdovers on the roster.

WHO: DT Ricky Jean-Francois. The Tigers are deep along the defensive line. Because of injuries, LSU has petitioned for a sixth season of eligibility for Charles Alexander. If he's not back, Drake Nevis and Al Woods look as if they'll be the starters heading into spring ball, and Kentravis Aubrey, Dennis Johnson, Lavar Edwards and Cordian Hagans will get opportunities, too. Junior college transfer Akiem Hicks and commitment Chris Davenport also could make an impact.
THE IMPACT: 3 stars.
THE BUZZ: Jean-Francois was talented but didn't always show it. LSU has enough talent waiting in the wings that he won't be missed.

WHO: WR Darrius Heyward-Bey. The Terps lose both starting receivers, but the passing game has been such that it might not matter. Simply put, Maryland has to get better throwing the ball before its receivers can truly make an impact. Look for Ronnie Tyler and Torrey Smith to head into spring ball as the starting wide receivers, with Emani Lee-Odai, Adrian Cannon and Tony Logan looking to do their best to impress. Redshirt freshmen Kerry Boykins and Kevin Dorsey will get a chance in the spring as well. Senior-to-be LaQuan Williams will miss spring practice with an injury.
THE IMPACT: 3 stars.
THE BUZZ: Heyward-Bey is a big-time talent, but can you truly miss a guy who was underutilized?

WHO: TE Carson Butler. Tight end is not a priority in the spread offense. Kevin Koger did a nice job as a true freshman this past season and should again see the bulk of the action for the Wolverines.
THE IMPACT: 1 star
THE BUZZ: Butler, who had off-field issues with the prior coaching regime, made two catches this past season.

WHO: WR Jeremy Maclin. Jared Perry, who had 41 catches this season, likely will take Maclin's place as the Tigers' go-to receiver. Danario Alexander, Wes Kemp and Jerrell Jackson are holdovers who need good spring practices, and you can expect at least one true freshman to play in the fall.
THE IMPACT: 5 stars
THE BUZZ: Maclin was a game-changer; those kinds of guys are basically irreplaceable.

WHO: WR Hakeem Nicks. His departure means UNC will lose its three most productive wide receivers from this season's team. Junior-to-be Greg Little, who spent part of his freshman season at running back, looks like a good bet to nail down one of the starting spots. The coaches are looking for a big spring from former five-star recruit Dwight Jones, who redshirted as a freshman this past season. Other holdovers who will get a chance in the spring include Rashad Mason, Anthony Parker-Boyd, Todd Harrelson and Kenton Thornton. Four-star recruit Joshua Adams already is enrolled and will go through spring ball, and four-star recruit Jheranie Boyd one of the cornerstones of this recruiting class is committed but won't enroll until the summer.
THE IMPACT: 4 stars.
THE BUZZ: Nicks will be missed, no doubt. But the Heels have some talent at wide receiver albeit untested talent.

WHO: TE Richard Quinn. Zack Pianalto and Christian Wilson seem likely to vie for the starting job during spring drills. Both have receiving skills that could help open up the offense. Ed Barham's blocking skills make him a sleeper candidate.
THE IMPACT: 3 stars
THE BUZZ: Quinn was a big-time blocker who made only 12 career catches.

WHO: WR Brian Hartline. The Buckeyes lose both their starting receivers, but they still look to be in OK shape at the position. DeVier Posey, Dane Sanzenbacher, Ray Small, Jake Stoneburner and Lamaar Thomas are the holdovers who get to make their cases this spring. The Buckeyes have commitments from three four-star receivers, the best of whom might be Duron Carter, whose dad, Cris, was a star for Ohio State and in the NFL.
THE IMPACT: 2 stars.
THE BUZZ: Hartline was a dependable No. 2 guy, nothing more. Then again, it was hard for a Buckeyes wide receiver to make an impact this past season because of Ohio State's lackluster passing attack.

WHO: CB Donald Washington. His departure was somewhat of a surprise and leaves the Buckeyes searching for two new starters. Chimdi Chekwa is a given at one spot. Vying for the other job likely will be Devon Torrence, Andre Amos and Travis Howard. Expect five-star freshman Corey Brown to get a long look when he arrives in the summer. The Buckeyes also have commitments from three four-star corners: C.J. Barnett, Dominic Clarke and Justin Green. Expect at least two freshman corners to see time this fall.
THE IMPACT: 4 stars
THE BUZZ: Though Washington wasn't a star, he was a solid player. Chances are that in two seasons, at least two of the incoming freshmen will be playing at a higher level than Washington ever did. The problem, though, is what happens this season.

WHO: RB Chris Wells. Dan Herron will head into spring as the starter. Junior-to-be Brandon Saine has the ability to make an impact, but he has been injury-prone and it's tough to count on the guy. Ohio State likely will sign at least three running backs, the most touted of whom is Jamaal Berry; he will play in the fall if healthy.
THE IMPACT: 5 stars
THE BUZZ: Injuries hampered Wells in '08, but he would've been a dynamic complement to QB Terrelle Pryor in '09.

