We’re in the middle of NFL Draft season, between the NFL Combine and the draft itself, so a lot of attention is being paid to the guys who have just finished their college football careers. There are plenty of stars returning to the sport too, though.
We’ll have plenty of star power, especially looking at the twow teams that participated in last year’s national title. Alabama and national champ Clemson were both very young, especially on the offensive side.
Tua Tagovailoa and Trevor Lawrence return at quarterback, and most of the teams’ major playmakers are back. And that is just for Clemson and Alabama.
ESPN has identified the “game breakers” for each of the end of 2018 Top 25 college football teams.
Some of the picks are a bit more non-traditional, though Clemson’s is one of the best players in the country.
For the Tigers, ESPN went with superstar running back Travis Etienne.
Etienne has arguably the best first step of any back in the game, and he possesses a combination of physicality and breakaway speed that allows him to turn any run into a home run.
Some other picks from the list:
2. Alabama: WR Jaylen Waddle: “The native Texan returned one punt for a touchdown, had 14 receptions of 20-plus yards and averaged 8.04 yards after catch.”
3. Oklahoma: WR CeeDee Lamb: “With Marquise Brown now gone, Lamb will take over as the No. 1 wideout and is primed to be OU’s latest All-America-caliber pass-catcher.”
4. Georgia: RB D’Andre Swift: “All told, he averaged 6.4 yards per rush and 9.3 yards per reception. And still there’s the sense with him that the best is yet to come.”
5. Ohio State: WR K.J. Hill: “With excellent hands and breakaway speed, the senior should have plenty of opportunity to improve on the 70 catches and six touchdowns he had last season.”
6. Notre Dame: DE Julian Okwara: “Okwara’s eight sacks as a junior was impressive, and he came within a step or two of adding so much more — finishing the season with 21 QB hurries.”
For the full write-ups and Top 25 list, head to ESPN.