College football: More true freshmen fill prominent roles

At the tender age of 18, tailback Brandon Wegher is carrying Iowa’s football team into the national championship picture.

Five months removed from his high school graduation, Josh Lenz finds himself one of the top targets in an Iowa State receiving corps pushing the Cyclones toward their first bowl berth in four years.
In Iowa and across the nation, true freshmen are being forced into prominent roles as coaches discover that redshirting the bulk of their first-year players isn’t always the best option.
It’s a change brought about by a reduction in scholarships – from a peak of 125 at the Division I level to 85 by 1995 – and because the current generation of teenage athlete is less interested in sitting on the sidelines for one season.