August 24, 2006 2006 Preseason Impact Freshmen 2006 Impact True Freshmen
1. Florida State defensive back Myron Rolle
Rolle in Action
FSU coaches raved about Rolle all spring. Teammates and strength coaches said nothing but good things about him during summer workouts. The precocious Rolle, the No. 12 prospect in the Rivals100, started the preseason behind a former walk-on for a starting spot in the secondary. That will change in the opener against Miami on Labor Day. A shoulder injury hampered him during fall practice, but he should be ready for the start of the season.
2. Alabama offensive tackle Andre Smith
Smith Highlights
The nation's second-ranked recruit forced Coach Mike Shula to shuffle his offensive line during fall camp. The Crimson Tide moved last year's starter at left tackle, junior Chris Capps, to the right side to make room for Smith, who should start at left tackle. Alabama quarterbacks, beginning with first-year starter John Parker Wilson, will be in good hands for years to come.
3. Oklahoma tight end Jermaine Gresham
Gresham in Action
Don't feel too sorry for Oklahoma after losing Rhett Bomar. Gresham, the nation's top tight end recruit, impressed Oklahoma's coaches through the preseason with his athletic ability. With a target like the 6-foot-6, 250-pound Gresham, the Sooners' passing game should stay afloat. Oh, and he runs a sub-4.5-second 40-yard dash. New starter Paul Thompson will have a major weapon in his return to quarterback.
4. Notre Dame offensive tackle Sam Young
Young Highlights
Young, the No. 11 prospect in the country, could claim a starting job this season on a line that lost two starters and three backups. He has taken snaps at left tackle in the absence of three-year starter Ryan Harris. Young could move to right tackle in place of fifth-year senior Brian Mattes when Harris returns from injury. Expect Charlie Weis to take great care deciding who will protect start quarterback Brady Quinn. At 6-7, Young is Notre Dame's tallest offensive lineman and has the bulk and wingspan to succeed at the college level.
5. Kentucky linebacker Micah Johnson
Johnson in Action
The biggest recruit of the Rich Brooks era, Johnson should make an immediate impact. The four-star recruit spent fall practice as a backup at middle linebacker, but Johnson is likely to be in the starting lineup sooner rather than later. A running back at Fort Campbell (Ky.), Johnson could see time on offense in goal-line situations. SEC Defensive Freshman of the Year is a definite possibility.
6. Southern Cal running back Allen Bradford
Bradford Highlights
It's tough to pick only one just ask Pete Carroll. Junior Chauncey Washington, who has been ineligible for the last two years, will get the first crack at replacing Reggie Bush and LenDale White. However, Stafon Johnson, C.J. Gable and Emmanuel Moody all could see time in the backfield. Bradford, who was a recruited as a linebacker, was a quick study when he moved to running back in the preseason. He quickly became the best of the bunch.
7. Ohio State running back Chris Wells
Wells in Action
Make no mistake: Antonio Pittman is the starter in Columbus. However, Wells - the No. 3 overall recruit in the class - will be the top backup after an impressive camp. At 6-1, 225 pounds, Wells is the Buckeyes' biggest tailback and could spell Pittman in goal-line and short-yardage situations. He won't have the same impact of another former true freshman running back at Ohio State, but he will be a key part of the Buckeyes' championship hopes.
8. Texas linebacker Sergio Kindle
Kindle Highlights
It's tough to leave Jevan Snead off the list as Texas' representative, but he's blocked by Colt McCoy. Kindle was compared with former Longhorns star Derrick Johnson before he arrived on campus. He's the scheduled backup to Robert Killebrew at outside linebacker, but Kindle - the centerpiece of Texas' signing class - was slowed by an ankle sprain through fall camp. After he recovers, he will be too good to keep off the field.
9. Florida wide receiver Percy Harvin
Harvin in Action
Urban Meyer's offense can always use more speed, and Harvin has plenty. The top recruit in the country, Harvin could be the versatile playmaker Meyer is seeking for his offense. The presence of veterans Andre Caldwell, Dallas Baker, Jemalle Cornelius and spring-practice sensation Cornelius Ingram could limit Harvin's touches. He also worked out during the fall on kickoff returns.
10. Texas A&M running back Michael Goodson
Goodson Highlights
Goodson was the gem of Texas A&M's recruiting class. Even with Courtney Lewis (723 rushing yards, seven touchdowns) and Jorvorskie Lane (595 yards, nine touchdowns) returning, Goodson will see the field. A&M coach Dennis Franchione has already started to drop Reggie Bush's name in describing Goodson. Even if his carries are limited, Goodson could see time as a kickoff or punt returner.
Best of the Rest
11. Arkansas quarterback Mitch Mustain
Mustain in Action
12. Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman
Freeman Highlights
13. Oklahoma State linebacker Chris Collins
Collins in Action
14. Texas Tech running back Baron Batch
Batch Highlights
15. Ole Miss defensive tackle Jerrell Powe
Powe in Action
16. Notre Dame running back James Aldridge
Aldridge Highlights
17. Miami wide receiver Sam Shields
Shields in Action
18. Iowa State running back Josh Johnson
Johnson Highlights
19. Illinois quarterback Isiah Williams
WIlliams in Action
20. Clemson running back C.J. Spiller
Spiller Highlights
21. Syracuse running back Delone Carter
22. Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy
McCoy Highlights
23. Penn State defensive end Maurice Evans
Evans in Action
24. North Carolina wide receiver Hakeem Nicks
Nicks Highlights
25. Auburn wide receiver Tim Hawthorne
Hawthorne Clips
The Rivals Five
Here's a list of redshirt freshmen who will make a big impact:
1. Texas quarterback Colt McCoy
McCoy Highlights
McCoy will have the toughest act to follow in the country, stepping in for Vince Young on a team that could challenge for a second national championship. Through fall camp, he solidified his hold on the starting role over true freshman Jevan Snead. Also gaining attention for Texas is tight end Jermichael Finley.
2. Wisconsin running back P.J. Hill
Hill could have earned playing time behind starter Brian Calhoun last season as a true freshman, but a broken leg kept him out all year. Now the powerful runner will share the task of replacing the Big Ten's leading rusher.
3. Tennessee linebacker Rico McCoy
McCoy Highlights
McCoy probably would have played as a true freshman before a foot injury sidelined him for the year. This season, the Volunteers will count on him to step into an outside linebacker spot one of six vacated positions in Tennessee's front seven.
4. Oklahoma safety Keenan Clayton
Clayton in Action
Clayton is on pace to become the Sooners' next great defensive back. At 6-2 and 216 pounds, he has excellent size. The hard-hitting Clayton was named the starting strong safety during fall practice.
5. Duke defensive tackle Vince Oghobaase
Oghobaase Clips
The former four-star recruit was set to begin 2005 as a starter as a true freshman before a leg injury ended his season. Now healthy, the 6-6, 310-pound Oghobaase will reclaim his job.

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