The Best Freshmen Performances from Week One

justinjeffersongriddy · May 13, 2024


By: Andrew Anderson (@SaiyanSagaGamer)

There was no shortage of talent in the Season 20 freshmen class and each had their first chance to make a name for themselves this week. Some of those freshmen shined and those are the ones you will find below.

Top Offensive Freshmen Performances

TJ Cunnington, QB, Kentucky

After Mateo Walker graduated in Season 19, Kentucky fans may have been a little worried about starting with a freshman QB. However, TJ Cunnington showed that he can lead a team just as well as anyone. He led Kentucky to an overtime win against Miami this week. Cunnington ended the game completing 85% of his passes for 372 yards and 5 touchdowns. Kentucky fans, I think you guys don’t have anything to worry about with TJ Cunnington.

Taylor James, HB, Colorado

From the opening kickoff and throughout the entire game, Taylor James showed that he is something special and is a focal point for that Colorado offense. Colorado notched their first win behind Taylor’s 34 carries for 182 yards and 2 touchdowns. Amazingly enough, Taylor James was averaging about a solid 5 yards a carry during their win against Tennessee.

Jalen Irvin, WR, Miami

Irvin did awesome on opening night for the Miami Hurricanes against a tough defensive unit from Kentucky. No matter who Kentucky had on Irvin, he torched the Kentucky secondary, putting up 7 receptions for 165 yards and 2 touchdowns in an overtime loss to the defending champions.

Top Defensive Freshman Performances

Randal White, OLB, Florida

Randal White was a menace to the Clemson offense managing to get 14 tackles and 2 tackles for loss. Even though Florida lost a close game, Florida fans have much to look forward to in Randal White.

Charlie Charles, FS, Illinois

Charles was all over the field on the defensive side for Illinois gaining 11 total tackles in his first game for the Fighting Illini. Penn State came to play though, beating Illinois 44-31. However, Illinois isn’t likely to lose many more games if Charles can replicate this performance.

Akuma Hunter, MLB, LSU

LSU had a tough assignment in Week 1; facing an SEC rival Alabama. Hunter had no problem making his presence known on this LSU defense getting 10 tackles and 1 tackle for loss. LSU won this close game 34-31, thanks, in large part, to their freshmen phenom.

All the freshmen on this list had amazing performances and there were many more who were deserving of recognition. Who do you think should have made this list?


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