Who are the future stars of college football? They can be found embedded within the nations top team’s depth charts, trying to earn playing time and solidify their value to the program. Some have risen higher than others, but there’s no question that these former top recruits are out to make an impact on college football before they head off to the pros. Here are the nation’s top freshman on defense.
1. Jadaveon Clowney (DE, South Carolina) Clowney is among the nation’s leaders in forced fumbles, and he’s an absolute terror for offensive tackles to block. He’s having an amazing freshman season, and gives South Carolina one of the best defensive lines in the country.
2. Tim Jernigan (DT, Florida State) Tim Jernigan has found himself into the starting lineup of one of the best defensive lines in the country. He’s constantly drawing holding penalties, and making his presence felt by stuffing the run.
3. Aaron Lynch (DE, Notre Dame) Aaron Lynch is a physical specimen on the D-Line for Notre Dame. He’s getting some much needed experience this year, and will be the anchor of the Notre Dame defense for years to come.
4. Ray Drew (DE, Georgia) Ray Drew is another freshman seeing significant time on his defensive line at Georgia. He could develop into the best defensive end not named Clowney in this class, and certainly is on NFL scouts’ radar.
5. Anthony Johnson (DT, LSU) Anthony Johnson is giving the best defensive line in America a significant boost. Described as a man child, Anthony Johnson is just getting his feet wet in the SEC, and may be the next Glen Dorsey for Les Miles.