We've spent a lot of time talking about and ranking true freshmen this off season. Until recently we've only had recruiting video and team need evaluations to go by. With fall camp coming to a close we now have practice reports. So before the season starts, here is one last look at the top freshmen heading into the 2009 season.
USC's Matt Barkley leapfrogged Aaron Corp on the depth chart and subsequently leapfrogged Tate Forcier as our top true freshman quarterback. If Barkley can survive a trip to Columbus under the lights in week two, he should hold onto the job permanently. Meanwhile over at Ann Arbor, things get weirder by the day and investing in Wolverines is becoming a risky proposition.
Darren Evans' injury news, coupled with the threat of split carries at South Carolina, and David Wilson takes over the top spot at running back. Jarvis Giles and Dion Lewis still hold down spots in our top five. Bryce Brown appears to be living up to his preseason hype, and we are finally giving Bryce some love. Brown slides just in front of the Michigan State duo as our fourth-rated freshman running back. Larry Caper has moved ever so slightly ahead of Edwin Baker at Michigan State and in our rankings. Caper seems to have an edge on Baker out of the backfield and in pass protection. The pair check in at fifth and sixth. We were waiting for Christine Michael to make a move this summer and he finally did, so he gets a slight bump up to seventh. It should be noted all of the above will still have to fight veteran backs for carries.
We'll have to wait until this Saturday to see which one will be this year's Jacquizz Rodgers and toss the vet to the curb.
DeAngelo Benton made us sweat, but he finally secured a starting spot. As did Nu'Keese Richardson. The pair still hold down the top two spots in our freshman wide receiver rankings. The rest we are still ranking on potential. You typically won't hear coaches raving about their newly-found wide outs as they prefer to unleash them on unsuspecting opponents. Watch week one closely for fresh wide receiver talent.
The usual suspects still top the tight end rankings. Vance McDonald, Dion Sims, Morrell Presley and Orson Charles have all shown flashes this fall. But it is tough to gauge just how involved they will be in the offense. Think of them as long-term investments. Tracy Moore, if he ends up at tight end, enters the top five. And Barrett Matthews enters the fantasy equation with all of the injury woes at Texas.
For complete rankings check out our draft kit and select "Fresh" in the class filter.