Black Friday List: Best true freshman at each position group
The (Black) Friday List is back! No 50 percent off deals here. But I am offering up a free look at the best TRUE freshman at each position group.
QB Kasim Hill, Maryland. A nice-looking prospect, he hit 18-of-21 passes of 230 yards with two TDs before suffering a season-ending ACL injury in September vs. UCF in his second start. He also has rushed for 60 yards with a TD.
RB Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin. The kid arrived from New Jersey with a fat scrapbook, but who could have envisioned him leading the Big Ten in rushing and ranking No. 3 in the nation? The kid has carried a Big Ten-high 238 times for 1,657 yards (7.0 ypc) with 12 rushing TDs.
OL Rashawn Slater, Northwestern. The son of former NBA player Reggie, Rashawn Slater has been a revelation. Not many prospects are equipped to start on the offensive line as a true freshman. But Slater is doing just that at right tackle, helping escort star running back Justin Jackson, who has 1,010 yards rushing.
WR Cody White, Michigan State. The son of former NFLer Sheldon, Cody White has been better than expected. This offense had questions to answer at wideout. And White has stepped up to be one of the team’s top targets with 30 grabs for 407 yards. At 6-3, 206 pounds, White is a target receiver who is effective in the red zone. He has erupted in last four games with 25 catches for 357 yards (14.3 ypc) over that span. White set a MSU single-game freshman record with 165 receiving yards at Northwestern.
TE Louis Dorsey, Illinois. A terrific athlete who is a mismatch waiting to happen, Dorsey has shown a skill-set that belies his youth. He has 18 catches for 332 yards and three TDs. Wait until he gets stronger. This kid is gonna be a beast.
DL A.J. Epenesa, Iowa. The 6-5, 270-pounder was one of the most touted recruits ever signed by Kirk Ferentz. And he has had an instant impact for the Hawkeyes with 3. 5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss.
LB Derrick Barnes, Purdue. The 6-1, 250-pounder has made two starts for one of the most surprising defenses in the Big Ten Barnes has made 15 tackles. He already has good strength. He just needs more experience.
DB Josiah Scott, Michigan State. The 5-10, 173-pound Scott enrolled early and has gone on to start at boundary corner for MSU. He leads the Spartans in breakups with eight and passes defended with nine. Scott is the first position player in the Mark Dantonio era to start every game as a true freshman.
K Charlie Kuhbander, Northwestern. He has connected on 12-of-14 field goals. He has a long of 40 yards.
P Blake Hayes, Illinois. The big Australian is averaging 41.7 yards on 68 punts.