QB: Jalen Hurts – Alabama: Early enrollee showed signs of taking over the starting job in the Spring. He has a strong arm and threw for 2,592 yards and 22 yards but the strength of his game right now is running the ball.
QB: Shane Buechele – Texas: It was known that Buechele would start back in the Spring. He was injured early and played hurt most of the season and he threw for just under 3,000 yards and 21 Touchdowns. The son of former major league third baseman, Steve Buechele.
QB: Jacob Eason – Georgia: Tony Eason was the famous father here and he was a former 1st round
pick. Greyson Lambert started the Bulldogs first game, but it took little time for the 6-5, 235 Eason to
take over the job. Eason threw for 2,266 yards and 14 Touchdowns.
RB: Damarea Crockett – Missouri: Crockett slipped in under most radars and ran for 1,062 yards and 10 Touchdowns. The Tigers stole Crockett from Little Rock, Arkansas away from the Razorbacks. At 5-11, 220 Crockett looks like the future for the Tigers.
RB: Dedrick Mills – Georgia Tech: Not exactly the great class of 2014 for Running Backs. Mills ran for 602 yards as a freshman out of Waycross, Georgia. The 5-10, 215 Mills played Fullback for the Yellowjackets.
WR: Ahmmon Richards – Miami: The Hurricane’s Richards established himself as a deep threat early in the season and he just kept improving. He finished the regular season with 46 receptions for 866 yards and was behind only senior Stacy Coley for the team leader in catches.
WR: N’Keal Harry – Arizona State: For the second year in a row, the top Wide Receiver recruit in the nation came out of the greater Phoenix area and this one decided to stick close to home. Harry led the Sun Devils in receptions with 58 and 5 Touchdowns.
TE: Isaac Nauta – Georgia: The nation’s top Tight End recruit is definitely everything he was hyped up to be. This season, Nauta caught 27 passes for 353 yards and 3 Touchdowns.
OT: Jonah Williams – Alabama: This freshman Right Tackle is incredibly talented and much like Left Tackle Cam Robinson, he started in the Spring Game and every game during his true freshman season. Many people think that Williams is already better than Robinson who should be a top 10 pick in the NFL Draft. The 6-5, 300 freshman from California should do nothing but keep getting better.
OT: Coy Cronk – Indiana: The Hoosiers just fired head coach Kevin Wilson, but he did develop Offensive Linemen, Quarterbacks and Running Backs. The 6-5, 295 freshman started at the all important Left Tackle spot in a very productive offense.
OT: Jawaan Taylor – Florida: Jim McElwain is building a program in Gainesville and he’s winning the SEC East in the process. Taylor came in and started at Right Tackle as a true freshman. At 6-5, 340 this true freshman giant from Cocoa, Florida could be great down the road.
OG: Michael Jordan – Ohio State: Surprisingly, Jordan came in early and started at Left Guard in the Spring and then he started every game this season. The Buckeyes invaded the state of Michigan to grab this hulk and it was well worth it. Jordan is 6-7, 310 with a bright future. MJ
OG: Landon Dickerson – Florida State: Dickerson was a highly recruited Offensive Tackle prospect from Hickory, North Carolina. He moved into the starting Right Guard position midway through the season and played well until he was injured. He’s a very impressive young player.
OG: Ben Bredeson – Michigan: The Wolverines grabbed Bredeson out of Wisconsin away from the home state Badgers. When Michigan suffered injuries at their Left Tackle position, they moved Left Guard Ben Braden to Left Tackle and Bredeson moved into the lineup in Braden’s spot. He’s another outstanding young Offensive Lineman.
OC: Zach Shackleford – Texas: Shackleford moved into the starting lineup in the Spring and never looked back. He was injured in a few games this past season, but he started every game he was available. Shackleford is 6-3, 290 from Belton, Texas and he should be a long time starter.
DE: Rashan Gary – Michigan: The number one recruit in the entire country last year. Michigan is deep in the Defensive Line and Gary contributed quite a bit and he’s definitely an All American in the making.
