VA - Spring Top 20 (2013) VERIFIED
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DT Quinton Washington: Washington (6-4, 305) is a big presence in the middle of the line and is coming off a solid junior campaign. He faces a lot of pressure to play well this season because the Wolverines don't have many experienced defensive linemen. He was an elite offensive lineman in high school, finishing as runner-up for South Carolina's "Mr. Football" award in 2008, and was moved to the defensive line during spring practice in 2011. He remains a bit raw as a defensive tackle.
RB Derrick Green: Green (5-11, 220), a true freshman from Richmond, Va., was a consensus top-five national running back recruit and will be given every opportunity to be the Wolverines' featured back. Incumbent starter Fitzgerald Toussaint had a strong 2011 but was inconsistent last season before suffering a broken leg vs. Iowa (he missed spring practice while recuperating). Green has a nice mix of speed and power, and scored 41 touchdowns in his final two high school seasons.
OG Kyle Kalis: Big things are expected from Kalis (6-5, 297), a redshirt freshman who will start at right guard. Kalis had a strong spring and already has drawn praise for his aggressiveness and run-blocking ability. He was a five-star offensive tackle out of high school in the Cleveland area and originally committed to Ohio State but changed his mind after Jim Tressel was fired.
C Jack Miller: He's another first-time starter expected to do good things on the offensive line. Miller (6-4, 291) played in six games as a redshirt freshman last season and nailed down the starting job during the spring. He has good brute strength and athleticism.
ILB Desmond Morgan: Morgan (6-1, 227) is a junior who hasn't redshirted. He started at outside linebacker in each of the past two seasons but was moved to the middle during spring drills -- that position looks to be a better fit for his skill set. He struggled in space and is at his best when he can attack straight ahead.
OLB James Ross: He was considered one of the nation's top 20 or so high school linebackers in the 2012 signing class and immediately began to live up to the hype last fall, when he started twice and made 36 tackles. Ross (6-1, 223) runs well, has a high football IQ, played at a high level during spring practice and is expected to be a key part of a linebacker corps that lacks depth.
OLB Jake Ryan: If he were healthy, Ryan (6-3, 241), a junior, would be much higher on this list. He tore an ACL during spring drills, though, and is expected to be out until at least October. He is an extremely heady player with good pass-rushing skills.
Defensive back Anthony Smith will likely have an opportunity to make an early impact during spring drills in the Penn State secondary and on special teams. A 6-foot, 184-pound defensive back hailing from Randolph, N.J., Smith spent last season at Valley Forge Military Academy. In addition to playing in the defensive backfield, Smith spent time at quarterback and was the long snapper for Valley Forge in 2012. He earned second-team All-West Jersey honors during his final season at Pope John XXIII High School (Sussex County, N.J.) in 2011. Smith is an aggressive player with the size and speed to add depth in the Penn State secondary and special teams unit when spring drills begin in March. Smith is one of five Nittany Lions already enrolled in classes and participating in winter workouts.
Hamlin started the 2018 season with a third-place finish at the 2018 Daytona 500. Despite being winless throughout the regular season, he made the playoffs by staying consistent with seven top-fives and 14 top-10s. Hamlin was eliminated in the Round of 16 after finishing out of the top-10 at Las Vegas, Richmond, and the Charlotte Roval. He wound up 11th in the final point standings, his first time outside the top ten since the year he missed four races due to injury (2013) and winless for the first time in his career, snapping a 12-season streak of winning at least one race dating back to his first full-t