NCAAF Futures: Immediate Impact NCAAF Freshman to Watch for 2022-23

by: Travis Reid             
August 10, 2022

GJOL7LG7ORERHJAH4Y2NL7S3HQ.jpeg

There are some new faces around the country that will make an impact from day one. We break down a few of these players here. There isn't too much Heisman value but it's good to think about how these teams are constructed and what to look for early in the year.

Freshman Wide Receivers

Luther Burden, WR, Missouri

Missouri may not be set up for a great year but they do have the number 1 wide receiver recruit in the country coming in. Luther Burden comes out of East St. Louis High School, he is a smooth wide receiver who has good size at 6' 2" with nice after the catch running ability and return skills. He has a strong lower half and it is clear he has power and speed when he has the ball in his hands. His hands seem to be good but it's tough to tell if they're great, he'll definitely have the chance to prove himself against good competition in the SEC so we'll find out quickly how good he is. But if he continues to develop he is definitely a nice pro prospect and will definitely help Missouri out a lot if they can get him the ball.

Evan Stewart, WR, Texas A&M

Stewart has elite speed and can take the top off a defense, he is a playmaker with the ball in his hands and can be a difference maker in the return game as well. He has great hands, he can go up and win a 50/50 ball or make a tough catch in traffic. He also has polished route running skills, he isn't super big at 6' 0" but his speed and jumping ability makes up for it. He was a track star in high school as well, he will be a problem for defenses and a lot of fun to watch. 

Chris Marshall, WR, Texas A&M

I was planning on leaving one of these two receivers off this list but the more I watched Marshall play the more I liked him. He has tremendous height at 6'4" and although he could put some more weight on his frame he has great length and his hands are exceptional as well. He is good with his footwork and will be a force in a jump ball situation. He also has some really nice balance for a tall wideout and it shows in his route running skills and ability to get his feet down when catching the ball. Texas A&M has a dynamic duo of 5 star freshman receivers who will both be on draft boards when their time comes. 

Aaron Anderson, WR, Alabama

This kid is a game breaker, he has incredible speed and quickness. His first step is lightning quick and he has the breakaway speed to finish the deal. His hands are also very good and when you put it all together it's a scary combination especially considering that he'll have Bryce Young throwing him the ball. You can bet that you'll see plenty of shots of him flying down the fields 10+ yds behind the defense catching long TD passes from Young. He has great instincts as a runner too and is really a play waiting to happen anytime he touches the ball. He is on the shorter side at 5'9" but his quick first step, crisp route running, and elite breakaway speed make up for his height. 

Tetairoa Mcmillan, WR, Arizona

McMillan might have the most impressive high school tape out there. He is a multi faceted athlete who played both sides of the football playing the secondary as well as at wideout. He also played basketball and it shows in his game. The amount of one handed, contested, jump ball, and circus catches he put on tape was ridiculous. He is a long rangy 6'4" although he could also benefit from putting some more weight on. But he has elite and natural ball skills and showed an incredible ability to adjust to ball in the air. We'll see if he has the speed and route running skills to truly be an effective wide receiver but he has some amazing ball skills and is very tall and long for the position. He will no doubt be one of the more intriguing freshman in the country to watch this year. 

Check out more NCAAF content from Top Shelf