The first freshman to ever start at linebacker for Ohio State, the Big Kat busted onto the scene, starting all 12 games and set new school records for tackles for loss (23) and sacks (12) by a linebacker in earning second-team All-America honors. He was the first Buckeye to wear No. 45 since Archie Griffin in 1975.
2 of 10Peter Read Miller/SI
Raghib "Rocket" Ismail
Ismail made his mark early as a kick returner, averaging 36.1 yards on kickoffs, to lead the nation, and also returned two punts for touchdowns in one game. An All-America honorable mention, he also averaged 26.1 yards a catch for an Irish team that went 12-0 in winning the national title.
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Clarett's one and only season in college culminated in two touchdowns, including the game winner in the national championship game. He missed three games and parts of two others because of injuries, but still managed to set Ohio State freshman records with 1,237 rushing yards and scored 16 touchdowns.
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Williams set a new freshman record for receiving yards with 1,265 yards, led the Trojans with 81 receptions and was second in the nation with 14 receiving touchdowns. He also had five 100-yard receiving games, including a stretch of four in a row and caught a touchdown pass in seven straight games.
5 of 10Al Tielemans/SI
Vick exploded onto the scene with three rushing touchdowns in his first game -- in just over one quarter of play. He threw for 1,840 yards and 12 touchdowns in 10 games and ran for 585 yards and eight scores. Vick led the nation in passing efficiency at 180.37, the second-highest rating ever, and finished third in the Heisman balloting. He led the Hokies to an 11-0 regular season record and a spot in the national championship game, where he threw for 225 yards and a TD and ran for 97 yards and a touchdown in a 46-29 loss to Florida State.
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Despite weighing in at just 155 pounds, Dorsett led the nation with 1,586 rushing yards. He ran for 265 yards against Northwestern and became the first freshman to earn a first-team All-America selection since 1944.
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Dayne ran for 1,863 yards despite not starting until the fifth game of the season. He broke the freshman record for most yards in a season and also set rookie records for carries in a game (50 vs. Minnesota) and a season (295).
8 of 10Peter Read Miller/SI
In just his second start, Faulk torched Pacific for a freshman record 386 rushing yards. He finished the season with 1,429 yards, earning first-team All-America honors. He still holds the freshman records for most touchdowns in a season (21), most points (140) and most points in a game (44).
9 of 10John W. McDonough/SI
Peterson became the first freshman to ever finish runner-up in the Heisman balloting and was a first-team All-American. He broke the freshman rushing record with 1,925 yards and also set new standards with nine straight 100-yard games and 11 total 100-yard games.
10 of 10Heinz Kluetmeier/SI
All Walker did in his freshman season was put the Bulldogs on his back and carry them to a national championship. He finished a controversial third in the Heisman balloting after running for 1,616 yards and 15 touchdowns. Walker had 150 yards and two touchdowns in a 17-10 win over Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl that gave Georgia the national title.
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