With 54 members of the Ball State football roster being either freshman or redshirt freshman, it wasn't a question of whether or not some players would see their first collegiate action against the University of Illinois.

It was who would see playing time and how much.

While 15 players played in their first collegiate football game on Sept. 2, 2017, several of them are already making a name for themselves.

Who saw their first career action against Illinois?

DE - Christian Albright
S - Brett Anderson ll
DT - Frank Burton lll
S - Bryce Cosby
TE - Keidren Davis
TE - Nolan Givan
LS - Joseph Greenwood
WR - Justin Hall
RB - Caleb Huntley
LB - Brandon Martin
CB - Antonio Phillips
LB - David Rueth
OL - Kaleb Slaven
P - Nathan Snyder
LB - Jaylin Thomas

Here are the top five first time performances from Ball State football players:

Bryce Cosby - Safety

The true freshman from Louisville, Kentucky was only one of two first-timers to start against Illinois. 

Cosby stepped up during his first appearance, coming up with a pair of tackles, assisting in a tackle for loss and recording his first career interception late in the game for Ball State.

On top of that, Cosby's efforts in the secondary held Illinois to just 145 passing yards on 19 attempts on the day. 

Nolan Givan - Tight end

In his first collegiate football game, redshirt freshman Nolan Givan scored his first collegiate touchdown. 

Starting on the right side of the offensive line, Givan cut across a group of Illinois defenders and found himself with the ball in his hands, diving towards the pylon.

Givan finished the game with three receptions and 22 receiving yards.

Justin Hall - Wide receiver

Had he been able to stay in bounds along the sideline, Justin Hall, a true freshman, may very well have his first collegiate touchdown as well.

Hall was eventually pushed out of bounds on his 27 yard reception where he broke free from an Illinois defender right in front of the Ball State sideline midway through the third quarter.

In his first collegiate game, Hall finished with a pair of catches for 36 yards and a two-yard rushing attempt.

Brett Anderson ll - Safety

Replacing Martez Hester and Aaron Taylor from a season ago, Brett Anderson ll and Cosby had a lot of pressure on them starting in their first collegiate game against Illinois.

They answered that call, giving up just 10 completions and 145, just two went for more than 25 yards.

Anderson's four tackles, three solo, against the Fighting Illini were also tied for the third most on the Cardinals defense.

Caleb Huntley - Running back

Another true freshman, Caleb Huntley got the nod to take a decent load in his first collegiate football game.

Huntley ran the ball eight of the Cardinals 51 times on the day for 42 yards, including an early career high of 28 yards.

His average of 5.2 yards per attempt was the best among both teams on Sept. 2 against Illinois.