Trying to single out college football’s best player is pretty easy this year – without much question, it’s been Louisville QB Lamar Jackson. But trying to figure out who has been the nation’s second-best player is much more fun, because that’s actually a debate. So let’s throw a handful of names out who I really like (in no order at all) and talk about them, cool? And let us know which players you really like (and why!) in the comments, we’d love to read about them.
- Deshaun Watson: Clemson’s quarterback beat Jackson last week, and while he’s gotten off to a slow start this year, he is still fantastic. Every time he makes a mistake, you go “this is all part of his plan for…something.” And every time he does something amazing, you go “well yeah, it’s Deshaun Watson, what else do you expect?” He’s so good that his great moments are second-nature to all of us.
- JT Barrett/Curtis Samuel: Ohio State has mowed through teams thanks to Barrett finding his form from 2014 and Samuel becoming a terror in the rushing (41 carries, 328 yards, 8 YPC, 2 touchdowns) and passing (24 targets, 23 catches, 345 yards, 3 touchdowns) games. The Buckeyes have like six other guys who can be on here. A team being this good at football is unfair.
- Jabrill Peppers: He’s a safety-turned-linebacker who can play some cornerback and is the single scariest return man in the nation, and if Jim Harbaugh ever wants to, he can throw Peppers on offense. Michigan’s superstar is the most versatile player in America and it’s not even close.
- Christian McCaffrey: We’ll talk about him more a little later in this post, but he’s still the man. He had 223 total yards (144 on returns, 49 rushing, 30 receiving) last week. By his standards, that’s an awful game, because he has very high standards of what is a good football game.
- Greg Ward: Houston may make the Playoff this year. If they do, it’ll probably be because Ward is able to out-duel Jackson on Nov. 17. Until then, he’ll probably keep slicing up defenses like he’s been doing all year.
- Myles Garrett: Texas A&M’s stud defensive lineman is the scariest football player in America and I cannot be convinced otherwise.
- Donnel Pumphrey: You’ve probably gone without watching the best running back in the country play for some time. You should change that. Find a San Diego State game and watch him cook.
- Ejuan Price: If you have a backfield, Pitt’s delightful defensive end probably lives in it.
That’s just an incredibly incomplete list! There’s so much talent in college football this year, it’s awesome. You should treat yourself and spend your Saturday watching these dudes play along with some of the other ultra-talented guys across America. Here’s a handy watch guide to help you figure out which dudes you’ll enjoy this weekend: