College Football’s Top True Freshmen – ACC

(Image Getty)

In a trying year, some players stepped up big time for their teams. And some of those players were true freshmen. These were the best true freshmen in the ACC. The future is bright for these young players and their teams.



Clemson QB DJ Uiagalelei has a rocket arm and bright future – (photo: Clemson Athletics)
DJ Uiagalelei – Clemson

Uiagalelei played exceptionally well when Trevor Lawrence was out. He threw for 914 yards and 5 TDs with 0 INTs. He also had 4 rushing TDs. Uiagalelei has a cannon of a arm and will be in the Heisman talks very soon.

Chubba Purdy – Florida State

Purdy got some playing time this season for the Noles and had some freshman moments, as expected. He threw for 219 yards and 2 touchdowns with 1 INT. He only completed 51% of his passes, but he should drastically improve this offseason after a year in coach Mike Norvell’s system.

Jeff Sims – Georgia Tech

Sims was thrown into the fire this season as a true freshman. He had some bright moments and some expected freshman mistakes. He threw for 1,881 yards, 13 TDs, and 13 INTs, while rushing for 492 yards and 6 TDs. Bright future ahead for Sims at GT.

Running Backs


Georgia Tech RB Jahmyr Gibbs has a chance to be special for the Yellow Jackets
Lawrance Toafili – Florida State

Toafili rushed for 356 yards this season and 2 TDs, while averaging an outstanding 9.6 yards per carry. He also added 120 receiving yards. The future is extremely bright for this young man.

Jahmyr Gibbs – Georgia Tech

Gibbs was a 4-star recruit who stayed home and made an immediate impact for the Yellow Jackets. He rushed for 460 yards and 4 TDs, while averaging 5.2 ypc. He also caught 24 passes for 303 yards and 3 TDs.

Don Chaney – Miami

Chaney rushed for 322 yards and 3 touchdowns this season, while averaging 4.7 yards per carry. He also caught 11 passes for 143 yards.

Jaylan Knighton – Miami

Knighton has a ton of potential for the Canes. He rushed for 209 yards and 1 touchdown, and caught 11 passes for 135 yards and 1 TD this year.

Chris Tyree – Notre Dame

Tyree has blazing speed and quickness, and he showed it this season. He rushed for 496 yards and 4 TDs and also added 65 receiving yards to go along with 456 kick return yards.

Sean Tucker – Syracuse

Tucker was a bright spot for the Cuse this season. He rushed for 638 yards and 4 touchdowns, while averaging 4.6 yards per carry. He also added 7 receptions for 103 yards.

Wide Receivers

Panther fans hope Pitt WR Jordan Addison is the next Larry Fitzgerald – (photo: Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)
EJ Williams – Clemson

Williams is going to be the next big time Clemson WR. He should shine next year as a sophomore with DJ Uiagalelei. This season he caught 24 passes for 306 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Porter Rooks – NC State

Rooks was a big in-state pickup for the Wolfpack, and he made an immediate impact. This season he caught 24 passes for 276 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Jordan Addison – Pittsburgh

Addison was incredible for the Panthers this season and their #1 receiving threat. He caught 60 passes for 666 yards and 4 touchdowns. Addison has incredible athleticism and quickness. A star in the making.

Lavel Davis Jr – Virginia

Davis is a 6’7″ match-up nightmare and a big play threat for the Hoos. This season he caught 20 passes for 515 yards and 5 TDs, averaging an outstanding 25.8 yards per catch.

Tight End

Michael Mayer – Notre Dame

Mayer was the best P5 true freshman TE in CFB this season. He excelled in blocking and running routes. He finished the season with 42 receptions for 450 yards and 2 touchdowns. Irish fans call him “Baby Gronk.”

Offensive Linemen

  • OT Walker Parks – Clemson
  • OL Graham Barton – Duke
  • OT Robert Scott – Florida State


Defensive Linemen

Clemson DT Bryan Bresee won the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year – (photo: Sports Illustrated)
DT Bryan Bresee – Clemson

Bresee, the former 5⭐ and #1 overall recruit in 2020, started immediately for Clemson and made a huge impact right away. Bresee had 23 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 4 Sacks, 2 PBUs, and one forced fumble this season.

DE Myles Murphy – Clemson

Murphy is a future 1st round pick. He showed a ton of upside this season and was a nightmare for offensive linemen. This season he had 37 tackles, 10.5 TFL, 4 sacks, 1 pass breakup, and 3 forced fumbles.

DE Desmond Evans – North Carolina

Evans was a massive in-state commitment for the Tar Heels. This season he got less playing time, but valuable experience. He totaled 10 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, one sack, and one fumble recovery this season.


Miami LB Corey Flagg has a ton of upside and could be the next great Cane – (photo: 247Sports)
Trenton Simpson – Clemson

Simpson, a former 5-star recruit, made a big impact this season for the Tigers. He totaled 28 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 4 sacks, and one forced fumble. He will be one of the best LBs in CFB next season.

Corey Flagg Jr – Miami

Flagg was an under-the-radar pickup for the Canes from Texas. This season he didn’t play a ton, but when he did he made an impact with 15 tackles and one fumble recovery.

Stefon Thompson – Syracuse

Thompson was an under-the-radar 3⭐ recruit from North Carolina who was a major steal for the Cuse. This season he showed how much potential he has with 36 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, and one forced fumble.

Defensive Backs

Virginia Tech DB Dorian Strong was a big time playmaker for the Hokies
Ja’Qurious Conley – North Carolina

Conley was a big in-state pickup for the Tar Heels and he shined at Safety this season. He totaled 34 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack, and one pass breakup.

Tony Grimes – North Carolina

Grimes was suppose to be a Senior in HS this year. Instead, he was making a name for himself in CFB. This season he had 14 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 1 sack, 3 pass breakups and 1 INT. Bright future ahead for Tony.

Nick Andersen – Wake Forest

Andersen was a walk on true freshman this season who had a remarkable season. He’s a tackling machine and ball hawk. He totaled 63 tackles, 1 TFL, 5 pass breakups, 4 INTs, and 1 fumble recovery.

Caelen Carson – Wake Forest

The Demon Deacons always find some under-the-radar players who turn into excellent players, and Carson is another one. This season he had 25 tackles, 4 PBUs, 1 forced fumble, and 1 INT.

Dorian Strong – Virginia Tech

Strong had two offers: Virginia Tech Delaware State. Talk about a major steal and a great evaluation by the Hokies! This season he had 22 tackles, 5 pass breakups, and one interception. With a lot of Hokies out, he stepped up big at CB.