Here are the Top 50 true Freshmen in college football in 2018. Some of them were highly sought after recruits. Some came out of nowhere. Many were somewhere in between. But they all can ball.
We’ll tell you how many stars they had as a recruit & where they were ranked coming out of high school. And we’ll show you how they produced on the gridiron. They may have been true Freshman, but these players had the skill and heart to compete at the highest level. They are superstars in the making.
1. WR Rondale Moore – Purdue
#41 ranked WR
2018 Stats: 103 rec 1,194 rec yards 12 TDs, 203 rushing yards 1 TD 🔥
Moore was extremely impressive this season, his athleticism and quickness is unmatched.
2. RB Jermar Jefferson – Oregon State
#42 Ranked RB
2018 Stats: 1,300 rushing yards 12 TDs 🔥
Oregon State had a rough season, but Jefferson gives them a glimmer of hope for the future. He was only a 3🌟 Recruit but played like a 5🌟.
3. QB Trevor Lawrence – Clemson
#1 Pro Style QB
2018 Stats: 2,606 Passing yards 24 TDs, 151 rushing yards 1 TD.
Enjoy Lawrence the next 2 years Clemson fans. The way he’s progressing he will no doubt be a 1st Round Pick in 2021.
4. QB Adrian Martinez – Nebraska
#7 DT QB in 2018
2018 Stats: 2,617 passing yards 17 TDs, 629 rushing yards 8 TDs.
The future is bright for Nebraska & Adrian Martinez, for a true FR he really played well & gives NEB fans hope for the future.
5. Safety Andre Cisco – Syracuse
74th Ranked Safety
2018 Stats: 51 Tackles 7 INTs 1 FF
6. LB Merlin Robertson – Arizona State
8th ranked OLB
2018 Stats: 77 Tackles 5 Sacks 1 INT 1 FF 🔥
Robertson was fantastic this season for Herm Edwards & the Sun Devils. He was all over the field making plays & he’s already a leader on the field.
7. DE Ronnie Perkins – Oklahoma
#5 WDE in 2018
2018 Stats: 35 Tackles, 8 TFL, 5 Sacks 🔥
The Sooners weren’t known for their Defense in 2018, but Ronnie Perkins was a bright spot. He can rush the passer exceptionally well for a true FR.
8. Safety Caden Sterns – Texas
#1 ranked Safety
2018 Stats: 62 Tackles, 1 Sack, 4 INTs 🔥
Sterns showed why he was the #1 ranked Safety in 2018. He was exceptional making tackles and even picked off 4 passes.
9. CB Bryce Thompson – Tennessee
2018 Stats: 32 Tackles, 4 TFL, 1 Sack, 3 INTs, 1 FF, 4 PBUs 🔥
Thompson was recruited by many teams as an ATH/WR, but the Vols turned him into one of the best young CBs in CFB.
10. RB Stevie Scott – Indiana
80th ranked RB
2018 Stats: 1,137 rushing yards 10 TDs, 1 rec TD.
Scott had a remarkable season for the Hoosiers. He was ranked as the 80th best RB in 2018 coming out of high school. He rushed for 1,137 yards as a true FR. Remarkable!
11. RB Pooka Williams – Kansas
9th ranked APB
2018 Stats: 1,125 rushing yards 7 TDs, 289 rec yards 2 TDs.
Pooka Williams was a huge pickup for Kansas in 2018. And he lived up to the hype. Unfortunately, because of off the field issues, he might not be back next season.
12. OT Penei Sewell – Oregon
#2 Ranked OG
Sewell lived up to his Recruiting Ranking, as he was dominant on the O-Line for the Ducks. At 6’4″ 320 lbs, he used his size to dominate in Run & Pass blocking.
13. WR Jaylen Waddle – Alabama
5th ranked WR in 2018
2018 Stats: 41 rec 803 yards 7 TDs 🔥🔥🔥
Waddle was spectacular this season. He became a reliable target for Tide QB Tua Tagovailoa, and will play a big role for the Crimson Tide the next 2 years.
