Menu

COLLEGESPORTS

No. 12 UCLA, No. 14 Texas A&M lead way when it comes to letting youth serve them in football

  • ILE - In this Sept. 21, 2013, file photo, Texas A&M freshman linebacker Darian Claiborne (48), quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) and defensive back Noel Ellis (6) sing the Aggie War Hymm during an NCAA college football game in College Station, Texas. UCLA and Texas A&M each have played 17 true freshmen this season, tied for most among the programs at the highest level of the game. An Associated Press analysis of depth charts and game reports for the 72 BCS-conference teams and Notre Dame this week showed that 359 freshmen were listed as first- or second-stringers, not including special teams. That represented almost 12 percent of the total of 3,212 players. (AP Photo/Bob Levey)The Associated Press

  • FILE - In this Oct. 12, 2013, file photo, Penn State freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg looks to pass during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against Michigan in State College, Pa. An Associated Press analysis of depth charts and game reports for the 72 BCS-conference teams and Notre Dame this week showed that 359 freshmen were listed as first- or second-stringers, not including special teams. That represented almost 12 percent of the total of 3,212 players. The emergence of freshmen is no surprise to coaches who have seen rookies showing up more prepared than ever to play or even start. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)The Associated Press

Freshmen are making their mark in college football this season.

An Associated Press analysis of the 72 teams in automatic-qualifying BCS conferences and Notre Dame shows 359 freshmen listed as first- or second-stringers on this week's depth charts, not including special teams. Of those 359, 72 were starters.

Stanford was the only program that did not list a freshman on its two-deep roster.

UCLA and Texas A&M each have played 17 true freshmen. Thirteen are listed among the top 22 players on each team's depth chart.

Coaches say freshmen are more prepared than ever to play right away because of more sophisticated training methods and greater opportunities to work on skills year-round.