Two years ago it was Nick Chubb at Georgia, Leonard Fournette at LSU, Samaje Perine of Oklahoma and Royce Freeman of Oregon among many others that came in as true freshmen and impressed.
Last year, it was Josh Rosen at UCLA, Jake Browning at Washington, Saquon Bradley at Penn State and Christian Kirk at Texas A%M that lit it up. Plus, a few more like Calvin Ridley of Alabama and Mitch Hyatt of Clemson who will be playing for a national title on Monday night.
Who will it be this year?
Two years ago, it was mostly Running Backs. This past year, there were a lot of great freshmen Quarterbacks.
It could be Quarterbacks again this next year.
Georgia has a commitment from Jacob Eason from Lake Stevens, Washington. The Quarterback position at Georgia has been iffy since Aaron Murray left. Will Jacob Eason, the son of former NFL Quarterback Tony Eason, be ready to go as a true freshman?
Stanford loses 4 year starter Kevin Hogan at Quarterback. Their back up last year was Keller Chryst, but should he falter there may be room for true freshman K.J. Costello. Who knows until the Fall if Costello is ready for prime time.
Stanford can’t run Christian McCaffrey every play.
At Ohio State, they lose 3 out of 4 Defensive Linemen including All Everything Joey Bosa. It’s a good thing the Bosa family didn’t stop with one kid and younger brother Nick Bosa is a 5 star recruit. Some say younger brother may be better than the older, but he’s got to do it at the college level. Some were skeptical about Joey, but everybody wanted Nick. I am thinking Nick teams up with Sam Hubbard to form deadly bookends for the Buckeyes next season.
Quarterback recruit Dwayne Haskins Jr is committed to Maryland. The Terrapins have Quarterbacks returning, but that was one of their major weaknesses this past season. If Haskins is game ready, the situation is ripe for him to step right in and play.
At Florida, the Quarterback situation has been questionable for years. There might be an opening for 6-6, 220 true freshman Feliepe’ Franks to step right in.
Sam Bruce, a Wide Receiver teammate of Nick Bosa at famous St Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, is smaller but he is unusually talented and could star right away a Miami with returning Quarterback Brad Kaaya and new coach Mark Richt.
Michael Irvin Jr, is not highly rated, but you can see a lot of his famous father in him and he might be hard to keep on the sidelines.
I’ve seen most of the highly ranked Quarterbacks for next year’s class and the two that may have impressed me the most are Brandon Peters of Avon, Indiana who is a Michigan commit, and Matt Fink of Glendora, California who is a Southern Cal commit.
Both of these guys may have to wait their turn to play, but both are possibly the futures of their programs. Peters is particularly outstanding with the big arm, big frame and great running ability. It will be interesting to see what Jim Harbaugh can do with him.
Fink has some serious running ability and it appears he has the arm strength to be big time.
Tristen Wallace is a hotshot dual threat Quarterback from DeSoto, Texas that has committed to Oregon. We all saw what happened to the Oregon Offense in the Alamo Bowl when starting Quarterback Vernon Adams went down. Wallace is a 6-3, 225 athletic phenom that can make plays with his arm, or his feet. He is prefect for the Oregon Offense and I wouldn’t be shocked if he started as a freshman in 2016. But, the unknown is his maturity level and if he’s ready for big time college
The Camden, New Jersey native Brad Hawkins is being called Big Play Brad by some. He is committed to Michigan and the Wolverines lose their top two receivers from a year ago.
Don’t underestimate the New Jersey recruits. Two seasons ago, they produced Jabril Peppers of Michigan and last year it was Minkah Fitzpatrick of Alabama. Both of these guys were the number one guys in Jersey in their respective classes and both are franchise players. This year, the nation’s top recruit is Rashan Gary of Paramus, New Jersey. Whoever lands Gary lands a difference maker in the Defensive Line. Michigan has 4 out of the top 10 players in New Jersey and it’s possible that they land Rashan Gary as well.
Watch out for Big Play Brad in 2016.
But, also out of New Jersey for Michigan is the top ranked Running Back in the country, Kareem Walker. Michigan has a couple of power backs returning, but Kareem Walker is a different sort of back. He’s the speed at the position that the Wolverines lacked. He is a threat to take it the distance from anywhere on the field and he should be on the field in game one next season.
There will be another post like this before the season begins and there will be another preseason true freshmen All American team.
A lot of the better players in this season’s recruiting class are defensive players and linemen.