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Redshirt freshmen to watch in 2017

Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano and USC wide receiver Tyler Vaughns are among the most exciting redshirt freshmen who could break out in 2017.

For the all the hype around National Signing Day, it can also be a bit of an anticlimactic event. While it’s indisputably true that elite recruiting is essential to winning conference titles and reaching the College Football Playoff, for all but the very best recruits entering very rare circumstances the impact of four- and five-star signings won’t truly be felt until several years later. Even some of the most highly touted recruits from last year’s class redshirted rather than waste a year of eligibility on a season in which their impact might have been negligible.

A year later, though, things have changed. After spending the fall on the scout team battling their first-unit teammates, a batch of redshirt freshmen are ready to break out in their first season of eligibility. Here are eight, in alphabetical order, to keep an eye on:

All recruiting rankings are according to

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