Ranking the Top 10 true freshmen in college football after Week 7
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Ranking the Top 10 true freshmen in college football after Week 7

Ashton Pollardabout 1 month
Article written by:Ashton PollardAshton Pollard

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There are always a few true freshmen that make an immediate impact upon arrival on their respective college campuses, but in a year filled with chaos and widespread injuries, many of the newcomers are getting a shot at the big stage sooner than expected. 

PFF’s Anthony Treash ranked the Top 10 first-year players across the nation: 

  1. TE Brock Bowers, Georgia: After injuries piled up in the Georgia receiving room, Bowers stepped right into the fold and looks like a seasoned veteran already. Bowers leads all tight ends with a PFF grade of 89.4 and is generating 3.50 yards per route run, production levels difficult to achieve at any stage in a tight end’s college career. Bowers leads the Georgia pass catchers in receptions, yards and touchdowns.
  1. QB Caleb Williams, Oklahoma: Williams was supposed to be spending this year backing up quarterback Spencer Rattler and watching him post video game numbers on the way to New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony. Instead, he is now the Oklahoma starter and leading an offense that now closely resembles the dominant passing attacks of recent years. Williams posted five total touchdowns against TCU last weekend, including a 41-yard scoring run and three touchdown passes of greater than 10 yards.
  1. RB TreVeyon Henderson, Ohio State: The nation’s top running back recruit is already showing he fully deserved that ranking. The powerful Ohio State freshman already has 18 runs of over 10 yards and is rarely brought down on a defense’s first try; Henderson is averaging 5.29 yards after contact, which is second in the Power Five. Henderson and Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker are the only Big Ten running backs with nine rushing touchdowns. 
  1. DT Tyleik Williams, Ohio State: The Ohio State defensive line room is always overflowing with talent, and this year’s freshman class is no exception. Williams is the top defender on this list, boasting a 90.5 pass-rush grade. He has four sacks and 41 sack yards in just five games this season and has also forced a fumble. He appears to be shaping up to be another high-level Buckeye defensive lineman destined for the NFL.
  1. CB Denzel Burke, Ohio State: Burke, who largely played wide receiver in high school, was thrown into the starting lineup for a struggling Ohio State secondary. The third Buckeyes newcomer on this list has been nothing short of extremely impressive, recording six pass break ups and a pick-six against Rutgers. He has yet to allow a touchdown or a play of greater than 15 yards.
  1. WR Xavier Worthy, Texas: Relatively undersized but very fast, Worthy has already demonstrated the ability to run advanced routes and get separation from defenders in a high-powered Texas offense. He already has two games with multiple touchdowns, and of the five scores in those two games, two of the touchdowns exceeded 60 yards. He leads freshmen with 175 deep receiving yards.
  1. Edge Collin Oliver, Oklahoma State: Dominant both against the run and the pass, Oliver has played 154 snaps and posted 20 pressures and 3.5 sacks combined with 16 total tackles. The Oklahoma City native is a critical piece in a Cowboys defense leading the Big 12 in sacks, and top-three in the conference in both points and yards allowed per game. 
  1. RB Jarquez Hunter, Auburn: Not only is Hunter learning from one of the better running backs in college football in Auburn‘s Tank Bigsby, he is quickly becoming one himself. Hunter has 57 carries on 492 yards and three touchdowns, an impressive average of 8.6 yards per carry. The 5-foot-10, 202-pound back has proven difficult to bring down and already has seven carries for greater than 20 yards this season.
  1. WR Mario Williams, Oklahoma: Another young Sooner already making an impact, Williams is third on the team in receptions and has yet to drop a pass. Unlike many on the explosive Oklahoma offense, Williams has yet to catch a pass of over 20 yards, but he is becoming very reliable and looks to have a bright future with his new starting quarterback. Oklahoma led the Big 12 in passing yards per game last season, and with their two young stars, they are poised to make a run at that feat again.
  2. CB Duce Chestnut, Syracuse: Despite failing to win a conference game to this point, Syracuse has some playmakers. Chestnut has quickly gotten himself into that category with a team-leading two interceptions and four passes defended in addition to 28 tackles. As Treash points out, Chestnut has room for improvement, but the young cornerback is making plays not often seen until a defensive back has had a few years at the collegiate level.