With the start of the 2017 college football season just around the corner, season previews are beginning to pop up everywhere you look at experts attempt to predict and share their thoughts on how everything could play out.
For ESPN, that means breaking down the top players across the nation regardless of position to determine the best player in the game.
On Tuesday, ESPN.com released its list of top 25 players in college football with some surprising names on the list.
While Louisville’s Lamar Jackson, last year’s Heisman Trophy winner, and Heisman finalist Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma are near the top of the list, the No. 1 spot goes to a player who saw very limited action a year ago.
So who is the best player in college football?
According to ESPN, it’s none other than Florida State do-it-all defensive star Derwin James. The article states:
Perhaps the most versatile player in college football, expectations for James are skyrocketing after an offseason spent rehabbing his knee and learning nearly every position on defense. Expect him to line up at his usual safety spot, while also playing cornerback, linebacker and some defensive end.
James played every position in the secondary and even some linebacker during his breakout freshman campaign, and if he can bounce back to top form he is certainly one of the most versatile and intriguing players in the game.
The top ten players can be seen below, with the full list here.
- Derwin James, DB, Florida State
- Sam Darnold, QB, USC
- Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
- Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
- Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
- Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
- Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
- Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson
- Ed Oliver, DL, Houston
- Trace McSorley, QB, Penn State
Do you agree with ESPN’s rankings? Sound off in the comments section below with your thoughts and predictions.