Don't laugh. The Bears might have a bright future, if past Rivals.com Freshman All-America teams are any indications.
Robert Griffin is the third consecutive Big 12 quarterback to be named Rivals.com first-team Freshman All-America. Last season's first-team freshman quarterback was Oklahoma's Sam Bradford, who won the Heisman Trophy this year. The 2006 first-team quarterback was Texas' Colt McCoy, who was a Heisman finalist this year.
Griffin is far from the only budding superstar in the bunch. Jacquizz Rodgers set the Pac-10 freshman rushing record and put Oregon State into the Rose Bowl hunt until the final day of the season. Five-star receivers made an immediate impact, with three of the top four receivers in the 2008 class – Alabama's Julio Jones, Georgia's A.J. Green and Southern Miss' DeAndre Brown – receiving first-team freshman All-America honors.
And perhaps no team had more success with freshmen this season than Oklahoma. The Sooners took up four spots on the Freshman All-America teams, with linebacker Travis Lewis and defensive end Frank Alexander taking first-team honors and Ryan Broyles claiming spots at wide receiver (second team) and punt returner (first team).
Here's a look at the complete Rivals.com Freshman All-America teams.
Particulars: 6-3/200, true freshman
High school: Copperas Cove (Texas) High
Key stats: The impressive dual-threat player may do the unthinkable and help the Bears put together a winning season. Griffin set an FBS (i.e., Division I-A) record by starting his career with 209 consecutive pass attempts before he threw his first interception. Griffin passed for 2,091 yards and 15 touchdowns and ran for 843 yards and 13 scores.
Particulars: 5-7/193, true
High school: Richmond (Texas) Lamar Consolidated
Key stats: Oregon State stayed in the Rose Bowl hunt until the last week of the season largely because of Rodgers. He rushed for 1,253 yards and 11 touchdowns and also caught 29 passes for 247 yards.
Particulars: 6-0/200, redshirt freshman
High school: Indianapolis Warren Central
Key stats: The Hokies were in dire need of offense. Evans provided some with 1,112 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. His 253-yard day against Maryland on Nov. 6 was a school-record performance.
Particulars: 6-4/210, true
High school: Foley (Ala.) High
Key stats: The No. 2 prospect in the class of 2008 kept opposing defenses honest by catching 51 passes for 847 yards and four touchdowns. He caught five passes for 124 yards in the SEC Championship Game against Florida.
Particulars: 6-4/200, true
High school: Summerville (S.C.) High
Key stats: Green led the SEC with 951 receiving yards on 55 catches. He also tied for the SEC lead with eight touchdown catches, including winning scores against Kentucky and Auburn in back-to-back games.
Particulars: 6-6/228, true
High school: Ocean Springs (Miss.) High
Key stats: Brown lived up to the hype. He had 66 receptions - which tied the school record - for 1,108 yards and 12 touchdowns. Brown had four 100-yard receiving games.
Particulars: 6-6/276, true
High school: Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas
Key stats: The surprise starter earned compliments from FSU offensive line coach Rick Trickett, a notoriously tough critic. Datko started all but one game at left tackle for the Seminoles.
Particulars: 6-6/321, redshirt
High school: Provo (Utah) Timpview
Key stats: Reynolds started every game at left tackle alongside four seniors. He didn't allow a sack and allowed only one hit on quarterback Max Hall.
Particulars: 6-2/276, redshirt
High school: St. Laurent (Quebec) Vanier Prep
Key stats: The physical newcomer helped pave the way for Donald Brown's breakout season, in which he led the nation in rushing.
Particulars: 6-5/296, true
High school: Orlando Edgewater
Key stats: Ohio State's other freshman who moved into the starting lineup after the USC loss, Brewster led an offensive line that improved over the final two-thirds of the season. The Buckeyes topped 200 rushing yards in five Big Ten games.
Particulars: 5-8/175, true
High school: Norco (La.) Destrehan
Key stats: Johnson was fifth in the nation with 169.3 all-purpose yards per game. He was a runner (251 rushing yards, one touchdown), a receiver (608 yards, nine touchdowns) and a kickoff returner (1,319 yards, one touchdown).
Particulars: 6-5/260, true
High school: North Charleston (S.C.) Fort Dorchester
Key stats: Quinn was consistent during his 10 starts at end. He finished with 6.5 tackles for a loss. He forced two fumbles against Georgia Tech and recorded 20 tackles in the last five games.
Particulars: 6-4/249, redshirt
High school: Baton Rouge (La.) Southern Lab School
Key stats: Alexander stepped in for injured starter Auston English and fared well over the second half of the season. He played in eight games and had 3.5 sacks and a forced fumble, and he returned an extra-point attempt for two points against Oklahoma State.
Particulars: 6-5/270, true
High school: Las Vegas Western
Key stats: Guy burst into Arizona State's starting lineup in early October and finished with 10 tackles for a loss. His 27 tackles were second-most among Pac-10 defensive tackles.
Particulars: 6-2/302, true
High school: Miami Northwestern
Key stats: The explosive tackle started only one game but finished the season with 17 tackles and 4.5 tackles for a loss. He had three sacks in the last three games.
Particulars: 6-2/232, redshirt
High school: San Antonio Robert E. Lee
Key stats: Lewis was one of the defensive MVPs for the Sooners. He finished the regular season with a team-leading 137 tackles to go with 12 tackles for loss.
Particulars: 6-2/202, true
High school: Miami Northwestern
Key stats: Of the numerous Northwestern grads in Miami's freshman class, Spence had the most impact. He became a starter for the final eight games, finishing the season with 62 tackles and 7.5 tackles for loss.
Particulars: 5-10/185, true
High school: Pahokee (Fla.) High
Key stats: Florida's pass defense improved tremendously with Jenkins in the mix. Jenkins, who was physical in run support, intercepted three passes and added 11 pass breakups.
Particulars: 5-11/190, redshirt
High school: Manteo (N.C.) High
Key stats: Davis raised his game in important moments for the Conference USA champions. He had three interceptions in a two-game span when the Pirates won both games by three points. He finished with three picks, seven pass breakups and a forced fumble.
Particulars: 6-1/205, redshirt
High school: Canfield (Ohio) High
Key stats: Baker led the Cardinals with 91 tackles and tied for the MAC lead with six interceptions, including one he returned for a touchdown against Indiana, and had 10 pass breakups.
Particulars: 5-10/195, redshirt
High school: Orange (Texas) West Orange Stark
Key stats: One of two freshman starting safeties for the Longhorns, Thomas was second on the team with 61 tackles. He had two interceptions, four forced fumbles, a blocked kick and nine pass breakups.
Particulars: 6-4/196, redshirt
High school: Camarillo (Calif.) High
Key stats: Anger averaged 43.7 yards per kick, including a 76-yarder. Of Anger's 66 punts, 25 landed inside the 20. Anger had only six touchbacks.