News & Analysis

How 2018's 5-star recruits have graded this season

Nov 10, 2018; Chestnut Hill, MA, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) looks to throw against the Boston College Eagles during the first half at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018 season is rapidly coming to a close as we have two full weeks of action left across the board. With essentially a full season of data at our fingertips, we at Pro Football Focus figured it was time to check in on last season's 5-star recruits from the major recruiting services and see just how well they've fared in their first season in college.

This list is brought to you by Eckrich, the Official Smoked Sausage of the College Football Playoff.

While some true freshmen have impressed, some have not and others have not seen the field too much. With our grading of every player on every play of every game, we have the luxury of taking a look at not only how a player has graded but also how many snaps they've played and how many games they have appeared in.

Below is a list of every 5-star recruit from our friends at ESPN, 24/7 Sports and Rivals from the 2018 recruiting class, and how they've graded during this season to date.

[Editor's note: This list is only for those players who received a 5-star rating on the final recruiting board for each of the aforementioned publications.]

Jordyn Adams, WR, North Carolina

5-star rating: 24/7 Sports (14th overall)
2018 season grade: n/a
2018 season snaps: 0
2018 games appeared: 0

Adams decided to pursue his baseball career after the Los Angeles Angels selected him 17th overall in the 2018 MLB Draft.

Adam Anderson, Edge, Georgia

5-star rating: 24/7 Sports (27th overall) / Rivals (12th overall)
2018 season grade: 64.2
2018 season snaps: 49
2018 games appeared: 6

On just 19 pass-rushing snaps, Anderson has brought in four pressures including two QB hits and two more hurries. He's been targeted three times this season and allowed just 15 yards in coverage so far while also seeing 49 snaps on special teams.

Eyabi Anoma, Edge, Alabama

5-star rating: 24/7 Sports (3rd overall) / ESPN (3rd overall) / Rivals (7th overall)
2018 season grade: 60.0
2018 season snaps: 79
2018 games appeared: 8

Anoma has seen spot duty in eight contests this season and despite two missed tackles on just eight attempts, he has brought in five pressures on just 46 pass-rushing snaps.

Josh Belk, DI, South Carolina

5-star rating: 24/7 Sports (3rd overall) / ESPN (3rd overall) / Rivals (7th overall)
2018 season grade: 66.1
2018 season snaps: 14
2018 games appeared: 2

Belk had an interesting start to his career after committing to Clemson and subsequently transferring to South Carolina. He's been limited with injury and conditioning issues as he's logged just 14 snaps and made just one solo tackle.

Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia

5-star rating: 24/7 Sports (12th overall) / ESPN (9th overall) / Rivals (25th overall)
2018 season grade: 66.7
2018 season snaps: 481
2018 games appeared: 10

Outside of the South Carolina game, Campbell has been rock solid in coverage this season. Against the Gamecocks, Campbell was targeted nine times, allowed seven receptions for 117 yards and two scores. However, on the season, Campbell has yet to allow another touchdown in coverage despite seeing multiple targeted passes in seven of Georgia's other nine games.

RELATED READING: True Freshmen Rankings, Week 8

Jackson Carman, OT, Clemson

5-star rating: Rivals (16th overall)
2018 season grade: 70.4
2018 season snaps: 168
2018 games appeared: 8

Carman has played extensive spot duty at left tackle this season as all 168 of his snaps have come in a backup role and at left tackle. He's allowed just three pressures on 75 snaps in pass protection while also seeing six snaps on field goal/extra point attempts.

JaMarr Chase, WR, LSU

5-star rating: 24/7 Sports (19th overall)
2018 season grade: 64.4
2018 season snaps: 235
2018 games appeared: 10

Chase hauled in his first touchdown against SE-Louisiana in Week 2 and followed that up with a 21-yard touchdown grab against Ole Miss in Week 5 but has recorded just six catches for 46 yards over his last five contests. Still, he's either scored or moved the chains on nine of his 13 receptions this season.

