It wasn't that long ago when freshman didn't get offers. Period.
2016 DB Khalil Ladler already claims an offer from Alabama.
Today, more than three dozen members of the 2016 class already claim them. And many of these offers have come from power programs.
"I would say in the last three or four years we've seen offers start going to freshman," said 247Sports National Director of Scouting Gerry Hamilton. "I think in general, kids are maturing at an earlier age. I've seen more and more freshmen playing varsity football than I had previously. That means they have video, and that's a big thing. Kids also are starting to go to camps earlier. College camps and combines. So the exposure is starting earlier."
Today, we take a look at some notable members of the 2016 class.
Gabe Angel, ATH, Lebanon, TN (Wilson Central)
*Incredibly, Angel received his first offer before he even got to high school. To date, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Vanderbilt have pulled the trigger. Th 6-feet-3, 225-pound Angel could play running back in college, though receiver, tight end and linebacker might all be possibilities as well. At the recent Memphis Nike Camp, he was solid at running back in blocking drills and at catching the ball. He's a big back, with good feet, that is difficult to bring down in the open field.
Ben Cleveland, OT, Toccoa, GA (Stephens County)
*How impressive is Cleveland? Well, already Florida and Texas have offered. Additionally, big Ben has visited Georgia. He's a 6-feet-6, 322-pounder from a small town 90 miles northeast of Atlanta. Cleveland is still only 14 years old, and was the starting left tackle last season. Not only is he big, but Cleveland can bend. He figures to be among the most heavily recruited prospects nationally in his class.
Khalil Ladler, CB, Stone Mountain, GA (Stephenson)
*Ladler could be the next big thing from a program that historically has sent a ton of players to major college programs. Already, he has an impressive offer list that includes schools such as Alabama, Cincinnati, Florida State, Georgia, South Carolina, South Florida, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. His older brother, Kenny, is a starting safety for the Commodores. Ladler not only has nice hips, but an ideal cornerback body. He's 5-feet-11, 175 pounds, with a good reach.
Isaac Nauta, TE/ SDE, Buford, GA (Buford)
*The 6-feet-5, 240-pounder is impressive both physically and mentally. Not only is he built like a high school senior, he's every bit as mature as one. A freshman starter for a state championship squad, Nauta could play on either side of the ball in college, as he is solid at both tight end and defensive end. Clemson, Florida, Michigan, Tennessee and Virginia Tech already have offered.
Erik Swenson, OT, Downers Grove, IL (Downers Grove South)
*The 6-feet-7, 285-pound Swenson has been on the radars of colleges since his first day in high school. He already has performed well against older prospects at camps, and in one of them held his own against Ohio State defensive end commit Dylan Thompson. Swenson has received personal interest from programs such as Michigan, Notre Dame and Northwestern, and Illinois has offered. He ultimately could become one of the country's most sought-after recruits in his class.
Offensive tackle Erik Swenson has shined in camps.
Antonio Williams, RB, New London, NC (North Stanly)
*With Williams, there is an awful lot to like. For starters, he looks pretty good physically and is in the 5-feet-11, 195-pound range. In 2012, Williams rushed for more than 1,500 yards. That becomes even more impressive when you consider his team won only two games. Williams already is a workout warrior and team leader, two traits that should serve him well. Clemson, Georgia, N.C. State, North Carolina and South Carolina have offered.