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Six true freshmen to watch in the Pac-12

The college football season is right around the corner and there will be plenty of true freshmen who will make an immediate impact. Here is a look at six players in the Pac-12 we are excited to watch this season.

RELATED: True freshmen to watch in Big Ten | SEC | ACC

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals100 | Position | Team | State

Jayden Daniels
Jayden Daniels

Recruiting: Daniels took his time through the recruiting process and unlike many other quarterbacks, he waited to commit in mid-December to Arizona State over Utah, Cal, UCLA and others.

Overview: Daniels is currently in a three-way preseason quarterback competition with Dillon Sterling-Cole and fellow freshman Joey Yellen, but the former high four-star could have an edge to win the job. If Daniels wins the battle then he will be without star receiver N’Keal Harry, but the Sun Devils still have a lot of talent at that position plus ASU always has the threat of stud running back Eno Benjamin.

Farrell’s take: Daniels is too talented to sit and his ability to create is much needed at Arizona State. Quarterbacks these days don’t like to sit and wait and Daniels is the most talented of the group. If he doesn’t start right away, he will see time eventually.


Drake Jackson
Drake Jackson (Nick Lucero/

Recruiting: The battle for Jackson was really close all the way up to his decision day during the early signing period as USC and Arizona State were even in his recruitment. Jackson ended up picking the Trojans, but in the hours before it was time to make his announcement, the Sun Devils remained a contender.

Overview: Jackson proved during an outstanding week at the All-American Bowl that he has the physical ability to immediately make a big impact in the Pac-12. He is expected to join a talented group of players along the defensive line and at 6-foot-4 and 275 pounds, his versatility could be key to getting on the field soon.

Farrell’s take: Jackson will be a monster before he leaves USC. He will add weight and power, but right now he’s a super athletic gap shooter who can chase the quarterback. That’s much needed everywhere, and USC won’t waste a redshirt on this elite recruit.


Mycah Pittman
Mycah Pittman (Nick Lucero/

Recruiting: Pittman grew up a Florida fan and the Gators were seriously involved in his recruitment and probably considered the early leader, but Oregon won out in the summer before his senior year. Nebraska was also involved.

Overview: Pittman is going to push for early playing time and with the loss of Brenden Schooler because of injury, the former four-star could get on the field even quicker. He and others pushed the receiving corps in the spring and Oregon’s passing attack could be one of the best nationally, especially since QB Justin Herbert returned to school, too.

Farrell’s take: The Oregon offense is made for elite wide receivers like Pittman who should take to the college game early because he’s so polished. Oregon will throw the ball a ton and Pittman will get his targets as a freshman.


Sean Rhyan
Sean Rhyan (Nick Lucero/

Recruiting: UCLA scored a major recruiting coup over rival USC when Rhyan picked the Bruins over the Trojans during the early signing period.

Overview: At 6-foot-4 and 323 pounds, Rhyan has the physical makeup to immediately contribute on UCLA’s offensive line and that should be the expectation. He has the talent and special athletic ability to move around and contribute where the Bruins need him and that should get him on the field early this season.

Farrell’s take: UCLA is rebuilding and Chip Kelly will start playing his recruits sooner than later. It’s not easy to impact on the offensive line as a freshman but Rhyan has the skill and size to do so.


Kayvon Thibodeaux
Kayvon Thibodeaux (Nick Lucero/

Recruiting: It came down to Oregon, Alabama, Florida State and Florida for Thibodeaux and he ultimately picked the Ducks a few days before the Early Signing Period.

Overview: Thibodeaux was the lone five-star signee in the Pac-12 last season and he could be an immediate contributor at defensive end. He has elite speed to the edge and fantastic closing ability and that should get him on the field early to harass quarterbacks. Coach Mario Cristobal seemed excited about Thibodeaux’s prospects at Pac-12 Media Days recently and there’s no question he has star ability.

Farrell’s take: Thibodeaux is an elite pass rusher with a great first step and that is always needed in the Pac-12. He needs to bulk up and improve against the run, but his ability to rush off the edge will make him valuable right away.

Mykael Wright
Mykael Wright (Nick Lucero/

Recruiting: Early in the spring before his commitment, Wright said Oregon was his dream school growing up and he had the Ducks out in front in his recruitment. A couple months later, Wright committed to Oregon over USC, Washington, Arizona and others.

Overview: Thomas Graham and Deommodore Lenoir have the starting cornerback jobs locked down at Oregon but Wright should earn some valuable backup time this season and he could be next in line for one of those spots. The four-star is very physical with receivers, he has excellent hands and he’s aggressive going after the ball once it’s in the air.

Farrell’s take: Wright has some fierce competition ahead of him but he’s good enough to see quality time in nickel situations and if someone goes down, he’s ready to step in. His versatility is impressive.