One year ago, who would have thought that Julián Álvarez would be the breakout star of the World Cup instead of Gio Reyna, or that TCU backup Max Duggan would lead the Horned Frogs to a national championship game on the 1-yard line of 2022’s closing? Trying to predict which figures will rise to the forefront in 2023 is an imperfect task. Athletes or coaches on the brink of stardom could instead fall off the edge and never be heard from again or their emergence could be delayed a few years. Around the corner may instead be a Joe Burrow-type who was previously dismissed before returning with a vengeance. 2023 should introduce the country to a few, new names. The tarot cards are imperfect.
There are two levels of breakout stars. Some are names whose potential we were introduced to in 2022 that are about to burst into the atmosphere and warp drive into superstardom. Then, there are the figures who are about to lose their anonymity. Here’s our best crack at which characters the zeitgeist will turn into household names over the next calendar year.