B1G football is right around the corner.

With it comes yet another recruiting class trying to prove itself, one filled with talent and potential. Still, the question remains: Who is prepared to compete at the next level right away?

We’ll see starting Aug. 27, when Week 0 in the B1G kicks off with Nebraska meeting Northwestern in Ireland and Illinois hosting Wyoming.

While we wait, let’s take a look at the top 25 B1G true freshmen for 2022, based on their likely impact this season.

25. Joe Strickland, Purdue DE

Purdue has big shoes to fill with George Karlaftis now in the NFL, and freshman defensive end Joe Strickland isn’t a bad place to start. He’s impressed early for the Boilermakers and could be a staple in that room for years to come.

The No. 227 prospect in the nation (5th-best from the state of Indiana) is Purdue’s top defensive signee in this class.

24. Anthony Johnson, Rutgers LB

Anthony Johnson may not even be the most naturally talented freshman linebacker on the Scarlet Knights squad. Johnson, a 4-star recruit out of Philadelphia, will be right in the thick of things for a starting job following fellow 4-star freshman Moses Walker’s season-ending ACL tear in spring camp.

Linebacker is a position of need for the Scarlet Knights, too. Rutgers lost upwards of 75 combined starts and returns zero starting linebackers from a defensive squad that was near the bottom of the league per B1G metrics.

23. Zane Durant, Penn State DL

The 6-1, 251-pound Durant has considerable competition in front of him. Returning senior PJ Mustipher is back from injury and ready to wreak havoc in the middle of the line, as are sophomore Coziah Izzard and junior Dvon Ellies. Plus, he’ll probably have to bulk up if he is going to remain an interior defensive lineman.

22. Caleb Burton, Ohio State WR

Ah yes, another uber-talented receiver to add to Ohio State’s already uber-impressive receiver corps. Burton may be the 3rd highest rated freshman receiver in Ohio State’s 2022 class, but he balled out at Ohio State’s spring game and has been a training camp star early for Ryan Day and company.

Burton was ranked as the No. 1 receiver in the class of 2022 until he suffered an injury his junior season.

21. Shawn Miller, Illinois WR

Miller has impressed Bret Bielema and staff ever since arriving in Champaign in the offseason. Perhaps the product of a dismal quarterback situation, the Fighting Illini’s top returning receivers, Casey Washington and Isaiah Williams, failed to record 1,000 receiving yards combined in 2021.

20. Ramon Brown, Maryland RB

Rushing offense wasn’t exactly Maryland’s thing last season, and that’s likely to remain the case. Mike Locksley will rely on Florida transfer Jacob Copeland and returning stud receivers Rakim Jarrett and Dontay Demus Jr. as the main weapons for Taulia Tagovailoa to utilize.

But Brown, a 4-star recruit out of Midlothian, Va., could be looking at an immediate starting role and a solid workload. He could boost what has been an abysmal ground attack for the Terrapins lately.

19. Omar Cooper, Indiana WR

One of Indiana’s top 4 recruits this year, Cooper could not have been given a better opportunity to immediately contribute. Indiana returns just 1 receiver of value, DJ Matthews, who missed significant time last year because of injuries.

The Indianapolis-based Cooper could be a good one.

18. Drew Allar, Penn State QB

At 6-5 and 242 pounds with a 5-star right arm, Allar will reach BMOC status soon enough in State College, but maybe not this year. As the top 2022 QB commit in the Big Ten, he’s competing with a couple of fellow freshmen to be next man up should 6th-year senior Sean Clifford falter.

17. Zeke Berry, Michigan S

Berry is not the only freshman safety out of Michigan to crack this list, but he’s right in the mix for reps in a secondary attempting to replace 3 starters. For now, it will likely be Rod Moore, RJ Moten or Quinten Johnson’s time to shine at safety, but there’s no doubting Berry’s natural talent for the position.

16. Dani Dennis-Sutton, Penn State DL

Here we are with Penn State potential breakout freshman defensive lineman No. 2 in a very capable class for the Nittany Lions. Dennis-Sutton is Penn State’s highest rated recruit and could battle with fellow freshman Zane Durant for legitimate reps sooner rather than later.

Dennis-Sutton is the 4th highest rated B1G commit, but does have a lot of talented returnees competing with him.

15. Reggie Fleurima, Northwestern WR

Another receiver entering a good situation, Fleurima is Northwestern’s highest rated recruit this year. He’s criminally underrated and has a skillset that could rejuvenate a hapless Wildcats receiving corps. Northwestern returns just 1 receiver who tallied over 500 yards last season (Malik Washington).

14. Joe Brunner, Wisconsin OT

Unlike a lot of other selections on this list, Brunner is almost guaranteed not to start this season. Still, Wisconsin’s highest rated 2022 commit is certainly going to be important down the road for a team that loves to run the ball. Plus, he’s a homegrown prospect from nearby Milwaukee and is sure to be a fan favorite.

