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2007 CFN All-Redshirt Freshman Team
Posted Aug 9, 2007

Who are college football's newest stars? Richard Cirminiello highlights the best of the best redshirt freshmen, including speedy Oklahoma running back DeMarco Murray.

2007 CFN Redshirt Freshman


Compiled by Richard Cirminiello

- 2007 Preview | 2007 CFN Redshirt All-America Defense

For hundreds of freshmen across the nation, last season was undoubtedly the most frustrating of their young lives.  Yeah, there was plenty of growing taking place, both physically and mentally, but there were no games, no competition, and no box scores that contained their names.  For a variety of reasons, these idle warriors were redshirted in 2006 with the design that they’d return this year a little bigger, a little stronger and a little wiser.  And a whole lot more ready to start paying dividends for all those recruiting trips, phone calls and text messages.      

QB Jake Locker, Washington – More than any other redshirt freshman in the country, Locker is being counted on to light a fire under a struggling program.  He’s got all the tools to be an immediate Pac-10 star, including good size, a live arm, and a war chest of intangibles that usually don’t develop until much later in a quarterback’s career.  Get ready for the Marques Tuiasosopo comparisons the first time Locker exits the pockets and lowers the boom on an overmatched defensive back.

RB DeMarco Murray, Oklahoma – Alright, so he’s not Adrian Peterson and won’t beat out Allen Patrick this fall, but that doesn’t mean Murray can’t start carving out his legacy in Norman.  An all-purpose dynamo with gamebreaking speed and the hands of a receiver, he’s close to unstoppable once he gets into the open field.  In what Sooner fans hope was a harbinger of things to come, Murray capped a fantastic spring with 103 yards on just four carries in the final scrimmage.      

RB Stanley Havili, USC – Yeah, yeah, Havili is a fullback, but he’s not your typical one-dimensional plower that’s going to get six carries a season.  And unlike most of this year’s really talented freshmen, he’s not buried on the depth chart behind a couple of veterans.  At 220 pounds, Havili is a LenDale White-type runner with unexpected quickness, toughness in short yardage, and soft hands in the passing game. 

WR Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech – His academic issues resolved for now, Crabtree is ready to help fill the gaping void left by the graduations of Joel Filani, Robert Johnson and Jarrett Hicks.  A converted quarterback, he’s emerging at a most opportune time, dominating Red Raider defensive backs this spring with his physical play and 6-2, 220-pound frame.  In this offense, Crabtree has a chance to be a statistical beast from the flanker, or “Z” receiver.  

WR David Ausberry, USC – While Ausberry is not slated to start ahead of junior Patrick Turner in 2007, he did make a strong case for playing time this spring.  Still somewhat raw and not considered a burner, he’ll get by early on with good ball skills and a 6-5, 215-pound frame that’ll create instant mismatches on jump balls.  A good downfield blocker, he could add some weight, and eventually become a dynamite tight end for the Trojans.   

WR Demaryius Thomas, Georgia Tech – Just because Thomas is 6-4 and 220 pounds with great leaping ability doesn’t mean he’s the second coming of Calvin, but it’s understandable why the parallels are being drawn.  He has tremendous upside, and has made considerable strides since 2006 in the areas of route running and burst off the line of scrimmage.  If Thomas is allowed to develop sans any unfair comparisons, he’ll be a terrific weapon for new quarterback Taylor Bennett. 

TE Vince Jacobs, North Carolina – With a season as a medical hardship behind him, Jacobs is poised to show why he was one of the nation’s premier tight end recruits of 2006.  While Richard Quinn holds down the starting job, the 6-6, 225-pound Jacobs is just too big and athletic to keep on the sidelines this fall.  A fluid pass-catcher, he’ll earn even more reps when he adds some muscle and improves his blocking assignments.   

OT Dominic Alford, Minnesota – Alford has already locked down the job at left tackle, and should be a fixture along the Gopher line for the next four seasons.  At 6-3 and 305 pounds, he has the quick feet and athleticism that they crave in Minnesota, and a fierce attitude that could someday lead to All-Big Ten honors.

OG Dan Wenger, Notre Dame – A top recruit at center, Wenger is positioned to supplant Bob Morton at right guard for the upcoming season.  Exceptionally bright and quick to the second level, he’s a physical, blue-collar interior lineman that’ll mesh nicely with Notre Dame’s desire to run the ball a little more in 2007.

C Ryan McMahon, Florida State – Welcome to what new line coach Rick Trickett hopes is an example of the next generation of Seminole linemen.  A converted defensive tackle, the 275-pound McMahon is quick off the snap, very athletic, and nasty at the point of contact.  One of the biggest surprises of the spring, he’ll only get better with more time at the new position. 

OG Eric Rodemoyer, West Virginia – Rodemoyer parlayed a breakthrough first spring in Morgantown into a starting job at right guard ahead of the favorite, junior John Bradshaw.  All of 6-4 and 300 pounds, he’s a promising run blocker that’s surprisingly athletic and light on his feet.

OT Stephen Schilling, Michigan – After sitting out all of last season with mononucleosis, Schilling is healthy again and targeting the Wolverines’ opening at right tackle.  Cut from the same mold as so many Michigan linemen before him, he’s a 6-5, 300-pound brick wall that’s uncommonly agile and destined for a special career in Ann Arbor.

Honorable Mention – Offense

QB: 1. Sam Bradford, Oklahoma  2. Adam Weber, Minnesota  3. T.J. Yates, North Carolina  4. Cody Hawkins, Colorado  5.  Trevor Vittatoe, UTEP  6.  Justin Burke, NC State

RB: 1. Knowshon Moreno, Georgia  2. Mario Fannin, Auburn  3. James Montgomery, Cal  4.  Keith Payne, Virginia  5. Josh Adams, Wake Forest  6. Randall Antoine, Houston  7. Johnny White, North Carolina

WR: 1. Stephen Carr, Stanford  2. Kyle Brown, Oregon State  3. Terrell Reese, Arizona  4. Torris Magee, Southern Miss  5. Terrance Turner, Indiana  6. Rodney Glass, Arizona State  7. Kito Poblah, Central Michigan  9.Armand Robinson, Miami (OH)

OT: 1. Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin  2. Carl Johnson, Florida  3. Aaron Brown, Virginia Tech  4. Sean Sheller, UCLA  5. Jeff Adams, Louisville  6. Bartley Webb, Notre Dame  7. James Meeks, Fresno State  8. Brian Lepac, Colorado State

OG: 1. Maurice Hurt, Florida  2. Mike Berry, Auburn  3. Mike Ward, Akron  4. Jan Gewont, Toledo  5. Lou Eliades, Penn State  6. Chris Davis, Georgia  7. Jovon Hayes, Arizona  8. Ryan Tolar, Washington

C: 1. Chris Guarnero, Cal