The freshman class of 2022 continues to make its mark, with real freshmen across the country putting on signature performances. As 247Sports’ Chris Hammer decided, the best of those performances in Week 4 belonged to the California club. Jayden Ott.
A four-star running back ranked 22nd in California and the top player in Cal’s freshman class, Ott rushed for 274 yards and threw three touchdowns—two of 70 or more yards—in Cal’s victory over Arizona. This is great for any player, especially for a real beginner. And Hammer decided to add perspective to Ott’s monster display.
“However, history is probably the only way to truly put Ott’s day in context,” Hammer wrote. “He is one of 13 Pac-12 players since 2000 who have rushed for at least 270 yards and thrown three touchdowns. according to the College Football Handbook. He is also the only newcomer among this group of 13 players. In addition, Ott’s 274-yard out was the third-highest total in Cal’s history.”
In collaboration with 247Sports experts, these 10 real freshmen stood out the most in week three.
Jayden Ott CA RB
247Sport rating: Four stars, 23rd runner
Picking a “Real Freshman of the Week” in Week 4 wasn’t a hard one, and Ott made sure that pick was taken by taking his 19 carries for 274 yards (14.4 yards per carry) and throwing three touchdowns. He also added two catches for 10 yards. Ott broke a 73-yard touchdown on the second play of the game after scrimmage and then added 18 and 72 yards. It resembled (and surpassed) Ott, who rushed for 104 yards in Cal’s first season, and brought back the pace for him to rush over 1,000 yards in his freshman college season.
Kytron Allen, Penn State RB
247Sports rating: Four stars, 155th overall
Allen’s backfield teammate Nick Singleton was selected by us as our “Real Freshman of the Week” for Week 3. And this week, Singleton was delisted for his freshman teammate. Allen threw the ball 13 times for 111 yards in Penn State’s 33–14 victory over Central Michigan, including a 14-yard scoring run with play still in question in the second quarter. He added another catch for seven yards.
Quinchon Judkins, Ole Miss RB
247 Sports rating: three stars, 53 running backs
Ole Miss currently has a perfect 4-0 record this season and Judkins explains why. He is averaging over 100 yards and touchdowns per game this year (429 yards, five touchdowns), and he surpassed that in Ole Miss’s 35-27 win over Tulsa with 27 carries for 140 yards and two touchdowns. He added another five yards per catch. Judkins is averaging 6.1 yards per carry this year and gives quarterback Jackson Dart a two-headed monster in the running back, along with TCU transfer and former five-star prospect Zach Evans.
Baryon Brown, KY WR
247Sports rating: Four stars, 68th player overall.
Last week, we included Brown’s Kentucky teammate, Dane Key, on this list. But Brown shone brightest in Kentucky’s 31-23 victory over Northern Illinois. Brown caught four of his five goals for 102 yards, scoring touchdowns at 70 and 15 yards. Brown’s first touchdown, a 15-yarder on the tunnel screen, tied the game at seven after Northern Illinois hit the tee. And his cornerman put Kentucky up for good in the second half when he caught a pass through the center and blasted past the defense.
Emery Jones, LSU OL
247Sports rating: Four stars, 97th overall
Each week, Jones and his LSU colleague Will Campbell can compete for a place on this list. This week the nod goes to Jones, who hasn’t allowed a single sack and has an overall score of 86.5 according to the PFF. This score was supported by how well Jones played when LSU decided to handle the ball, with a true best rookie rating of 90.1 in run blocking. Overall, LSU gained 633 yards against New Mexico, including 219 on the ground. The Tigers averaged 7.9 yards per game.
Gabe Jakas, IL EDGE
247 Sports rating: three stars, #69 EDGE
Few freshman defensemen had a better week than Khakas, who scored 79.3 points according to the PFF. He finished with eight tackles, including four stops, and showed his impact as a pass rusher with three total pressures, including one sack. This effort helped Illinois seal a lockout against Chattanooga as the Fighting Illini took a 31-0 win to go 3-1 on the season. Over the past two weeks, Khakas has 10 tackles, three tackles for loss and three sacks.
Dani Dennis-Sutton, Penn State EDGE
247 Sports rating: five stars, 28th player overall.
247Sports ranked Dennis-Sutton third among three five-star Penn State freshmen behind Singleton and quarterback Drew Allar. And all three have shown reason to be excited about their future with the Nittany Lion program. Dennis-Sutton posted an amazing 90.9 against Central Michigan, a PFF score he earned by counting five pressures, including two sacks and another quarterback hit. Dennis-Sutton’s overall score of 80.7 was high and he deflected a pass.
Harold Perkins, LSU LB
247 Sports rating: five stars, 5th player overall.
According to Pro Football Focus, Perkins returned to the list after eight tackles, four of which were qualified as stops. He also hurriedly proved himself as a pass rusher, leading to his 80.1 pass rush points in LSU’s 38-0 victory over New Mexico. Perkins still has some work to do, hence his overall score of 71 .2, but he continued to have great outbursts on the dominant defense, where LSU allowed just 88 yards and two first downs.
Jordan Pollard, San Jose State, LB
247Sports rating: three stars, 205th midfielder
How about Pollard’s grades? San Jose State’s freshman quarterback looked like an honor roll candidate with an overall grade of 82.6, a defensive grade of 82.8, and a tackle grade of 83.4, according to the PFF. That’s what happens when you make eight tackles, two of which qualify as stops, and add an interception in San Jose State’s 34-6 win over Western Michigan. Pollard entered the game with two total tackles in San Jose State’s first two games; here they think he may have earned a big opportunity with this performance.
Jeremiah Erby CA CB
247Sports rating: three stars, cornerback No. 71
Tall, long swings are all the rage in college football, and if Herbie’s results last week are any indication, perhaps the Golden Bears have found a good swing. Erbie took 54 shots against Arizona according to Pro Football Focus, earning an overall score of 80.2 and a reach score of 80.9. How did he get there? He was attacked six times and allowed one catch for minus two yards, ending with two tackles and two deflections.