BCS Championship Game 2013: Freshman Phenoms Who Will Leave Imprint on Title

David Daniels@TheRealDDanielsSenior Writer IJanuary 7, 2013

COLUMBIA, MO - OCTOBER 13:  Running back T.J. Yeldon #4 of the Alabama Crimson Tide carries the ball upfield during the game against the Missouri Tigers at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium on October 13, 2012 in Columbia, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

In the 2013 BCS National Championship Game, fans won’t be able to differentiate between freshmen and seniors.

Alabama and Notre Dame’s young guns are so talented that, on the field, they could easily be mistaken for upperclassman.  Here are the three most talented first-year Crimson Tide and Fighting Irish players.

 

3. Amari Cooper (WR, Alabama)

The 6’1”, 198-pound target out of Miami earned a spot on the FWAA Freshman All-American Team this season. He did so by leading all Alabama receivers with 53 receptions for 895 yards and nine touchdowns.

Cooper proved in the SEC Championship against Georgia that he’s a big-game performer, catching a 45-yard, go-ahead touchdown with 3:15 left in the fourth quarter.

 

2. KeiVarae Russell (CB, Notre Dame)

In the four weeks prior to playing Notre Dame, Marquise Lee had racked up an average of 11.8 catches, 205.3 yards and 1.5 touchdowns per game. Matched up with Russell on Nov. 24, he managed to reel in just five balls for 75 yards.

Russell has been phenomenal at shutting down opposing receivers this season and as a result, he also was voted onto the FWAA Freshman All-American Team.

 

1. T.J. Yeldon (RB, Alabama)

Yeldon wasn’t honored by the Football Writers Association of America, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’ll be the most talented freshman on the field on Monday night. If he wasn’t forced to share carries with Eddie Lacy, he would’ve likely been in the running for the Heisman Trophy.

When Yeldon carried the ball at least 15 times, he never failed to rush for over 125 yards. He compiled 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns this season on an impressive 6.5 yards a pop. The 6’2”, 216-pound ball-carrier boasts a rare combination of power and explosion and could ultimately be the difference in a Crimson Tide victory.

 

David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.

Related

    End of the ASG Was LIT 🔥

    Featured logo
    Featured

    End of the ASG Was LIT 🔥

    Kyle Newport
    via Bleacher Report

    LeBron's Game-Winner Seals It vs. Team Steph

    Featured logo
    Featured

    LeBron's Game-Winner Seals It vs. Team Steph

    Alec Nathan
    via Bleacher Report

    🚨 Game of Zones All-Star Special 🚨

    Featured logo
    Featured

    🚨 Game of Zones All-Star Special 🚨

    Zac Wassink
    via Bleacher Report

    LeBron Catches a Pair of Nasty Oops 😳

    Featured logo
    Featured

    LeBron Catches a Pair of Nasty Oops 😳

    Steve Silverman
    via Bleacher Report