As another season is fast approaching, several key players from a year ago decided to come back for another year at their respected schools. Here is a look at the top 10 offensive players heading into the season in college football. This is a list that is based around personal and team success a year ago, strength of schedule, and the direction each player is heading in. Here it is:
Riley Ridley, WR, Georgia Bulldogs
The younger brother of Calvin Ridley has a lot of hype around him entering his third season with Georgia. The bigger of the two brothers ended the season with eight receptions, 136 yards, and two touchdowns. This season coming up is his best opportunity to have a breakout year. He will be one of the key factors in Georgia’s pursuit of winning a national championship. His size and strength set the tone for defenses. Those features make Ridley a threat.
Najee Harris, RB, Alabama Crimson Tide
No doubt Damien Harris will continue to be Alabama’s featured back, but it is a strong possibility that the other Harris will be a compelling number two back. Finishing the season with 55 carries, 306 yards, and three touchdowns, he showed glimpses of former Alabama running back Derrick Henry. In the national championship game against Georgia, Harris proved that his talent was real. Many believe he will be Alabama’s next great back. Harris’s quick feet once he reaches the secondary put a lot of pressure on opposing defenses and that sets him up to be elite.
10. AJ Dillon, RB, Boston College Eagles
One of the most electrifying freshmen in the country looks to increase his talent and presence on the field with the Eagles. A year ago, he finished the season with 268 carries, 1,432 yards, and 13 touchdowns. Boston College finished the season 7-6) and when Dillion had the ball, he could essentially do what he wanted, at times he took over the game. As a sophomore, he’ll have to find other ways to get the ball. Last year, he finished with zero receptions, that needs to change. His vision and his athletic ability to make plays when there is nothing make him special.
9. McKenzie Milton, QB, UCF Golden Knights
Last year finishing the season a perfect 13-0, Milton was one of the most elite quarterbacks in the nation. Being the nation’s leading passer, he finished the year with 4,037 yards and 37 touchdowns with only nine interceptions. With former head coach Scott Frost leaving to take the job at Nebraska, Milton will need help from the coaches with allowing him to open the playbook like last year. Milton led UCF to a spectacular performance against the Auburn Tigers in the Peach Bowl having 116 yards and a touchdown. Milton’s ability to make big plays in the passing game makes him a superb talent in all of America.
8. Khalil Tate, QB, Arizona Wildcats
Heading into his junior year, Tate is a player that can catch defenses sleeping. He is a player that can make something out of nothing. Finishing the year 94-for-153 passing with 1,289 yards and nine touchdowns, Tate can change the momentum of a game. With a new coaching staff, he will have to create new ways to explode from the line of scrimmage. With opponents having film, he will have to make people believe the hype. A dual-threat quarterback like Tate and the plays he makes sets up for an exciting game. Win or lose, Tate will show that he belongs in the conversation with the best players in the country.
7. Trace McSorley, QB, Penn State Nittany Lions
Heading into his senior season, McSorley is being considered a potential Heisman Trophy candidate. Finishing the season with an 11-2 record, he had eight games with at least 280 passing yards and 60 rushing yards. With the help of Saquon Barkley, he was able to make plays with defenses locked on Barkley. Now, he will have to receive assistance to replace that talent he lost to the NFL. With a big offensive line protecting him, McSorley will be able to throw and run against defenses. He can show the country Penn State is elite and they could play in the CFP.
6. Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama Crimson Tide
A two-year starter for the Crimson Tide, Williams was a key contributor to Alabama’s success in regaining glory with their 17th national title. Being a potential first-round draft pick next season, whoever wins the starting job as the quarterback will have a reliable protector in Williams. He sets a tough challenge for defensive lines and with his playing that is not changing. He will make it tough for even the best defensive lineman to get through to the quarterback.
5. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama Crimson Tide
Tagovailoa still has to win the starting job against Jalen Hurts. In one of the most exciting championship games, college football saw a backup quarterback lead the Crimson Tide to a win over Georgia as he finished the night 14-of-24 passing on 166 yards with three touchdowns. If he wins the starting job, it is likely he’ll show greatness with his favorite target DeVonta Smith. As young as he is, his ability to throw passes in tight coverage, be able to pinpoint an open receiver while being rushed by defenders allows him to set the tone for the game and allows him to be in charge.
4. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin Badgers
Helping lead the Badgers to an incredible season finishing 13-1, Taylor could be poised for a bigger season. After playing in the shadows last season of the aforementioned Barkley, he is looked at as the next great running back in the Big Ten. Running for 273 carries, 1847 yards and 13 touchdowns, he could be poised for a Heisman campaign. His speed, vision, and ability to make cuts makes him one of the most exciting backs in the nation. As he is in line to be the next big thing in the Big 10, he’s chasing to be the next big thing in college football.
3. Kelly Bryant, QB, Clemson Tigers
Going into his senior season, Bryant is in perfect position to help lead Clemson to their fourth straight College Football Playoff. Finishing the year 244-for-362 on passing attempts with 2,678 yards and 13 touchdowns, he is in place to have another extraordinary year. He is in control to win the starting position over Trevor Lawrence who is looked at as potentially the next Deshaun Watson. He has the experience and knows the big game feeling. Heading into his second year as the man, Bryant looks to show the same athletic ability and earn his way to a championship.
2. Bryce Love, RB, Stanford Cardinal
Last year, Love finished the season with 1,973 yards and 17 rushing touchdowns. He was named a Heisman Trophy finalist. Helping lead Stanford to a 9-5 season, he showed his toughness at the end of the season playing with an injury. He displayed both physical and mental toughness. A player at his level coming back for his senior season is a welcome sight for the Cardinal. His versatility and explosiveness is mesmerizing.
1. Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia Bulldogs
Finishing the season with a spectacular freshman campaign, he’ll look to answer that in his sophomore season. He ended the season 145-for-230 with 2,173 yards and 21 touchdowns. He led Georgia to an SEC championship and a national championship appearance, it is apparent Georgia will be competing for their spot in the College Football Playoff for years to come. Fromm was a big reason former quarterback Jacob Eason transferred to Washington back in his home state. Stepping up when called on, Fromm set the standards for this season coming up. His throwing ability and maturation will be key in making the Bulldogs championship contenders.