Blog Entry

The Tuesday Top 10: Best Freshmen

Posted on: November 15, 2011 12:24 pm
Edited on: November 15, 2011 4:07 pm

1. Sammy Watkins, Clemson, WR/KR: There was hype around the five-star recruit, but no one could've imagined Watkins would be quite this much of a difference-maker this soon. He's been everything for Clemson. "He is a true freshman who plays like a senior," says Tiger OC Chad Morris. "He is such a student of the game." Watkins is fourth in the nation in all-purpose yards and tied for fifth in receiving touchdowns.

2. Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina, DE: The biggest freak in the class, the former No. 1 overall recruit has been a force for a nasty Gamecock D-line, racking up five forced fumbles, five sacks and eight TFLs. Two of those FFs directly led to Melvin Ingram touchdowns. Hard to imagine Clowney being anything other than a three-and-out guy.

3. DeAnthony Thomas, Oregon, WR/KR/RB: After an up-and-down debut against LSU where the LA youth football legend had two fumbles but also flashed his blazing speed, the 5-9, 173-pound x-factor has quickly proven to be a great fit for the Ducks offense. Thomas is 16th in the country in all-purpose yards, averaging 150 per game to go with his 12 TDs.

4. Marqise Lee, USC, WR: Most people expected his old HS teammate George Farmer to be the rookie that generated the buzz among the newcomers this year for the Trojans. Instead, it's been Lee, a guy many figured would get switched to safety. The explosive 6-1, 190-pound Inglewood native has emerged as quite the weapon opposite another former Serra High star, Robert Woods, catching 25 passes for almost 300 yards and four TDs in the past three games for USC. I really try to avoid having two players from the same school on the Top 10s or else LB Dion Bailey, the team's leading tackler would be on here too.

5. Gio Bernard, UNC, RB: Only UCONN's Lyle McCombs has run for more yards among freshmen this season and Bernard (1,012 yards, 11 TDs) is averaging over than a yard more per carry than the Husky RB and has twice as many rushing TDs.

6. Isaiah Crowell, Georgia, RB: I was tempted to pick Malcolm Mitchell as the top Dawg freshman, but for as dynamic as he's been he's missed a bunch of games with a hamstring injury, while Crowell continues to pile up yards and give QB Aaron Murray a lot of support. Best thing about Crowell's impact: he's played in seven SEC games and gone over 100 yards in four of them.

7. Anthony Chickillo, Miami, DE: The Canes defense has struggled mightily after having been rocked by injuries and the NCAA suspension. Chickillo, a third-generation UM player, has been one of the biggest bright spots and is going to be a cornerstone for the rebuilding effort in Miami. He has started seven games, has made 34 tackles to go with 5.5 TFLs and four sacks.

8. Aaron Lynch, Notre Dame, DE: Notre Dame has been lacking impact D-linemen for a while, but they have a couple of young studs in South Bend now. Stephon Tuitt, who has started three games is another one, but for this list Lynch gets the nod. The guy is relentless and has lived up to his spring hype, notching four sacks and a team-best 11 QB hurries.

9. Brett Smith, Wyoming, QB: Going into this season it was fellow freshman Adam Pittser, a former Elite 11 QB that was the one people figured would take over the offense. Smith wasn't even ranked among the top 100 QB recruits, but the Oregon native has been very impressive for the Cowboys who are quietly having a nice season at 6-3. They've won three of their past four and Smith's thrown seven TDs and zero INTs to go with four more rushing TD and more than 200 yards on the ground.

10. (tie) Malcolm Brown, Texas, RB: UT is loaded with first-year studs and if WR Jaxon Shipley hadn't been banged up he probably gets a spot on here too. Like Crowell, you have a former blue-chip back who has made an impact early at a program that really needed a RB to step up. The bad news is he's battled turf toe problems that have limited him and Texas really missed him last week against Mizzou. Still, you had to be impressed with him running for over 100 yards in three of his previous five games before being sidelined.

10. (tie) Timmy Jernigan, FSU, DT: The Noles have a strong group of first-year players with TE Nick O'Leary, RB Devonta Freeman, WR Rashad Green and 17-year-old OT Bobby Hart, but I'll go with Jernigan who has really come on as FSU's gotten on a roll. Jernigan has 6 TFLs to go with 2.5 sacks and 3 QB hurries.


Since: Nov 21, 2007
Posted on: November 16, 2011 12:11 pm

The Tuesday Top 10: Best Freshmen

If thats true then you would have to say the same thing about Auburn, Oregon's weak defense held them to two and a half tds below their season average.

Since: Sep 25, 2011
Posted on: November 16, 2011 9:51 am

The Tuesday Top 10: Best Freshmen

Agreed....Tyler is pretty salty to be a freshman.

Since: Sep 25, 2011
Posted on: November 16, 2011 9:50 am

The Tuesday Top 10: Best Freshmen

Malcolm Brown is being pushed by another well performing freshman RB named Joe Bergeron as well. 

Since: Oct 15, 2008
Posted on: November 16, 2011 9:43 am

The Tuesday Top 10: Best Freshmen

Tyler Lockett has been a stud for K-State. Two special teams TD and he made numerous big plays late in the game against Okie State.

Since: Nov 7, 2006
Posted on: November 16, 2011 4:19 am

The Tuesday Top 10: Best Freshmen

Like the Oregon team that lost the last two years in there bcs bowls one to the bucks and then in the championsip... because they put up 60 points all day... sorry they dont play defense out west thats pretty obvious! 

Since: Nov 7, 2006
Posted on: November 16, 2011 4:14 am

The Tuesday Top 10: Best Freshmen

Just like the oregon team that would put up 60 in the last two bcs games where they lost right... because there offense doesnt play real defenses.

Since: Nov 15, 2011
Posted on: November 15, 2011 11:55 pm

The Tuesday Top 10: Best Freshmen

What you need to know and just accept (please dont respond i will not come back to this page to see your answer):

A. The Pac12 doesnt move you? The top teams in the Pac 12 (oregon, stanford) would hang 60 on you and never look back.
B. Ohio State is SO BAD that your are forced to use a whole bunch of your freshman 
C. The big10 is SO BAD that your freshman listed above have actually found success
D. Big10 will always be the most overrated conference in the history of college football (dillusional nostalgia and terrible offenses) 
E. Urban Meyer would NEVER come back to coaching, especially for the car wreck that is OSU... he had the best job in the NATION and called it quits.

Since: Jan 14, 2007
Posted on: November 15, 2011 9:24 pm

The Tuesday Top 10: Best Freshmen

Miller didn't start against Miami...Bauserman did...

Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: November 15, 2011 9:10 pm

The Tuesday Top 10: Best Freshmen

Geroge Atkinson, ND????  He has run back 2 kickoffs for TDs and almost broke two others.  Without him this list is trash.

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: November 15, 2011 8:10 pm

The Tuesday Top 10: Best Freshmen

stop being shady and they would probably give them there props, but since OSU is shady no one really cares

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