2007 CFN Freshman All-America First Team
Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford
Who are the new star players and the ones who'll dominate college football for the next few years? Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford led the nation in passing efficiency and leads the Fourth Annual CollegeFootballNews.com All-Freshman Team.
- CFN Freshman All-America Teams
- CFN 2007 Freshman All-America
Offensive Freshman of the Year: QB Sam Bradford, Oklahoma
Defensive Freshman of the Year: S Eric Berry, Tennessee
*Indicates player is a true freshman
DE Greg Romeus,
Pittsburgh – After redshirting last year, Romeus is in the midst of
making the leap from really good athlete to really good football player
in a short period of time. A raw individual that played only one season
of high school ball, he laid the foundation for a promising career at
Pittsburgh with 41 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, and four sacks,
flashing tremendous closing speed and leaping ability.
QB Sam Bradford, Oklahoma – No lock to even start under center
before the season began, Bradford went ahead to have one of the greatest
seasons ever by a freshman quarterback. A picture of poise in the
huddle and the pocket, he tossed 34 touchdown passes to just seven
picks, while leading the nation in passing efficiency and his Sooners to
a Big 12 Championship.
RB Knowshon Moreno, Georgia – A lot was expected of Moreno in
Athens, but not this much, this fast. One of the main catalysts of the
Bulldogs’ torrid stretch run, he’s rushed for 1,273 yards and 12
touchdowns, doing most of his damage against the heart of the SEC
schedule. A powerful, high-energy back that explodes through the hole,
he’s poised to become the next in a long line of superb Georgia backs.
*RB LeSean McCoy, Pittsburgh – A burgeoning superstar at this
level, McCoy wasted no time becoming the face of the Panther program,
pacing the nation’s freshmen with 1,328 yards and 14 touchdowns, while
chipping in 33 receptions. On the verge of being a complete back that
can beat defenses to the outside or between the tackles, he ended his
first season by helping carry Pitt to a monumental upset of West
WR Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech – A spot on the Freshman
All-America team is chump change for a player destined for far bigger
honors this month. Crabtree has already become the first freshman since
Herschel Walker in 1980 to be named to the AFCA All-America team after
hauling in 125 catches for 1,861 yards, 21 touchdowns, and a war chest
of records. No system guy, he’d be a star in just about any program
this side of Navy.
WR Jeremy Maclin, Missouri – One of the nation’s most dynamic
players this season, Maclin was always one seam away from going the
distance, whether he was taking a handoff, catching a pass, or fielding
a kick. Second nationally in all-purpose yards, he caught 77 passes for
1,023 yards and nine touchdowns, adding 349 yards and four scores on the
ground and three more touchdowns on returns.
*TE Rob Gronkowski, Arizona – This fall, Gronkowski had an
instant impact for the Wildcat passing game, catching 28 passes for 525
passes and six touchdowns. By next fall, he might be contending for the
Mackey Award given to the nation’s premier tight end. At 6-6 and 250
pounds, he’s a major talent with the size to run through arm tackles and
the wheels to stretch a defense down the middle of the field.
*OT Trinton Sturdivant, Georgia – The first true freshman lineman
in almost two decades to start in Athens, Sturdivant has been
outstanding at left tackle, a key reason that Matthew Stafford has been
sacked just 15 times in a dozen games. At 6-5 and 300 pounds, he’s got
the long arms and good feet to be an All-American before leaving
*OG Maurkice Pouncey, Florida – Pouncey stepped into the lineup
after starter Phil Trautwein went down with a foot injury in August, and
hasn’t skipped a beat. He’s held his own against the titans of the SEC,
including LSU’s Glenn Dorsey, prompting head coach Urban Meyer to
suggest that Pouncey could eventually develop into the best ever to open
holes in Gainesville.
C Ryan McMahon, Florida State – It takes a special player to
start at center as a freshman, something McMahon did very well
throughout the regular season. A defensive lineman a year ago, he’s
made a seamless transition to the other side of the ball, calling line
assignments like a vet, and rarely muffing a snap.
*OG Rodney Hudson, Florida State – Seminole offensive line coach
Rick Trickett is determined to surround himself with the type of linemen
he had for years at West Virginia, rugged, smart and athletic. He’ll
begin with Hudson, who’s been a revelation in his rookie year, quickly
becoming Florida State’s most dependable blocker, and earning a spot on
the All-ACC second unit. If he keeps outworking everyone around him,
Hudson will be a fixture on honor rolls for the next three years.
