Instant impact

Making an impact as a true freshman is not an easy thing to do and often there is more to it than just ability. Preparation as well as opportunity/need also play a key role. We are a months away from the 2013 season, but here are five prospects from the 2013 class who could make an instant impact this fall.


Robert Nkemdiche, DE, Ole Miss

As expected, Ole Miss was able to land Nkemdiche, the the nation's top player, and now the focus turns to what type of impact the five-star can have for the Rebels on the field. The expectations will be high for the No. 1 overall player and likely unrealistic in some cases, but that doesn't mean the top-rated D-lineman can't come in and make his presence felt.

There is room for Nkemdiche to get bigger and stronger -- and he will need to do both -- but for a prospect coming out of high school Nkemdiche is a thickly built and powerful young man at this stage. He is also explosive, well coached and can play with a great motor. He needs to continue to develop aspects of his game such as being more consistent with his hands, but the physical tools are there to come in and contribute. Former ESPN 150 prospect and Under Armour All-American Issac Gross came in as a true freshman and made an impact for the Rebels this season, notching 40 tackles and 10 tackles for loss. He was undersized for an interior DL, but was a strong, tough kid who had great first-step quickness and he used those attributes to help him have a successful freshman campaign.