Quarterbacks need to pick up the system and adjust to the speed of the game. Wide receivers need to learn their routes, deal with physical defensive backs and may be asked to block for the first time in their careers. Running backs need to gain yards. Running Backs Sure a premium is placed on a back’s ability to pick up blitzes as well as nab swing passes, however no coach is going to rest a talented running back who can move chains with regularity. The 2008 campaign appears to be loaded with running backs ready to make a fantasy impact, and as summer winds down, we take a closer look at a few who are expected to play right now. Darrell Scott and others, Colorado Darrell Scott has done nothing to make us think he won’t see the field in 2008. However we’re a bit concerned that his production may be limited, and this is due to fellow freshman backs Ray Polk and Rodney Stewart. Buff’s running back coach Darian Hagan has some talent on his hands. Scott is the prize of the running back group, and he’s a future star. He combines the speed and power that can break games open early and shorten games by moving the sticks at the end. Polk has been described as having more “slasher” qualities, and Stewart has more than enough speed to burn. So where does this leave us? Not to entirely overlook Demetrius Sumler, but Darrell Scott will emerge as the number one guy. He’s just too good. However if these other two are as good as advertised, don’t expect all three to hang around Boulder. Everyone is saying the right things, but when three backs as talented as these cats sign on the line, each expects carries, and in a Dan Hawkins’ offense, there simply aren’t enough to go around. Terence Kerns, West Virginia Out of concern for Noel Devine’s owners, we just can’t sit idly by and say nothing. Summer reports have been very glowing regarding young Terence Kerns, and we may have a serious touchdown vulture on our hands. Kerns is built to withstand short yardage fronts on 3rd and goal, and in hopes of saving the diminutive and elusive one, this new cat will get his share of touchdowns. How’s 8-10 on the season sound? Mark Ingram, Alabama Quite a few big boys were after Mark Ingram, and when he signed with Nick Saban and Alabama one astute CFFInsider.com scribe felt the freshman from Flint would see immediate playing time. This summer has done nothing but verify this prediction. Mark Ingram is seeing first-team reps with the Tide, and we still feel he’ll be ready to compete (and possibly grab) the starting job by mid-season. Certainly Terry Grant and Glen Coffee bring a good deal more experience, however Ingram has what appears the total package, and this includes the ability to catch the football. Saban has spoke of his desire to get the backs more involved in the passing game. No problem for Ingram. As a coach who values the ability to get the tough yards more than the ability to bust the big one, the coach has a talented running back who’ll make an immediate impact in the SEC. Michael Shaw, Michigan Here’s one of my sleeper specials. Michael Shaw is fast like fellow incoming freshie Sam McGuffie, and unlike McGuffie, Shaw can put his shoulder down and run people over. There’s some debate as to whether or not Shaw will see more time in the backfield or in the slot, however there’s no debating that Shaw will see the field on August 30th. De’Anthony Curtis, Arkansas Lost amidst the discussion of new systems being installed at Michigan and Georgia Tech has been the move made by Bobby Petrino. While Michael Smith will be the starter at tailback, there is a young runner who may team with Ryan Mallett in 2009 to provide the building blocks to an impressive offense. Of course, while Mallett sits out 2008, freshman De’Anthony Curtis will make an immediate impact on the field. Before a minor knee injury suffered in camp Curtis was shooting up our keeper draft board. While some missed time hurts his immediate prospects, it is certain that the freshman will see significant carries this season. As Arkansas trudges through the SEC gauntlet Petrino will certainly get his three backs (Brandon Barnett being the third) some carries, and Curtis will make his presence felt. Chris Polk, Washington Assumed starter Brandon Johnson has had a hard time getting on the practice field following off-season knee surgery and a leg injury, and this has opened the door for freshman Chris Polk. While Polk will play, we are concerned about his small frame, as Polk was originally slotted in the…slot. Polk will be a key cog in the offense. But as we’ve mentioned numerous times regarding Jake Locker, the Washington schedule is a nightmare. Polk will have the occasional big game, but the feeling here is those big games will be following three or four games with minimal production. Josh Haden, Boston College Josh Haden will run wild against Kent State in the season opener, and he won’t look back. Having enrolled early, this freshman from Maryland knows the playbook and he’s ready to go. He’s been impressive in summer camp, and he’s going to be quickly featured in an offense looking to replace production lost with Matt Ryan’s departure. Granted the #1 BC jersey, it’s clear expectations are high for this talented freshie. When December rolls around I think this top freshman will have over 1300 yards from scrimmage, and you’ll be kicking yourself if you didn’t nab him when the opportunity presented itself. Others who’ll make an impact this season: Enrique Davis, Ole Miss: Job still belongs to Cordera Eason, but Davis is the back of the future. Besides Nutt is a fan of fresh legs. Keola Antolin, Arizona: If Nic Grigsby keeps doing dumb things then this freshman will be ready to step right in. May want to wait until 2009: Aundre Dean, UCLA: While signs are not pointing towards a redshirt, there’s a little logjam and an offense that will likely struggle in 2008. Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech: Too many ahead of him? Talented, but does a redshirt make sense? Jamie Harper, Clemson: To redshirt or not to redshirt? A great keeper prospect, Harper may not make an impact in 2008, but he will eventualy. Isaiah Pead, Cincinnati: Still like him, just think it might be a year away. Next up, the wide receivers. While the majority mentioned will be guys we’ve discussed over the summer, rest assured there are a few wideouts who’ve come on of late and appear ready to go right now.