Written by Pat Clifton    Monday, 12 December 2011 15:23    PDF Print Write e-mail
Players to Keep An Eye on at 7s Nats
Sevens - Collegiate Sevens

Gareth Lourens is one of the lesser known 7s studs. Numina photo

Heading to College Station or planning to watch the college 7s championships online (USA Rugby is hoping to broadcast all field one games live)? Here's a player guide for you, a list of names to watch out for.

The headliners are all guys who have received either USA Rugby or RUGBY Magazine All-American honors. Since there's a good chance you already know them, we didn't bother describing them. However, we will tell you about some of the other guys to keep an eye out for.

Headliners
Tim Stanfill - Central Washington (7s All American)
Shaun Potgieter - Arkansas State (15s All American)
Danie Swanepoel - Arkansas State (Hon. Mention 15s All American)
Pat Sullivan - Arkansas State (15s All American)
Tim Acker - Kutztown (7s All American)
Jamie Gregory - Kutztown (Hon. Mention 15s All American)
Kyle Grossheider - Life (7s All American)
Joe Cowley - Life (RUGBYMag All-Collegiate, Hon. Mention All American)
Cam Dolan - Life (RUGBYMag All-Collegiate, 15s All American)
Paul Bester - Life (Hon. Mention 15s All American)
Colton Cariaga - Life (Hon. Mention 15s All American)
Bubba Jones - St. Mary's (7s All American)
Nick Wallace - St. Mary's (RUGBYMag All-Collegiate, Hon. Mention 15s All American)
Andrew Cooke - St. Mary's (15s All American)
Chad Clark - St. Mary's (Hon. Mention 15s All American)

Guys whose names you might not know, but should.
Pool A (Central Washington, Air Force, Arkansas, Arkansas State)
Patrick Blair - Central Washington. Powerful runner who keeps getting better.
Zac Mizell - Arkansas State. Been a stalwart for Dallas Harlequins 7s for years. Very talented runner and passer.
Dylan Carrion - Arkansas State. Probably the best 7s player you haven't heard of, but only because he's been injured practically since stepping on campus the fall of 2010. Extremely shifty. Think Shane Williams.
Charles Ajarrista - Arkansas. French, good ball skills, has played lots of 7s.

Pool B (Life, Wisconsin, Cal Poly, Texas)
Jake McFadden - Life. Sophomore making big strides. Flyhalf in sevens, he can be a go-between for Dolan and Cariaga.
Darrien Woodson - Life. Former college football defensive back, he's got some speed.
Ben Knight - Wisconsin. Their 15s flyhalf who makes everything go. Good boot, pass, legs. (originally referred to as Hanske, mistakingly.)
Andrew Hanske - Wisconsin. 15s No. 8 who was named the Big Ten 7s MVP.
Taylor Hayes - Texas. Canadian freshman who showed well against HS 7s All Americans in Las Vegas. Very elusive runner and good rugby IQ.
Eric Luikens - Texas. He's really quick and athletic, but he's coming off injury.

Pool C (St. Mary's, NC State, W. Washington, UW-Milwaukee)
Garrett Brewer - St. Mary's. One of the standouts for the Gaels 7s team so far. In addition to being quite fast, he can kick. Conversions are like gold in 7s.
Kingsley McGowan - St. Mary's. Lightning fast wing who puts tries away when he's given space.
Brandon Mosiman - NC State. Strong, fast prop. Good in the air on restarts.
Matt Pace - NC State. Tenacious hooker with a high work rate and no fear in the tackle.
Bryan Maxwell - NC State. Glue guy with a good boot on conversions and restarts.
Colin Moie - Western Washington. Tall, rangy wing with speed.
Pat Phelps - Western Washington. Hard-working, high-motor leader.

Pool D (Tennessee, SDSU, Stony Brook, Oklahoma)
Sam Anderson - Tennessee. Played a lot of 7s, including under the tutelage of Al Caravelli at NYAC. He's a savvy player.
Mason Howard - Tennessee. Very strong guy on the wing.
Nick Evans - Tennessee. South 7s All Star.
Mike Shea - San Diego State. Former Jesuit standout and one of OMBAC's best 7s players this summer.
Joe Bach - Oklahoma. Big, strong runner. Former OU wrestler who played 7s with the Denver Barbos.
Michael Al-Jiboori - Oklahoma. Very strong and athletic with a ton of raw talent. He can make some people look silly in the open field, but still not very rugby savvy.

Pool E (Kutztown, Florida, UC Davis, Florida State)
Gareth Laurens - Kutztown. Primarily a fullback or center in 15s, he is an attacking runner with quick feet and good pace. He's a great compliment to Acker, as they create gaps for each other.
Niku Kruger - Kutztown. Started for Boy's High in Pretoria last year. Expected to be a big-time contributor this weekend.  
Matias Groetaers - Florida. In his final semester, this is the longtime sparkplug's last chance at collegiate glory. He is a talented runner and passer.
Lucas Baistrocchi - Florida. Matias' heir apparent, he has good ball skills.
Sam Shackleford - UC Davis. He's their gamebreaker and one of the best in the tournament. Penetrates defenses by bursting through tackles, sometimes with ease.

Pool F (Miami, Colorado, Texas A&M, Virginia)
Luke Markovich - Miami. He's a very strong runner. Plays flyhalf usually in 15s, but may be better suited as a center. He tackles as hard as he runs.
Mike Pelagalli - Miami. Teammates with Markovich on 1823, he has a lot of pace and is elusive.
Brian Guillen - Texas A&M. Played with The Woodlands Exiles in 7s alongside former Eagles and current Canadian internationals. He has a high work rate and is impressive on defense and attack.
Connor Mills - Texas A&M. The coach's son, he has been a stalwart for the Aggies for some time. He can do everything pretty well.
Luke Lahman - Colorado. Not exceptionally fast, but a slippery runner and the Buffs' field general.
Brendan Cox - Colorado. Shifty runner. A wing in 15s who has a nose for the try line.
Chris Martin - Colorado. Senior with some speed who isn't easy to bring down.