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Athlon Sports Names College Football's No. 1 Player In 2018

A general view of a goal post.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 27: A general view is seen during the College Football Sydney Cup match between Stanford University (Stanford Cardinal) and Rice University (Rice Owls) at Allianz Stadium on August 27, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

They've named college football's best player for 2018.

The best player in college football in 2018 doesn't play for Alabama or Clemson. Or Ohio State or Michigan. Or Oklahoma or Texas. Or...I could go on for a while.

No, the best player in college football plays for a non-Power 5 team. He plays at Houston.

According to Athlon Sports' player rankings for the 2018 season, the No. 1 player in the country is Ed Oliver. The Cougars' elite defensive lineman sits atop the list.

1. Ed Oliver, DL, Houston

Oliver has dominated opposing offensive lines in his first two seasons with the Cougars. He enters his junior year with 39.5 tackles for a loss, 10.5 sacks, five forced fumbles and 139 overall stops.

It's a surprising pick to some, but it shouldn't be a controversial one. Oliver's talent and production is as good as it gets.

The former five-star recruit could have played for any school in the country. Instead, he opted to stay home and play for Tom Herman (who since left for Texas).

Oliver, a 6-foot-3, 290-pound defensive lineman, is considered by some to be a potential Heisman Trophy candidate. That's probably unrealistic.

What's not unrealistic is Oliver's NFL Draft future. He's widely expected to be a top-three pick in 2019.