June 12, 2024

The best freshman on college football’s best teams: Predicting first-year impact players for 2024 season


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USATSI

True freshmen no longer have the type of outsized impact on college football they did five years ago. The era of Jake Fromm and Tua Tagovailoa tangoing in the second half of a national championship game, or Trevor Lawrence leading Clemson to a perfect record and a title a year later, has given way to super seniors and transfers-for-hire

But that doesn’t mean true freshmen won’t make an impact. Think about the 2024 College Football Playoff: Where would Alabama have been without Caleb Downs? Does Texas win the Big 12 without Anthony Hill? In some cases, like at Georgia Tech (Eric Singleton) or Purdue (Dillon Thieneman), a true freshman emerged as arguably the top overall player on the team. 

In concert with our mammoth list of the top 100 impact freshmen in college football — not the highest-rated, but the players most likely to see the field early — we’ve drawn out the most likely impact frosh for each of the top 10 teams according to CBS Sports’ preseason 2024 college football rankings

MORE: Read about all 100 impact true freshmen to know for the 2024 college football season





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