14. DE Jamal Hines – Toledo
88th ranked WDE in 2018
2018 Stats: 45 Tackles, 2 INTs, 2 Sacks 🔥
Hines showed a ton of potential in his true Freshman season. He not only wreaked havoc on QBs, but he also did a good job vs the run.
15. QB Alan Bowman – Texas Tech
37th Ranked QB
2018 Stats: 2,638 Passing yards 17 TDs, 1 rushing TD.
Bowman was fantastic as a true Freshman. Now, with head coach Kliff Kingsbury gone, we’ll be interested to see how his development progresses.
16. QB Brock Purdy – Iowa State
#36 Pro Style QB
2018 Stats: 1,935 Passing yards 16 TDs, 3 Rushing TDs.
Iowa St found a diamond in the rough with Purdy. Matt Campbell did a great job developing Purdy & he will continue to get better.
17. QB Sam Hartman – Wake Forest
32nd ranked Pro Style QB
2018 Stats: 1,984 Passing yards 16 TDs, 275 rushing yards 2 TDs.
Hartman was a Dual Threat QB for WF. The future looks promising for the Demon Deacons with him leading the way.
18. WR Jayden Reed – WMU
263rd ranked WR in 2018
2018 Stats: 55 rec 792 yards 8 TDs 🔥🔥🔥
Reed has that “It” Factor. Watching him you just know he’s going to be a special player.
19. DB Prudy Calderon – Rice
143rd ranked ATH in 2018
2018 Stats: 38 Tackles, 1 TFL, 1 FF, 1 FR, 4 INTs 🔒🔥
Calderon was overlooked as a Recruit & contemplated walking on at Texas. Luckily for the Owls, he decided not to.
20. Safety Jaiden Woodbey – FSU
4th ranked Safety
2018 Stats: 59 Tackles, 4.5 TFL, 1 Sack
Woodbey was a bright spot for the Noles this year. His tackling ability was great, and he found his way in the backfield often.
21. RB Marcel Murray – Arkansas State
167th ranked RB
2018 Stats: 793 rushing yards 7 TDs, 16 rec 141 yards 2 TDs 🔥
The Red Wolves found their RB of the future with Murray. He was an underrated 2🌟 Recruit. But he has good size and athleticism, and he’s a big time playmaker.
22. DE Michael Austin Lewis – Liberty
121st ranked WDE in 2018
2018 Stats: 24 Tackles, 6.5 TFL, 3.5 Sacks
Lewis is a big, strong DE who stayed in the backfield this season. A lot of teams will end up regretting passing on him.
23. LB Dax Hollifield – Virginia Tech
8th ranked ILB
2018 Stats: 59 Tackles, 8 TFL, 2 Sacks
Once Hollifield got into the starting rotation he never looked back. He became a leader for the Hokies and he’s a tackling machine.
24. WR Amon-Ra St. Brown – USC
2nd ranked WR
2018 Stats: 60 rec 750 yards 3 TDs
St. Brown lived up to the hype. He’s explosive and makes defenders miss.
25. WR Rashod Bateman – Minnesota
61st ranked WR
2018 Stats: 49 rec 670 yards 6 TDs 🔥
When he committed to the Gophers, they possibly got the biggest steal in the 2018 cycle. Bateman definitely didn’t disappoint.
26. LB Micah Parsons – Penn State
#2 ranked WDE
2018 Stats: 69 Tackles, 1.5 Sacks, 1 FF
Parsons was a tackling machine this year. We expect him to continue to make great strides in his development & exceed 80+ tackles next season.
27. Safety Jevon Holland – Oregon
13th ranked Safety
2018 Stats: 38 Tackles 4 INTs 🔒🔥
Holland proved he was a ball hawk. He was a force in the secondary for Oregon. Holland also proved he can make some big hits and tackles.
28. CB Trey Morrison – UNC
69th ranked ATH
2018 Stats: 46 Tackles, 5.5 TFL, 2 Sacks
Morrison proved this season he was one of the best young tackling DBs in CFB. He should continue to improve in coverage & be one of the best in the ACC.
