College Football's Greatest Freshman Seasons!

Scott CollierContributor IAugust 3, 2009

10 Sep 1995:  Running back Herschel Walker #34 of the New York Giants runs downfield against the Kansas Ciy Chiefs during a game held at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  The Chiefs won the game, 21-17. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel  /Allsp

More often than not in College football one player cannot come into a program and be the "man", it's just too hard for 17 and 18 year old freshmen to have a chance to physically mature enough while learning the playbook and adjusting to college life.

These ten football players are the exception to the rule as they hit the field running straight out of high school and never looked back.

Here are my top 10 freshmen of all time in college football

10: Marshall Faulk, San Diego St: It didn't take long for Faulk to make his presence felt as he ran for 386 yards in just his second career game against Pacific. 

He would finish with 1429 yards, still holds a freshman record with 21 touchdowns and would go on to earn 1st Team All American honors.

9: Andy Katzenmoyer, Ohio State: At a school known for putting out great linebackers, Katzenmoyer would become the first freshman to ever start for the Buckeyes at the position. 

By the end of the year he had totaled school records for a linebacker with his 23 tackles for a loss and 12 sacks.

8: Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech: Crabtree would crush several D-1 receiving records as a freshman while putting up video game statistics for the Red Raiders; 134 receptions, 1,962 yards and 22 TDs.  Crabtree would end up being named the Biletnikoff award winner as well as a 1st team All American.

7: Tony Dorsett, Pittsburgh: Tony Dorsett made a splash on the college scene despite weighing in at just over 150lbs.  He ultimately became the first freshman to earn 1st team All American in nearly 30 years as he ran for nearly 1600 yards.

6: Ron Dayne, Wisconsin: Despite not starting until nearly halfway through the season Dayne would go on to run for 1863 yards including 246 yards in the Badgers' bowl game against Utah.

5: Michael Vick, Virginia Tech: Vick mesmerized college football fans with his freakish talent and the results he produced backed up the hype. 

As a freshman Vick accounted for 20 tds, led the nation in passing efficiency, and finished 3rd in the Heisman voting as he led the Hokies to the national title game. 

While the Hokies didn't win against heavily favored Florida St, Vick did everything he could to give his team a chance, accounting for 322 yards and 2 tds.

4: Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma: Coach Bob Stoops tried to calm the hype and take some pressure off of Peterson by not starting him early on in the season, Peterson wasn't having any of it. 

He would run for exactly 100 yards in his first career game, and would total nine straight 100 yard games and 11 overall as he helped lead the Sooners to the national title game. 

Peterson would go on to become the first freshman ever to finish 2nd in the Heisman voting and the first Sooner true freshman to ever garner 1st team All American honors from the AP as he ran for 1925 yards.

3: Maurice Clarett, Ohio St: Ohio St has never been known for their high powered offenses under Jim Tressel. but as soon as Clarett arrived on campus the expectations changed. 

A highly recruited running back, Clarett provided the spark that Ohio St needed on offense as he set a Buckeye freshman record for rushing yards in a season (1237) even though he missed three games and parts of two others with injuries.  Many remember him for scoring the game winning TD in the national title game but his strip of Sean Taylor after an interception was equally as big.

2: Jamelle Holieway, Oklahoma: One of the greatest option quarterbacks of all time, Jamelle began his career far before many in Norman expected as he took over for Troy Aikman after he broke his ankle in an early season loss to Miami.  Jamelle never looked back as he led the Sooners to an 8-0 record as a starter and a national championship victory over Penn St in the Orange Bowl. 

Jamelle remains the only true freshman quarterback to accomplish this.

1: Herschel Walker, Georgia: Walker almost single handedly carried the Bulldogs to the National Championship as a freshman, running for 1616 yards and 15 touchdowns.  He would finish a controversial 3rd place in the Heisman voting behind George Rogers and Hugh Green, both seniors. Walker further proved that the voting was wrong by running for 150 yards and 2 touchdowns in the national title game.