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Power Rankings (cont.)

Posted: Tuesday April 24, 2007 1:03PM; Updated: Wednesday April 25, 2007 10:14AM
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Click above for teams 11-20

NCAA Football Power Rankings
Rank LW Team
21 -- Key returnees: RB Aaron Brown, DEs Chase Ortiz and Tommy Blake, LB Jason Phillips, S Brian Bonner

Spring star: S Stephen Hodge. One of the most impressive defensive performers of the spring, the junior should see significant action in the fall as part of the Horned Frogs' 4-2-5 scheme.

Spring recap: Not surprisingly, the defense -- which returns nine starters from a unit that ranked second in the country in 2006 -- dominated its offensive counterparts. A new starting QB has not yet emerged between Marcus Jackson and Andy Dalton. The receivers are unproven as well.
22 -- Key returnees: RB Chris Markey, G Shannon Tevaga, DE Bruce Davis, LB Christian Taylor, S Chris Horton

Spring star: DE Tom Blake. A walk-on transfer from UC-Davis, the junior has emerged as a legitimate contender to fill the starting spot vacated by All-America Justin Hickman.

Spring recap: With a staggering 20 returning starters from the squad that stunned USC in last year's regular-season finale, the biggest mystery this spring has involved the quarterback race between incumbents Pat Cowan and Ben Olson. Both have struggled against UCLA's loaded defense.
23 -- Key returnees: RB Yvenson Bernard, WR Sammie Stroughter, LBs Derrick Dargett and Joey LaRocque, K Alexis Serna

Spring star: WR Damola Adeniji. The junior college walk-on had three catches for 76 yards in the Beavers' last scrimmage and could push for playing time behind Stroughter and Anthony Brown.

Spring recap: With Oregon State's spring game coming up Saturday, the Beavers' veteran defense has been dominant, led by the front seven. Sean Canfield holds a slight edge over Lyle Moevao at quarterback. With Bernard sitting out, the Beavers have been thin at running back.
24 -- Key returnees: QB Blake Mitchell, RB Cory Boyd, DE Casper Brinkley, LB Jasper Brinkley, K/P Ryan Succop

Spring stars: DLs Ladi Ajiboye and Travian Robertson. The true-freshman early enrollees stood out all spring, prompting coach Steve Spurrier to call the Gamecocks' D-line their most improved unit.

Spring recap: Mitchell, as has been the case for three years, was inconsistent, though Spurrier blamed much of his problems on an offensive line in "dire straits." Also contributing: A veteran defense (10 returning starters) that's only gotten deeper with an influx of young talent.
25 -- Key returnees: QB Matt Grothe, WR Taurus Johnson, LB Ben Moffit, CBs Mike Jenkins and Trae Williams

Spring star: RB Mike Ford. The former four-star recruit and Alabama signee is now an instant-impact freshman at USF, where he carried eight times for 55 yards and a TD in the spring game.

Spring recap: Offensively, the Bulls, which return Big East rookie of the year Grothe and several receivers, focused on developing a more physical running game, led by newcomers Ford and Aston Samuels. Iowa State transfer Tyrone McKenzieM worked his way into the mix at linebacker.
On the cusp: Wake Forest, Boston College, Hawaii, Texas A&M, Clemson.

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