Ainge, Carney show poise under center

Updated: September 9, 2004, 4:45 PM ET
By Todd McShay | Scouts, Inc.
Just months removed from their high school proms, some youngsters began their college careers with a bang. Here's a breakdown of the five true freshmen who impressed the most in their debuts.

Danny Ware, RB, Georgia Bulldogs
Ware spent a year at Hargrave Military School improving his grades before enrolling at Georgia in January 2004. Being around in the spring was a big benefit to Ware. He wasn't considered one of the elite prep-school prospects in the country, but he started to get more chances to run the ball in fall practice as a result of the injury to projected starter Kregg Lumpkin. Word regarding his skills and potential traveled fast.

The 6-1, 210 pound true freshman rushed for 135 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries in his debut against Georgia Southern. Ware still needs to improve his blocking and become more consistent as a receiver. He also needs to prove he can run against the "big boys" in the SEC. With QB David Greene throwing to WRs Fred Gibson and Reggie Brown, Ware has a chance to be the missing piece in Georgia's offensive puzzle. He could be the most important part of the Bulldogs' quest for an SEC and BCS national championship.

Danny Schaeffer and Erik Ainge, QBs, Tennessee Volunteers
Schaeffer and Ainge have two contrasting styles, and both were effective in the Vols' debut against UNLV. It certainly helped that RBs Cedric Houston and Gerald Riggs combined for 176 yards on the ground, but Schaeffer and Ainge were impressive in their own right.

Erik Ainge
Auburn will look to rattle Tennesse's young signal-callers.
Schaeffer, known as "little Vick", is a terrific athlete who exudes confidence when he is on the field. He has a lot of room to grow as a passer, but his athleticism makes Tennessee more versatile when he is in the game. Ainge, the nephew of former Boston Celtics great Danny Ainge, is more of a traditional passer. He completed 7 of 10 passes for 138 yards.

Todd McShay

ESPN Senior Writer