2020 College Football Recruits Who Could Start as Freshmen

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2019

2020 College Football Recruits Who Could Start as Freshmen

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    Bryan Bresee
    Bryan BreseeCredit: Cory Fravel, 247Sports

    Every year, college football fans point to their favorite team's recruiting class as hope for a brighter—or, in the case of elite programs, a sustained—future.

    Part of that process is finding immediate-impact prospects. And often, it's identifying players who can start immediately.

    In the 2020 recruiting class, several talents stand out as the most likely prospects to hold first-string roles as freshmen.

    When available, a player's forecast is based on his verbal pledge. Otherwise, uncommitted prospects are connected to their top schools (as per their 247Sports profile) and projected from there.

Carson Beck, QB

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    Verbal commitment: Georgia

    Despite the constant stream of elite quarterbacks signing with Georgia since 2016, the program desperately needs a signal-caller. Jacob Eason and Justin Fields have transferred, and incumbent starter Jake Fromm is expected to declare for the 2020 NFL draft.

    If the latter happens, Georgia has an unproven QB room of Dwan Mathis and junior college transfer Stetson Bennett.

    We're not declaring that an easy competition for Carson Beck, but he wouldn't have a realistic chance to start if Fromm returns.

    Beck posted a 58.7 completion percentage with 3,546 yards and 39 touchdowns to eight interceptions in 2018. Another superb high school campaign will send his hype train storming into Athens.

Bryan Bresee, DT

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    Verbal commitment: Clemson

    It's not breaking news to suggest the No. 1 overall prospect in the class has a decent opportunity to start immediately.

    Clemson, though, is retooling its defensive front. The ACC powerhouse celebrated three first-round picks in the 2019 NFL draft, a fourth-rounder and a high-priority free agent. Three of thoseChristian Wilkins, Dexter Lawrence and Albert Hugginswere tackles.

    Bryan Bresee will bolster the position in 2020. The question is how difficult a prospective climb on the depth chart will be, since the 2019 rotation will basically be brand new after Nyles Pinckney.

    Barring a surge from multiple reserves, Bresee will have a great chance to start during his freshman season.

Myles Hinton, OT

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    Myles Hinton
    Myles HintonCredit: Rusty Mansell, 247Sports

    Verbal commitment: Stanford

    Whether you believe he'll stick with Stanford or join his brother Chrisa 5-star in the 2019 classat Michigan is a different story. Right now, Myles Hinton is pledged to Stanford.

    Heading into 2019, the Cardinal have an upperclassman-heavy outlook on the depth chart at offensive tackle. Devery Hamilton and Henry Hattis are seniors, while junior Walker Little is a highly regarded NFL prospect and classmate Foster Sarell has that upside.

    Myles Hinton could be stepping into an ideal situation at Stanford.

    Note: In the interest of thoroughness, Michigan is set to lose Jon Runyan after the 2019 season. There's a path to playing time with the Wolverines, who read 100 percent on 247Sports' Crystal Ball.

Rakim Jarrett, WR

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    Verbal commitment: LSU

    Perhaps this section is better dedicated to a trio of wide receivers rather than only 5-star Rakim Jarrett. LSU holds commitments from three of the nation's eight highest-rated wideouts.

    For a program with zero 1,000-yard receivers in the last half-decade, that's nothing short of remarkable.

    Along with 4-stars Jermaine Burton and Kayshon Boutte, Jarrett is potentially joining a revamped group. In 2019, Stephen Sullivan, Derrick Dillon, Dee Anderson and Jonathan Giles will be seniors, and leading target Justin Jefferson could leave for the NFL draft.

    Jarrett's combination of outstanding burst and speed suggests he'll contend for a slot receiver job immediately.

Paris Johnson Jr., OT

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    Verbal commitment: Ohio State

    Ohio State has a surplus of highly recruited linemen, but 2019 is a critical moment for the once-coveted prospects to show it.

    Otherwise, 5-star Paris Johnson Jr. could shake up the unitone that has been OSU's weakness lately.

    Listed at 6'7½" and 295 pounds, he already possesses a Big Ten-caliber frame. Beyond his stature, Johnson is an impressive athlete for the position with explosiveness that translates into power on contact.

    Johnson could force his way into the lineup anyway, but it would be even more likely if Thayer Munford heads to the NFL.

Leonard Manuel, WR

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    Leonard Manuel
    Leonard ManuelCredit: Andrew Ivins, 247Sports

    Verbal commitment: Florida

    Dan Mullen has brought a whole bunch of excitement back to Florida, but he's going to need a few receivers, too.

    Leonard Manuela top-60 overall prospectlikely won't be looking at a crowded depth chart, should he stick with UF.

    Next season, a majority of the pass-catching corps will be seniors. The Gators return six players who posted at least 200 yards in 2018, and four are entering their final year of eligibility. They signed four wideouts in the 2019 class, but only Arjei Henderson was a 4-star.

    The 6'4", 200-pound Manuel would be especially valuable if Trevon Grimes has a breakout season and declares for the NFL.

Johnny Wilson, WR

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    Top schools: Ohio State, Oregon, Texas, UCLA, Washington

    Five-star receiver Johnny Wilson has a group of five finalists, and the programs effectively fit into two buckets.

    Ohio State, Texas and Washington will be trotting out senior-laden receiving corps this season, while Oregondespite a promising 2019 classand UCLA are searching for upgrades at the position.

    Although he isn't an overwhelming athlete, Wilson has a clear understanding of how to create space and settle into zones. Not only does his 6'6" size provide a large target, but Wilson also constantly uses his hands instead of his body to catch passes. That should quickly earn trust from his future coaches and quarterback.

    Now, the question is where that future will be located.


    All recruiting information via 247Sports, and all rankings via the 247Sports composite. Stats from NCAA.com, cfbstats.com or B/R research. Follow Bleacher Report CFB Writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.


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