Nebraska’s Ochaun Mathis and Casey Thompson were each ranked among the top 15 newcomers for the 2022 college football season by ESPN this week. Mathis came in at No. 7 on ESPN’s ranking, while Thompson was No. 15 on the list, which considered all incoming freshmen and first-year transfers across the country.
Mathis was the highest ranked Big Ten player on the list. The junior edge rusher transferred to Nebraska in the offseason after a productive career at TCU. Mathis started every game for the Horned Frogs from the 2019 to 2021 season, a streak of 34 consecutive starts he carries over into his first season at Nebraska. Mathis has made 135 tackles in his career, and he ranks among the FBS active career leaders with 30.5 tackles for loss and 15.5 sacks. Mathis was also ranked as the nation’s most impactful transfer at the edge position by On3, and he is a member of the 2022 Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list.
Thompson was one of seven quarterbacks to make the list of the top 50 newcomers. He came to Nebraska after spending the past four seasons at Texas, and he was the Longhorns’ starting quarterback in 2021. Last season, Thompson completed better than 63 percent of his passes and threw for 2,113 yards with 24 touchdowns. In his 10 career starts with the Longhorns, Thompson had three games where he produced five or more total touchdowns. He was the first player in Texas history to total five touchdowns three times in a career.