29. LB Mike Rose – Iowa State
57th ranked OLB
2018 Stats: 68 Tackles, 1.5 Sacks
At 6’4″ 225 lbs, Rose has good size and he proved he can tackle. He has great awareness to read what the offense will do. Bright future ahead for Rose.
30. WR Justyn Ross – Clemson
7th ranked WR
2018 Stats: 34 rec 699 yards 6 TDs
Ross showed off his explosiveness this season and that he could be a deep threat for Trevor Lawrence. Look for an even bigger season from Ross in 2019.
31. TE Pat Freiermuth – Penn State
9th ranked TE in 2018
2018 Stats: 24 rec 330 yards 7 TDs 🔥
Freiermuth was extremely impressive this season & proved to be a BIG red zone threat. Next season we’d expect 10+ TDs.
32. RB Isaiah Bowser – Northwestern
37th ranked RB
2018 Stats: 796 rushing yards 6 TDs
Bowser came on late in the season and made the most of his opportunity. Now, he looks to be the RB of the future for Northwestern.
33. DE Thomas Booker – Stanford
11th ranked SDE
2018 Stats: 24 Tackles, 3.5 Sacks 1 INT
Booker can rush the passer. He’s got a quick first move and has the strength to go along with the quickness.
34. CB Corione Harris – Kansas
27th ranked CB
2018 Stats: 44 Tackles, 1 INT, 1 FF
Harris was a huge pickup for Kansas in the 2018 class and wasted no time making a big impact. Les Miles will love having him on his defense.
35. QB Holton Ahlers – ECU
17th ranked DT QB
2018 Stats: 1,785 passing yards, 592 rushing yards 6 TDs 🔥.
Ahlers proved that he’s the QB of the future for ECU. He’s a threat through the air & on the ground.
36. RB Johnny Ford – USF
32nd Ranked APB
2018 Stats: 737 rushing yards 8 TDs, 78 rec yards 1 TD.
Ford was a great find for USF on the recruiting trail and immediately stepped in and made an impact.
37. CB Jaycee Horn – South Carolina
22nd ranked CB
2018 Stats: 39 Tackles, 3 TFL, 1 Sack
Horn stepped in and proved to be an excellent cover corner. He’s still developing, but we love the potential for him going forward.
38. DT Alim McNeil – NC State
18th ranked DT
2018 Stats: 24 Tackles, 3.5 Sacks, 1 FF
McNeil was a force on the D-Line for the Wolfpack this year. For a DT, he’s extremely athletic and quick.
39. OT Cade Mays – Georgia
3rd ranked OT
Mays stepped in as a true Freshman this year and played wherever he was needed on the O-Line. He will be one of the best OTs in CFB the next few years.
40. WR Tre Turner – Virginia Tech
34th ranked WR
2018 Stats: 25 rec 495 yards 4 TDs, 78 rushing yards 1 TD, 1 blocked Punt.
Turner really came on late in the season & proved to be an explosive playmaker for the Hokies.
41. TE Brevin Jordan – Miami
#1 ranked TE in 2018
2018 Stats: 30 rec 275 yards 4 TDs in 8 games
Jordan stepped in as TE1 for the Canes and proved to be a threat in the passing attack. We expect him to have an even bigger year in 2019.
42. RB Maurice Washington – Nebraska
10th ranked RB
2018 Stats: 455 rushing yards 3 TDs, 24 rec 201 yards 1 TD.
Washington has a ton of upside. We’ve seen a few flashes of greatness this season & we expect to see a lot more opportunities next year.
43. RB Dameon Pierce – Florida
8th ranked RB
2018 Stats: 425 rushing yards 2 TDs, 5 rec 20 yards 1 TD.
Pierce just got his feet wet this season, but was impressive doing so. With a bigger role, he could be one of the best RBs in the SEC.
44. CB Patrick Surtain II – Alabama
#1 ranked CB
2018 Stats: 33 Tackles, 1 INT, 1 FF
Surtain has excellent coverage skills and lived up to the 5🌟 Ranking. Opposing QBs will start avoiding Surtain’s side of the field.
