Who are 1st half unsung players

I have two.

On defense, Jared Collins is playing lights out. I don’t know if this is Paul Rhodes influence or just being a senior.

On offense, Hayden Johnson / Austin Cantrell. I certainly think the OL played better this week but if you go look at the big runs this week these guys had huge blocks.

Offensively, Brian Wallace is starting to look like the player I thought he might. Austin Allen is not unsung, so he doesn’t fit in this category. But he’s terrific and I like writing about him. Hayden Johnson and Austin Cantrell are getting better every week. I think Hjalte Froholdt is playing better than some think. We see his bad plays, but he’s having some good plays, too. He just has to get his consistency level up a bit.

Defensively, I think Ryan Pulley is better than anyone thought. I don’t think Jared Collins playing well is a surprise. He was a good player last year. The guy I see make plays almost every time he’s on the field is Brandon Lewis. He might be the surprise to me. He was always thought to be talented, but he’s always had that knee problem.

Although the overall unit still struggles at times, Holister has excelled in kick coverage. He has made a lot of tackles. We just need more like him. Totally agree that those two freshmen, Johnson and Cantrell, are becoming very good blockers. When you add Agim, Whaley, Scoota, Capps, etc. we have some very good freshmen playing significant roles.

Toby Baker- I forgot how important it was to “flip the field” with a good punt.

I am not sure he’s unsung, but Pulley is looking more and more like the first elite level CB we have had in…well maybe ever. Teams are starting to avoid him, and for good reason.

Cantrell is growing nicely into the H-Back role. Wallace is starting to show glimpses of being the answer at that tackle spot.

Austin Cantrell and Brian Wallace on offense. Jared Collins on defense.

I would say Frank Ragnow. He plays a pretty thankless position, but he has played it well. You don’t notice he made a position change. He has made it look pretty effortless, when you know that isn’t the case. There haven’t been any center-quarterback exchange problems and he seems to grade out well. The coaches thought he played well against Alabama despite only practicing once during the week. He was versatile enough to move to guard for one game, then back to center the next week.

Matt,

Frank is a great player but wasn’t the fumble resulting in a 24 yard loss a quarterback/center exchange problem?

Yeah, that’s a blunder on my part; totally forgot that play. I haven’t seen the replay, so I’m not sure what happened there. Still, that’s the only exchange problem I can recall this year; not bad for the first seven starts at the position.