Originally posted on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 6/27/12

Eli Harold will look to make an impact in a hurry for Virginia.

Is there another Sammy Watkins out there in the ACC? Another standout, super-versatile freshman ready to take the stage on the FBS level become the talk of college football's town?

If you are looking for an offensive breakout candidate in the ACC, Stefon Diggs up in College Park could possibly fit the bill for the Terrapins. Many may make a case for Mario Edwards at Florida St., and I do believe if we were talking about a freshman for longevity's sake—the one who has the most potential—he would be at or near the the top of the list.

But Maryland is mired in, well, a mess, and Florida State has a massive amount of depth on the defensive side of the ball. We're talking impact, year one.

Who could have the greatest single impact as a freshman? I propose Virginia linebacker Eli Harold.

I remember watching film on Harold and nearly salivating at his versatility, as I am sure his coach did as well. His high school accolades include:

  • ESPNU Top 150 prospect
  • SuperPrep Elite 50 prospect, as well as, SuperPrep All-American and defensive player of the year
  • 247Sports.com All-American
  • Consensus top 50 recruit (247Sports, Rivals, Scout, ESPN)
  • No. 1 player in Virginia
  • No. 5 player nationally at his position
  • Played in the U.S Army All-American Bowl and was selected team captain for the East squad
  • SI.com honorable mention All-American
  • First-team All-Tidewater
  • Beach District Defensive player of the Year and first-team all-district selection at wide receiver and defensive end

A defensive player, yes, but Harold played quarterback, running back and wide receiver, accounting for 1,146 total yards and 20 touchdowns in a wildcat offense (41 receptions or 723 yards receiving).

Reading the book on Harold has to make Mike London quite the happy coach down in Charlottesville:

  • 6-3, 230 pounds
  • Athletic
  • Long wingspan
  • Burst speed and closing speed

Harold has the pure athletic ability to be able to play wide receiver—and you may see him line up on that side of the ball from time to time—but where Eli will, in my opinion, become a star is on the defensive side of the ball, especially in the UVA scheme. His combination of size, speed, wingspan and instincts will make him a force sooner than later against opposing offenses in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Harold chose Virginia over LSU, Florida and Arkansas in order to stay home and play for the Cavaliers. He will be one to watch from the start.

Others to watch:

  • Mario Edwards, DL, FSU
  • Stefon Diggs, WR/ATH, Maryland
  • Tracy Howard, CB, Miami
  • Joel Caleb, ATH, Virginia Tech
  • Eddie Goldman, DL, FSU
  • Randy "Duke" Johnson, RB, Miami
  • Chris Casher, DE, FSU
  • Mario Pender, RB, FSU

[follow]

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Manfred blames MLBPA for no significant rule changes in 2017

Report: Zach Britton has potential oblique injury

The Rock returns to WWE, leaves CM Punk a voicemail after 'Raw'

After outfield collision, Ichiro pranks teammate and claims he’s been cut

Simeon Rice gets vulgar with radio host over HOF debate

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ronda Rousey to be guest star on NBC’s ‘Blindspot’

Lakers replace Jim Buss with Magic Johnson, fire Kupchak

Report: James Harrison, Steelers share mutual interest in 2017 return

Jimmy Garoppolo’s mom keeping him up to speed on his trade rumors

Report: Clippers intent on keeping both Blake Griffin, Chris Paul

Slam dunks and startups: How all-star technology took over the NBA in The Big Easy

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Box Score 2/21: It's trade heartbreak season

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 100 games with two different teams

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker