Midwest BOOM Football and Acceleration Sports Performance have helped develop over 300 D-1 football players. The opening weekend of college football is less than 3 weeks away. Here are 10 athletes who are poised for big seasons in 2018.
Nick Allegretti (Illinois)
The former U.S. Army All-American heads into his final season for the Illini with 24 career stats. Allegretti was voted a team captain in 2017 a title that he will have once again in 2018. He is a veteran on one of the youngest teams in college football. His versatility allows him to play either guard or center.
Pat Nelson (SMU)
Nelson ended 2017 with 65 tackles at the University of Illinois before deciding to transfer to SMU. He will have two years of eligibility remaining for the Pony’s. Nelson is a hard-hitting safety who should be able to make an immediate impact at his new school this fall.
Clayton Thorson (Northwestern)
Thorson bypassed the NFL to return to Northwestern for his senior season. He is recovering from an ACL sustained in the Wildcats bowl game. If Thorson is able to fully recovery he could have another big season for Pat Fitzgerald and company. Thorson will leave Evanston as one of the most decorated players the Wildcats have ever had. Expect for him to have his name called early in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Julian Love (Notre Dame)
Love has been one of the most talked about players in South Bend since his arrival two years ago. He heads into his junior season as one of the top defensive backs in the entire nation, NFL scouts have taken notice. If Love is able to put together another successful season he could leave the Irish and head for greener pastures.
Mike Panasaiuk (Michigan State)
In order for Michigan State to compete for another Big Ten title they will need Mike Panasiuk to have another successful season. Panasiuk has entrenched himself as one of the top defensive linemen in the conference. For the second consecutive season he will be joined on the Spartans line by his younger brother Jacub.
Mikey Dudek (Illinois)
The former Neuqua Valley standout has one final season to prove he is still the same player in 2014 when he took the Big Ten by storm as a true freshman. Dudek has remained loyal to Illinois from the start and has returned for his senior season. When fully healthy he is one of the most explosive players in the conference. Expect for new offensive coordinator Rod Smith to find multiple ways to get him the ball this season.
Houston Griffith (Notre Dame)
Griffith arrived in South Bend on a mission to see the field early and often. All reports out of spring ball and camp are that No.3 will be on the field when Notre Dame takes on Michigan in week 1. Griffith has found his comfort zone at safety where he excels in open field tackling. Expect for him to be the backbone of the Irish secondary for many years to come.
Tony Adams (Illinois)
Illinois coaches refer to the talented defensive back from St. Louis as “TA.” Adams made Illinois history in 2017 when he was the first true freshman since Vontae Adams to start a season opener at cornerback. Fully recovered from shoulder surgery he will once again find himself fighting for a starting spot in the Illini secondary.
Chris Autman Bell (Minnesota)
Bell will be making his long-awaited college debut this fall. After speaking to multiple sources close to the program it is clear that he will be targeted regularly in 2018. Bell does a great job of tracking the ball and winning 50-50 situations. He should be a household name in Minnesota by the end of this season.
CeeDee Lamb (Oklahoma)
Lamb exploded onto the scene as a true freshman and helped lead the Sooners all the way to the Rose Bowl. This season he will be catching passes from future MLB star Kyler Murray instead of Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield. Lamb has all tools necessary to be a future NFL star once his career at Oklahoma is over. Expect for him to have another big season and take on more a leadership role for the Sooners.
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