*OT Lee Ziemba, Auburn – Opportunity crossed paths with immense
talent in August, affording Ziemba a rare chance to start at tackle in
the SEC just months after leaving high school. Sure, there were rookie
mistakes, but he played very well as a 12-game starter, and will get
even better after adding more strength during the offseason conditioning
*DE Cameron Heyward, Ohio State – The groundswell of hype
beginning to surround Heyward is all warranted. At 6-6 and 280 pounds
with uncommon agility and work habits, it’s a matter of when, not if he
blossoms into a full-blown star at this level. Heyward seized an
opportunity for more playing time after Lawrence Wilson broke his leg in
the opener, finishing the regular season with 30 tackles, nine tackles
for loss, and 2.5 sacks.
DT Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma – Don’t judge McCoy’s first
season of live action based on his numbers, a pedestrian 16 tackles, six
tackles for loss, and two sacks. He’s the type of player that explodes
off the ball, occupying multiple blockers and making everyone around him
better. McCoy has Tommie Harris-like potential, which was recognized by
those Big 12 coaches that tabbed him the Freshman Defensive Player of
*DT Marvin Austin, North Carolina – Yup, Austin looks like he’s
going to be worth all of those scholarship offers he received a year
ago. An elite all-around athlete for an interior lineman, he debuted in
Chapel Hill with 26 tackles, six tackles for loss, and four sacks, a
foundation for what’s going to be an outstanding college career.
*LB Greg Jones, Michigan State – After playing his way into the
starting lineup midway through the season, Jones has a chance to become
a favorite of Mark Dantonio, who loves aggressive, big-play
linebackers. Despite getting a late start as a regular, he has a
Spartan-high 73 tackles to go along with 7.5 tackles for loss and 3.5
LB Obi Ezeh, Michigan – Wolverine fans got a glimpse of Ezeh’s
substantial upside in the Michigan State game, when he racked up 13
tackles, three tackles for loss, and a pair of sacks. It was the
crowning moment in an otherwise solid season that figures to be a
launching point for one of the Big Ten’s fast rising linebackers.
LB Lawrence Wilson, Connecticut – One of the stalwarts of a Husky
defense that was air-tight in all but the regular season finale with
West Virginia, Wilson is second on the team with 106 tackles, 7.5 of
which were for negative yards. An undersized player at 6-1 and 220
pounds, he has outstanding and a knack for being around the ball.
*CB Joe Haden, Florida – Yeah, opposing quarterbacks took
advantage of the rebuilt Gator secondary at times, but it’ll be better
for it down the road because of players like Haden. A supreme athlete
that had never played cornerback before this season, he showed enough in
August to become the first true freshman in school history to start at
the position in the opener. With more reps and seasoning, opposing
quarterbacks might be avoiding his side for the next few seasons.
*S Eric Berry, Tennessee – There’s no better defensive back than
the safety that covers like a corner or the corner that sticks like a
safety. Berry is just such a player. A gifted playmaker that’s played
both positions this season, he’s on the brink of stardom after debuting
in Knoxville with 83 tackles, a couple of fumble recoveries, and five
picks for a school-record 222 yards.
*S Major Wright, Florida – One of the many true freshmen that had
an impact on this year’s 9-3 Gator team, Wright contributed 58 tackles
and three forced fumbles to a young defense that’s only going to get
better in 2008. A ferocious hitter with great closing speed, he’ll
administer a fair amount of pain before leaving Gainesville.
*CB Donovan Warren, Michigan – Warren made the expected rookie
mistakes, but generally played well beyond his years as a rare true
freshman starter in the Wolverine secondary. A fluid, 6-1 thoroughbred
that isn’t afraid to be left alone in man coverage, he’s got 49 tackles
and four passes defended, the start of what’s likely to be a terrific
K Thomas Weber, Arizona State – One of the most obvious of this
year’s selections, Weber connected on 22-of-23 field goal attempts,
including one from 53 yards and all six over 40 yards. He also averaged
a healthy 65 yards on kickoffs, showing tremendous leg strength, and
adequately handled punting duties over the second half of the year. A
Lou Groza Award finalist, Weber has quite a career ahead of him in
P Keenyn Crier, Arizona – The Pac-10 leader with a
43.6-yard average, Crier is also a finalist for the Ray Guy Award given
to the nation’s best punter. He has one of the strongest legs in the
country, but has also made strides this year with the finer areas of the
position, such as hang time and improving his directional kicks.
2007 Freshman All-America