Playing offensive line as a freshman is an extremely difficult task and playing left tackle is even more difficult, but no freshman offensive tackle in the country was better than Connor Williams of the Texas Longhorns, who was the only tackle in his class to post a positive grade last season, according to Pro Football Focus.
The outstanding debut of the former consensus three-star prospect from Coppell earned Williams a nod as a freshman All-American by the FWAA, USA TODAY, and ESPN. He earned those honors by grading +6.1 in run blocking and +3.1 in pass blocking, giving up only seven pressures through the first seven games. Most importantly for Texas, he provided stability at a position that struggled greatly in 2014 -- former left tackle Marcus Hutchins graded out at -13.9 overall through that same stretch while giving up 14 quarterback pressures.
However, there was a drop off for Williams late in the season, as his +6.0 pass-blocking grade got cut nearly in half by the end of the season. Besides the typical freshman fatigue that happens from playing a longer and more difficult schedule, Williams also suffered a variety of nagging injuries that likely limited his performance late.
So despite how impressive his freshman season was overall, there's plenty of room for improvement. The numbers clearly suggest that Texas doesn't need a huge jump from the 6'5, 283-pounder, but any type of linear progress into and through his sophomore season would cement his place as one of the top offensive tackles in the country regardless of class.