Expectations tend to forecast an upward trend, but the reality of college football often brings a different story.
Last year, dozens of players who enjoyed a productive 2020 season ended up with a frustrating few months in the fall. For some, an injury robbed them of a healthy year. For others, they simply didn't perform up to the level of their past performance.
But 2022 is a prime chance to rebound.
In most cases, the players are returning from an injury that sidelined them for at least half of the 2021 campaign. Arguably the biggest name on the list, however, opened the season in the Heisman Trophy picture and wound up benched.
Ronnie Bell, WR, Michigan
During the 2019 and 2020 seasons, Ronnie Bell established himself as Michigan's primary target. He recorded 74 catches for 1,159 yards and two touchdowns in the 19-game stretch.
Bell immediately showed off his ability in the 2021 opener too. The wideout reeled in a 76-yard score and ripped off a 31-yard punt return. But the latter play doubled as a nightmare; Bell exited with a knee injury that halted his season as it began.
This season, the reigning Big Ten champions will be expecting Bell to elevate the receiving corps—no matter whether Cade McNamara or J.J. McCarthy is running the offense.
Cornelius Johnson was the lone Wolverines wide receiver who topped 25 receptions in 2021. Bell has an important role to regain.
Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson
Bryan Bresee, the No. 1 overall prospect in the 2020 cycle, played up to that billing as a true freshman. The interior lineman made 23 tackles with 6.5 stops for loss, including four sacks.