- ESPN staff writer
- Joined ESPN in 2011
- Graduated from Central Michigan
- Senior National Recruiting Analyst for ESPN.com
- Coached in four professional football leagues
- Graduated from Eastern Kentucky and Marshall
The college football season is right around the corner, which means a bevy of true freshmen around the country are fighting to earn spots on the field. Transfers and upperclassmen are trying to hold the newcomers off, but every season, there are a number of first-year players who come in and earn a starting job.
Last year, Caleb Williams supplanted Spencer Rattler midway through the season and became Oklahoma’s starter. Running backs TreVeyon Henderson at Ohio State and Braelon Allen at Wisconsin were breakout stars, and Georgia tight end Brock Bowers quickly became one of the best offensive players in the country.
The list of players who contributed in their first seasons at the college level goes on, and it’s safe to say we are expecting a new group of freshmen to show up this year and become playmakers for their respective teams.
Tom Luginbill and Tom VanHaaren go position by position in selecting the preseason true freshman All-America team for the 2022 season, a list that is based on need, opportunity and talent level entering Week 1.
Luginbill and VanHaaren: QB Cade Klubnik
Clemson | 2022 ESPN 300 ranking: 29
Clemson won 10 games in 2021 and returns nine starters on offense, including QB DJ Uiagalelei, but he’s going to have a short leash because the more accurate and mobile Klubnik is nipping at his heels. The dynamic could be a similar situation to the 2019 season between Kelly Bryant and Trevor Lawrence. — Luginbill
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