45. DE Xavier Thomas – Clemson
#1 ranked SDE
2018 Stats: 28 Tackles, 3 Sacks, 1 FF
With the Clemson front four all coming back, Thomas played sparingly. However, he made a huge impact when given the opportunity. Watch out for him in 2019.
46. Kicker Evan McPherson – Florida
2018 Stats: 15-17 FG 45-45 XP
McPherson was excellent this year kicking FGs and one of his “misses” he appeared to make. The Gators will have one of the best Kickers in CFB the next few years.
47. DT Will Choloh – Troy
95th ranked DT
2018 Stats: 19 Tackles, 4.5 TFL, 3 Sacks 🔥
Choloh is not only a run stopper, but he can rush the passer and gets into the backfield often. He is a really good looking player for Troy.
48. LB Chris Oats – Kentucky
22nd ranked OLB
2018 Stats: 24 Tackles, 3 TFL, 2 Sacks
Kentucky might have their next Josh Allen at LB with Chris Oats. While that’s a lot of hype to live up to, Oats definitely has a ton of potential.
49. CB Trey Dean – Florida
17th ranked CB
2018 Stats: 22 Tackles 1 INT
Dean continues to get better each week. While his stats won’t blow you away, he made a huge impact for the Gators in the secondary.
50. DB Alontae Taylor – Tennessee
21st ranked CB
2018 Stats: 40 Tackles, 1 TFL
The secondary for the Vols looks bright with Taylor & Thompson shining as true Freshmen. Taylor’s vision allows him to diagnose the offense & make a play.
WR Jeshaun Jones – Maryland
118th ranked WR
2018 Stats: 22 rec 288 yards 5 TDs, 173 rushing yards 2 TDs. 1 Pass TD
Jones was spectacular vs Texas, scoring a TD three different ways. With consistent QB play he will continue to develop.
Punter Ryan Wright – Tulane
Let’s show some love to one of the best young punters in CFB. Wright was a 3🌟 Recruit & averaged 44.07 yards per punt as a true Freshman. His accuracy is one of his best attributes.
OT Christian Darrisaw – Virginia Tech
171th ranked OT
Darrisaw excelled this season, earning himself many freshman accolades. He should be a quality starter for the Hokies for many years to come.
DT Dante Stills – West Virginia
7th ranked SDE
2018 Stats: 13 Tackles 3 Sacks 5.5 Tackles for Loss
Stills is a freak of nature. He’s extraordinary at getting to the QB and lives in the backfield.
CB Julius Brents – Iowa
30th ranked Safety
2018 Stats: 13 Tackles 1 INT in 5 games.
Brents was good in coverage in his limited time playing. He can play CB or Safety. So he’s a versatile player with a bright future.
LB Rocky Jacques Louis – FIU
127th ranked WDE
2018 Stats: 15 Tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack, 2 INTs.
Jacques Louis is an athletic player who can play DE/LB. When given a chance, he excelled, and his role should expand next season.
LB Brenton Cox – Georgia
2nd ranked OLB
2018 Stats: 14 Tackles, 1.5 TFL 1 Sack
Cox should see a much more significant role next season. However, in limited time this season, he showed flashes of the potential he has.
WR Chris Olave – Ohio State
68th ranked WR
2018 Stats: 12 rec 197 yards 3 TDs
Olave only appeared in 7 games, but he really made a big impact late in the season. He showed a knack for making big plays and high pointing the ball.
DT Jordan Redmond – UVA
79th ranked DT
2018 Stats: In limited time in 7 games Redmond recorded 10 tackles. While the stats won’t blow you away, Redmond showed he was a run stuffer & impacted the game more than the stats show.
OT Dylan Wonnum – South Carolina
12th ranked OT
One of the most impressive true Freshman Offensive Linemen in CFB this season was Dylan Wonnum. At 6’5″ 330 lbs, he has good size & utilized it well this season. Bright, bright future.
WR Anthony Schwartz – Auburn
30th ranked WR
2018 Stats: 199 rushing yards 4 TDs, 19 rec 307 yards 2 TDs