CNN Time Free Email US Sports Baseball Pro Football College Football 1999 NBA Playoffs College Basketball Hockey Golf Plus Tennis Soccer Motorsports Womens More Inside Game Scoreboards World
EVENTS
MLB Playoffs
Rugby World Cup
Century's Best
Swimsuit '99

CENTERS
 Fantasy Central
 Inside Game
 Multimedia Central
 Statitudes
 Your Turn
 Teams
 Cities

AD PARTNERS

  Power of Caring
  presented by CIGNA


SPORTS ILLUSTRATED
 This Week's Issue
 Previous Issues
 Special Features
 Life of Reilly
 Frank Deford
 Subscriber Services
 SI for Women

FEATURES
 Trivia Blitz
 Free Email

TELEVISION
 CNN/SI - TV
 Turner Sports

SHOPPING
 CNN/SI Travel
 Golf Pro Shop
 MLB Gear Store
 NFL Gear Store

SI FOR KIDS
 Sports Parents
 Games
 Buzz World
 Shorter Reporter

SITE RESOURCES
 About Us
 myCNN
 
football Football Score and Recaps Schedules Standings Statistics Teams Matchups Players Arena CFL NFL Europe

Young Blood

Click here for more on this story

Posted: Tuesday November 03, 1998 05:17 PM

By Peter King

Sports Illustrated Here are 10 players—none of whom is named Peyton or Ryan—who have risen to prominence in the first half of the season.

1. Ty Law, Patriots cornerback Tied for the league lead in interceptions, with five, he talks a good game, then goes out and backs it up. Early in 1995, his rookie season, Law began badgering then coach Bill Parcells, saying, "Let me take the other team's receiver out of the game. Stick me on him, Coach." Parcells never did use him that way regularly, but successor Pete Carroll has, and Law, playing a clinging and physical corner, hasn't been beaten on a touchdown pass in eight games this year. "I'm long overdue for the Pro Bowl," says the 24-year-old. Who could argue?

2. Randy Moss, Vikings wideout A new emphasis on the deep passing game is the biggest reason that Minnesota is one game up on Green Bay in the NFC Central, and Moss is right in the middle of it. He is averaging 19.1 yards per catch, has scored six touchdowns and is on pace to become the first rookie to rack up 1,200 receiving yards and 12 touchdown catches in a season.

3. Vonnie Holliday, Packers defensive end Green Bay traded up 10 spots in the '98 draft, to 19th, for the opportunity to select this 6'5", 300-pound North Carolina product. Now we know why. With six sacks and 37 tackles in the first half of the season, Holliday has already developed into a great bookend opposite Reggie White.

4. Sam Madison, Dolphins cornerback "A shut-'em-down corner," Miami coach Jimmy Johnson says of the 1997 second-round draft pick from Louisville. Madison and rookie reserve Patrick Surtain could be the league's best cornerback tandem by 2000.

5. Charlie Batch, Lions quarterback What makes this rookie such a surprise is not just his precocious play (57.5% completion rate) at a time when Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf have struggled mightily. It's also his commanding presence in the huddle.

6. Tony Parrish, Bears free safety Rookie second-round pick has been a starter and punishing hitter from Day One.

7. Charles Woodson, Raiders cornerback The league's best rookie corner since Deion entered the league in '89.

8. Jermaine Lewis, Ravens wideout-return man This third-year player is an explosion waiting to happen on every kick or catch.

9. Takeo Spikes, Bengals linebacker Rookie reminds foes of a young Mike Singletary.

10. Brad Maynard, Giants punter Second-year player has hang time to die for and is a great coffin-corner kicker.

Issue date: Nov. 9, 1998  

Related information
Stories
Midseason All-Pros Set position
Five Pivotal Upcoming Games
The Crystal Ball: Projecting the Postseason
Inside the NFL
This Week's Issue of Sports Illustrated
Multimedia
Click here for the latest audio and video
Search our siteWatch CNN/SI 24 hours a day

Sports Illustrated and CNN have combined to form a 24 hour sports news and information channel. To receive CNN/SI at your home call 1-888-53-CNNSI.



To the top

Copyright © 1999 CNN/SI. A Time Warner Company.
All Rights Reserved.

Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.