James Cook, RB, Georgia

5-star rating: Rivals (22nd overall)
2018 season grade: 70.1
2018 season snaps: 65
2018 games appeared: 10

Yet to find the end zone on carries, eight of Cook's 31 rushes have gone for a first down as he saw extensive action over the first three games for the Bulldogs. In total, he's forced four missed tackles, gained 96 of his 169 rushing yards after contact and broken off five runs of over 10 yards.

Brenton Cox, Edge, Georgia

5-star rating: ESPN (11th overall) / Rivals (33rd overall)
2018 season grade: 70.1
2018 season snaps: 186
2018 games appeared: 9

On just 93 pass-rushing snaps, Cox has brought in eight QB pressures including a sack against Kentucky in Week 10. He has recorded six defensive stops and has not missed a tackle on nine attempts.

JT Daniels, QB, USC

5-star rating: 24/7 Sports (6thoverall) / Rivals (4th overall)
2018 season grade: 60.5
2018 season snaps: 580
2018 games appeared: 9

Daniels has had an up-and-down start to his career as the starting quarterback in Southern California. His best game came against Arizona (despite what the box score states) as he looked sharp in the pocket and was quick with his decision-making. On the season, he's struggled when under pressure, grading out at just 34.2 on his 63 pressured dropbacks.

Justin Fields, QB, Georgia

5-star rating: 24/7 Sports (2nd overall) / ESPN (1st overall) / Rivals (2nd overall)
2018 season grade: 84.4
2018 season snaps: 125
2018 games appeared: 9

Despite the clamoring for more action, Jake Fromm has kept Fields firmly at No. 2 on the depth chart, despite strong outings from the highly-decorated athlete from Harrison. He's been excellent throwing the ball, completing 20-of-27 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns but the majority of his damage has been done as a rushing threat where he's carried the ball 27 times for 172 yards and three scores. 15 of his 27 carries have either moved the chains for a first down or scored a touchdown.

B.J. Foster, S, Texas

5-star rating: ESPN (3rd overall)
2018 season grade: 67.6
2018 season snaps: 398
2018 games appeared: 9

Playing opposite fellow true freshman, 5-star recruit Caden Sterns, Foster has impressed in run defense with a 76.8 run-defense grade. He has also been targeted 21 times as the primary coverage defender, allowing 13 receptions but no touchdowns while also bringing in an interception and a pass breakup himself.

Palaie Gaoteote IV, LB, USC

5-star rating: 24/7 Sports (22nd overall) / Rivals (21st overall)
2018 season grade: 72.2
2018 season snaps: 181
2018 games appeared: 5

In his most extensive action of the season, Gaoteote blitzed Tyler Huntley and the Utah offense on eight snaps, recording two sacks and four defensive stops in the contest. As good as he has been in run defense and when pass-rushing, Gaoteote has allowed all 10 passes targeted his way to be caught and allowed a touchdown against the Utes as well, seeing a 139.2 passer rating when targeted.

Jalen Green, CB, Texas

5-star rating: 24/7 Sports (17th overall)
2018 season grade: 59.3
2018 season snaps: 82* (special teams snaps only)
2018 games appeared: 6

Green has only appeared on special teams this season but has yet to make a tackle or record any other statistics.

Olaijah Griffin, CB, USC

5-star rating: Rivals (23rd overall)
2018 season grade: 55.7
2018 season snaps: 89
2018 games appeared: 5

Griffin has struggled in coverage across 48 snaps, seeing eight targets as the primary coverage defender. He's allowed two touchdowns, one in each of the past two contests he's played (Arizona, Cal) but has shown strong tackling ability during his debut season.

KJ Henry, Edge, Clemson

5-star rating: 24/7 Sports (26th overall) / ESPN (6thoverall) / Rivals (26th overall)
2018 season grade: 73.7
2018 season snaps: 39
2018 games appeared: 4

Henry played just 39 snaps across four games, recording six solo tackles, five of which went down as defensive stops.

