College Football Predictions: 5 Freshmen Who Will Shock the Nation
Every season there are freshmen in college football that seem to shock the nation. They either shock the nation because they aren't as well known as some others and they contribute to their team like no one would have imagined, or they are just beasts like they were predicted to be.
This season there are many teams looking for freshmen to fill voids left by graduation and the NFL draft and looking to continue or rebuild the success that they once had.
Here is a list of five freshmen that I believe will have a shockingly impressive 2012 campaign.
Randy Johnson, Miami (Fla.)
The Hurricanes finished with a less-than-impressive record of 6-6 last season and are looking for a spark to ignite their comeback to greatness.
Randy "Duke" Johnson may be just what the 'Canes need. He is extremely elusive, and once he shakes defenders to find open field, he's got the speed to make any defense look sluggish. He will also look to return kicks for the Hurricanes, something that he excels at.
He is a 5-star running back that will surely help fill the void left by Lamar Miller, who declared for the NFL draft after last season.
Johnson is a bit undersized at 5'9", 180 pounds, but if he can bulk up, he may be the every-down type of back that Miami needs. He's got the moves and the skill to become one of the best running backs in the nation one day, and he could return the Hurricanes to college football dominance.
Demetrious Cox, Michigan State
One of my sleeper picks is Demetrious Cox, a 4-star Michigan State safety.
With the departure of Trenton Robinson from last year's talented Michigan State defense, head coach Mark Dantonio is looking for someone to step up to fill the hole.
Cox is currently battling for time between Kurtis Drummond and Jairus Jones with no clear front-runner.
Cox is a freakish athlete that spent time playing safety in high school as well as quarterback, showing his speed and elusiveness by making defenses miss.
There's no doubt that if this kid earns the starting role at safety, he will be in sure contention for Big Ten Defensive Freshman of the Year.
Wes Lunt, Oklahoma State
Wes Lunt is one of the nation's top quarterback prospects, and he is going to a school that is in desperate need of one: Oklahoma State.
With Brandon Weeden now playing for the Cleveland Browns, Lunt will be looked at to step in right away and deliver.
He will also have to fill the role left by Weeden with the loss of Weeden's No. 1 target, Justin Blackmon, to the NFL.
It will be a tough transition for the seventh-rated pro-style quarterback coming out of high school, but he showed during the Cowboys' spring game that he can flat-out play. He passed for over 200 yards in the game and had the Cowboys faithful breathing a sigh of relief that they would be OK without Weeden.
Lunt will struggle out of the gate, but he will hit his stride come time for conference play and lead the Cowboys to a bowl game.
Dorial Green-Beckham, Missouri
Being the No. 1 player in the 2012 recruiting class comes with a lot of expectations and hype. Dorial Green-Beckham will be a player to watch for this season.
Green-Beckham is a wide receiver that will play for Missouri this season, and he is already being compared to Randy Moss in his prime and Calvin Johnson. That's high praise for a player who has never set foot onto a college football field.
Standing a daunting 6'6", 220 lbs, he will give defenses fits and put up numbers that a Missouri receiver has not had in a long time.
He is the most talked-about recruit in recent history, and deservedly so. He is built for college football, and once he's ready, he will have the body of an NFL receiver.
Green-Beckham will have to face SEC defenses this year, which will be no easy task, but many great receivers have come out of the SEC, and he may just be the next one.
Darius Hamilton, Rutgers
Darius Hamilton is expected to make an instant impact for Rutgers this upcoming season.
Although the loss of head coach Greg Schiano to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is a huge blow, Hamilton will transition smoothly, giving the Scarlet Knights something to soften the blow.
Hamilton is a high-motor guy and already has the body to play defensive end in college.
He stands 6'4", 245 lbs, and has quickness off the line, something that defensive ends need in order to make an impact on the game.
Look for him to develop his strength throughout the season and become a dominant pass-rusher in the process.