Question: Did any freshmen assume key roles this month?
Discussion: Akron keeps bringing in these outstanding recruiting classes. And usually the team sees an impact from one or two true freshmen throughout the season. Many players showed off their talent. Jalil Carter, for example, will be an outstanding cornerback. But it would be hard to justify wasting his redshirt on a position with considerable depth. Then you have players who competed well without necessarily blowing anyone away, but will probably see time this season out of a starvation for warm bodies at their positions. Examples include defensive linemen Shane Shead, Dan Marcoux and Shawn Lemon.
But if you're looking for the next DH, the best chance is Almondo Sewell. In fact, he had been practicing with the team for only two weeks before J.D. Brookhart handed him the starting defensive end job. Given the nature of his position -- a defensive lineman in the 3-3-5 scheme -- you might not hear Sewell's name a lot, but that won't mean he's not making an impact. If you watch closely, Sewell will show his value if the offensive line is devoting two or more blockers to stopping his penetration.
As I wrote yesterday, more freshman could emerge as the season progresses. If both quarterbacks fail, Brookhart won't hesitate to call upon Matt Rodgers. Once Gary Pride's back heals, he could become an option at punt or kicker returner.
Answer: One for sure. Perhaps more to come.