Wednesday, Sep 26, 2018
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5 UT players primed for breakout 2018 season

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The University of Toledo football team has plenty of talent returning from its 2017 Mid-American Conference championship squad.

Almost every position group has key contributors coming back from last season.

But who are the younger players looking to step up or more experienced players that could step into larger roles? Here are the top five breakout players for the Rockets:

1) Bryce Mitchell, sophomore wide receiver: With three returning receivers who have at least 1,000 career receiving yards — Cody Thompson, Jon’Vea Johnson, and Diontae Johnson — Toledo is loaded at the position. But Mitchell, a former Bowsher High School star, has the size, strength, and athleticism that can force its way onto the field this season. He was one of the top performers in the spring game and is looking to be a solid contributor.

2) Tycen Anderson, sophomore defensive back: Anderson played in 14 games in his true freshman season as a backup defensive back. The St. John’s Jesuit alum made 30 tackles, recorded four pass breakups, and had an interception in the Rockets’ loss at Ohio. The three-star recruit is looking to take the next step in his development this season.

RELATED: Mitchell, Anderson talk in the spring about playing for hometown college

3) Justin Clark, sophomore cornerback: Clark was a backup cornerback during his redshirt freshman season last year. He was a reliable defender with 32 tackles and two interceptions. The West Bloomfield High School product is the front-runner to start at cornerback opposite senior Ka’dar Hollman.

4) Bryce Harris, junior offensive lineman: Harris played all 14 games in his sophomore season, making six starts at right guard, four at center, and one at left guard. While he showed off his versatility last season, the Akron Firestone grad should settle in as the starting center and serve as one of the leaders of the offensive line this year.

5) Jordan Fisher, junior linebacker: Fisher was the starting tight end last season, but switched over to linebacker during spring practice. He has impressed coaches with his defensive skills and should be able to carve out a role on Toledo’s defense. He was an all-state defender at Tuscarora High School in Leesburg, Va,, so the skill set is there.

Contact Brian Buckey at bbuckey@theblade.com419-724-6110, or on Twitter @BrianBuckey.

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