Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree just edged out Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford and Missouri wide receiver Jeremy Maclin as the Scout.com Freshman Player of the Year. This super trio also leads our Scout.com All Freshman Team.
Crabtree, 6-3 and 208 pounds, had one of the greatest seasons ever for a wide receiver, catching an astounding 125 passes for 1,861 yards and 21 touchdowns. He led all receivers in receptions, yardage and touchdowns. In the process Crabtree shattered a slew of Red Raider receiving records and also became the first freshman finalist of the Biletnikoff Award, which is awarded annually to college football's best wide receiver.
Maclin, 6-1 and 185 pounds, finished the '07 season as the freshman national record holder in all-purpose yardage with 2,509 yards and was 2nd overall in NCAA averaging 209 all-purpose yards per game. He rushed for 309 yards and four touchdowns, caught 69 passes for 954 yards and nine touchdowns, averaged 13.6 yards per punt return with two for touchdowns, and averaged 24.3 yards per kick return with another touchdown.
Bradford, 6-4 and 214 pounds, led the NCAA in passing efficiency (182.2) after leading the Sooners to 10 wins and the Big 12 South title after throwing for 2,670 yards, 32 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions while completing 70% of his passes. Crabtree, Maclin, and Bradford are all from the Big 12 Conference.
Perhaps the freshman that had the most dominating second half to the season was Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno. Moreno, 5-11 and 207 pounds, became the 10th running back in Georgia history to rush for over 1,000. He finished with 1,273 yards (5.3 ypc) and scored 12 touchdowns.
Moreno is one first team running back. The other slot went to Pitt. sensation LeSean McCoy. McCoy, 5-11 and 200 pounds, had the second best freshman rushing season ever in Big East history after running for 1,180 yards. He also established a freshman scoring record with 14 touchdowns.
The front line is spearheaded by Arizona tight end Rob Gronkowski. He started 8 of 11 games and had 26 receptions, for 496 yards and 5 touchdowns. Tackles Lee Ziemba (Arkansas) and Trinton Sturdivant (Georgia), guard Clint Boling (Georgia) and Kai Maiava (Colorado) and center Kristofer O’Dowd (USC) make up the first team offensive line.
Defensively, the Scout.com Freshman All-American team is also led by a trio, a threesome from the Northeast in Connecticut linebackers Scott Lutrus (98 tackles) and Lawrence Wilson (106 tackles) and Buffalo safety Davonte Shannon (123 tackles). The three of them have a combined total of 327 tackles.
Other student-athletes on the first team defense are safety Eric Berry (Tennessee), cornerbacks Omar Bolden (Arizona State), linebacker Greg Jones (Michigan State), defensive tackle Colby Whitlock (Texas Tech) and defensive end Cameron Heyward (Ohio State). Defensive end Everson Griffen (USC), Scout.com’s number one over high school prospect in the class of 2007, also made the first team along with defensive tackle Marvin Austin (North Carolina).
The Scout.com 2nd Team is led by Washington quarterback Jake Locker, Oklahoma running back Demarco Murray, and Illinois wide receiver Arrelious Benn.
|QB Sam Bradford||Oklahoma|
|Bradford led the NCAA in passing efficiency (182.2) after leading the Sooners to 10 wins and the Big 12 South title after throwing for 2,670 yards, 32 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions while completing 70% of his passes.|
|RB Knowshon Moreno||Georgia|
|Moreno became the 10th RB in Georgia history to rush for over 1,000. He finished with 1,273 yards (5.3 ypc) and scored 12 touchdowns.
|RB LeSean McCoy||Pittsburgh|
|McCoy had the second best freshman rushing season ever in Big East history after running for 1,180 yards. He also established a freshman scoring record with 14 touchdowns.|
|WR Michael Crabtree||Texas Tech|
|Crabtree had one of the greatest seasons for a wide receiver in the history of the college game, catching 125 passes for 1,861 yards and 21 touchdown passes. In the process Crabtree shattered a bunch of Red Raider receiving records. He also became the first freshman finalist of the Bilentnikoff Award.|
|WR Jeremy Maclin||Missouri|
|Maclin finished the '07 season as the freshman national record holder in all-purpose yardage with 2,509 yards and was 2nd overall in NCAA averaging 209 all-purpose yards per game. He rushed for 309 yards and 4 touchdowns, caught 69 passes for 954 yards and 9 touchdowns, averaged 13.6 yards per punt return (2 touchdowns), and averaged 24.3 yards per kick return (1 touchdown).|
|TE Rob Gronkowski||Arizona|
