Who was a fantastic freshman player that will be a sophomore sensation this year? Let’s go to the SEC and look at stud linebacker Henry To’o To’o of the Tennessee Volunteers.
Welcome to my sophomore sensation series. I will pick a player in each week, that had a fantastic freshman year and that I believe will be even better as a sophomore. I look back as what they have done, and look ahead at what they could be. What impact will they make for not only their teams but your fantasy teams as well? Provided we get to have a college football season this year, and the South Eastern Conference is set to play this fall, then you’ll want to pay attention to sophomore-sensation to-be, linebacker Henry To’o To’o of the Tennessee Vols. Let’s take a closer look.
Henry To’o To’o was a four-star recruit from perennial powerhouse De La Salle High School in Concord, California. He helped lead them to a 12-1 record and an appearance in the state championship game. To’o To’o was a national top 50 player and was recruited by virtually every top college in the country. As To’o To’o whittled down his options, it came down to just two schools, Tennessee and Alabama. In the end, To’o To’o chose the Vols, helping them pull a major recruiting coup over the Crimson Tide. With that final decision, he would be off to Knoxville, TN to begin what would be his fantastic freshman campaign.
Most freshmen wind up redshirting and if they do get on the field, it’s usually in a limited capacity or role. To’o To’o wasn’t your average freshman and with Tennessee’s huge need for talent, he started week one for the Vols. With his combination of size, speed, and success against high-level competition at the high school level, To’o To’o was an easy choice to be a starter. He became the first true freshman to start a season opener for the Volunteers since 2011 when another linebacker, AJ Johnson, started versus Montana. To’o To’o was also the first true freshman to lead the team in tackles in a season opener, since 1996 when Dewayne Goodrich did it versus UNLV. The fantastic freshman was only getting started.
— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) August 19, 2020
To’o To’o put together one hell of a freshman season, not only for the Vols but in the entire country. He played in all thirteen games while finishing 2nd on the team in tackles with 72. To’o To’o would be one of the most consistent players in the country, proven by his eight games of seven-plus tackles. He would be named to the SEC All-Freshman Team and freshman All-American honors. It’s clear that getting him on the field early was the right choice, and the fantastic freshman will be even better this season.
Henry To’o To’o has already gained the attention of everyone for the 2020 season. He has been named to the preseason watch list for 2020 Bronko Nagurski Trophy, 2020 Butkus Award, 2020 Bednarik Award, 2020 Preseason All-SEC First Team (Phil Steele). There will be extremely high expectations for the fantastic freshman this upcoming season. He’ll be counted on to lead Tennessee back to being among the SEC’s elite. To’o To’o will be one of the nation’s best linebackers this season and his NFL prospect value will continue to climb. He is a Power 5 prospect and has first-round draft potential. To’o To’o had a fantastic freshman season and hasn’t even scratched the surface of how good he can be.
What does all this mean for fantasy football? For those that play in IDP college or C2C leagues, he’s an elite player at a premium scoring position. In a recent Campus to Canton start-up draft, he was drafted in the 6th round.It was the 84th overall selection. In that round there was a run on linebackers, so it’s not surprising he went that early. Fantasy owners have at least two years of control and maybe three if he stays in school. Players of his skill-level don’t usually stay in college any longer than they have to. To’o To’o will get you a ton of tackles and be one of the better scoring IDPs. He’s a must-roster player in all IDP formats.
It’s too early to predict, but as for an NFL forecast, he is trending as an early-round pick currently. To’o To’o is an athletic linebacker who has the versatility to play either inside or outside, with good speed, power, and strength. He has tremendous instincts and is solid in pass coverage and playing in space. He also excels in getting to the quarterback in blitz situations and stuffing the run. To’o To’o has excellent burst and 1st step explosion, with a wide range covering abilities. NFL scouts will love his game and will get very creative, in the different ways they can use him.