Every year, I keep up with camp and the preseason hoping that the Panthers find another Fred Lane--I creatively call the person who emerges from complete (or near it) obscurity a winner of the "Fred Lane Award". For you young guys, Lane was a RB from Lane College in Tennessee that nobody had ever heard of who somehow was invited to Camp in 1997. He became the Panthers starting RB. Most recently, Byron Bell qualifies. I thought Thomas Keiser was going to, but he came up short.
SInce then, I started looking for gems that were longshots to make the team who became key contributors. Brad Hoover from my alma mater was a recipient in 2000, when he went undrafted out of WCU and became one of the Panthers' all-time favorite players and a heck of a pro.
You do not find a Lane winner every year, and it requires a bit of time before you realize you have one.
This year, I think there is a chance we have one.
Anyhow, I hesitated to share this because it is a bit corny, but it has given camp watching more spice for me--like a penny stock player trying to find the next Microsoft. I figured a few smartarses would troll something like this, at least until the public library closes and they have to skateboard home.
Is Brandon Williams that guy? Can you think of others--current or in the past--who qualify?