13. Kye Stokes, Ohio State S

At Nos. 13 and 12 on this list are a couple of talented safeties who could help Ohio State sooner than later. Both have the ability to contribute at a high level for new DC Jim Knowles this fall. Stokes was a spring standout for the Buckeyes in a unit that is lacking a returning starter.

12. Sonny Styles, Ohio State S

Styles is 1 of OSU’s 2 5-star recruits this cycle. He’s wildly athletic and has the ability to contribute right away.

11. Keon Sabb, Michigan S

Sabb is one of the highest rated safety prospects in the country, coming at No. 9 overall and No. 3 in the B1G. He, like Zeke Berry, will be fighting for minutes in a secondary returning just 1 starter in natural cornerback DJ Turner.

10. Germie Bernard, Michigan State WR

Michigan State is not set on wide receivers, but it’s pretty close. The Spartans return Jayden Reed and Tre Mosley, 1,000 and 500-yard receivers, respectively. It should tell you how good Bernard could be that he hovers around WR 4/5 as a freshman.

The Spartans aren’t exactly a ground-and-pound type of unit, and this 4-star out of Henderson, Nevada, is right in the thick of things for meaningful snaps. He’s rated as the 8th-best receiver recruit in the B1G, but you’ll know his name soon enough.

9. Mason Graham, Michigan DL

Head coach Jim Harbaugh said following the start of preseason practice that one freshman on the squad was like a gift from the football gods. We’re not saying it’s Graham definitively, but it’s as good a guess as any.

Graham is going to be a monster on the line for a unit that returns just 1 starter in senior Mazi Smith. Graham has had a good spring, and word is he’s having a good preseason camp as well.

8. Kaden Saunders, Penn State WR

Saunders is the highest rated freshman receiver in the B1G and is entering a very competitive and capable receiver corps. Sean Clifford is the Nittany Lions’ signal-caller and will have a ton of talent to throw the ball to besides Saunders.

Still, his speed is hard to ignore. At 4.3 seconds for the 40-yard dash, Saunders will be the fastest receiver the Nittany Lions will weaponize in the slot.

7. CJ Hicks, Ohio State LB

The highest rated signee in the B1G resides in Columbus. Hicks is wildly talented, and will no doubt see the field in 2022, but it’s hard to see him beating out returning talent such as Tommy Eichenburg, converted running back Steel Chambers and Arizona State transfer Chip Trayanum for a starting role. Co-captain OLB Teradja Mitchell is there to mix things up as well.

6. Derrick Moore, Michigan DL

Another likely candidate for that whole “gift from the football gods” attribution from Harbaugh could be 4-star, 6-4, 250-pound behemoth of a man Derrick Moore.

Moore is Michigan’s 2nd highest-ranked recruit and has looked the part in camp.

5. Xavier Nwankpa, Iowa S

Iowa City, the media, Kirk Ferentz, you name it: They have all been raving about this kid ever since he committed to the Hawkeyes back in December. Nwankpa will play and he will start at some point during his career barring injury. The question is whether he can beat out guys like Quinn Schulte and Jaxon Rexroth in the early going.

4. Jaishawn Barham, Maryland LB

Starting right off the bat is certainly on the table for Jaishawn Barham, Maryland’s top recruit and a desperately needed reinforcement for what is currently a struggling unit. The Terrapins lost 3 starters from the middle of the field last season. That combined with Barham’s talent is way, way too much for defensive coordinator Brian Williams to ignore.

3. Dasan McCullough, Indiana LB

If this list was strictly which B1G freshman will play the most in 2022, Dasan McCullough is probably your top answer. McCullough is a shoo-in for playing time in an Indiana linebacker room that returns just 1 starter, loses its best player from last season in Micah McFadden and was … just not great to begin with. McCullough also happens to be the Hoosiers’ first top-100 prospect to commit in program history.

2. Will Johnson, Michigan CB

It’s not crazy to say it out loud: Will Johnson is currently the most naturally gifted defensive back the Wolverines have. Jim Harbaugh himself has said Johnson will be battling for a starting role, and his play has definitely made him seem worthy. It’s just a matter of putting the athleticism and talent into action.

Johnson, a 5-star recruit and the No. 3 overall prospect in the B1G, is going to be fun to watch this season.

1. Nick Singleton, Penn State RB

It’s hard to pen in anyone else at this spot. Singleton will lead the way for what has been a borderline abysmal ground attack since Saquon Barkley left in 2018. It seems the 6-foot, 220-pound Singleton is more than ready for the B1G. A 5-star in-state prospect, he is set to lead the group as a freshman, with fellow class of 2022 running back Kaytron Allen in the mix as well.

Sophomore Keyvone Lee will likely open the season as the starter, but it’s hard to imagine James Franklin and OC Mike Yurcich keeping Singleton off the field for too long.