Early Signing Period: Five instant impact players for 2019 season
With the first couple of days of the Early Signing Period behind us, there is already talk by fan bases across the country about who their star in the 2019 class will be. You are seeing more and more true freshmen come in, get on the field and make impacts on the major college level. We take a look at five who we could be talking about as Freshman All-Americans this time next year.
MORE EARLY SIGNING PERIOD: The Farrell Awards | Five teams that will still make noise | Big surprises | Winners and losers | Mind of Mike | 10 predictions | Blog | Bama at No. 1 | James Franklin talks NSD
One of the easiest positions to play as a true freshman is running back. Given that, the talent Emery has and the roster at LSU looking the way it looks at that position, the writing is on the wall for him to be a star early on. Emery is a back who is built to play in the SEC. He is a physical back with speed, vision and power. Why did Ed Orgeron and his staff work so hard to flip Emery from Georgia? It is simple; they don’t have anyone even close to being like him.
On paper, it may not look like a slam dunk that Pickens would make an immediate impact at South Carolina due to their starting front four all expected to return. But, if you know who Pickens is, then you know the Gamecocks don’t have anybody like him in their defensive front rotation. Pickens is a versatile defensive lineman who could play some five and three-technique as a true freshman. Pickens is the type of player Will Muschamp needs to sign more of if he wants to compete for the SEC East Championship. It is not easy to come in, play meaningful snaps and make an impact right away in the trenches, but Pickens is different.
Kyler Murray is out at Oklahoma. He is either going to be in the NFL or the Oakland A’s minor league system this time next year, so who will be the guy spinning the pigskin in Norman? It could be Austin Kendall, and he is not a bad quarterback, but Rattler will put a lot or pressure on him the minute he steps foot on campus. Rattler playing in Lincoln Riley’s system is a great fit, and one that could lead to a lot of big plays next fall. Rattler still has to add some weight and get stronger, but what he brings to the table is something other OU quarterbacks after Murray do not. Yes, Rattler will be a true freshman, but this five-star looks to be who could make the move very early.
Georgia was on the verge of making the NCAA College Football Playoffs again in 2018 after playing for a National Championship a year ago, but they may have been a year ahead of schedule. They need much better pass rush in 2019 if they want to compete for a national title, so Smith will be extremely important next fall. The Bulldogs lost Lorenzo Carter and Davin Bellamy after the 2017 season, now D’Andre Walker is gone, so there is a big need and Smith will be ready to step into a big role as a freshman. Smith is not your normal freshman. He is physically advanced and he will be ready to help UGA’s defense right away.
It would be a little surprising if Stingley is not only playing, but starting at LSU as a true freshman. The Tigers do not have anyone like him. He is physically and mentally on another level, he is a special athlete and he is going to make an immediate impact. There is always a transition and learning curve, but Stingley will be ready to make an impact very early in his career. There is a lot of pressure on the No. 1 player in the country to do big things right away or they are considered a bust by some — you won’t have to worry about that with Stingley