DE: Nick Bosa – Ohio State: Another 5 star recruit from a famous family. Bosa finished with 5 Quarterback sacks as a true freshman with 7 Tackles for loss. Bosa is 6-4, 265 and extremely quick off the edge. The family story: Mob
DE: Brian Burns – Florida State: Burns got better and better as the year progressed and he finished with 8 and 1/2 Quarterback sacks. He’s fast off the edge, but he will need to beef up to play the run better. He’s about 6-5, 220 right now, but a star in the making.
DE: Joe Jackson – Miami: A very good freshman pass rusher and at 6-5, 250 he has the size and the quickness. The Seminoles main rival had to keep up with them and Jackson is a very good true
freshman. He finished with 7 and 1/2 Quarterback sacks.
DT: Dexter Lawrence – Clemson: In my book, Lawrence is the best freshman football player in the country. He was a 5 star recruit coming in and started from day one. Lawrence is 6-5, 350 and supposedly can run the 40 in less than 5.0. He had 9 tackles for loss and 6 and a 1/2 Quarterback sacks..
DT: Ed Oliver – Houston: Spectacular freshman Defensive Tackle for the Houston Cougars and a true difference maker. As a 5 star recruit, Oliver is the highest rated recruit ever to sign with a non power 5 conference school. Oliver was the team’s 3rd leading tackler during the season and he finished with 19 tackles for loss and 5 Quarterback sacks. The man is hard to block.
DT: Benito Jones – Ole Miss: Ole Miss had a horrible season, but Jones was not a let down. The 6-2, 300 freshman was a regular in the line up and clearly is a future star. He finished with 39 total tackles.
DT: Robert Landers – Ohio State: Undersized and lightly recruited, Landers was still a force when he was in the game. At 6-1, 275 Landers is hard for an Offensive Lineman to get his pads under and block.
LB: Shaquille Quarterman – Miami: Quarterman came in early in the Spring and showed his talents early and earned the starting job then. Quarterman is big and strong at 6-1, 240 and he makes plays from sideline to sideline. All three of the Miami Linebackers were true freshmen. LBers
LB: Michael Pinckney – Miami: Another outstanding young Linebacker at Florida. Pinckney was more of a surprise than Quarterman, at least to me. Pinckney is 6-1, 220 and a pure speedster.
LB: Dontavius Jackson – Florida State: Highly rated and recruited Inside Linebacker out of Texas.
Jackson is 6-2, 250 and obviously the future at LB for the Seminoles.
LB: Cale Garrett – Missouri: Garrett played early, but he came on as the season progressed with his very best game in the last game against Arkansas. At 6-3, 230 Garrett has plenty of size and he totaled 47 tackles on the season.
CB: Patrice Rene – North Carolina: He was a back up at Cornerback for the Tar Heels, but he played enough to show outstanding potential .
CB: Essang Bassey – Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons had a very good defense and Bassey got playing time during his first season and he should replace Brad Watson next season.
CB: Justin Layne – Michigan State: With a horrible year behind them, the Spartans have a future with several good freshman players contributing. Layne was a two way player last season starting at Corner and a back up at Wide Receiver.
DB: Marcelino Ball – Indiana: Ball won’t turn 18 until the Spring and at 17 years old he was all over the field. He was the team’s 3rd leading tackler with 73 total tackles and 2 Interceptions. He also broke up 7 passes. 17 year old Ball
DB: Stanley Green – Illinois: New coach Lovie Smith didn’t even recruit his first class at Illinois,
but he still put freshman Stanley Green from East St Louis to good use at Safety. Green was a bright spot in a dismal season.
DB: Antoine Whitfield Jr – Minnesota: The son of a former Buckeye great, Ohio State did not recruit Junior and that left him open for the Gophers. Whitfield had a big freshman season placing 4th on the team in tackles and he had an 82 yard Interception return for a Touchdown.