|Gronkowski started 8 of 11 games and had 26 receptions, for 496 yards and 5 touchdowns.|
|OT Trinton Sturdivant||Georgia|
|Sturdivant was the first true freshman OT to start the opening game since 1989. He started all 12 games this season.|
|OT Lee Ziemba||Auburn|
|Ziemba started all 12 games for the Tigers at RT. He has graded out at 80+% in most of Auburn's games this season. |
|OG Kai Maiava||Colorado|
|Maiava started final 7 games, recording 68 knockdown blocks in eight games.|
|OG Clint Boling||Georgia|
|Boiling started the final 9 games at right guard and was part of an offensive line unit that only gave up one sack per game.|
|C Kristofer O'Dowd||USC|
|O'Dowd became the first true freshman to start at USC at center ever and only the third true freshmen to start on the Trojan OL since WWII. He has missed four games because of a knee injury.|
|K Thomas Weber||Arizona State|
|Weber was 19/20 on field goal attempts this season with a long of 53.|
|KR Antonio Brown||Central Michigan|
|Brown had 35 kick returns for 969 yards (27.7 average) and 1 touchdown. He also caught 92 passes for 879 yards and 5 scores.|
|DE Everson Griffin||USC|
|Griffen recorded 20 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 1 fumble recovery.|
|DE Cameron Heyward||Ohio State|
|Heyward played in 12 games recording 30 tackles, 9 TFL, 2.5 sacks, and1 forced fumble.|
|DT Marvin Austin||North Carolina|
|Austin recorded 26 tackles, 6 TFL, and 4 sacks.|
|DT Colby Whitlock||Texas Tech|
|Whitlock played in 12 games with 8 starts, recording 42 tackles, 8.5 TFL, and 2 sacks.|
|LB Greg Jones||Michigan State|
|Jones led Spartans in tackles with 73. He also recorded 7.5 TFL and 3.5 sacks. |
|LB Lawrence Wilson||Connecticut|
|Wilson was 2nd on the team in tackles with 106. He also had 7.5 TFL and 1 INT.|
|LB Scott Lutrus||Connecticut|
|Lutrus recorded 98 tackles, 8 TFL, 4 INT (2 returned for TDs), and 1 sack this season.|
|S Eric Berry||Tennessee|
|Berry had 76 tackles, 10 games, 4 INTs (1 for TD),and 1 fumble recovery. Leads nation in interception return yardage and leads all freshman in the SEC in tackles.|
|S Davonte Shannon||Buffalo|
|Shannon led Buffalo with 123 tackles, 10 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 3 INTs, 7 pass break ups, and 3 forced fumbles.
|CB Donovan Warren||Michigan|
|Warren played in 12 games, 49 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 1 sack, 1 INT, 4 pass breakups, 2 fumble recoveries and 2 forced fumbles.|
|CB Omar Bolden||Arizona State|
|Bolden emerged as a super cover man, often drawing the opposition's top WR. He finished with 24 tackles and 1 INT.|
|P Keenyn Crier||Arizona|
|Crier is one of ten Ray Guy finalists after averaging 44.8 yards per punt, 17 inside 20. He has a long of 83 yards this season.|
|PR David Gilreath||Wisconsin|
|Gilreath had 21 punt returns for 343 yards (14.9 average).|
|QB||Jake Locker||Washington||RS Freshman|
|RB||DeMarco Murray||Oklahoma||RS Freshman|
|RB||Harvey Unga||BYU||RS Freshman|
|WR||Marcus Barnett||Cincinnati||RS Freshman|
|TE||Wesley Saunders||South Carolina||Freshman|
|OL||Anthony Castonzo||Boston College||Freshman|
|OL||Steve Schilling||Michigan||RS Freshman|
|DE||Paul Kruger||Utah||RS Freshman|
|DE||Greg Romeus||Pittsburgh||RS Freshman|
|DT||Ladi Ajiobye||South Carolina||RS Freshman|
|LB||Obi Ezeh||Michigan||RS Freshman|
|S||Morgan Burnett||Georgia Tech||Freshman|
|CB||Tavious Polo||Florida Atlantic||RS Freshman|
|PR||Dominique Franks||Oklahoma||RS Freshman|
QB Trevor Vittatoe (UTEP), QB Giovanni Vizza (North Texas), RB Nick Grigsby (Arizona), RB Terry Grant (Alabama), RB Josh Adams (Wake Forest), RB Graig Cooper (Miami), WR Dezmon Briscoe (Kansas), WR Trae Johnson (Tulsa), TE James Casey (Rice), OL Ryan Pugh (Auburn), OL Chaz Ramsey (Auburn), OL Colin Baxter (Arizona), OL Chris Davis (Georgia), OL Rodney Hudson (FSU), K Kai Forbath (UCLA), K Daniel Lincoln (Tennessee), DE Kirk DeCremer (Wisconsin), DE Martez Wilson (Illinois), DE Cameron Jordan (Cal.), DE Kirk DeCremer, DT Gerald McCoy (Oklahoma), DE Scott Solomon, DT Ian Williams (Notre Dame), DT Ollie Ogbu (Penn State), DT Dexter Larimore (Ohio State), DT Malo Taumua (UNLV), DT Derrick Hill (Cal.), DE Almando Sewell (Akron), LB Mike Tashman (UAB), LB Craig Robertson (North Texas), LB Quan Sturdivant (North Carolina), CB Joe Haden (Florida), CB C.J. Bailey (Southern Miss), CB Ras-I Dowling (Virginia), CB Chima Nwakchukwu (Washington State), CB Chris Conte (Cal.), S Zac Etheridge (Auburn), S Ryan Downard (Eastern Michigan), S Major Wright (Florida), S Joseph Lefeged (Rutgers), S Alex Kube (Northern Illinois), S Deunta Williams (North Carolina).
Photos courtesy of Associated Press