Originally written on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 11/16/14

We’re only one game deep, but it seems like these players are on pace for much-needed rebound seasons. We’ve seen each one of these players show their stud potential over their careers, and luckily for their teams, this was the case in week one. James Franklin (QB, Missouri) Two seasons ago Franklin was a dangerous sophomore. He threw for 2,872 yards and 21 touchdowns while rushing for 981 yards and 15 touchdowns. The next offseason he had surgery and moved into the SEC, which spelled disaster. He only played in nine games total and failed to throw the ball over 300 yards and never rushed for more than 43 yards. He was a different player. Although Mizzou’z opener was against Murray State, it was an unbelievable sign that Franklin was able to dazzle. He went 26 for 38 with 318 yards and three touchdowns through the air, on the ground he took six carries for 44 yards. It was the best he’s looked in a long time. With a solid run-game led by comeback player Henry Josey, and a receiving core led by up-and-comer Dorial Green-Beckham, it looks like Franklin will be great position for a rebound year. Henry Josey (RB, Missouri) Josey was forced to sit and watch a disappointing offense last year after a knee injury that he suffered all the way back in November 2011. That season he averaged 8.1 yards per carry and totaled 1,168 rushing yards with nine touchdowns. Josey rehabbed, recovered, and redshirted from the gruesome knee injury, and nearly two years later he was able to flourish in his first game back. Against Murray State he had 13 rushing attempts for 113 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown run. With comeback seasons from Franklin and Josey the Missouri offense is now in-sync and dangerous. This team will certainly not go 5-7 like they did last year. Keith Price (QB, Washington) With a sophomore season that included 33 passing touchdowns and a record-breaking Alamo Bowl performance, the sky was the limit for Price in 2012. Unfortunately he was labeled a “dud,” as he failed to reach 3,000 passing yards and 20 passing touchdowns. His inconsistency was surprising, but could be partially blamed on a shaky offensive line. In what was supposed to be a tough opener and test for Washington, Price and company breezed right through Boise State. The senior completed 23 of his 31 pass attempts for 324 yards and two touchdowns. He was on-point and collected, something that couldn’t be said last season. This is a great sign for the Huskies, and it’ll be exciting to see what he can do when he gets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins back next week. Sammy Watkins (WR, Clemson) Everybody knew about the freshman sensation in 2011, but his name was somewhat lost last season as he trapped himself in the shadows of Tajh Boyd, DeAndre Hopkins, and Andre Ellington. In 10 games last season Watkins managed to flash his potential against Wake Forest and NC State, but finished with 57 receptions, 708 yards, and just three touchdowns. This weekend he returned to stud-form against Georgia, and took six catches for 127 yards and a touchdown. Although we all expected Watkins to rebound, it’s easier said than done. It appears that Watkins will earn the title as the ACC’s most talented receiver, as it should be. Fitzgerald Toussaint (RB, Michigan) Although his rushing contributions were underappreciated with the stardom of Denard Robinson, in 2011 Toussaint helped the Wolverines with 1,041 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground. Last season he missed three games and only totaled 514 yards and five touchdowns. Toussaint came into 2013 completely healthy and ready to battle for the number one running back spot. He started his rebound season with 57 yards and two touchdowns against Central Michigan. We can expect the talented freshman Derrick Green to steal some carries, but even if Toussaint can be a goal line threat it will help impact this Michigan offense more than you think. It is not out of the question for  Toussaint to set a career high in touchdowns this season while flirting with 1,000 yards once again. Tommy Rees (QB, Notre Dame) Rees has been at the top of the world along with the pit. He displayed potential as he took over as a freshman in 2010, but by the end of his sophomore season he made people forget about it. He’s proven that he can be productive with 10 multi-touchdown games, but his 22 career interceptions has kept him from success. With Everrett Golson temporarily out of the picture for the season, Rees has been forced to become the starter. Although it’s just the first game, it seems that Rees has significantly matured. Against Temple he went 16 for 23 with 343 passing yards and three touchdowns. If this is any indication for what’s to come, the Fighting Irish will find themselves in the top ten. However, out of everybody on this list, Rees is the most unpredictable. -Schotz


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