1. Nick Chubb – Georgia RB: Nothing more really needs to be said about Chubb. This past season was supposed to be all about Todd Gurley, and it was just not meant to be. Luckily for Georgia, Chubb is a super talented young Running Back.
2. Leonard Fournette – LSU RB: Going into the 2014 football season, Fournette was one of the more hyped players in recent memory. They already had him winning the Heisman Trophy before he ever even set foot on a college football field. That was a lot of pressure to put on a young man. After
a slow start, Fournette came on strong to crack the thousand yard rushing barrier. LSU lost it’s senior Running Backs Terrence Magee and Kenny Hilliard and Fournette will have that many more carries in 2015.
3. Adoree Jackson – USC CB: Jackson is one of the more exciting young player to come around in a while. He is just explosive and might play on both sides of the ball and also return punts and kicks. He has excellent closing speed as a corner and very explosive with the ball in his hands.
4. Raekwon McMillan – Ohio State LB: Another talented member of last year’s national championship team. Slated to start this season, McMillan will improve on his 54 total tackles and 9th place standing in team tackles. McMillan is a big play guy from Hinesville, Georgia and destined to be one of the game’s next big stars.
5. Jabrill Peppers – Michigan DB: Slated to start as a true freshman last year but was injured early on. Was the second rated recruit in the entire country behind Leonard Fournette last season and the physical talent was clear right away and again so in the Spring for Michigan. Expect Jim Harbaugh to get the maximum out of Jabrill Peppers.
6. Samaje Perine – Oklahoma RB: Huge power back at 5-11, 245 that ran for 1,713 yards last season and 21 Touchdowns. He now holds the all time single game rushing record with his
outstanding performance against Kansas when he broke the week old record set by Melvin Gordon by hitting the 427 yard mark. The problem for Perine might be that the Sooners lost so many quality Offensive Linemen from last season.
7. Dalvin Cook – Florida State RB: Cook ran for over 1,000 yards after a slow start. Very speedy and explosive runner that is exciting to watch. Cook is not huge, but is big enough at 200 pounds. He is also a good receiver out of the backfield catching 22 passes for 200 yards.
8. Cam Robinson – Alabama OT: Robinson was also one of the top recruits in the country right behind Fournette and Peppers. He started in the Spring Game and every game as a true freshman. He had his struggles but his talents were obvious from day one.
9. Juju Smith – USC WR:
Instant impact player for the Trojans, the former 5 star recruit didn’t miss a beat when he stepped on a college football field. The 6-2, 210 freshman hauled in 54 receptions while being the Trojans second lead receiver behind Nelson Agholer. With the departure of Agholer, Smith will step up and increase his numbers as a sophomore. Great player.
10. Myles Garrett – Texas A%M DE: The sack master had 11.5 sacks as a true freshman and 14 tackles for loss. Overall, Garrett had 53 tackles and another 10 Quarterback hurries. Defense has never been much of a thought for Aggie head coach Sumlin, but this season may be different with a new Defensive Coordinator hired away from LSU.
11. Deshaun Watson – Clemson QB: Watson was an early enrollee that was injured in the Spring and he struggled with injury during the season. But, he is another young gun that is clearly talented. He has a super strong arm, runs well and is a leader on and off the field. Watson threw for 1,466 yards and 14 Touchdowns, while running for 200 yards and anther 5 Touchdowns. If Watson can stay healthy, he could be one of the top players in the country as a sophomore.
12. Lorenzo Carter – Georgia DE: At 6-6, 240, Carter has a bright future and he’s a terror coming off the edge for the Bulldog defense. As a true freshman, he got off to a slow start. He finished with 41 total tackles and 4.5 sacks with another 11 Quarterback hurries. Those number should improve
dramatically as a sophomore.
13. Quin Blanding – Virginia DB: One of the top recruits in the country a season ago, came on strong last season and led his team in tackles with 123 total and 3 Interceptions with 6 pass break ups. At 6-4, 215 Blanding is intimidating at safety and one of the better defensive backs in the country.
14. Derek Barnett – Tennessee DE: Barnett may should be higher on this list. He’s just fantastic in every area of playing defensive end, not just a good pass rusher but good against the run as well. He was 5th on the Volunteer team in total tackles as a true freshman, plus he had 10 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss. Barnett was 6-3, 267 as a true freshman and this guy will keep getting better.
15. Lorenzo Featherston – Florida State DE: Featherston is a tall, skinny player that has a lot of room to fill out. He is currently about 6-7 and 230 which is pretty thin, but he should continue bulking up without losing that fabulous mobility. He only had 19 tackles, but he had 5 tackles for loss and a sack and expect those number to increase substantially in 2015.
16. Malachi Dupre – LSU WR: He doesn’t have the same kind of numbers that some other freshmen had but this guy can play. Incredible athlete with great leaping ability and hands. LSU had Quarterback problems last season which kept Dupre from having a lot of receptions. Dupre only caught 14 passes as a true freshman but 5 of them went for Touchdowns and they totaled 318 yards.
17. Royce Freeman – Oregon RB: From Imperial California the 6-0, 230 power runner, Freeman ran wild as a true freshman hitting 1,365 total yards and 18 Touchdowns. Losing Heisman winner Marcus Mariota should force guys like Freeman to take up some slack next season. Freeman also had 18 receptions and is a force to be reckoned with.
18. Brad Kaaya – Miami QB: If the Hurricanes are to be back, then Kaaya will need to be like the
Quarterbacks they had in the old days. So far, he has shown brilliant potential passing for 3,198 yards and 26 Touchdowns. He did throw 12 Interceptions but that was to be expected for a true freshman. Kaaya looks like the next big thing for the Canes.
19. Travis Rudolph – Florida State WR: The Seminoles have a lot of young talent and more coming in. Rudolph is a big play guy that hauled in 38 receptions for 555 yards and 4 Touchdowns. He has good size, speed and hands and could develop into one of the nation’s best.
20. Artavis Scott – Clemson WR: The true freshman from Oldsmar, Florida was great last season and he caught 76 passes for 965 yards and 8 Touchdowns. The 5-10, 190 speedster led the Tigers in receiving which was more impressive because the Tigers have Mike Williams at Receiver as well.
Mason Cole – Michigan OT
Jarvion Franklin – Western Michigan RB
Nick Wilson – Arizona RB
Justin Jackson – Northwestern RB
Marlon Mack – South Florida RB
Jalen Hurd – Tennessee RB
Jon Hilliman – Boston College RB
Mike Dudek – Illinois WR
KD Cannon – Baylor WR
Daesean Hamilton – Penn State WR
Christian McCaffrey – Stanford RB
Jamal Adams – LSU DB
Solomon Thomas – Stanford DE
Kyle Allen – Texas A%M QB
Todd Kelly Jr – Tennessee DB
Speedy Noil – Texas A%M WR
Ermon lane – Florida State – WR
Joseph Yearby – Miami RB
Trey Quinn – LSU WR
KC McDermott – Miami OL
Nick Linder – Miami OG
Josh Malone – Tennessee WR
Ethan Wolfe – Tennessee TE
Toa Lobendahn – USC OG/OT
Damien Mama – USC OG
Viane Talamaivao – USC OL
Budda Baker – Washington DB
KeShun Freeman – Georgia Tech
Kemoko Turay – Rutgers DE
Andrew Trumbetti – Notre Dame DE