Bowl season is in full swing. As we marvel and think about the future of the seniors or those declaring early for the draft, I was thinking about how bright the future is for college football. Every year it seems that the freshmen get better and keep fans excited about the next three to four years. My friend at Tagline Sports and I have collaborated on an All-FBS Freshman Team. Excuse us for not including special teams.
QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson – Kelly Bryant was the starting quarterback for Clemson at the beginning of the season, but it didn’t take Dabo Swinney long to realize that Trevor Lawrence was the best person for the job. Bryant knew his time at Clemson was done, and he decided to transfer. Minus a neck injury that took Lawrence out the of Syracuse game, he has been electric throwing for 2,606 yards and 24 touchdowns with only four interceptions.
RB Jermar Jefferson, Oregon St – In a season mostly full of downs for the Beavers, one up was Jermar Jefferson. He ran for 1,380 yards and added another 147 receiving on 25 catches.
RB Pooka Williams, Kansas – Williams’ recent antics almost got him kicked off this list, but his performance this season is hard to ignore. He averaged a full seven yards per carry and ran for 1,125 yards. To top it off, he averaged 8.8 yards per catch and had 289 yards receiving.
WR Rondale Moore, Purdue – Rondale Moore was probably the second-most exciting freshman to watch this season, only behind Trevor Lawrence. Moore broke the school’s record for all-purpose yards in his first game. His 1,164 receiving yards are the 11th most in the entire FBS. Add his 12 receiving touchdowns and 203 rushing yards, and he’s hard to ignore.
WR Terrence Horne, USF – I’m cheating on this one. Terrence Horne tore his ACL in September, but he was unstoppable returning kickoffs. Horne only caught three passes for 15 yards and one touchdown but racked up 282 yards and 2 touchdowns on six returns. I put him on this list because he’s special and probably would’ve broken many school and FBS records if he had stayed healthy.
TE Pat Freiermuth, Penn State – Pat Freiermuth may have only caught 24 passes, but he made the most out of them. He averaged the most yards per reception (13.75) out of all the freshmen tight ends. Freiermuth also had some very clutch catches for PSU and added seven touchdowns.
OL Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech – He started all 11 games this year.
OL Cade Mays, Georgia – Cade Mays started in 10 games and was named to the Coaches Freshman All-SEC Team.
OL Abraham Lucas, Washington St – Lucas played in 10 games and was named a freshman All-American.
OL Chris Murray, UCLA – Chris Murray played in all 12 games. He started the first three at center and then moved to right guard.
OL Dylan Wonnum, South Carolina – Wonnum played in eight games and earned SEC All-Freshman honors.
DL Juwuan Jones, Western Kentucky – Jones had 42 total tackles, five sacks, and one forced fumble.
DL Jamal Hines, Toledo – Hines had 45 total tackles, two sacks, and two interceptions.
DL Alim McNeill, NC State – McNeill had 24 total tackles, three and a half sacks, and one interception.
DL Xavier Thomas, Clemson – Thomas had 28 total tackles, three sacks, and one forced fumble.
LB Merlin Robertson, ASU – Merlin Robertson had 77 total tackles, five sacks, one interception, and one forced fumble during Herm Edwards’ first season as the coach.
LB Micah Parsons, Penn State – Micah Parsons did not get his first start until the end of the season, but his presence was felt every time he was on the field, especially when the coaching staff allowed him to start rushing the passer. Everyone at PSU knew Parsons was special before he even stepped on the field. He chose to wear #11 in honor of LaVar Arrington, who is one of the best linebackers that has ever played for Penn State. Those are big shoes to live up to. Parsons tallied 69 total tackles, 1.5 sacks, and one forced fumble on the year.
LB Mike Rose, Iowa State – No team is safe when playing at Iowa State. Just ask West Virginia. Defense is a big part of that. Mike Rose recorded 68 tackles and one and a half sacks.
CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama – Patrick Surtain had 33 total tackles, one interception, and one forced fumble. 247Sports has him ranked as their number one corner.
CB Corione Harris, Kansas – For a program that is traditionally not good, Kansas makes its second appearance on the list with Corione Harris. Harris tallied 44 tackles, one interception, and one forced fumble.
S Devonni Reed, Central Michigan – Central Michigan may have only had one win all season, but Devonni Reed put up quite the stat line. Reed recorded an impressive 97 total tackles.
S Andre Cisco, Syracuse – Andre Cisco tied for first in the FBS with seven interceptions in 12 games. That’s impressive for anyone, let alone a freshman.