Ranking 2011's top impact true freshmen 

June, 22, 2011
06/22/11
2:28
PM ET

With many freshmen arriving on campus in the past few weeks, there is a lot of excitement building in college football for 2011. Last year we saw several true freshmen have big impacts on their programs. Marcus Lattimore of South Carolina, Robert Woods of USC and Oklahoma's Tony Jefferson are just a few of the breakout guys in their class. This week's Top 10 list: true freshmen with the best shot of making an impact this fall.

1. Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina Gamecocks

The nation's top-ranked recruit is a freakish talent at 6-foot-6, 250 pounds, and he looks to be a cross between Jevon Kearse and Mario Williams. The Gamecocks do already have plenty of proven talent at the position he plays, with a very productive tandem of ends in Melvin Ingram (nine sacks, 11 tackles for loss) and Devin Taylor (7.5 sacks, 13 TFLs). But count on defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson to make sure he takes advantage of Clowney's scary first step, burst and range. The kid is going to be a matchup nightmare for opponents and, at the very least, Clowney is going to be a situational difference-maker for a top-25 team.


To read the rest of Bruce Feldman's list of top impact true freshmen, including three QBs that could make names for themselves early, become an ESPN Insider today.

SPONSORED HEADLINES