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Tracking the freshmen debuts

Some coaches would rather unplug their headsets than play a true freshman, while others don't hesitate to throw newbies into the fire. Of course, most of the time it's not a matter of choice but available talent.

That's why I tracked how many true freshmen played in Week 1 for each Big East team. Sometimes this gives you a good idea of where teams are and sometimes it says how talented the freshmen are. Two true frosh started in Week 1: Marquis Spruill at outside linebacker for Syracuse, and Preston Brown at middle linebacker for Louisville.

Here's a list of which straight-out-of-high-school players played the opener, according to the official participation reports (note that many of them played on special teams, not necessarily their listed position):

Cincinnati (1): Adrian Witty, DB

Connecticut (1): Leon Kinnard, WR/QB

Louisville (5): Preston Brown MLB; Marcus Smith, LB; B.J. Butler, DL; Jarrett Davis, WR; Brandon Dunn, DL.

Pittsburgh (2): K'Waun Williams, DB; Aaron Donald, DL

Rutgers (5): Jeremy Deering, WR; Chas Dodd, QB; Jordan Thomas, RB; Marcus Thompson, LB; Betim Bujari, OL

South Florida (6): Terrance Mitchell, DB; Bobby Eveld, QB; Mark Joyce, DB; Marcus Shaw, RB; Tony Kibler, OL; Steven Bravo-Brown, WR.

Syracuse (9): Spruill; Malcom Cater, LB; Brice Hawkes, LB: Prince-Tyson Gulley, RB/KR; Jeremi Wilkes, DB; Steve Rene, WR; Ross Krautman, K,; Macky MacPherson, OL; Lewellyn Coker, LB; Jay Bromley, DL.

West Virginia (7): Barry Brunetti, QB; Ivan McCartney, WR; Trey Johnson, RB; Doug Rigg, LB; Ishmael Banks, DB; Mike Dorsey, DB; Travis Bell, DB.