WHO: DEs Maurice Evans and Aaron Maybin. Both starting end spots are open, and oft-injured senior-to-be Jerome Hayes and sophomores-to-be Jack Crawford, Kevion Latham and Eric Latimore look like the quartet that will get most of the reps in spring ball. Crawford, who was born in London and didn't move to the U.S. until he was in high school, has played just three seasons of football. The incoming defensive line recruits haven't garnered much notice.
THE IMPACT: 5 stars
THE BUZZ: Evans had a great 2007 season; Maybin was great in '08. They could have been a dynamic duo in '09. Instead, the Nittany Lions basically are starting over at end.

WHO: RB LeSean McCoy. Pitt also is losing McCoy's backup, LaRod Stephens-Howling, who was a senior. Redshirt freshman Chris Burns and junior-to-be Kevin Collier, both of whom are former four-star recruits, and sophomore-to-be Shariff Harris are the holdovers who will vie for the starting job in the spring. The Panthers also have true freshman Dion Lewis, who is 5-7, enrolled and ready to go through spring ball. Four other running backs have committed and will get a shot once they're on campus.
THE IMPACT: 5 stars
THE BUZZ: If you watched Pitt at all this past season, you realized that McCoy was one of the best backs in the nation and the focal point of the offense.

WHO: TE James Casey. Senior-to-be Taylor Wardlow will get first dibs at the starting job, but there's no way he can do all the things Rice asked Casey to do. Instead, Wardlow is more of a traditional tight end/H-back.
THE IMPACT: 5 stars
THE BUZZ: Casey's versatility means he's basically irreplaceable for the Owls. He caught 111 passes in '08, and besides tight end, he also played fullback, H-back and even quarterback. Suffice it to say there is no one on Rice's roster who can do all that as well as Casey.

WHO: WR Kenny Britt. The Scarlet Knights lose both starting wide receivers, and seniors-to-be Tim Brown and Dennis Campbell likely get first dibs on the jobs in spring ball. A lot of younger players will get a chance to step up as well, among them Marcus Cooper, Keith Stroud and Tim Wright. Rutgers likely will sign at least three wide receivers in this recruiting class, and expect to see at least one on the field in the fall.
THE IMPACT: 4 stars
THE BUZZ: Britt was one of the nation's best receivers; he also had great size (6-4, 205). While there is no shortage of receiver talent on the roster, no one is as good as Britt.

WHO: SS Emanuel Cook and CB Captain Munnerlyn. Their decisions mean the Gamecocks' secondary is a mess. Coordinator Ellis Johnson is partial to a 4-2-5 attack, with three safeties, but he needs three new starters in the secondary. Senior-to-be Darian Stewart and junior-to-be Dion LeCorn will have a chance to win starting jobs at two of the safety positions in the spring. Highly touted incoming freshman Stephon Gilmore already is enrolled, and he'll be in the mix at safety, too, as will holdover Antonio Allen. Munnerlyn's cornerback spot may be tougher to fill because the Gamecocks are losing their top three corners. Addison Williams, C.C. Whitlock, Jay Spearman and Jamire Williams appear to be the leading candidates. Akeem Auguste, who played nickelback and free safety this past season, is a wild card; he could be a starter at corner if the coaches think his coverage skills are good enough. In addition, expect two or three freshmen who enroll this summer to play at corner and/or safety.
THE IMPACT: 4 stars.
THE BUZZ: While Cook and Munnerlyn were talented, both lacked consistency and a case can be made that both underachieved in 2008.

WHO: TE Jared Cook. Senior-to-be Weslye Saunders will get first dibs at the starting job. He is a big target, but he's not as fast as Cook; he also has had consistency issues. If he puts it all together in '09, he could be a first-round pick. Redshirt freshman Mike Triglia is the only other scholarship tight end.
THE IMPACT: 4 stars
THE BUZZ: Cook was an underutilized weapon for the Gamecocks. While Saunders doesn't have Cook's ability to get down the seam, he still could become a better all-around tight end.

WHO: LB Gerald McRath. The Golden Eagles also lost backup middle linebacker Jerome Lyons, so this could become a dicey position. Junior college transfer Hendrick Leverette already is on campus and will go through spring ball. Holdovers Troy Brown, Ronnie Thornton and Korey Williams also could get a shot at the job.
THE IMPACT: 4 stars
THE BUZZ: McRath was the team's best defensive player and one of the best defenders in Conference USA.

WHO: RB Mike Goodson. Sophomores-to-be Cyrus Gray and Bradley Stephens and senior-to-be Keondra Smith will be under the microscope during spring drills. Gray is expected to win the job. The Aggies have a commitment from touted prospect Christine Michael, and if he's as good as expected, he will play a lot in the fall. The potential exists for a much more potent rushing attack this fall.
THE IMPACT: 3 stars.
THE BUZZ: Goodson didn't seem to mesh with new coach Mike Sherman. Goodson has talent, though.