Talanoa Hufanga, S, USC

5-star rating: 24/7 Sports (29th overall)
2018 season grade: 70.8
2018 season snaps: 418
2018 games appeared: 8

Starting from Weeks 4-9, Hufanga has played 418 snaps on defense, including 219 in coverage. As the primary coverage defender, he has been targeted 22 times, allowing 16 receptions but no touchdowns while breaking up two passes himself. He led the team in tackles at the Week 9 mark, however, he suffered a broken collarbone against Arizona State that ended his season.

Ale Kaho, LB, Alabama

5-star rating: 24/7 Sports (21st overall)
2018 season grade: 69.4
2018 season snaps: 10
2018 games appeared: 2

Logging snaps on defense in two games, Kaho has made just one solo tackle this season but has been a solid contributor on special teams, making four tackles and seeing 178 snaps across kick and punt returns, kick and punt coverage and even on field goal block packages.

Derion Kendrick, WR, Clemson

5-star rating: 24/7 Sports (30th overall) / Rivals (30th overall)
2018 season grade: 62.4
2018 season snaps: 184
2018 games appeared: 9

Kendrick has been utilized all over the offense for Clemson, throwing a pass, rushing the ball four times for 33 yards and hauling in eight passes for 125 yards. He's also returned five kicks for 134 yards and made a tackle to boot.

Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

5-star rating: 24/7 Sports (1st overall) / ESPN (2nd overall) / Rivals (1st overall)
2018 season grade: 78.9
2018 season snaps: 437
2018 games appeared: 10

Lawrence not only beat out incumbent Kelly Bryant for the starting job for the Tigers, but he also forced him to transfer and now has Clemson sitting at 10-0 and looking into the College Football Playoff. Lawrence has been excellent when kept clean from pressure, completing 71.5% of his passes and averaging 8.5 yards per attempt on 190 clean dropbacks.

Lorenzo Lingard, RB, Miami (Fl.)

5-star rating: Rivals (13th overall)
2018 season grade: 70.7
2018 season snaps: 26
2018 games appeared: 3

Lingard played saw spot duty in the Hurricanes' early-season matchups with Savannah State, Toledo and FIU, carrying the ball 17 times for 136 yards and two scores. On those 17 carries, he showed what made him such a sought-after recruit, forcing seven missed tackles and gaining 107 seven yards after contact.

Terrace Marshall, WR, LSU

5-star rating: 24/7 Sports (24th overall) / ESPN (10th overall) / Rivals (27th overall)
2018 season grade: 59.9
2018 season snaps: 196
2018 games appeared: 10

Marshall has played at least 10 snaps in every game this season and prior to the game against Arkansas last week, had been targeted in every contest. He's hauled in just eight receptions on 14 targets and has dropped two passes, each of which came over the first two games of the season.

RELATED READING: Trevor Lawrence is the right QB for Clemson 

Cade Mays, OT, Georgia

5-star rating: Rivals (7th overall)
2018 season grade: 74.0
2018 season snaps: 495
2018 games appeared: 10

Mays has been thrust into action, starting seven games this season including the last six consecutive games. He's put forth positive run-blocking grades in all but two contests and allowed just nine pressures on 217 pass-blocking snaps. He is, however, coming off his worst game as a collegiate, finishing with a 49.2 overall grade against Auburn.

Cameron McGrone, LB, Michigan

5-star rating: 24/7 Sports (24th overall)
2018 season grade: n/a
2018 season snaps: 0
2018 games appeared: 0

McGrone has not seen the field for Michigan this season but was awarded Scout Team of the Week honors from the Wolverines.

Teradja Mitchell, LB, Ohio State

5-star rating: Rivals (7th overall)
2018 season grade: 61.7
2018 season snaps: 2
2018 games appeared: 1

Mitchell played just two snaps against Tulane but has logged 57 total snaps on special teams this season, including a whopping 25 against Nebraska in Week 10.

