This college football season has started in classic fashion. I have been watching some defensive players like Clowney, Ed Reynolds, and Anthony Barr, the usual suspects, but I’ve also had my eye on a few freshmen on the defensive side of the football who have been standing out. In no particular order these are some players to keep your eye out for on the defensive side of the football.
The first freshman on my radar is USC safety Su’a Cravens. Cravens is quickly putting all PAC 12 quarterbacks on alert of his presence. Su’a was a 5 star recruit out of Vista Murrieta High School in Southern California. Despite all of the drama going on at USC Su’a has been one of the top players at the safety position in the PAC 12. His 6’1 215-pound frame has to be terrifying to smaller receivers running across the middle to his side of the field. Cravens has 24 tackles 2 interceptions a forced fumble and three pass breakups. For Su’a to be a freshman he is highly skilled in the defensive backfield and I would not be surprised if he’s an All American for years to come.
Another freshman defensive back is one of the biggest surprises in the nation. Brandon Facyson is a cornerback that quarterbacks should learn to avoid quickly. Brandon was not even the best corner in Virginia Techs recruiting class, but after 5 weeks of football, he has emerged as one of the premier cornerbacks in the nation. Facyson already has 7 pass deflections, a forced fumble, he has recovered a fumble and he leads the nation in interceptions with 4. His instincts are those of a four-year starter. Yes, he has room to improve but you can make the case that Brandon Facyson is already one of the best defensive backs in
Linebacker Addison Gilliam is off the radar in Colorado but his play will soon be getting him some national attention. The 6’3 225-pound freshman was only a two star recruit who had only began playing football his junior year of high school. Gilliam had originally signed with San Jose State but when Coach Mike MacIntyre left San Jose State for the Colorado job, he took his linebacker with him. Addison leads all freshman averaging 11.3 tackles a game. Not only is that the number one in freshman rankings, its eighth in the entire nation. In three games Gilliam has racked up 34 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 1 sack and 2 deflected passes, he’s always everywhere on the football field. Addison Gilliam is making a name for himself quickly in the college football world and from what I have seen; I am expecting big things from Addison the rest of his college career.
Su’a Cravens, Brandon Facyson, and Addison Gilliam are setting themselves up to have extremely successful college careers. I can’t wait to see if they can maintain their early success through an entire season. I’ll definitely be watching, these freshmen have a chance to become the best defensive players in the country one day.
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