2008 CFN All-Redshirt Freshman Team
Georgia RB Caleb King
Georgia RB Caleb King
Posted Aug 14, 2008

Who are college football's newest stars to watch out for? Richard Cirminiello highlights the best of the best redshirt freshmen, including Georgia RB Caleb King, on the 2008 CFN All-Redshirt Freshman Team.

2008 CFN Redshirt Freshman


Compiled by Richard Cirminiello

- 2008 Preview | 2008 CFN Redshirt All-America Defense
2007 CFN Redshirt All-America Offense

For hundreds of freshmen across the country, last season was undoubtedly the most frustrating of their athletic careers. Sure, there was plenty of developing taking place, both physically and intellectually, but there were no games to be played, no competition on Saturdays, and no box scores that housed their names. For a variety of reasons, these idle warriors were redshirted in 2007 with the design that they’d return this year a little bigger, a little stronger, and a lot better prepared to start paying dividends for all those recruiting trips, phone calls and text messages during the courting process.     

QB Jarrett Lee, LSU – Lee went under the microscope the moment Ryan Perrilloux was dismissed from the program in the spring. Although he could take a back seat to Harvard transfer Andrew Hatch in the early going, it might wind up being a temporary stay on the sidelines. A former top recruit out of Texas, he has the toughness and smarts to conjure up comparisons to former Bengal Matt Flynn, and will play some role in the program’s title defense.

RB Ryan McCants, Oregon State – Like a young Steven Jackson, McCants has the thick frame and quick feet to become the third freshman to rush for 1,000 yards in the Mike Riley era. With Yvenson Bernard out of eligibility and the passing game unreliable, he’s poised to immediately become the focal point of the offense. On the scout team and in the spring, he was a load in the open field, routinely bouncing off tacklers and picking up yards after contact.    

RB Caleb King, Georgia – Remember how everyone was raving about Knowshon Moreno last offseason? King has been attracting the same type of plaudits over the past few months. A dynamite back with exceptional change-of-direction skills, he’ll command carries even in a complimentary capacity. If Moreno happens to leave for the NFL after this season, the Bulldogs won’t skip a beat in 2008. King is that good. 

WR Michael Calvin, Cal – The Bears are looking to replace last year’s top five pass-catchers. Calvin is first in line to fill the gaping void. He’s more Sean Dawkins than DeSean Jackson, a physical 6-2, 200-pounder with the ball skills to prosper high above defensive backs. Still somewhat raw in his fundamentals, he’ll flatten the learning curve shortly after the season begins.   

WR Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma – Before breaking his collarbone in the spring, Broyles was showing signs of becoming the playmaker Oklahoma is looking for in the passing game. Lean and shifty in space, he accelerates quickly and displays explosive straight-line speed. He’s a candidate to play in the slot, where he can take short passes and parlay them into game-breaking sprints through the defense.

TE Rhett Ellison, USC – One of the biggest surprises of spring camp, he showed enough in April to be no worse than the backup to Anthony McCoy. With similar progress this month, he could be the heir apparent to All-American Fred Davis. While he continues to add muscle and weight to his 6-5 frame, he hasn’t lost any of the zip or the soft hands that makes him such a dangerous downfield receiving threat.

OL Jeff Spikes, Kansas – As the replacement for current Cincinnati Bengal Anthony Collins at left tackle, Spikes holds the key to the Jayhawks’ success on offense. He’s looked up to the challenge of being Todd Reesing’s bodyguard, flashing great footwork and uncommon agility for a 6-6, 314-pounder. The Kansas staff has already begun whispering that Spikes has an All-American upside if he continues working on his technique and fundamentals.

OL Blake DeChristopher, Virginia Tech – As the lone newcomer to the Hokie front wall, DeChristopher gets a chance to develop with a ton of veteran support surrounding him. He stepped up in a big way in the spring, winning the right tackle job and showing the tenacity and pass protection skills that this line sorely needs. Long term, he has the size and potential to shift over to left tackle and evolve into the cornerstone of the unit.

OL Matt Reynolds, BYU – Right now, Reynolds is buried on one of the nation’s best offensive lines, but it’s only a matter of time before he gets playing time and becomes a fixture on the unit. He actually played with the first team in the spring, and performed exceptionally well in the audition. An athletic 6-6, 315-pounder with an All-Mountain West future, he’s being groomed as the successor to Travis Bright at right guard.  

OL Caleb Ruch, Rutgers – For good reason, the Scarlet Knight staff is excited about Ruch’s future in Piscataway. He’s an explosive, nasty blocker who is extremely strong at the point of attack. Although he’ll begin his college career at guard, his future could be at center, where his blend of strength, speed, and smarts will be even more evident.

OL Josh Oglesby, Wisconsin – Oglesby is about to start fulfilling some of the massive potential that made him the nation’s top line prospect of 2007. He’ll be the understudy for Eric Vanden Heuvel at right tackle for one season before taking over on a full-time basis in 2009. At 6-7 and 338 pounds, he blocks out the sun and has the wingspan coveted by premier tackles. A dominant run blocker, he’ll fit in nicely with the ground-oriented Badgers.

Honorable MentionOffense

QB: Robert Marve, Miami, Stephen Threet, Michigan, Willy Korn, Clemson, Mark Cann, Marshall, Austin Davis, Southern Miss, and Kellen Moore, Boise State

RB: Chris Rainey, Florida, Stephfon Green, Penn State, Bradley Stephens, Texas A&M, Foswhitt Whitaker, Texas, Darren Evans, Virginia Tech, and Brandon Pendergrass, Wake Forest

WR: Malcolm Williams, Texas, B.J. Cunningham, Michigan State, Deonte Thompson, Florida, Jermaine McKenzie, Miami, Bert Reed, Florida State, and Curenski Gilleylen, Nebraska

TE: Rocky Weaver, Central Michigan, and Mitch Joseph, LSU

OL: Antwane Greenlee, Florida State, Ernest McCoy, LSU, Nate Potter, Boise State, Al Netter, Northwestern, Matthew Bahr, Colorado, Joseph Gilbert, Georgia Tech, and Moe Petrus, Connecticut

- 2008 CFN Redshirt All-America Defense