DeMarvion Overshown, S, Texas

5-star rating: 24/7 Sports (3rd overall) / ESPN (3rd overall) / Rivals (7th overall)
2018 season grade: 71.2
2018 season snaps: 54
2018 games appeared: 5

Overshown has played in five games as a special teamer, logging an assisted tackle against Oklahoma in Week 6.

Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

5-star rating: 24/7 Sports (5th overall) / ESPN (7thoverall) / Rivals (6thoverall)
2018 season grade: 70.8
2018 season snaps: 358
2018 games appeared: 10

Logging at least 20 snaps in every game this season, Parsons has shown flashes of brilliance in games against Indiana and Michigan, each where he racked up five and six defensive stops, respectively. He's allowed just 84 yards on 170 snaps in coverage and brought in 10 total pressures on just 33 pass-rushes.

Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State

5-star rating: 24/7 Sports (9thoverall) / ESPN (13th overall) / Rivals (11th overall)
2018 season grade: 57.0
2018 season snaps: 73
2018 games appeared: 3

Petit-Frere saw action during three of Ohio State's first four contests, struggling in his extended action against Tulane where he allowed a sack and another hurry on just 15 pass-blocking snaps.

Mark Pope, WR, Miami (Fl.)

5-star rating: Rivals (28th overall)
2018 season grade: 43.4
2018 season snaps: 97
2018 games appeared: 7

Pope has appeared in seven games, been targeted in four of them but has yet to haul in a pass on six targeted throws. He has drawn two penalties and logged another six snaps on special teams.

Brendan Radley-Hiles, S, Oklahoma

5-star rating: Rivals (17th overall)
2018 season grade: 63.8
2018 season snaps: 591
2018 games appeared: 9

Radley-Hiles has had a bit of a rough year adjusting to life on the backend of the Sooners secondary. He's missed 11 tackles on 44 attempts and allowed a touchdown on 23 targets as the primary coverage defender. On the bright side of things, that touchdown came in Week 5, he's added pass breakups in three consecutive weeks and seven of those missed tackles came in Weeks 1-3 signifying his growth as the season has gone along.

Jalen Redmond, Edge, Oklahoma

5-star rating: 24/7 Sports (16th overall)
2018 season grade: 78.9
2018 season snaps: 38
2018 games appeared: 3

Redmond saw extended action against Kansas State, nabbing five solo tackles, each of which went for a defensive stop but waited until the Texas Tech game (Week 10) to record his first pressure of the season as he recorded two hurries on just six pass-rushes.

Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson

5-star rating: Rivals (15th overall)
2018 season grade: 84.7
2018 season snaps: 209
2018 games appeared: 10

Seeing more time as the season wears on, Ross now leads the nation in yards per route run, averaging 4.30 yards per every route in pattern. He's gone over 100 just once but has multiple receptions in seven games this season while recording 495 yards including 222 after the catch.

Jeremy Ruckert, TE, Ohio State

5-star rating: 24/7 Sports (18th overall)
2018 season grade: 53.8
2018 season snaps: 104
2018 games appeared: 8

Ruckert hauled in a pass in his first collegiate game against Oregon State but hasn't seen a target since. He has been on the field for 104 snaps with half of those being run-blocking snaps.

Jamaree Salyer, OG, Georgia

5-star rating: 24/7 Sports (8th overall) / Rivals (9thoverall)
2018 season grade: 76.1
2018 season snaps: 53
2018 games appeared: 7

Salyer has played spot duty in his first year at Athens, seeing action across seven games but no more than 16 snaps in any contest. He's played 38 snaps at left guard and another 12 at right guard while also seeing the field for 21 snaps on special teams.

