The Top Five Freshmen Performances From Week 1
In last week's article Five College Football Freshmen To Watch In Week 1, I wrote about which freshmen I believed would have the biggest impact in Week 1 of the college football season.
This week, I will be writing about which are the top five freshman that stood out during that first week.
So here it goes.
1. Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
Rosen, by far, was the most impressive freshman last Saturday. Rosen torched the Virginia Cavaliers' secondary to the tune of 351 passing yards and three touchdowns. Rosen led the No. 13 Bruins to a 34-16 win over the unranked Cavaliers. He completed 28 of his 35 passes with no interceptions, and finished the game with a QBR of 90.8 (ninth among all quarterbacks in the nation). The 6-foot-4 freshman dazzled the fans with a variety of accurate throws — the very first throw of his collegiate career came on a 50-yard, play-action bomb that went right through the hands of junior receiver Kenny Walker. Rosen showed little nerve in front of an announced crowd of 68,615, and his play against the Cavs was enough to earn him college football's National Player of the Week honors.
Look for Rosen to continue with his great play in Week 2. The Bruins will be visiting the UNLV Rebels on Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET. Rosen will be facing a Rebels defense that gave up 360 yards to NIU's Drew Hare in its Week 1 matchup.
2. Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
Christian Kirk is the first of two wide receivers to make this list. Kirk was phenomenal in the Texas A&M Aggies' 38-17 win over the No. 17 Arizona State Sun Devils. Kirk racked up 106 receiving yards on only six receptions. He also recorded his first collegiate receiving touchdown in the Aggies' victory. The 5-foot-11 freshman led all A&M receivers in receiving yards, and shared the lead in receptions with sophomore receiver Ricky Seals-Jones.
In addition, not only was Kirk spectacular in the receiving game, he was also just as amazing on special teams. Kirk finished the game with 224 all-purpose yards and took a Sun Devils' punt 79 yards to the house.
Kirk's outstanding play in Week 1 was enough to earn him the honor of SEC Freshman of the Week.
The Aggies will face off against the Ball State Cardinals at 7 p.m. ET in College Station.
3. Iman Marshall, CB, USC
Last week, I predicted Marshall would be an impact freshman in Week 1. It turns out, I was right. Marshall was all over the field in the No. 8 Trojans 55-6 victory over the Arkansas State Red Wolves. The true freshman defensive back led the Trojans' defense with a pair of pass break-ups. He also recorded six tackles — second most on the team.
Marshall will continue to be a key figure in the Trojans' secondary for the remainder of the season. USC will square off against the 0-1 Idaho Vandals this Saturday at 8 p.m. ET.
4. Jovon Durante, WR, West Virginia
West Virginia's Jovon Durante is the second receiver to make this exclusive list. And like Kirk, Durante was nothing short of spectacular. Durante was integral in the Mountaineers' 44-0 win over the Georgia Southern Eagles. Durante finished the game with 121 receiving yards on three receptions. Yes, you read that correctly. The 6-foot-1 receiver from Miami, Florida hauled in only three receptions and accumulated over 100 receiving yards — that's an average of 40.3 yards per catch.
Durante's first (and, so far, only) TD came on a 41-yard bomb a little over a minute into the first quarter.
Jovon Durante with his first career TD reception! WVU leads 7-0. 10:54 - 1st quarter. Watch game on FOX Sports Net. http://t.co/Fjcoz4UqOd— WVU Football (@WVUfootball) September 5, 2015
Look for Durante to have continued success this Saturday when West Virginia takes on Liberty University at 3 p.m. ET in Morgantown.
5. Daylon Mack, DT, Texas A&M
Christian Kirk was not the only Aggies freshman to have a significant impact last Saturday. Daylon Mack, at 6-feet-2 and 340 pounds, was an absolute force in the trenches during the Aggies' 38-17 win over the Sun Devils. Mack finished the game with six tackles and one tackle-for-loss.
Mack will continue to be a key player in an Aggies defensive line which recorded seven of A&M's nine sacks last Saturday.
As stated previously, the Aggies will host the Ball State Cardinals at 7 p.m. ET this Saturday in College Station.