On Friday night we held our annual BCS-only draft. This is a deep keeper league with special rules for true freshman. If you draft a true frosh, he automatically receives keeper status for the next year.
Obviously this puts a premium on drafting freshman. In all we had 26 true freshman taken in our 20 round, 10 team draft. Here's a look at who was taken and when.
Tai-ler (TJ) Jones, WR, Notre Dame (Round 2, Alex) - I'm in rebuild mode and Jones was my top freshman target. He's pushing for a starting role and should be a force in Brian Kelly's offense for years to come.
Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina (Round 4, Steve I) - Like many, Lattimore was the top freshman running back on my board. Without another pick till the Round 5 and knowing Lattimore would go before my next pick, I had to make a choice and felt I needed to lock up Jones.
Michael Dyer, RB Auburn (Round 4, Steve I) - Note, this was a Round 4 pick, but due to owners forfeiting picks due to keeper rules, Dyer was actually the 17th player taken in the draft. Lattimore and Dyer are two of the highest rated recruits in 2010.
Dillon Baxter RB, USC (Round 7, Randy) - Baxter is pushing for playing time behind Allen Bradford and Marc Tyler. He's got speed to burn and looks like a more nimble Justin Fargas.
Deantre Lewis, RB, Arizona St. (Round 7, Steve I) - Lewis is one of the fastest risers in fall camp. He's pushing Cameron Marshall for a starting role and should see significant action this fall.
Lache Seastrunk, RB, Oregon (Round 8, Randy) - As you can see, running backs go quick. Seastrunk is a LaMichael James clone -- maybe a tad bigger -- and is a perfect fit for the stretch running play the Ducks' like to run. With James and Kenjon Barner on the roster, Seastrunk and Dontae Williams are likely headed for a redshirt, or at least limited action. Though Seastrunk has stepped it up in camp lately.
Malcolm Jones, RB, UCLA (Round 9, Randy) - Randy has deep love for Norm Chow and the UCLA offense. Jones could be the guy that finally pays dividends for Randy's investments in Bruin players.
Robert Bolden, QB, Penn St. (Round 10, Steve I) - This pick stung, and stung a lot. I had to fill some other holes but I did consider taking Bolden in Rounds 8 & 9. Bolden was our second rated quarterback on signing day and looks to be making a strong push for the starting job. He's a big athletic kid with a strong arm.
Trajuan Briggs, RB, Cal (Round 12, Brian) - Brian is obviously looking to tap into the Cal fantasy back goldmine. A wise investment.
Storm Johnson, RB, Miami (Round 13, Randy) - If Randy doesn't take Johnson, I would have him with the next pick. There is a logjam of running backs at Miami, but Johnson's name keeps coming up in practice reports.
Kyle Prater, WR, USC (Round 13, Alex) - In my opinion, this is a deeper freshman class at wide receiver than running back. Once Lattimore went, my focus was on the receivers. Robert Woods and Markeith Ambles were also considerations and Woods would have been my pick if Prater wasn't available. Note, I am taking a bit of a risk with Prater hobbled by a hamstring, but long-term I think Prater has the most upside of the three USC freshmen receivers.
Kenny Stills, WR Oklahoma (Round 13, Steve D) - Stills is competing for a starting spot and should see the field early. He has been dinged up of late though.
Mike Davis, WR, Texas (Round 13, Alex) - With the top freshman wideouts starting to go, I made sure I got Davis, who was also very high on my list.
Devin Gardner, QB, Michigan (Round 14, Brian) - Gardner is currently behind Denard Robinson and Tate Forcier, but things can change quickly. He's got Terrelle Pryor size and wheels. The big question mark is regarding his arm.
Mustafa Greene, RB, North Carolina St. (Round 15, Brian) - The running back position is very much up in the air for the Wolfpack and Greene, a 4-star prospect, has a chance to see the field early. Especially with James Washington and Curtis Underwood on the shelf due to undisclosed injuries.
Adonis Smith, RB, Northwestern (Round 15, Scott) - We are getting deep into the freshman backs now. Arby Fields entered fall camp as the starter, but recently hurt his shoulder. Smith has some pop in his step which could translate well in the Wildcats' spread offense.
Le'Veon Bell, RB, Michigan St. (Round 16, Steve I) - Steve has been hoarding freshman running backs since early in the draft. This makes his fourth freshie back and arguably the most powerful. He and fellow freshman Nick Hill will see the field this season, the question is how much? There is no shortage of young backs in East Lansing.
Quinton Dunbar, WR, Florida (Round 18, Steve I) - Dunbar is one of the top Gator recruits in 2010 and his name has come up often the last few weeks.
Trey Burton, QB, Florida (Round 18, Steve D) - The next Tim Tebow? Burton will see the field in running situations, much like Tebow did in 2006. The question is, has he mastered the jump pass?
Obum Gwacham, WR, Oregon St. (Round 18, Jim) - Our Pac-10 blogger Tyler Holmes first brought Gwacham to our attention after the Beavers' scrimmage last week. The 6-foot-5 Gwacham had five catches for 98 yards and two scores. Can you say red zone target?
Brennan Clay, RB, Oklahoma (Round 18, Tony) - Tony also happens to own both DeMarco Murray and Jermie Calhoun -- putting a stranglehold on the Sooners' running backs. Clay is pushing Calhoun for carries.
Johnny Deaton, QB, Oklahoma St. (Round 19, Alex) - After taking Brandon Weeden with my first pick it was time to lock up his back-up and eventual heir apparent to the Dana Holgorsen offense. I just hope Holgorsen sticks around long enough to get a return on my investment.
Malcolm Marable, RB, Oregon St. (Round 19, Scott) - Who's going to replace Jacquizz Rodgers? Much like Cal, Oregon State has a been a fantasy running back factory over the years.
Darius Millines, WR, Illinois (Round 20, Scott) - We are digging deep into the bag of freshman wide outs. There were higher rated freshman wide outs on the board, but I'm in no position to question our two-time defending champ.
Mack Brown, RB, Florida (Round 20, Steve D) - There is no shortage of young talent in Gainesville. Florida offensive coordinator says Brown looks "extremely athletic right now". You could do worse than drafting a Urban Meyer recruit.
Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee (Round 20, Tony) - Tennessee's offense isn't getting a lot of respect, but there is talent on the roster. The 6-foot-6 Bray is pushing Matt Simms for the starting job.
Of course there are number of promising prospects that went undrafted. So many players, so little roster spots. At some point you do need to make sure you field a team of veterans that you can rely on. For more freshman prospects, check out our Draft Kit. You can filter our rankings by freshman and we've also identified a number of prospects in our Sleeper (immediate impact) and Keeper (long-term prospects) lists.