Justin Shorter, WR, Penn State

5-star rating: 24/7 Sports (7th overall) / ESPN (8thoverall) / Rivals (18th overall)
2018 season grade: 46.6
2018 season snaps: 24
2018 games appeared: 2

Shorter caught his first pass of his career against Wisconsin this past week, a three-yard catch as he has now logged 20 snaps out wide and another four in the slot.

Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC

5-star rating: 24/7 Sports (10th overall) / Rivals (3rd overall)
2018 season grade: 75.3
2018 season snaps: 373
2018 games appeared: 10

St. Brown's connection with fellow true freshman, 5-star recruit and high school teammate JT Daniels has been apparent this season. St. Brown has hauled in 44 receptions for 558 yards and two scores while forcing seven missed tackles after the catch.

Caden Sterns, S, Texas

5-star rating: 24/7 Sports (32nd overall) / Rivals (24th overall)
2018 season grade: 76.0
2018 season snaps: 701
2018 games appeared: 10

Sterns made our list of top freshmen for a few weeks and despite some regression, still has graded out positively in all but three games this season. He's been targeted 25 times as the primary coverage defender and allowed just 12 receptions while hauling in four interceptions and four pass breakups.

Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

5-star rating: 24/7 Sports (11th overall) / ESPN (5th overall) / Rivals (8th overall)
2018 season grade: 74.9
2018 season snaps: 557
2018 games appeared: 10

Surtain has been heavily targeted, seeing 37 passes come his way as the primary coverage defender. He's allowed just 17 receptions for 192 yards and has not allowed a touchdown while bringing in an interception and breaking up five more passes.

Isaac Taylor-Stuart, CB, USC

5-star rating: Rivals (32nd overall)
2018 season grade: 60.7
2018 season snaps: 6
2018 games appeared: 2

Taylor-Stuart has played just six snaps on defense but has logged 99 snaps on special teams despite not recording one statistic.

Xavier Thomas, Edge, Clemson

5-star rating: 24/7 Sports (4th overall) / ESPN (4th overall) / Rivals (5th overall)
2018 season grade: 86.9
2018 season snaps: 188
2018 games appeared: 10

Thomas is currently the nation's 10th-highest graded edge defender as he's brought in 17 total pressures on just 85 pass-rushes. He's brought in 22 total tackles despite just two misses and has three sacks to date.

Channing Tindall, LB, Georgia

5-star rating: 24/7 Sports (3rd overall)
2018 season grade: 78.5
2018 season snaps: 46
2018 games appeared: 6

Tindall has shown flashes at times this season for Georgia, especially blitzing the quarterback. On just four pass-rushing snaps, he's brought down a sack and two total QB pressures.

Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

5-star rating: Rivals (31st overall)
2018 season grade: 83.2
2018 season snaps: 304
2018 games appeared: 10

Waddle currently ranks ninth among all FBS wide receivers with an average of 3.49 yards per route run. He's hauled in multiple catches in all but two games this season and has racked up 527 receiving yards including 215 yards after the catch.

Quay Walker, LB, Georgia

5-star rating: 24/7 Sports (31st overall)
2018 season grade: 62.1
2018 season snaps: 24
2018 games appeared: 4

In four game appearances, Walker has made just two tackles and one defensive stop, setting up a redshirt season.

Brey Walker, OT, Oklahoma

5-star rating: 24/7 Sports (15th overall)
2018 season grade: 59.7
2018 season snaps: 6
2018 games appeared: 1

Walker has played just six snaps on offense this season, all of which came against Kansas State in Week 9.

Zamir White, RB, Georgia

5-star rating: 24/7 Sports (13st overall) /Rivals (10thoverall)
2018 season grade: n/a
2018 season snaps: 0
2018 games appeared: 0

White tore his ACL in preseason practice and will miss the entire season.

Jaiden Woodbey, LB, Florida State

5-star rating: Rivals (29thoverall)
2018 season grade: 68.8
2018 season snaps: 611
2018 games appeared: 10

Woodbey has recorded 35 total tackles and missed just one this season for the Seminoles and has recorded three pass breakups in coverage.

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