NCAA Football

15 Most Impressive Freshmen College Football Players Through Week 7

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15 Most Impressive Freshmen College Football Players Through Week 7

Robert Nkemdiche
Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

College football has seen a recent shift over the years to more and more freshmen making impacts on a team, which is different from years ago when freshmen weren’t even allowed to play.

As the recruiting world has seen a major boom with the improvements in the Internet, people follow recruiting more than ever and expect immediate results from top recruits.

Sometimes these expectations are a bit too unrealistic, as it takes time for a kid right out of high school to adapt to the speed of the college football game. The students have to get used to working out, longer practices and longer seasons, and it can be difficult for many to transition. But over the past few years, we have seen many that can make an impact right away.

Last year, while he was technically a redshirt freshman, Johnny Manziel became the first player to win the Heisman trophy as a freshman after a phenomenal season.

This has set the bar even higher for freshmen and redshirt freshmen seeing their first college game action, and people expect results right away.

Some other big names to make impacts immediately over the years were players like Matt Barkley when he arrived at USC, Jadeveon Clowney at South Carolina, and Trent Richardson at Alabama.

All three of these players were five star recruits that produced results immediately for their schools and proved that they were physically and mentally mature enough to play.

Here is a list of the top freshmen and redshirt freshmen through week seven of the 2013 college football season


Erik Sargent is a college football writer for Follow him on Twitter @Erik_Sargent, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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15. LB Myles Jack, UCLA

Myles Jack
Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Jack has worked his way into a starting role for the Bruins and has been playing at a high level. He was all over the field last week in the Bruins' win against Utah.

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14. RB Thomas Tyner, Oregon

Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Thomas Tyner isn’t the starter and has to play behind two really good backs, but he has 204 rushing yards and five touchdowns so far in the season.

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13. WR Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss

Laquon Treadwell
John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Laquon Treadwell came out of the gates firing as a freshman for Ole Miss but has been slowed a little as the offense is struggling. Still, he is second on the team in receiving.

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12. LB Addison Gillam, Colorado

Addison Gillam
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Gilliam was unheard of in the recruiting world and wasn’t even supposed to be at Colorado, but he is and he is on fire. He is averaging an outstanding 12.5 tackles a game this season.

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11. S Tony Conner, Ole Miss

11. S Tony Conner, Ole Miss

Tony Conner has been starting all season for the Rebels in their hybrid safety/linebacker position and has been awesome. He doesn’t play like a freshman at all and is fourth on the team in tackles.

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10. CB Eddie Jackson, Alabama

Eddie Jackson
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Jackson has been thrown into the lineup after the Crimson Tide secondary struggled to start the season. He has done nothing but impress on the field, showing great cover ability.

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9. QB Baker Mayfield, Texas Tech

Baker Mayfield
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The true freshman walk-on won the starting job and has the Red Raiders undefeated on the season. He is 15th in the nation in passing with 1,488 yards so far.

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8. CB Brandon Facyson, Virgina Tech

Brandon Facyson
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Facyson is just the next person up in the long list of talented Virginia Tech corners. He has performed great all season long and has four interceptions.

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7. DE Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss

Robert Nkemdiche
Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 1 recruit of the 2013 recruiting class has lived up to the hype so far. He is excellent against the run and lines up all over the line for the Rebels.

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6. S Su'a Cravens, USC

Su'a Cravens
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There isn’t much positive going on for the USC Trojans, but Su’a Cravens is one of them. He is fourth on the team in tackles and has two interceptions.

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5. CB Jalen Ramsey, Florida State

Jalen Ramsey
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Ramsey was inserted into the starting lineup right away for Florida State and hasn’t disappointed. He is fourth on the team in tackles and also has an interception and a sack.

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4. RB Alex Collins, Arkansas

Alex Collins
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Collins is a workhorse for the Arkansas Razorbacks as a true freshman. He has already carried the ball 113 times for 651 yards and three touchdowns.

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3. WR Tyler Boyd, Pitt

Tyler Boyd
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

If you haven’t heard of Tyler Boyd, you better look him up. He is outstanding for the Pitt Panthers and does absolutely everything. He is averaging 175.3 total yards per game so far.

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2. CB Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida

Vernon Hargreaves III
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

One of the highest recruited players in 2013, Hargreaves was inserted in the starting lineup due to injury and has been awesome. He has three interceptions on the year and is locking down SEC receivers.

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1. QB Jameis Winston, Florida State

Jameis Winston
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

While Winston is a redshirt freshman, there is no denying he should be No. 1 on this list. He is already in talks for the Heisman, has Florida State undefeated and is the talk of college football. He’s thrown for 1,441 yards and 17 touchdowns with only two interceptions.