In the 1972 college football, expanded their game. They brought in five new teams, including the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Appalachian State Mountaineers. But, more importantly this was the first year freshmen were eligible to play varsity collegiate football.
Before 1972, they couldn’t play for their varsity teams. Think about some of the great seasons we would have missed out on. We would have missed Jadeveon Clowney’s freshman season and many others.
Without that rule in 1972, we would not be able to see some of the great freshmen quarterbacks in 2016. Now it’s a young man’s game.
Here are some of the freshmen quarterbacks this year that are showing some of the old guys who’s boss.
University of Georgia’s Jacob Eason
Native of Lake Stevens, Washington, Jacob Eason is the prototype quarterback. He is 6’5″, 230 pounds can move in the pocket and can make every throw. As a quarterback, there isn’t much he can’t do. It is no wonder he is a former 5-Star quarterback. Even though Georgia is nearly 3000 miles away from home, the Bulldogs signed Eason. And when Eason arrived it to Athens, it was widely known that fifth-year senior Grayson Lambert would probably be the starter week one. Which he was. But who did Georgia lean on to get there win over North Carolina?
They turned to true freshman quarterback Jacob Eason. And Eason delivered the win.
In his first college football game, he passed for 131 yards on 8-12 passing. And he also threw a touchdown pass. More importantly it seemed as if the team responded better to Eason. Eason was inserted into the game down 24-14 to North Carolina when Lambert was not playing well. Georgia would comeback and win the game 33-24. Eason’s adjusted QBR rating against North Carolina was 92.6.
But after a struggle against Nicholls State, Bulldog fans wait to see what Eason will do against Missouri on the road this week. Although head coach Kirby Smart is unsure on who to start, I think Eason gives them the best chance to win.
University of Alabama’s Jalen Hurts
Yes, the same Alabama coached by Nick Saban. Moments before the first game against the USC Trojans, he picks Jalen Hurts as his starting quarterback. Jalen Hurts is the first freshman to start for Nick Saban at Alabama. He is also the first true freshman to start for Alabama since 1984. During his first game he looked like he had been with the team for years. Hurts scored the ball four times while beating the Trojans.
Jalen Hurts threw for 118 yards on 6-11 passing and threw two touchdown passes. He also added two more scores on the ground. He lead the Crimson Tide to a 52-6 win over the Trojans.
And in week two, Hurts put on another show at home against Western Kentucky. He threw for 287 yards and added two more passing touchdown to his college career total.
This week, the Crimson Tide want more of the same when Hurts has his first true road test against the Ole Miss Rebels. If he wins this game, he could definitely be in the Heisman talk.
University of Texas’ Shane Buechele
Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong did it up big when he named true freshman Shane Buechele the starter. The night before the season opening against Notre Dame, Strong called Buechele’s mom to tell her the great news. And before the game he told Shane to not let her down, and he didn’t.
He and his fellow quarterback senior Tyronne Swoopes lead the Longhorns to the double overtime win over Notre Dame. Buechele completed 16 of his 26 and threw for 280 yards. He had two passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown in the 50-47 game against Notre Dame.
In his second game, he did even better. Against UTEP, Buechele completed 81.5% of his passes and threw for four touchdowns. In his first two games, he is averaging a QBR rating of 85. The Longhorn faithful will be hoping for more of the same when he has his first true road game against California this week.
Florida State University’s Deondre Francios
The true freshman quarterback made his first college start against Ole Miss in his hometown of Orlando, Florida. At first, it seems that the bright lights made the former four-star recruit melt. But after his second quarter touchdown pass, the pressure started to make a diamond. That diamond’s name is Deondre Francios.
Francios had 478 yards of offense against the Rebels. He threw for 419 yards and two scores. He also gained 59 yards on the ground. This comeback win over a national championship contender really helps Francios gain the respect of the older guys. This win also helps him with the fans. In the last 5 years, FSU has had some great college quarterbacks play for them. So with this win it helps him win over the crowd and know that the fans are really behind him and aren’t look for the backup quarterback.
In week two, the Seminoles played another championship contender team, but it was a FCS championship contender. They played a depleted CSU Buccaneers squad at home. And Francios did not miss a step. He threw for 262 yards on 78.1% passing and threw three passing touchdowns.
But this week Francios, will also meet his first true road test against the Louisville Cardinals. If he can win that game, the whole country will have their eyes on this freshman quarterback.