How much can you really take out of a spring game performance?
Several Power 5 schools played their spring game on Saturday, and a few breakout candidates emerged that might be able to fill the shoes of star players from 2016. A few quarterbacks also played well enough to make their case for the starting job at a pair of SEC contenders.
Here's a look at five players who increased their stock with strong spring games. Watch out for them heading into 2017.
Jarrett Stidham, QB, Auburn
You're going to be hearing about Stidham all summer now after he completed 16 of 20 passes for 267 yards in Auburn's spring game.AL.com reportsStidham completed four passes of 30 yards or more and made a strong push for the starting job for the Tigers. Stidham also rushed for 17 yards. Coach
Gus Malzahn and new offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey might have something special here. We'll see if that momentum continues in fall camp.
Ray-Ray McCloud, WR, Clemson
Clemson's quarterback battle will drag into fall camp with Kelly Bryant the favorite after an uneven spring game, but McCloud is one of the returning playmakers who appears ready to have that breakout season for whoever is under center. McCloud had 110 all-purposeyards in Clemson's spring game and made contributions rushing, receiving and in the return game.
MORE: Clemson preview
Jeff Mead, WR, Oklahoma
Mead had just 10 catches for 150 yards and three TDs last season, but the 6-5, 200-pound receiver needed just two catches for 98 yards to make an impression in Oklahoma's spring game. Mead showed that separation with this TD catch from Kyler Murray.
The Sooners need a go-to receiver after the departures of Heisman Trophy finalist Dede Westbrook. Mead is an interesting candidate.
MORE: Oklahoma preview
Cam Akers, RB, Florida State
The first-star early enrollee lived up to expectations in his spring game debut. He totaled 87 yards rushing and 15 yards receiving in Florida State's spring game, and the next step is obvious. Seminoles fans are hoping Akers picked up where Dalvin Cook left off in the running game.
“I feel like his production will be better than his talent and that's a good attribute to have,” quarterback Deondre Francois said via the Orlando Sentinel. “I can't wait to see what the future holds for him.”
MORE: FSU preview
Feleipe Franks, QB, Florida
Luke Del Rio will still battle for the starting job in the fall, but Franks made his case with a strong performance in the Orange and Blue Debut. Franks threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Callaway on the game's first drive, a TD set up with a 46-yard pass to Josh Hammond. Franks finished 8 of 14 for 119 yards, and he spread the ball to Callaway, Hammond and Brandon Powell.
MORE: Florida preview