College football true freshman All-America team entering Week 12

  • Senior National Recruiting Analyst for ESPN.com
  • Coached in four professional football leagues
  • Graduated from Eastern Kentucky and Marshall

  • National recruiting analyst and analyst for ESPNU
  • More than a decade of college and pro coaching experience.
  • Graduated from Indiana and Nebraska-Omaha

Every year in college football, more true freshmen contribute on the field in a big way. This season, even with many star players opting out because of concerns regarding COVID-19, is no exception.

There are numerous first-year players who moved from talented prospects less than a year ago to starters or even impact players at the Power 5 level. Based off ESPN 300 rankings, we are not surprised to see several of those names on this list, but conversely, there are also under-recruited and under-evaluated players who deserved a spot.

The sample size for college football’s midseason 2020 true freshman All-America team was considerably smaller this year for obvious reasons. That said, we still did our best to feature deserving players from the Big Ten and Pac-12, two Power 5 conferences that have played fewer games.

Offense

QB D.J. Uiagalelei, Clemson Tigers

Washington State quarterback Jayden de Laura made a push here with his start to the 2020 season, but ultimately Clemson’s highly touted QB secures this spot. Yes, Clemson did suffer a loss while he was starting, but the big, strong-armed former No. 1-ranked pocket passer performed well while Trevor Lawrence was sidelined. As a starter, he threw for nearly 800 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions, ran for two more and showed the offense will be in good hands once Lawrence moves on.

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