Nine games in Hugh Freeze’s top 10 signing class is living up to the hype.
The coaching staff has given these guys opportunities to play, and many of them have responded in a big way. That certainly holds true for some of the bigger names in the class — Laremy Tunsil, Laquon Treadwell and Robert Nkemdiche — but there have been contributions from others too.
Derrick Jones is an example of a guy who got off to a bit of a late start by moving positions. Freeze didn’t know what to do with him early but liked his athleticism a lot and wanted to get him on the field. Jones seems to have settled in at corner.
This week against Troy should be an interesting game for Jones. Charles Sawyer will be out which means Jones should get more snaps than usual against a team that has no interest in running the ball.
Not everyone is playing. There will be a lot of excitement for quarterbacks Devante Kincade and Ryan Buchanan come spring and next fall. That particularly holds true for Kincade, who was close to playing this season.
There may be less excitement but no less intrigue for offensive linemen Daronte Bouldin and Davion Johnson, who are redshirting. The best offenses often feature linemen who have had an extra year of seasoning.
On the whole, it’s been a good nine games for the new guys.
Today’s column: The freshman class