With the 2022 college football season all but over, it's time to look at the standout true freshmen from across the country.
The impact of the transfer portal left many freshmen competing for playing time with other newcomers who had already had at least one year of college football experience under their belt. In turn, certain positions, specifically quarterback, saw very few true freshmen make a big impact right away.
Cade Klubnik was able to supplant starter DJ Uiagalelei late in the season at Clemson. E.J. Warner got a shot at Temple and Conner Weigman eventually took over at Texas A&M, but there was not a big wave of first-year signal callers making a statement.
Our true freshman All-America list takes a position-by-position look at the standout first-year players who made an impact this season. ESPN predicted who those stars would be before the season; some predictions came true and some surprise names popped up as the season went on.
Penn State running back Nicholas Singleton, Texas A&M wide receiver Evan Stewart, Texas offensive lineman Kelvin Banks Jr. and Michigan defensive back Will Johnson were unanimous picks from the preseason who all made it to the final list.
Not everyone finished the way they started, though. Tom Luginbill and Tom VanHaaren go position by position with their picks for the final All-American list.
Luginbill: E.J. Warner
Temple | 2022 ESPN 300 ranking: unranked (three stars)
Warner was a three-star prospect out of Phoenix in the 2022 class who signed with Temple. Though he didn't play in the Owls' season opener, Warner, son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner, appeared in the next 11 games, totaling 3,028 passing yards, 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
VanHaaren: Conner Weigman
Texas A&M | 2022 ESPN 300 ranking: 27
I agree with Luginbill about Warner, but to throw a different name out there, I would include Weigman. One of the top quarterbacks in the 2022 class, Wiegman didn't start the entire season, but played in five games and threw for 896 yards, eight touchdowns and no interceptions. With Haynes King transferring, Weigman is the likely starter for next season and should be able to build on what he did this season.