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Big Ten Football: Updating Week 3 Performances of Conference's Top Freshmen

BERKELEY, CA - SEPTEMBER 14:  Dontre Wilson #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes gets tackled by Stefan McClure #21 and Dan Camporeale #43 of the California Golden Bears during the third quarter at California Memorial Stadium on September 14, 2013 in Berkeley, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
Andrew CoppensContributor ISeptember 16, 2013

Things got real for the Big Ten in Week 3. For some of the top freshmen we've highlighted since the beginning of the year that meant a lot less time on the field. 

It also saw some of the young guns step up and play big roles in their teams' efforts in Week 3. Unfortunately our top five Freshmen from the beginning of the season were either insignificant parts or saw their teams lose heartbreaking games. 

We are talking about freshmen here, so expecting some ups and downs should happen, but Week 3 was pretty brutal. So, let's rip the Band-Aid off, shall we? 

 

Derrick Green, Running Back (Michigan): 1 carry, 3 yards

Green and the Wolverines struggled mightily in the run game against Akron. So much so that Green didn't see the field for more than a handful of play periods. The O-Line struggled to produce holes for starter Fitzgerald Toussaint and the close nature of the game prevented Green from seeing much in the way of time. 

Up next is Green's first collegiate road game as the Wolverines go to UConn in Week 4. Can he be a bigger part of the offense this week? Michigan seems to be better off when he is, that's for sure. 

 

Sojourn Shelton, Cornerback (Wisconsin): 1 tackle, 1 PBU, 3 penalties

Arizona State went after the Freshmen. The good news for Badgers fans was that Shelton never really got torched. Instead, he was all over the ASU wide receivers. The three penalties were a bit harsh upon further review, and he'll learn as time goes on. 

However, Shelton played well otherwise and didn't back down against a crazy arial assault from the Sun Devils. 

 

Christian Hackenberg, Quarterback (Penn State): 21-of-28, 262 yards, 1 touchdown passing

Hackenberg was super accurate once again and didn't commit a single turnover. However, he also experienced his first loss in college thanks to a defense that couldn't get a stop when it needed it. Penn State's offense did what it needed to do to win the football game, so Hackenberg and Co. don't need to hang their heads. 

Hackenberg has been consistent in his great performances so far this season and continues to prove he is the real deal. 

 

Darius Latham, Defensive Tackle (Indiana): 1 tackle

The youngster didn't see a ton of time and wasn't a massive force in their big win over Bowling Green. However, as a team he was part of the Hoosiers' best defensive effort in a long time. So, at least there is that, right? 

 

Corey Clement, Running Back (Wisconsin): 2 carries, 1 yard

With the game being a bit more of a shootout than a regular Wisconsin football game, Clement didn't see a ton of action either. It was somewhat tough sledding for the Badgers in attempting to run up the middle—that's what Clement is going to be used for more often than not the rest of the season. He's perhaps the best of the Badger backs between the tackles with his power. 

So, while this week Clement didn't run much or for 100 yards once again, don't expect him to go quietly into the night of the 2013 season. 

 

Other Freshmen of Note

Dontre Wilson, Running Back (Ohio State): 5 carries, 59 yards; 3 receptions, 48 yards

Another performance like this and he's going to move himself into the mix above—that's for sure. He's been perhaps the most impressive of the "Honorable Mention" group so far.

 

Joey Bosa, Defensive End (Ohio State): 5.5 tackles, 2 tackles for loss

 

Terrell Newby, Running Back (Nebraska): 5 carries, 22 yards; 1 reception, 9 yards

 

B.J. Knauf, Wide Receiver (Purdue): 4 receptions, 51 yards, 1 touchdown; 2 carries, 6 yards

 

*Andy Coppens is the lead Big Ten writer for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter for more of the Big Ten conversation.

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