- Tom Luginbill, RecruitingNation
Projecting the eventual success level of high school prospects is difficult in its own right, but forecasting which ones will play right away and make a big splash in college can be even more difficult. Sometimes, however, there are no-brainers such as South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney and USC's Leonard Williams. But more often than not, there is no guarantee when it comes to freshmen making instant impacts. So many factors, from team needs to injuries to maturity, will determine who makes the biggest splash.
QB Christian Hackenberg, Penn State
It's always difficult for a true freshman to play, let alone start, right away, but Penn State has a unique set of circumstances. Steven Bench transferred, Matt McGloin has moved on and Hackenberg is clearly the most talented player on PSU's depth chart. While the Nittany Lions and Hackenberg might take their lumps, in the long run, it would be wise to go with the freshman.
RB Derrick Green, Michigan
There might be more experienced players at the position on Michigan's roster, but none is as talented. Moreover, none lend to the philosophical identity Brady Hoke and OC Al Borges have been building toward more than Green. He is a physical, downhill runner like Ron Dayne, but with more explosiveness. Oregon's Thomas Tyner was another option for this spot.
It isn't easy for a true freshman to contribute right away, but these 22 players, led by 2013 No. 1 recruit Robert Nkemdiche, have the talent to do so.