Ohio State’s Jeremiah Smith, Nebraska’s Dylan Raiola among freshmen to watch in college football spring games

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While the transfer portal has shaken up the college football world, there’s also a new crop of early-enrolled freshmen poised to take the sport by storm. Twenty players are gone from the 2023 CBS Sports All-America first team, putting plenty of playing time up for grabs at some of the biggest programs in America. 

Spring games mark a first look at some of the freshmen who could quickly become contributors, including a few truly pushing for starting slots. A handful of legacies lead the way, including Nebraska’s Dylan Raiola and Texas Tech’s Micah Hudson, both of whom will be asked to make an early impact on their respective programs. 

Last season several freshmen played major roles in the College Football Playoff race. Safety Caleb Downs led Alabama’s defense before transferring to Ohio State. USC’s Zachariah Branch emerged as one of top returners in the country. Purdue safety Dillon Thieneman is a star in the making.

Which young players look ready to step into big roles this year? Here are 10 early enrollee freshmen to watch in upcoming spring games across college football. 

Jeremiah Smith, WR, Ohio State

Spring game: April 13 | 12 p.m. (FOX)

Even for a program that has become accustomed to hyped wide receiver recruits, the anticipation surrounding Smith’s debut stands out. The Opa Locka, Florida, native finished No. 1 in the 247Sports rankings and has quickly turned heads since arriving on campus. Smith “lost his black stripe” faster than any freshman since the tradition began in 2012. At 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, he already possesses the physical maturity to step into a contributing role next to returners Emeka Egbuka and Carnell Tate. After an impressive offseason, the Buckeyes are title or bust. Smith is special enough to swing…

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Source link : https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/ohio-states-jeremiah-smith-nebraskas-dylan-raiola-among-freshmen-to-watch-in-college-football-spring-games/

Author : Shehan Jeyarajah

Publish date : 2024-04-02 17:23:09

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