WHO: WR Michael Crabtree. Here's a surprise: Tech has no shortage of receivers ready to step in and take Crabtree's spot. Detron Lewis likely becomes the go-to receiver, and players such as Tramain Swindall, Lyle Leong, Edward Britton and Adam James will be looking to nail down starting jobs in Tech's pass-happy attack. Four-star freshman Eric Ward already is enrolled and is expected to make an impact this fall. Tech also has commitments from at least three players and as many as five who will play wide receiver, and one or two likely will play next season.
THE IMPACT: 4 stars.
THE BUZZ: On the one hand, Crabtree was ultra-productive and may have been the most physically gifted receiver in Tech history. On the other, Tech usually plugs in guys at wide receiver and they routinely haul in 80-plus catches. The Red Raiders' style of offense will lessen the blow of Crabtree's departure.

WHO: DE Brandon Williams. The Red Raiders need to replace both starting ends, and it seems likely seniors-to-be McKinner Dixon, Daniel Howard and Brandon Sesay will be the leading contenders for the jobs; all three were junior college transfers in the 2008 signing class. Seniors Sandy Riley and Brandon Sharpe and redshirt freshman Ryan Haliburton also will be in the hunt.
THE IMPACT: 4 stars.
THE BUZZ: Williams had a big season as a pass rusher.

WHO: QB Mark Sanchez. There will be four quarterbacks getting reps in spring ball, but two Aaron Corp and Mitch Mustain are considered the most legitimate contenders for the job. Highly touted true freshman Matt Barkley already has enrolled, and senior-to-be Garrett Green also is around. Corp is more mobile than Mustain, and that may be his trump card.
THE IMPACT: 4 stars
THE BUZZ: Sanchez would've been one of the nation's top five quarterbacks next season, and it's hard to imagine the Trojans getting that level of play from his replacement. But the Trojans aren't shy on potential replacements, and each is talented.

WHO: DE Paul Kruger. Derrick Shelby, a 245-pounder who started at defensive tackle in the second half of the season, is an end by trade and could get first crack at Kruger's vacant spot. Holdovers Christian Cox and Junior Tui'one, who saw scant playing time in 2008, also could be in the mix. The Utes have a commitment from highly touted junior college end James Aiono, but he doesn't arrive on campus until the summer.
THE IMPACT: 5 stars
THE BUZZ: Kruger would've been a preseason All-Mountain West selection, and his pass-rush skills will be missed. It will be interesting to see what Utes coaches do with Shelby.

WHO: CB Sean Smith. Smith's departure means the Utes need two new starting cornerbacks. Utah has two junior college cornerbacks already on campus in Kamaron Yancy and Maxwell Lacy; in addition, they have a commitment from another JC cornerback in Conroy Black. Senior-to-be R.J. Stanford, who was the Utes' nickelback this past season, likely will head into spring as a starter at one spot. The other holdovers who will be looking to impress are Brandon Burton, Justin Jones and Damilyn Tanner.
THE IMPACT: 5 stars.
THE BUZZ: Smith was a relative unknown to most, but he would've been one of the nation's best cornerbacks in 2009. The Utes likely will rely on at least two JC transfers this fall as either starters or key reserves.

WHO: CB D.J. Moore. Look for two players to vie to replace Moore during spring ball junior-to-be Alan Strong and sophomore-to-be Casey Hayward, who came on for Moore when he was injured in the Music City Bowl.
THE IMPACT: 5 stars.
THE BUZZ: Moore was Vanderbilt's most talented player. He made big plays for a team that lacks playmakers.

WHO: WR Kevin Ogletree. Virginia had two receivers it could count on this past season Ogletree and senior TE John Phillips. The leading returning wide receiver now is Jared Green, who had 12 catches this season. (Green's dad is NFL Hall of Fame CB Darrell Green.) Holdovers Kris Burd, Dontrelle Inman and Staton Jobe will be under the microscope in spring ball. The Cavaliers have four commitments from prospects who can play wide receiver, and one or two need to provide immediate help.
THE IMPACT: 5 stars.
THE BUZZ: Ogletree's departure hurts. A lot. He wasn't an All-America type, but he would've been the Cavs' go-to guy next season. As it turns out, the candidates to replace him are unproven.

WHO: G Greg Isdaner. WVU has to replace four starting linemen, including both guards. The Mountaineers have a few players who can play more than one position on the line, and you figure that during spring ball Josh Jenkins, Don Barclay, Eric Jobe and Chad Snodgrass - among others - will get opportunities to win the starting jobs at guard.
THE IMPACT: 3 stars
THE BUZZ: Isdaner was a solid player, but the biggest impact comes from WVU having to replace four line starters, not three.

WHO: RB P.J. Hill. John Clay and Zach Brown will vie for the starting job, and depth will be fine behind that duo. Montee Ball, who has committed to the Badgers, also could see time as a true freshman.
THE IMPACT: 3 stars
THE BUZZ: If there is one spot where the Badgers could afford a guy to leave early, it's running back. Hill was a solid between-the-tackles guy, but he is replaceable.

Mike Huguenin is the college sports editor for Rivals.com. He can be reached at mhuguenin@rivals.com.



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