This archived article was written by: KC Smurthwaite
Pull out your pencils boys and girls and take some notes. Smurf Turf is going to look into the sport’s crystal ball. Smurf Turf will tell you who will be making some noise in sports within the next year. These next athletes will be household names by this time next year. Rarely you can get athletes who show spurts of such high potential at a young age, and these athletes have already shown it. Every athlete listed has the ability to change the game, make the big shot, or big hit, these athletes are the NEXT big thing.
1. Stephen Strasburg- Baseball- 6’4” 220- Jr. at San Diego State University- This right handed pitcher will no doubt be the number-one pick in this year’s draft (Washington Nationals please take note). Throws a 100+ MPH fastball, tops out at 103 MPH, nasty curve ball and a 93 MPH slider that breaks a solid 4 inches. Struck out 23 (out of 27) against University of Utah earlier this year. Some scouts are saying if he was in the pros now he could be a No. 4 or No. 5 pitcher on a team. The kid is 21 and definitely will give opposing coaches headaches in the pros for years to come.
Want to see him?- May 14-16th in Ogden (yes I did say Ogden) when SDSU plays the “U.”
2. John Wall- Basketball- 6’4” 184- Sr. at Raleigh Academy (HS)- Wall is already projected as the number-one NBA draft pick in 2010. He has yet to choose his college for his one year requirement to be eligible to enter the NBA draft. Scouts compare him to Dwayne Wade. Extremely quick, and has been called a “freakish athlete;” long arms, strong finisher, hustles and has the drive to be the best. What more could you ask? Find out for yourself- check him out on youtube. So quick, oh so quick he is.
Want to see him?- His college choices are all back east, so try to catch him on ESPN
3. Jacob Bower- College Football- 6’4” 235- Jr- Tulsa University- The “Tim Tebow,” of C-USA sat behind Paul Smith this year, but was the off the bench spark for the record setting Tulsa Offense. Built like a linebacker (Red-shirted at BYU, who tried to make him into a linebacker) has a cannon for an arm and tremendous athleticism (Gatorade High School Basketball Player of the Year for Idaho as a Soph). Oh and I failed to mention he had Big IX and Big Ten offers to play basketball out of H.S. Was used also on trick plays at Tulsa and was even seen taking out linebackers with ease. He now takes the reigns of Tulsa’s high octane offense, and look for BIG numbers. Did I also mention he has a 4.6 forty?
Want to see him?- 2009,2010- The game in 2009 will be against Boise State in Boise. If you don’t want to make the trip Tulsa, come to Provo in 2010. Jacob will be facing his old team in BYU (2010) and his hometown team Boise State (2009). Think he will have motivation? Oh yeah. Plenty.
4. Cetera DeGraffenreid- Women s basketball- Point Guard who signed with North Carolina. She is obviously ridiculously quick (5’5”). The scout’s take is that her only weakness is her shot from the perimeter, but averaged 32.0 PPG as a senior. I don’t think there is too much worry on the situation.
Want to see her? Probably your best chance will be next March on ESPN.
Take it to the bank, put it in stone, whatever works for you, but these are the next big athletes in their respective sports. Now, when you do see them holding up the championship trophy, remember Smurf Turf told you first.