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Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Impact true freshmen

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

While recruiting rankings are more accurate than not, they can only tell us so much. We don't know how guys will respond when they arrive on campus and guys suddenly are bigger and faster than everyone they have played against.

Plenty of four- and five-star guys struggle, and plenty of two-star guys make an immediate impact.

So, with preseason camps winding down, which true freshmen are in line to start or see significant playing time?

Here's a list, though please understand it will be incomplete.

Arizona
CB Cortez Johnson
RB Ka'Deem Carey
LB Hank Hobson
LB Rob Hankins
DB Tramayne Bodurant

Note: None likely to start but each could be in a regular rotation.

Arizona State
S Ezekiel Bishop
LB Isreal Marshall

Note: The Sun Devils are a veteran team so their are few voids on the depth chart. Mike Bercovici could end up the No. 2 quarterback. Injuries at linebacker opened the door for Marshall.

California
LB Chris McCain
LB Cecil Whiteside
CB Stefan McClure
DT Viliami Moala
S Avery Walls

Note: Cal has closed practices so good information is limited. McCain has been the biggest surprise. McClure injured his thumb and will be in a cast for a bit, which might hurt his prospects. This list every well could be longer because it appears most of the incoming freshman are living up to their advanced billing.

Colorado
WR Tyler McCulloch
CB Greg Henderson
OG Paulay Asiata
SS Kyle Washington
K Will Oliver
P Darragh O'Neill

Note: McCulloch is listed as a co-starter and has been compared to Ed McCaffrey. Henderson has won a starting job as have Oliver and O'Neill. The Buffs have never had two true freshmen manning both specialists spots.

Oregon
TE Colt Lyerla
RB De'Anthony Thomas

Note: Running back Tra Carson, at 220 pounds, also could fill the "big" back role, but he still figures to be the fourth option. Lyerla is David Paulson's likely backup. Thomas is too good to sit.

Oregon State
RB Malcolm Agnew
WR Brandin Cooks
RB Terron Ward
S Tyrequek Zimmerman
K Trevor Romaine

Note: Romaine, a grayshirt, is the only sure starter here, but Agnew and Ward are almost certain to get touches. Cooks is a threat to beat out Darrell Catchings at flanker (where James Rodgers will play when he comes back).

Stanford
WR Ty Montgomery
LB James Vaughters
CB Wayne Lyons

Note: None of this troika appear headed for the starting lineup -- in Week 1 at least -- but all three have been impressive and will see significant action.

UCLA
OL Jacob Brendel
WR Devin Lucien

Note: Neither is likely to start -- both play positions with plenty of veteran players -- but both should see action.

USC
WR Marqise Lee
OG Aundrey Walker
LB Lamar Dawson
RB Amir Carlisle

Note: A bit of a surprise that Lee and not George Farmer is the standout freshman receiver of preseason camp. Walker could win a starting job at some point this season. Dawson will backup Chris Galippo, who has a fairly lengthy injury history. Keeping up with the running back competition has been difficult, but it seems unlikely Carlisle will redshirt.

Utah
DE Nate Fakahafua
RB Harvey Langi
DB Eric Rowe

Note: Rowe is currently a starting safety. Fakahafua is pressing to start. Langi has the talent to start but will at least get plenty of touches.

Washington
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins
WR Kasen Williams
LB John Timu
DT Danny Shelton

Note: Seferian-Jenkins and Timu look like starters. Williams and Shelton have been so impressive they will be in the regular rotation from game one.

Washington State
LB Chester Su’a
LB Darryl Monroe

Note: Both are in line to provide depth, but it's a good sign for the Cougars that the depth chart isn't littered with true freshmen.