If you can’t take the heat and are missing fall football weather, we’ve got you covered with something to hold you over. Here’s a look at the most exciting players to catch this college football season from each of our Top 25 teams.


1. Alabama: QB Tua Tagovailoa

Whether he’ll win the starting job remains to be seen, but Tagovailoa is certainly must-see TV. And it didn’t start with the national championship. Go back to Vanderbilt and his insane scramble and throw for a touchdown. — Alex Scarborough


2. Clemson: DE Christian Wilkins

You have to go defensive line here and it’s hard to pick just one player. Wilkins gets the nod in part because few expected him to still be at Clemson. He’s a rare combination of size, athleticism and instincts, and it’s a real treat for everyone (except Clemson’s opponents) to still have him in college football. Wilkins has 26 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, 43 quarterback hurries and 14 pass breakups in his incredible career. — Adam Rittenberg


3. Ohio State: RB J.K. Dobbins

With a jump cut that at times looks like the football cousin of an Allen Iverson crossover, Dobbins produced plenty of “Did you just see that?” moments as a freshman. The Buckeyes are stacked at their skill positions this fall, but the power and speed of this Texas back make him stand out above that talented pack. — Dan Murphy

4. Georgia: RB D’Andre Swift

Sony Michel and Nick Chubb were special. But if you thought they were alone in Georgia’s backfield last season, you weren’t paying attention. As a freshman, Swift showed why coaches have been enamored with his potential, showing off home-run speed with a 7.8 yards-per-carry clip and three rushes of 40 yards or more. — Scarborough


5. Oklahoma: QB Kyler Murray

Murray just signed a $4.6 million contract to play with the Oakland Athletics. But before he plays pro baseball, the former five-star recruit will captain Oklahoma’s offensive juggernaut, a role that could turn the run-pass Murray into a Heisman contender as well. — Jake Trotter


6. Washington: RB Myles Gaskin

Expect Washington’s offense to, well, run through Gaskin this season. In three seasons, Gaskin has rushed for 1,302, 1,373 and 1,380 yards, averaging 5.9 yards per carry in the process. Last season, he averaged 6.2 YPC, rushed for 21 touchdowns and ran for at least 120 yards in four of the Huskies’ final six games. — Edward Aschoff


7. Wisconsin: RB Jonathan Taylor

It’s exciting to think about Taylor’s encore after he broke Adrian Peterson’s FBS freshman rushing record with 1,977 yards in 2017. Taylor isn’t a typical Wisconsin plodder, as he averaged 6.6 yards per carry with five games of 150 rushing yards or more and three of 200 yards or more. He’ll also be running behind arguably the nation’s best offensive line, so look out. — Rittenberg


8. Miami: S Jaquan Johnson

Johnson spent a lot of time either wearing the Turnover Chain or doing things to allow others to wear it in 2017. He had four interceptions, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries to go along with a team-leading 96 tackles. The All-America candidate returns to lead a Miami defense featuring playmakers at all three levels. — Rittenberg


9. Michigan State: WR Felton Davis

Davis is brimming with confidence after leading the Spartans in catches, yards and touchdowns as a junior. His 6-foot-4, 200-pound frame makes him a deep-ball threat that should keep defensive backfields on their heels in 2018. — Rittenberg


10. Michigan: LB Khaleke Hudson

Michigan’s defense is built to create big plays for its Viper position, and this season’s Viper is no exception. Hudson made 18 tackles for loss last season in the linebacker/safety hybrid spot. He has a couple of NFL prospects in front of him, but his athleticism will make it hard to look elsewhere when he’s on the field. — Murphy


11. West Virginia: RB Alec Sinkfield

Though quarterback Will Grier and wideout David Sills V remain the bell cows of the West Virginia offense, the Mountaineers have been buzzing all offseason about redshirt freshman Sinkfield. “Sink” could give West Virginia a home-run threat out of the backfield, which would only make the Mountaineers all the more difficult to stop. — Trotter


12. Notre Dame: RB Dexter Williams

Williams averaged better than 9 yards per carry last fall while fans wondered why he wasn’t getting more touches. Battling injuries and Josh Adams had something to do with that. The door is open to become the centerpiece of the Irish offense if Williams is on the field and healthy during his senior season. — Rittenberg


13. Penn State: QB Trace McSorley

The third-year starting quarterback has a low-key personality off the field, but in pads he is a home-run-swinging, defense-evading, energy-sharing playmaker. McSorley will be the key to Penn State’s offense hanging on to the momentum it has built in the past couple of seasons. — Murphy


14. Stanford: RB Bryce Love

It’s pretty easy to say that Love is the Cardinal’s most exciting player to watch. He was second in Heisman voting last year with a Power 5-best 2,118 rushing yards and 162.9 yards per game. He rushed for at least 100 yards in 12 of the 13 games in which he played, ran for 19 touchdowns and averaged 8.1 yards per carry. — Aschoff


15. Virginia Tech: QB Josh Jackson

Hokies fans can breathe a bit easier after the school cleared Jackson of an academic issue that briefly threatened his eligibility. This offense loses a lot but regains a young quarterback who could blossom under Justin Fuente’s tutelage. Jackson passed for 2,991 yards and 20 touchdowns as a redshirt freshman and had a passer rating of 135.17. — Rittenberg

Source: ESPN
Read More

No more articles